Do you love your job? I love mine, and I’ve found that not a lot of people make that claim. Typically those that do, don’t say it haphazardly. As a round-up-to-one hundred, empty nester, I’m quickly approaching the retirement phase of life, and I can’t quite envision myself there, because, as previously mentioned, I truly do love my job. I can’t imagine “shelving it” just at that time when I’m feeling I’m at the zenith of my personal, and professional productivity and creativity.
And, to further exacerbate the situation, the major problem I face as the marketing team lead for Ergotron ( the title is VP – do titles matter?- that’s another whole blog) is that almost every time I watch t.v. or a movie, or peruse a magazine or newspaper, I see or come in contact with someone or some situation that could be improved through our human centered designed products. Sunday Morning on CBS is on right now. In a recent episode, they showed some researcher who had dual monitors on his desk, but they’re not positioned correctly; he leans forward to see the screen, hunched and crunched. It makes me wince – actually, it makes me crazy. Here someone was showcased getting national attention for their work on a life-saving research project, and the showcased work behavior is counterproductive to his own health and wellness. Which means there’s more work for us to be done, which means we’re really only getting started. Retirement around the corner? Not so fast. . .
When I was in high school, I went on a student government trip to Washington, D.C. We met Hubert Humphrey, who, at that time, had been Mayor of Minneapolis, Senator from Minnesota, and Vice-President of the United States. He spent over an hour with us, a motley crew of 14 students and two teachers from West St. Paul. predicting the impact television would have in our lives. The premise was that if a picture was worth a thousand words, how much more powerful, for the good, could a minute of television be. . .if the television content was developed correctly. This was the Vietnam era. The time when a picture captured a naked little girl, running away from a napalm bomb blast. It was a powerful image. And a haunting picture. She was nine. I was sixteen. His words, like that picture, have stuck with me ever since.
My boss frequently reminds me we can’t market like “Coke.” We’re not building a power brand. Ergotron’s go to market model is predominantly B2B. Even though we have many “consumer” products, we use the digital intersection of Mac, and PC computer and display market makers, to get our products into both commercial and consumer users’ hands. We’ve recently started working with a physical comedian here in Minneapolis, David Harris, to put a face to our company as “Tester Guy“. Tester Guy’s persona fits our company to a “t”. We are incredibly serious about the products we develop. We have safety tests, quality tests, environmental tests, tip tests, push, pull, prod and nudge tests at Ergotron, before we release a product to the world. Tester Guy puts a little light hearted fun into our own testing process, and then the functionality of the product takes him off into a fantasy world – a world that actually creates a touch point for the fun we have, doing what we do, trying to make the world a better place, at Ergotron.
While we haven’t gotten as many “eyeballs” on our video as we like, yet, we’re just launching the Dare2Dual program behind it on August 1st. I’ll let you know if its a successful attempt to build our brand. I hope Hubert was right. And that this 1 minute 40 seconds really tells a story, for good.