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These are undoubtedly the Dog Days of Summer, so called because they occur around the time of the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star, a.k.a. “Kyon Seirios,” which is Greek for “burning dog”)—usually from July 3 to August 11. So the Dog Days correlate to that not-so-fresh, jalepeno-armpit, Gold Bond-shortage time of the year. Hmm, and I always thought it was because a dog pants to stay cool. Get it? Dog pants…
Anyway, I should express sincere apologies to our friends south of the equator. I didn’t mean to come off as a hemispherist. The Dogs Days work the same way there and for the same reason, but they occur in January & February. We can thank the Earth’s tilted axis for this, which is presently at ~23.43 degrees. That’s why the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are located at 23°26’ north and south latitude, respectively. (I say the axis is presently ~23.43 degrees because, yes, it’s not a static condition. The “wobble” in our planet’s spin cycles every 40,000 or so years, and ranges between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees. Siriusly.)
What better time for my segue! Smooth as usual.
What is hot right now?
Aside from our steering wheels, patio furniture and overall temperaments, what else is hot right now? Specifically, the types of projects we are are seeing with greater regularity? The real question for you is can your clients be activated with some insight about these developments? The answer is a definitive “Yes!” so heat up the discussion with your clients and prospects around these topics:
The true currency and culture of a tech-based company or a manufacturer is innovation. Not moving forward by continually developing new products, services, and solutions is the same as moving backward. The people within these companies are more and more commonly recognized for their contributions to this cause. Patent Awards are an obvious segment, but be on the lookout for these keywords that will lead you to meaningful awards opportunities:
2. Core Values
Organizational culture begins with the core values the company sets forth as the operating guidelines for its people. Getting everyone to pull the same rope in the same direction is essential for any company, and the foundation of that team effort is found in the moral and ethical pledge that constitute a company’s unique core values. Those organizations who take that pledge seriously also desire a sustained message—one that can be commemorated with a display, employee gift, or “desk talker.”
3. Product Launches
When a company, such as a large pharmaceutical firm, launches a new product, it is a milestone achievement that is the culmination of a significant effort and expense. What better way foster a positive culture than by recognizing the people involved in the development and launch? Or perhaps hailing the occasion to customers and prospects with a commemorative gift?
4. Onboarding/New Employees
What is the cost of replacing an employee? It’s not an exact science, though for anyone who has had to do it, it can be a real expense (and hassle). Making a new employee feel welcome from Day One is an objective that has clearly moved into the center of vision for HR departments in nearly every company. Companies who recognize their people early (and often) build a culture of inclusion and purpose. Current job market factors make finding and keeping employees a critical function for any organization.
There’s only one chance to make a first impression, whereas Glassdoor, Yelp, Job Advisor, Facebook, Google Reviews, etc. are virtually forever. A small investment can go a long way toward employee retention.
5. Brand Advocates
Brand recognition is essential for survival as more and more products and services become homogenized. And that homogenization can be the death knell for products and brands that don’t foster brand advocacy at a high level.
I have a ketchup brand preference, but that’s not to say I prefer the product, price, or popularity of one brand versus another. I perceive all that to be largely homogenized. Instead, I bow like a good consumer to effective brand marketing that makes me grab the same stuff in the grocery store every time I need ketchup.
Your views on ketchup might vary from mine, but think of the brands and products that you do have a loyalty to—are these loyalties rational or irrational? Conversely, what about the products that you don’t care about—maybe stuff you buy generic when you have that option? What is the point of differentiation? Brand advocates know how to elevate their brand above consumer complacency—and the brands they represent actively recognize the people who are brand promoters within the daily culture of their workplace.
Note that within each of these “Hot Tips” I have emphasized the words people and culture. That is essentially what symbolic recognition is—the intersection or confluence of people and culture. Where the two meet, you will find the contributors to what matters within any organization. And where you find a population of contributors, you will find the hot points of recognition.
These are hot topics at a hot time of the year—why not turn up the heat on your prospecting?
Photo Credit: Aquinas Wired
Dave Miller is VP of Sales & Marketing at Bruce Fox, Inc. and a professional writer by virtue of the fact his company is paying him to write this blog. He has been with Bruce Fox since 1990, which is something like 4-1/2 dog years and 28 hot summers in the steamy Ohio River Valley. The goal of his blog is to “edu-tain” (educate + entertain) promotional products distributors, with a focus on custom work. Dave also finds it very awkward to write about himself in the third person.