Back to Basics

“Is the Wi-Fi working?”

“Did you change the iTunes password?”

“Have you seen my charger?”

Sounds like a typical morning in my household. Remember Hooked on Phonics? Yea. My kids, and my husband (ok, ok, me too) are Hooked on Tronics. I long to bring them back to basics. You know: hide and seek, rock-paper-scissor, hangman. But the whole concept of “basic” is so complicated now. Basic to the Gen-Tech, as I like to call them, is building rollercoasters on Minecraft. Basic is the iPhone 5.

I asked my 7 year old what he thought the word “basic.” He said, “that means it doesn’t do anything.” I took pause in his basic definition. I resisted a snarky remark. He is only 7 after all. Somewhere between the Kindles, iPads, X-Boxs, and PlayStations have we lost appreciation for the most simple joys in life. Do not get me wrong. I am obsessed with all the laziness and awesomeness all of our non-basic stuff has to offer, but it makes me sad that in general there is little appreciation for simplicity. My answer to this was.. well.. basic. In a moment of glory or absolute stupidity I decided to take all the electronics away. And the results were simple and and basic: some fighting, laughter, a huge mess but more importantly a connection.

I am in no way knocking the ways of today. After all, success is often measured in metrics and digital is here to stay. And that’s great, but so is basic. So what ever your definition is of basic, take pleasure in finding it.

Brands We Love

In life we pursue the things we love. It’s no different in business. From time-to-time you’ll see Mad Bear‘s social feeds feature the “brands we love” hashtag because there are so many brands our team loves. There is a natural excitement and emotion that pours out when you get to tell stories about a brand that you are passionate about. Thanks to today’s technology there are so many ways to give those brands a shout out.

It’s a marketing strategy that comes very naturally. We like to use it because it gives us a chance to organically pursue companies we are already passionate about. When it’s done the right way “Brands We Love” allows you to take a grassroots marketing concept, increase your business and the business of a brand that you already love! It doesn’t get much better than that. The concept isn’t new and it can be applied to virtually any model. But, just like dating, there are unspoken rules. Max Hart from Verbal+Visual, a company that’s experienced success with this concept, filled us in on on some of those perimeters.

Passion: “This is 100% love. When you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t feel like work. From sports to tech to nonprofits we go after what we love. We sit down as a team and make the pitch and all decide together whether it’s a viable lead. It’s a collaborative effort. It helps to be selective, but most of the time we support each other’s ideas. But we all have to get behind the mission.

Patience: “You have to be willing and ready to put in the time. We start with a hand-written love letter. Then we wait. If too much time goes by we might reach out on LinkedIn, sometimes we will write a blog post about how much we love the brand, and love the mission. But somewhere in there is a mention of how we could help them. Our goal is to get them as a client and to have them recognize that there’s value beyond all the praise. The process could take four, five maybe even six months.

Professionalism: “There are no expectations when you are pursuing a brand you love. You provide praise and value with the hopes of opening the door. We take the time to truly familiarize ourselves with the brand and to connect with them. We don’t stalk them. If we don’t hear back after a few months we might make a face-to-face visit if the company is local. But it’s always with the idea that we are providing value and we want a relationship.”

We mean it, please share a comment. Who knows, we might love the same brands or better yet maybe we already love your brand.