Encouraging Employee Advocates- United Airlines Case in Flight

November 11, 2014 View Comments

I'm actually a pretty big fan of United Airlines.  I find the service to be solid, reliable, and convenient.

One of my habits, perhaps not surprisingly, is talking to flight attendants. They are a wealth of information.

On my recent flight to Seattle, I met Leah and I was THRILLED to see that she had an apron with her name on it. Immediately, I thought..."Hey, United is really trying to live the values of 'Friendly' and taking it to the next level."

I asked her about it. Her response surprised me.

She had a name badge that was a pin, but it kept breaking, so she went out and WITH HER OWN MONEY, spent $40 to have her name embroidered on her apron. And she wasn't reimbursed.

In my mind, if you have a passionate employee who takes pride in her job and takes the initiative to create an even better customer experience, that's something you want to encourage and reward.

Here's to hoping that Leah (employee ID: N7699) gets the recognition she deserves.

Protect Your Phone: Get Lookout Now

September 30, 2014 View Comments

Oh man, this was just great.

I am in Switzerland now and I got a temporary SIM card.  Once I logged on, I received this (which would go to any account).  Just a great way to protect yourself from phone theft. www.lookout.com

Book Recommendations for Leaders

September 29, 2014 View Comments

Two books I just finished that I wanted to recommend.

Particularly relevant for anyone who has to lead a group or an organization.

The first is written by the CEO/Founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman. It’s called The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age and highlights how managing people has changed since the era of lifetime employment has come to an end.

They reframe a job as a “tour of duty” in which the company makes clear to the employee what s/he will get out of the next assignment while at the same time, the employee promises s/he will stick with the job until the end of the tour. They stay because reputational risk is too great to leave it.

It’s a quick read and a solid framework for thinking about developing talent in today’s networked age.

Meanwhile, you can always look to the military for inspiring stories of courage, bravery, and leadership. In Pegasus Bridge, the acclaimed historian Stephen E. Ambrose details the first invasion effort of D-Day and the strategic imperative of a group of British airborne troops of taking a canal bridge deep behind enemy lines.

This is a book about planning, preparation, team building, leadership, strategy, execution, and more.

You’ll appreciate the “Greatest Generation” more and hopefully you’ll never be in a life/death situation like this with the fate of the free world hanging in the balance.

However you will be in a position where you need to lead a group of people on a mission. Learn from the best.

Sleep Number Bed and the Connected and Empowered Customer

July 21, 2014 View Comments

You have probably been in hundreds of conversations like this. Either as a Screenshot_2014-07-14-05-41-49participant or the originator.

Someone asks a question. Others answer. A purchase decision is heavily influenced one way or the other.

And, as is more and more often the case, the company isn’t really involved in the process.

Look at this thread. Then, look at it through the eyes of a marketer.

You have:

  • one prospect asking a question.
  • another prospect asking for similar input.
  • a brand detractor
  • 2 brand promoters
  • a brand advocate

Now, if you are Sleep Number, you might like to

  1. know about this conversation (you need Social Listening)
  2. profile these people (Profiling)Screenshot_2014-07-14-05-41-34
  3. route people to various parts of the company for follow on action (Queues, Governance, Automated Rule Engine)
  4. understand just how valuable your promoters are (CRM Integration)
  5. reach out to the prospect (engagement)
  6. see how your efforts worked or not (reporting)
  7. put an offer in front of the prospect (paid ad)

and more.

You’ll probably want to also understand how it all works together, which is why you want all of these capabilities integrated natively.

In the Social@Scale Journal, we share how more and more of the buying journey is done before the customer ever even connects with a brand. We also share what some brands are doing about it.

Either way, this is the new normal. Empowered customers connecting with each other.

The opportunity for brands is to find, cultivate, and grow these relationships through experience management over time.

Maintaining the context and history of relationship is the first step. You need to know who your friends and fans are if you expect to have them help you. 

How to make someone excited about signing up for your newsletter…

June 2, 2014 View Comments

You know that I am always looking for remarkable touchpoints. Here’s one that came in from Michael Einbinder-Schatz of Jobecca.

He signed up for a newsletter…and look what he got. Definitely different!


Thanks for signing up at MikeMichalowicz.com. If you didn't intend to sign up or someone else is playing a super dirty prank on you and registered your email without your permission, unsubscribe now. There is nothing I hate more than spam (except hangovers), so I want to be absolutely sure you want the knowledge I will share via email. Good? Good!
Now let's get to business. I would like to give you a huge, awkwardly long hugging, grand welcome! I am flattered you have decided to connect with me, and while this email is sent automatically, it is me writing this and every email I send. Before I provide you with anything else, I want you to know that you are part for a world changing (and saving) mission.

The Mission
"A mission!?!?! What the hell did I just sign up for?" you ask.
I kinda suspect you already know. Our mission is to foster success, happiness and wealth via entrepreneurship. But here is the deal... no egos are allowed! Jerks, "all-about-me's", dicks, divas, egomaniacs, narcissists, and "get-rich-quick folks" should go elsewhere, because you won't like me. I teach and share knowledge for life long entrepreneurs, regardless if you are just starting or have been it for years. Your mission is to become successful doing what you love to do and doing it for people you love doing it for. My mission is to share with you everything I know to make it a reality.

What's Next?
I have tons of stuff to share with you, but realize that if I dumped it all on you at once it will be too much, too fast. So I will send stuff to you in small bite size chunks (starting with series of archived articles I wrote for The Wall Street Journal). And, as much as I can, I will put the content in a PDF attachment so you can print it out and share it freely with your employees, colleagues and friends.

Book Sneak Peaks
If you want a sneak peak at my books, here are links to free chapters:
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur -
Intro & 1st Chapter
The Pumpkin Plan - Intro & 1st Chapter
Profit First - (I should have this posted soon, and will email you when I do!)

Next Steps
I will email you about once a week with the best of what I know and find. Sometimes less often, rarely more. If you ever want to "undo" your sign-up, there is a one-click unsubscribe at the bottom of all my emails. But, I think you will want to be a lifer because I will be sending you cool stuff, and you are officially on a mission, and we kicked it all off with the hug and all that.
As always, I am wishing you tremendous entrepreneurial success.

P.S. I hope I didn't creep ya out with the long hug. It's all good. Not a perv. Just lovin' that you are an entrepreneur.

Mike Michalowicz
Author of
Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

email: mike@mikemichalowicz.com
phone: 888-244-2843

How to make people remember your story

May 13, 2014 View Comments

I actually had coffee with Joshua Foer a few years ago and found him to be engaging then. It was right before he published his book.

For people who want to become better storytellers (so that others remember) you might enjoy this one.


Remarkable Job Application

April 10, 2014 View Comments

We’re beyond the resume being remarkable enough to get the job done.

Now, it’s the very experience of applying for the job.

Thanks to Charlie Ramirez for sending this in. A new standard perhaps?

How to Lead…and Do It Right

April 4, 2014 View Comments

Long time blog readers know that I’m a huge Simon Sinek fan.

And he continues to deliver with this presentation. 45 minutes, but worth every one. I’m going to watch it at least 2 more times.

Leaders Eat Last - Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

HT to Mitch Joel for bringing it to my attention.

The Day I Discovered My Marketing Calling

March 31, 2014 View Comments

I write this on a flight back from London, which provides ample opportunity for reflection.

I’ve been thinking about my career path and chosen field and why I got into it.

Certainly, hearing Todd Newfield speak when I lived in Japan was a seminal moment. One that was further catalyzed when he instructed me to read my first marketing book, Peppers and Rodgers’ The One-to-One Future.

Intellectually, I was hooked.

But, there was a moment a few years later when I was working at Snickelways and we had a client called Quantum Cycles (I’m still in touch with one of the clients from that assignment) and they instructed us to come down to Florida to observe Daytona Bike Week. They wanted us to understand the mentality of the customer to whom they were selling.

At one point, we entered a drugstore. Not a chain, kind of a five-and-dime variety.

As I walked the aisle, I found myself behind a man who fit every stereotype there was about a redneck/biker.

Dirty jeans, long, greasy hair, worn boots and a mesh baseball cap.

He also had a jean jacket where the sleeves had been cut off, showing his arms.

On his left and right triceps were tattooed-in kind of a gothic/old English style, the words “Harley” and “Davidson,” respectively.

I was mesmerized and I felt an emotional jolt that lit up the intellectual wood which had been gathering.

I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “I don’t know what it is that motivates someone to tattoo the name of a company on their body, but that’s what I want to figure out.”

So, while the tangible goal might be to have someone so passionate about Sprinklr or Never Stop Marketing or whatever company, product, service I am marketing at the time, that they will tattoo it on their bodies, the real goal is to understand the human condition on such a deep level as to understand the Why.

It’s a long run and I’m not there yet, but that’s just how I seek to make sense of Life.

Be Remarkable—Thinking Beyond the Gift Recipient

March 23, 2014 View Comments


The principle of being Remarkable is about taking the expected and making it unexpected.

It’s simple in concept, but not easy to execute.

Derek and Melanie Coburn, co-founders of the wonderful DC-based networking group CADRE- have figured this out.

I’ve been a member since the early days and have been the recipient of a few gifts from them over the years, but the most recent one has set a new standard.

They sent me a Cutco kitchen knife that not only had the Sprinklr logo on it, but was engraved to both my wife and me.

That alone was remarkable, but what made it even more so is the fact that Derek and Melanie have never met my wife at all.

When I asked about this, “Derek said, ‘we just realized that the spouses are an important part of the reason why we’re successful because they support our members who do participate, so we wanted to let me know that we appreciate their efforts as well”

Knowing Derek as I know him, this move came from a genuine place.

However, the gift may also have tangible benefits….Perhaps the next time I say to my wife that I am going to a CADRE event, she’ll successfully differentiates it from the other activities I pursue.

Lesson: Include the spouse/significant other in any gift-giving to extend the brand relationship beyond the person, to the person’s network.