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Starting an Agency Includes Cultivating REALationships

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Bilal Saeed and Tim Adkins, Brofounders Pakmode

Bilal Saeed and Tim Adkins, Brofounders
Pakmode

“Deflate your ego.” This is one of the first things Bilal Saeed, Brofouder of Michigan-based Pakmode Media + Marketing, said to a packed house at TEDxEMU on March 15, 2013 at Eastern Michigan University’s Quirk Theater. Alongside Saeed, was Brofounder Tim Adkins, who leads creative direction at the agency. The creative duo’s discussion focused on building REALationships, and not just relationships, to stay successful in business and life.

When starting the agency fresh out of college in 2008 they quickly understood what hard work meant. Upon their first day of business, an advisor gave Saeed a small needle. He was unsure what it was for but the advisor simply said that Saeed will know soon enough. He kept the needle and got to work. Many times, Saeed and Adkins, found themselves washing dishes and waiting tables at a local restaurant after a full day of work just to pay the bills.

Thousands of clean dishes later, it dawned on the Brofounders that the needle was to deflate their ego.

Brofounders, by the way, is what they decided to name themselves instead of the formal CEO or COO since they were together much of their waking lives. The name stemmed from when they first heard brothers John and Scott Meyer of 9 Clouds refer to themselves as ‘Brofounders.’

Saeed and Adkins realized that deflating their ego was only the first part of the process. To create, grow, and maintain REALationships, there are actually four key ideas to keep in mind, especially when starting your own agency, as follows:

  1. Deflate your ego: This was their first and most vital lesson. It is important to remember that you are not automatically entitled to anything you do not earn. If you want something you must work hard to achieve it. Nothing will be given to you. They say to “Grind because you believe in something greater.”
  2. Be a chameleon: Adkins reluctantly lets Saeed talk about this point since he focuses so much on it. However, in creating REALationships it is important to know your surroundings and adapt as you need to. Do not be afraid of change and allow yourself the ability to be prepared for all situations as they arise. You may be in a tough situation and your next client may or may not be watching you. Saeed exceeded one man’s expectations so much with the way that he went out of his way to adapt for another client at an event that he landed the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowlaccount on the spot.
  3. Being selfless without being selfish: The Dalai Lama once said, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others.” The Brofounders keep this in their mind daily. Their goals are focused on helping others first and acting for no personal gain. This allows them to be better people and better corporate citizens.
  4. Being a real, better person: This last point is best assimilated to being a child again. Simple things that people forget over the years are to share, say please and thank you, and remember to be nice. And do not forget, the ransparency of this niceness factor should be shown through all social media channels.

At the completion of their TEDxEMU talk, Saeed and Adkins made note that these four points are easier to say and harder to do. This is not a sales technique, but rather a lifestyle. They truly believe in the working capacity of each of these key points and have made them part of daily life. “Do not fake it,” says Adkins. People will see right through the exterior. It is truly important to be a better listener and to care about the REALationships you make. What will you do to turn your relationships into REALationships?

Read the entire article on Talent Zoo’s beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17244

Home Depot Helps in the Sand(y) Box

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Hurricane, Superstorm, Frankenstorm. Whatever you call it, Hurricane Sandy is taking the East Coast by surprise. The is the biggest storm that this portion of America has seen since 1820. And who is there to help when others are running away? Home Depot.home-depot-logo

Home Depot has done a great job of marketing itself as a sort of storm headquarters. They are able to make supplies available such as batteries, generators, flashlights, chain saws, and the like, when others cannot. When Hurricane Irene came around the Home Depot increased their quarterly sales by a full percentage point. By the looks of things, Home Depot’s sales will be through the roof once again.

According to an Ad Age article entitled, How Adland Is Weathering Hurricane Sandy, Home Depot had this comment:

“Our goal is to be the last to close and the first to open. We stay open as long as we can, as long as it is safe for our associates to be there,” said Meghan King, a spokeswoman with Home Depot. “On the other hand, many stores have extended their hours to serve customers as long as possible. Hurricane planning is a year-round exercise for us, so our operations, merchandising and store teams know what to do and when to do it,” Ms. King added.

Home Depot has not only performed well at the retail level but they have also created their own hurricane command center. Doug Spiron, Captain of the Home Depot Command Center, said they are open 24/7 preparing for the storm. They have adequately supplied the stores in preparation for Hurricane Sandy and have trucks on hold to push more supplies into these areas. Watch the entire video interview with Doug here: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1932487849001/

When Home Depot is there, rooted in these areas that are desperate for supplies, customers will remember. They will remember Home Depot’s far-reaching social responsibility. Companies such as this that are good corporate citizens create lasting relationships with the communities in which they reside. Home Depot has done this and continues to do this in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.

Home Depot is a great example of how a solid marketing plan and dedication to social responsibility can not only be good for the public but also good for the corporate brand. They know that if you need help you will look for the infamous orange aprons.

What other companies have you seen that are taking a similar approach?