Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, VP of strategy at Savage Brands and my guest again is Gene Gray, President at Innovative Idea. So Gene I’m so glad you’re back on Brandonomics.
Gene: Well thanks for having me back, I appreciate it.
Robin: Well I’ve enjoyed talking with you about your focus on employee brand and your internal culture and how important that is there and one of the things that you do a little differently is your annual meeting, but I’m curious what makes it so different.
Gene: It’s Kickoff – we call it Kickoff – and it’s a little different than a traditional sales meeting in that we look at it as an employee growth event.
Gene: And so what we do is we invite not just the sales people and the sales managers and all of the – we invite the entire company. So if you’re a full time employee with the company you get a ticket to the meeting if you’d like to come. And so what we do is we go to an offsite venue, typically a resort style hotel, something like that, but it’s not really about going to a resort or sitting on a beach, it’s about employee growth.
Gene: So how do you make, you know, think about the analogy of a wagon – like the Wells Fargo wagon – and a bunch of horses pulling it; well if you want the wagon to go faster, feed the horses, and that’s what the meeting’s about, how do you feed the horses? So we’ve had different people come in that can help the employees from personal finance – we had a Dave Ramsey speaker this past year – we have done goal-setting seminars, personal defense, we’ve done fire walks; every other year we do a fire walk, we’ve done glass walks. You know things that – where you challenge your fears that you might have, that’s essentially what you do in a fire walk; it’s kind of an interesting thing to tell somebody they’re going to be able to do. So then the idea is as they get to become better people and we begin to elevate them as human beings – think about it. If your company – if everybody in your company got better, how could the company not get better?
Robin: And that’s why you do it.
Gene: And that’s why we do it. It’s an employee growth event, we just do it once a year, we call it Kickoff.
Robin: Well that is something I hop other companies take note of and do themselves.
Gene: They should.
Robin: Okay, well I appreciate you sharing that, thank you so much.
Gene: You’re very welcome Robin.
Robin: Thank you. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.
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