Because our work is all about people and telling their unique stories.

“Over the past fifty-plus years, I’ve watched the dog business grow brick by brick from a motley collection of mom-and-pop operations into a massive, million-dollar industry run mainly by a standardized way of thinking,” wrote Kevin Behan in his book, “Your Dog is Your Mirror.”

He goes on to add, “Today, trainers are no longer idiosyncratic, self-trained dog people; rather, they belong to standardized national associations, and attend behavioral workshops and training seminars to get up to date on the latest ideas and techniques.”

His view of the dog behavioral / veterinary / industrial complex exactly describes the marketing industrial complex.

Due to technology and data, we’ve become standardized in our thinking. Now we’re being told to embrace AI or be left behind. Fortunately, I have a very strong “idiosyncratic” streak. Instead of embracing AI, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it.

“Hi Dianna,” wrote a colleague a couple of years ago. “I’m not sure what it is about your posts, but I can never scroll past them without reading every word. I wish I could write like you do. Your posts just feel so honest and personal. Thanks for all you do!”

I’ve had this message sitting on my desk for weeks now, with a sticky note attached that says, “Trust.” As AI creates more problems and challenges in the coming months and years, old-fashioned trust is what will drive everything.

So, after much thought, I killed our website Resources section, which was filled with my trying to be “standardized” and “market at” people, and replaced it with the one you see now, called Our Work.

Instead of making it a traditional portfolio of work, I’ve populated it with articles showing how we think and solve challenges.

It’s a celebration of our idiosyncrasies. My team and I are definitely not standardized. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m pretty quirky. 😅

Instead of worrying about how to “grow” HIM, I’ve made a commitment to focus on what makes us unique and worthy of a potential client’s trust. In other words, helping people get to know us before they take the big step of reaching out.

“People do business with people they trust” is why the header of my home page has people — because manufacturing is all about people and telling their unique stories versus machines or the latest marketing technique.

Filed under: Our Thinking

Rocky Update

Rocky at 4 months – with his favorite toy, Monster

Rocky turns 21 months next week — a bittersweet moment, but one that’s welcome, too. I have days now where I look at him and think, “Oh my gosh, I have an adult GSD.” It’s quite thrilling.

He’s lost that gangly adolescent look and has begun to fill out across the chest and hips. He listens attentively and often anticipates a command or direction. He waits patiently for me to finish my work — then blasts out the door for playtime. He LOVES people and has friends all over the place.

I find myself going through my photo album to look at his puppy photos and shedding a few tears. Where did my ball of fluff go?

Thankfully, he still loves to play; we have the same morning routine we started when he first arrived: Get up, go out, eat breakfast, then help Mom make the bed and do stretches. I stretch — he brings in Monster for tug, fetch, and keep away. We have a lot of fun.

As for Monster, the toy he’s holding in the photo, it no longer looks like this — hahaha. All the squeaks are gone, the back side is gone, and the bit that’s left is full of holes and smells to high heaven. I daren’t throw it away or wash it. 😀

When he wants my attention, he brings it over, drops it at my feet and gives me the look, “Please? Please can we play now?” I’m always a sucker and say yes.

If you have a dog, what’s their favorite toy?