Tom Garrity

Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Nike and Nambe

In Life on June 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Portland, Oregon is home to Nike.  It is one of the most successful marketing companies in the world, it happens to sell shoes.  Outsourcing its shoe and apparel to overseas factories has raised the ire of many humanitarian groups and consumer groups.  Nike is able to offset the negative perceptions through its sponsorships and endorsements.  Their product is good… I would not say it is great.  Nike’s marketing needs to be great, because it is a marketing firm that happens to sell shoes.

Espanola, New Mexico is home to Nambe ware.  As their website states “gifts of Nambé have been given by our governors and statesmen as symbols of New Mexico’s heritage.”  I have both given and received Nambe ware as gifts.  It is unique, cool to look at and very functional.  Outside of the “Zia”, a symbol for Zia Pueblo that is legally and illegally affixed to all things New Mexico, the iconic Nambe is synonymous with the Indian Pueblo north of Santa Fe.

However, Nambe appears to be “In Name Only.”  The Albuquerque Journal revealed last month, the “silver like dishes and house wares made from a special alloy” is actually now made in India and China.  That should not be a surprise seeing that the eight-metal alloy that retains hot and cold temperatures was developed by a former metallurgist with Los Alamos National Laboratories and manufactured Espanola… well before being outsourced in 2006.

Their product hasn’t changed.  It is just made overseas.  It isn’t the first time a New Mexico icon has been produced overseas.  The State’s flag/lapel pin used as a gift and as decorative jewelry is also made overseas.  The double standard comes into play when you have an expectation that something cheap, like a lapel pin, is made overseas.  But high quality Nambe ware is made at home, at Nambe Pueblo. 

Nike and Nambe have something in common, they are now both marketing companies.  But how does Nambe recover from this issue of perception?  They don’t have large sponsorships or endorsement deals.  However, Nambe does have access to the goodwill of New Mexico residents and tourists.

Perception is reality.  Nambe would be well served to stage an awareness campaign with the State’s Key Opinion Leaders and publically announce that it is exploring affordable options to bring some of its production back to the Land of Enchantment.  Building the grassroots support will be more powerful than any endorsement deal Nike can muster.

The Longest Best Day of the Year

In Life on June 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm

June 21st is one of my favorite days of the year.  In addition to being my sister’s birthday, the summer solstice provides the most daylight in the Northern Hemisphere.

Since it is the “longest day” I always try and find something fun to do that will have me in the great outdoors.  I’ve had the chance to celebrate the solstice in Alaska, which is a trip in more ways than one.  If it occurs during the week, we will typically barbecue and toast the late night sunset.

However, one of the most unique 6/21’s I’ve ever spent was with a good friend named Don.  One night over a board game I mentioned my personal fixation about the longest day of the year and that this year it was going to fall mid-week.  He thought maximizing the daylight was also a worthy endeavor.  We had talked about different things to do and landed on fishing. 

After work we’d get our gear and try out a spot below Cochiti Reservoir, north of Albuquerque.  When we got there the early evening wind was howling.  We were the only ones there.  To combat the wind and elements, we put weight on the end of the line for distance instead of depth!  Our laughter over the insane conditions resulted in catching more dust than fish, and that was alright.  It was a good time to hang out, tell stories and enjoy the long day.

I treasured that time. 

It wasn’t until about six months later that the value of afternoon laughter hit home when we received news that Don, a cancer survivor from his childhood, had a relapse.  He passed away a short time later.

So, here it is… another June 21st is fast approaching.

This year I’ll be making the most of it showing my old 1938 Plymouth pick-up at a local auto show.  Later it will be barbecue and a toast to the late night sunset.

Send me a tweet or a message to let me know how you will be making the most of the longest “best” day of the year!

DTVs New Challenge

In Life on June 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm

After a false start in February, the day has finally come when broadcast television stations make the switch to a digital signal… Today!

The onslaught of reminders, crawls, demonstrations of “how to” hook up your new antenna, old television recycling events, town halls, community meetings, blogs, special websites, advertising and news coverage reminded me of the last great media play in our state when Krispy Kreme opened its doors (point of disclosure, I was responsible).

While the marketing approaches employed by broadcast television stations were relatively simple, they now face a far more complex problem.  The stations need to decide how they are going to utilize and cross promote the new bandwidth (a.k.a. more channels) to an audience that was challenged to hook up a new antenna.

Hopefully the television broadcasters have learned what works and what doesn’t work when trying to connect with their viewers.  Second to their own product, Social media is the most effective way for broadcasters to build meaningful connections with their audiences.  Comcast has successfully paved the way on how to build those connections through Twitter, YouTube, FaceBook and other social media.  Unfortunately, many broadcasters are relying solely on their corporate website as “social media” outreach.

Now that the DTV switch is “official”, hopefully broadcasters will truly leverage new media opportunities with the same kind of fervor as the above mentioned marketing approaches.

Photo provided from the Washington Post