Description: Nothing expresses emotion quite like a greeting card. And Hyundai felt it to be the best way in expressing its condolences to four formidable speedsters its Genesis Coupe R-Spec beat out in recent track tests conducted by AMCI. To help soften the blow of defeat, INNOCEAN USA created a line of “Sympathy Cards” for each of the four competitors with the simple message “Sorry competition, nothing personal.”
Objective: to Promote new Hyundai Genesis Coupe; appeal-bragging rights
Target Market: Automotive Enthusiasts
Call to Action: This coupe will have you leaving other sports cars behind; Buy Hyundai
Value Proposition: track test results which are noted in the cards
Description: Campaign aimed at consumers open to the benefits of legalized, recreational marijuana. CBD oil, specifically, is a non psychoactive version (it won’t get you high because it lacks THC, weed’s main component for making you high) and is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety and depression, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Objective: Offering an alternative to managing chronic pain without narcotic side effects; appeal-artistry-pipe hidden in word smoke cloud
Target Market: Individuals with Chronic Pain
Call to Action: stop using legalized marijuana
Value Proposition: better alternative relief for pain
Description: California’s Monterey County gets pushed to get healthy. Or at least, healthier. An integrated TV, digital, ambient, print and transit campaign touts kale, soccer, hiking and the gym—and disses donuts—while it also serves as the launch campaign for the newly formed, nonprofit Montage Health, Monterey, Calif.; appeal-humor
Objective: To create awareness for the new health association, which offers health insurance, clinic and home care, wellness/fitness centers, and also includes the county’s largest hospital; the community goal is equally important, and that is to improve the county’s overall health.
Target Market: people who live in the county.
Call to Action: Monterey county was recently named California’s 22nd healthiest, and the campaign comes as a call to “do better.”
Value Proposition: motivation for an entire county to do it together and bring up their ratings
Description: Hiscox unveiled a powerful, strongly worded new ad in honor of International Women’s Day. The full-page ad, which ran in The New York Times, applauds women who courageously continue to break through the glass ceiling. It is the next evolution of the successful “I’mpossible” campaign created by gyro New York; appeal-a woman’s strength attributed to a hammer
Objective: Celebrate women – International Women’s Day
Target Market: Corporate America
Call To Action: Recognize women for their strength, courage, endurance and tenacity
Value Proposition: Women are making “it” happen every day
Description: The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago’s oldest paper, is being transformed and has recently rebranded as “The Hardest Working Paper in America.” To signal the reset and compel readers to imagine the city without the paper, they left their most valuable piece of real-estate – the cover itself – blank; appeal- sympathy
Objective: Increase digital and overall subscriptions
Target Market: Digital readers
Value Position: history; rebranding and commitment to elevate content
–advertisement created by DDB, Hungary for McDonald’s
Description: McDonald’s wants to drive traffic to its McDrives, as well as celebrate their iconic products. The billboards depict an imagined long exposure shot, where the lights of cars on the road together make up the icon of a burger and a pack of fries. The billboards are placed near McDrives.
Objective: Directing traffic to McDonalds and illuminating it’s signature product; appeal-visual stimulus (has a northern lights aurora)
Target Market: All who love McDonalds burgers and fries
Description: On Valentine’s day, McDonald’s slogan became a love letter. I’m lovin’ it, was changed to I’m lovin’ ____ . People were invited to comment their partner’s name on the brand’s social pages to have it appear on billboards and social media publications across Canada.
Objective: Increase social media interaction; appeal – emotion of love
Target Market: Couples
Call to Action: Let the one you love know it and everyone else too by logging into social media site
Description: This simple, voiceless campaign is titled “BOX –> OBX.” “OBX” is the Outer Banks’ signature oval destination sticker, as well as the first three characters on all Outer Banks license plates. “BOX,” of course, is what you might be in if you commute on smoggy 8-lane thruways or taxi through grid-locked city streets, if your eyes stay glued to a data-entry screen or you work late nights in a featureless complex. This campaign is like a traditional product demo (minus the shouting spokesperson), where you see the benefit happen in front of your eyes. Instead of the cleanser that removes grass and wine stains, or the knife so sharp it can cut a shoe, in our case, it’s the barrier islands that can cure the common city.”
Objective: Entice viewer to escape to the beach
Target Market: Professionals or blue collar workers
Call to Action: Ditch the boxed in office to freedom on the sands of OBX
Value Proposition: Freedom and Relaxation; Change of scenery ; a new monotony
Description: KEVITA LIVE PROBIOTIC DRINKS ARE ALIVE JUST LIKE YOU.Bubbling with live active cultures, Kevita probiotic drinks are ‘living liquids’ that revitalize you on the inside, so can feel truly alive on the outside. The campaign launches with films of real people sharing their stories of what it means to feel truly alive. From heartfelt aspiration and hard-won redemption to the life-affirming power of everyday joy, each film unpacks those life-defining moments with an intimate cinematic touch.
Objective: Promote the lifestyles that personify KeVita’s brand ideals; appeal-human joy in living
Target Market: Those whose thirst for life is equal to the life inside Kevita probiotic drinks.
Call to Action: come alive with this drink
Value Proposition: a product that gives you energy to make you come alive inside and to enjoy life
Description: Sprint decides to embed brand and promo messages through Latin Music Lyrics; showing clips performed by famous Latin artists like Rickey Martin and Jose Feliciano to name a few. Appeal through songs made popular by these artists
Description: A young man is grateful for his mother’s help getting him through college so he is sending her money electronically. It shows all the negative consequences that affected his mother when he used another money transfer service. Appeal through humor
Objective: To persuade viewer to use Xoom for online money tranfers by showing all the negative consequences that affected his mother when he used another money transfer service. Appeal through humor
Target Market: Filipinos (22-35)
Call to Action: do not let your mother suffer because of your ignorance in selecting the best service
Value Proposition: When mother is happy, everyone is happy
Jockey International, 2017; Multicultural Excellence Award 2017
A local radio station in my area Rejoice 100.9, ran their own advertisement to gage new clients that said, “Not advertising on radio is like winking in the dark…you know that you are doing it, but no one else does.” I thought it was quite clever to show that your non-marketing efforts were lost in the sea of darkness where the only sure one to show up is you. But we all know that starting a business is about sharing a product or service to a target audience for an attractive price to hopefully take your piece of the entrepreneurial pie or market share. Many new start-ups suffer because they are winking in the dark. Not enlisting the help of a professional marketing service is a great way to go out of business. Just because your family and closest friends think it’s a great idea, doesn’t speak for your target audience. A comprehensive marketing strategy can help a business mark its territory, brand their image and create a resilient presence.
The word itself mark-it, if you are southern, denotes a drawing the line between you and your competitors. Like a dog marking its territory, you want to “… ‘stake a claim’ to a particular space, area, or object by marking it, using a variety of methods at levels of intensity.” (Humane Society, 2018) You are making a statement of I am here to establish your brand.
Marketing helps with branding. They are not one in the same. “In the mind of customers, your brand isn’t the product itself, nor is it your company’s messaging, logo, website design, advertisements, etc. Your brand consists of the perceptions customers have about the business and how it makes them feel.” (Prendergast, 2015) A marketing campaign supports your business by cultivating trust now with continued trust for the future. It projects who you are as a business; not what you have to offer.
Many years ago, Wachovia’s, now Wells Fargo, slogan was “We are here. Where are you? Let’s get started.” They made their presence known in the community by intentionally cutting the lights on with advertising; hence no winking in the dark expecting customers to visit a branch because they were on the corner. Founded in 1879, Wachovia stood firm in the financial industry for almost 150 years. (Wells Fargo, 2018).
As an entrepreneur, we all have an expertise, passion or goals which cost. Small businesses that struggle to get off the ground often cut marketing budgets or have none at all due to trying to keep the doors open. Word of mouth and referrals are not a sustainability plan. In order for your business to grow, you should enlist the assistance of a professional marketing firm. Decide why you should obtain professional marketing services, then look for a firm that is compatible. It should never be like a blind date. But instead, it is similar to an online dating site. Fill out the profile of your company; then explore your obtains of compatibility. Do your research before you set up the first date. There is a process for finding the right one and you may kiss a few frogs before you commit to that royal an agency that meets your expectations. Let’s dig a little deeper into the reasons, process and expected outcomes for enlisting the help of a professional marketing service. The reasons are clear. The process may be tedious, but the outcomes outweigh the tensions.
Why do you need a professional marketing service?
As a new business owner, you may not have a pulse on the market. Yes, the classes that I am taking for this graduate program give me a snapshot of the real world of business ownership. It prepares me for what to expect and what I need to consider. It is a road map for what I can handle and what I should sub out. If you are expecting growth, you need help. Instead of picking your battles, pick your victories. What do you do very well? Allow others to help with the rest. “…the key is to stick to what you’re good at and find a partner for the rest. Marketing is a great place to start your outsourcing experiment because branding and outreach needs typically change at a rapid pace.” (Dearing, 2013)In the beginning you need to decide where to invest to ensure success or at least ensure continued growth and sustainability. I must continue to stress that word of mouth marketing may not be enough. You have to be strategic. Your real competitors will be and they have a pulse on what your particular market is doing.
With so many moving parts to a business, decide who your key team players will be. A marketing firm or consultant should be considered. Hiring outside help will create a success story for your business! Firms specialize in the business of moving your business. They have years of market research and trends specific to your business and market area. What could take you months to research is readily available through an outside agency in minutes. Their job is to be in the know so that you can focus on the product or service. Let them be great at what they do so you can be great at what you do.
Another reason to hire a firm or consultant is for the reality check. As an owner, you may not always be able to be objective. They can offer a realistic perspective about your business in relation to others in the market and give you the most advantageous plan to make your product or service a must have instead of an alternative. You pay them to be objective and honest. Whereas your view may take some emotional and illogical turns that could cost you growth. They will offer you a roadmap to follow and adjust as the business progresses allowing your dream to explode into a reality right before your eyes. They will strategically place your business in the eyes, ears and mouths of your market. A firm or consultant will give your business a face and a voice.
Like any relationship, when you make an investment, there is an expected return or ROI, known as return on investment. It is important to interview your potential marketing partner. You want to know that they not only have capabilities, but they have a proven track record of success. Inspect what you expect. Establish a master plan or blueprint of your expectations and come to an agreement with what is doable. There are many cuts of beef from a cow. You may talk prime rib or filet mignon, but your budget is sirloin. Or just the opposite, the firm may boast T-bone, but they only possess ground beef reach. Setting realistic and attainable goals are essential to meet or exceed expectations. Goals should also be measurable. There should be benchmarks for reaching the goals which allow you to track the success of your investment. Benchmarks also give you a place to park and evaluate for change. This change could be internal (financial, management, etc.) or external (shift in market trends, the local economy, or political shifts). You want to have a solid plan with an open mind that allows for flexibility and creativity.
Your reasons for trusting someone else to tell your story- marketing is the story of your business-could range from small beginnings for the mom & pop small town local shop on a two-way street in Smallville, to the major technology race on the 26 lanes I-10 in Houston. This is your brand; your statement of who you are. This partnership is not just about the product or service, but it is about who you are as a company. Whatever road map you choose with a marketing partner becomes a track for your success. Every aspect of this journey means engagement by you in the process in order to see the desired outcomes. Whether you start off big with a major campaign or small with event promotion, always remember you are the driver and they are along for your ride to success.
I had the opportunity to visit my local SBTDC and I wanted to share the services they offer with you. This NC based service will give entrepreneurs a wealth of assistance with you start-up or existing business.
History of the SBTDC
Established in 1984 by The University of North Carolina system, the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) provides counseling, management education, and specialized market development services designed to help businesses and organizations meet challenges, manage change, and plan for the future. With approximately 80 associates located across 16 campus-based centers, the SBTDC serves a diversity of clients, including small to medium-sized businesses, as well as university, non-profit, and government entities.
The SBTDC provides in-depth management counseling and education services designed to help business owners make better decisions in achieving their business goals. Unlike consultants who work FOR businesses, SBTDC counselors are experienced and knowledgeable advisors that work WITH businesses, providing information, guidance, and feedback to entrepreneurs. The efforts of SBTDC professional staff are supplemented by the engagement of students and faculty from all University of North Carolina system campuses and several private universities and colleges.
The basic counseling services are provided without charge, as the SBTDC is funded in part by federal and state tax dollars. Additional services, including management education and in-depth marketing research, are provided on a cost-recovery basis.
Services offered through the SBTDC
General Business Servicers
Business & Management Advice
Explore into new geographies, customer segments, products/industries, marketing channels.
The SBTDC has experienced professionals that can help you:
Access federal, state, and local government contract opportunities
Chevrolet is the first company to offer built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi† to cars, trucks and crossover SUVs. When your car is running or is in accessory mode, you’ll have a better in-vehicle experience than using your smartphone. It’s a fast and reliable connection that doesn’t rely on your mobile device’s battery. It’s automatically on after initial setup and ready to connect up to 7 devices.
This ad highlights the 4G data streaming system that all the family can use to make a long trip more pleasurable. They use a Brian Adams karaoke wannabe to evoke freedom for the one behind the wheel. With the 4G system now in Chevrolets, everyone can plug into a different source of entertainment, which eliminates frequent stops and the dreaded juvenile sound of “are we there yet.”
OBJECTIVE-Increase Vehicle Sales
Sell more Chevrolets. Summer brings out automotive deals. This radio ad showcases a feature that is mainstream for most families-electronic mobile devices for entertainment.
TARGET MARKET-Families with Children
This 4G feature provides in-vehicle streaming services that are more reliable than cellular devices. Therefore, the family road trips allow all members to create a private viewing, listening, or chatting paradise for summer vacations road trips.
ACTION-Buy a Chevrolet to make long road trips more enjoyable.
By purchasing a Chevy car, truck, or crossover SUV, the driver will have an easier driving experience. This 4G feature eliminates frequent stops due to “potty breaks” or roadside attractions because it is a distraction within itself. The ad allows the mom to stream movies and the kids to video chat with friends. Dad, who is driving, can get to the destination with fewer interruptions. He gets to drive in peace.
VALUE PROPOSITION-Family Vacationers-Better Road Trip with reliable and multi-leveled in-vehicle entertainment with 4G-Standard Feature Included in Price
This 4G feature highlights the family (especially the father-the primary driver) vacationers who take those long road trips. It changes the face and pace of the drive. Everyone can find an enjoyable experience in the vehicle without having to be a family. They don’t have to engage. So it also changes the family time of stories and memories created on these trips. This 4G is aligned with where society is now-electronically non-engaged. But this is just for the road. Hopefully the destination will provide more real family time. This feature is part of the standard equipment, which is no added cost to the customer. This 4G feature is in all vehicles from the Cruz to the Suburban; therefore no exclusion for those who can’t afford the higher end vehicles.
VocaliD redefines how we interact with intelligent devices — and each other. Over ten million people are unable to speak. Over 500 million everyday devices and applications are narrated by a voice. All of them choose from the same few generic, mechanical voices. But our voices are not identical. Our voices are our identities.
This radio ad humanizes a generic mundane sound that we have so often heard from those who have loss their vocal chords function. This raspy sound made me think of someone who had throat cancer. Imagine sounding like a victim of cigarettes even when you have never had a cancer stick in your mouth. The ad used sound visuals to immediately sympathize for the woman who sounds like and android behind the voice.
OBJECTIVE-To Inform and Create a Compassionate Move to get Involved
This ad pulls on the heart strings of many by drawing you in to the world of the person who is reduced to use this generic voice box sound. They want the listener to help change the lives of many.
TARGET MARKET-National Audience
Their goal is to build “the world’s largest repository of speech recordings from speakers of all ages and backgrounds.”
ACTION-Donate your Voice via Crowdsourcing
This ad compels the listener to log in and “bank your voice to build a voice” by “powering the creation of digital vocal identities that capture the essence of being human.”
VALUE PROPOSITION-Creating and Replacing the Human Voice
This ad allows the listener to give back in an alternative way. They are not asking for money, hours of volunteering, nor a talent. But they are asking you to be someone’s voice. The end user is someone who unfortunately and literally is voiceless. Your voice is the product that meets to need at no cost to you, but priceless to the recipient.
The Humane Society is the most effective animal protection organization in the US. They provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and they professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations.
The ad gives an animal a voice. The humanization of this animal makes me immediately visualize a helpless dog. When I went to the website, the first impact was of an abandoned feeble dog. The dog says that he is going to die as many do because of overpopulation, abandonment and lack of care. The technique was helplessness. To pull on the heart strings even more, the animal believed that death was a better alternative that being on the streets alone. It walk us through the death by injection process, which seemed just as cruel. I did not like this ad and it was very disturbing to my ten year-old daughter. The actor’s voice just did not pull me in to give. I did feel the cold room that would be the end of the animal’s life, but the voice made it seem like this is life, so be it instead of help us live.
OBJECTIVE-Give to the Humane Society to save the lives of destitute animals.
This ad walks through the thoughts of an animal before the death penalty and the crime was a lack of resources. The Humane Society wants people to get involved in the cause of animal rights and protection.
TARGET MARKET-Animal Supporters
There are many reasons to love animals. A primary one is that we have humanized them as family members. For some they are children for those who cannot have them, siblings for an only children and companionship for others.
ACTION-Give and Support
The action is to give monetary donations that will help care for these unwanted animals. Supporting this cause will make you feel good about making a difference and it is also tax deductible.
VALUE PROPOSITION-Supporting a Worthy Cause
The animals benefit when we give. They have no voice so this organization gives them one. You get to decide how much support to provide.
This was a humorous ad that showed extreme personalities with one commonality – a show on NETFLIX.
OBJECTIVE-Bringing Family Together
This purpose of this ad was to take the family Christmas gathering into the living room where a common thread other that blood would bring family together. NETFLIX is that “something to do while visiting.” It was a way for NETFLIX to gain more members in hopes of them keeping the service after the holidays.
TARGET MARKET-Families “It just might bring everyone together”
The ad gave two conversations-one with a father and estranged son and the other was an estranged grandson and grandmother. It gave both relationships common ground for polar opposites.
ACTION-Sign-up for NETFLIX
The announcer asks the listener to sign-up to make family a family again, by watching TV together and enjoying each other’s company by the one similarity-a NETFLIX original.
VALUE PROPOSITION– Free Trial period
NETFLIX is offering a three-month FREE trial period. It costs nothing to bring the family together. And because NETFLIX is inexpensive (as low as $8 a month), you might keep it. They have an extensive variety of movies TV series and original shows. There are also parental controls. It is a win-win for every one and not just during the holidays.
CareerBliss empowers you to choose happy with over 3.5 million job postings, 4 million salaries and 700,000 company reviews.
This ad uses a simple 30 second jingle to catch your attention by looking into the cubicle of a man named Tom who is in denial about his current work situation. CareerBliss offers him a way to explore new career opportunities online.
OBJECTIVE-Site Search for a New Career
This ad was packed with information about the website which offers job listings, company reviews and salary research just to name a few. It was short and to the point. They called for him to take action now.
TARGET MARKET– People seeking a career change
So many people are Tom; in jobs that are not satisfying, wondering if things will ever change, and in lacking motivation. This ad calls for action for your life -a life changing career.
VALUE PROPOSITION– Taking Control to Change Your Life
The end user, Tom, will get out of that “cubicle life.” The products and services provided through the CareerBliss website allow you to research a company before you even tailor your resume for a position. It empowers you to navigate your career path at your fingertips. And the reviews are written by real employees. The sign up was painless and then I love the “welcome to the community” completion, which offers continued support along the journey.
Crowd funding literally is getting everyone you know and everyone that they know and on and on to get involved in what you are doing. This indirect way of fundraising via social media, directly affects your ability to raise a designated amount of money in a short period of time, usually 30 days. I have always said, anything can turn around in 30 days.
It is a relatively simple process; it is quick detailed and most definitely worth the time investment. Most people have heard of Gofundme, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but at the rate of Crowdfunding success, the sites are numerous.
So how can you pick the right one for your venture? Click on the link to see an extensive flow chart by Eric Markowitz, 22 Crowdfunding Sites (and How to Choose Yours!). This chart will help you drill down to the place where you can find a successful source of funding for your next great idea, project or passion.
You don’t immediately think, “I must plan for an out, when I have just jumped in.” But this rational is indeed so when it comes to entrepreneurial success. This is your baby- you have planted watered, tended, weathered and harvested only to see your field of dreams in the rear-view mirror instead of the windshield.
Exit Strategies allow you to plan your Out– You ultimately want to optimize the best situation rather than escape a bad one. Exit strategies are about succession planning and successful transitioning. I created a YouTube video that talks about various ways to escape.
THE WHOLE OF THE MATTER-Just as you plan to build the business to be profitable, plan to leave the business with a profit.
Even though the community bank presence in local communities have been declining since 1984 from 17,401 to 6,146 in 2013, their contribution to small business operations still makes and impact in the communities they serve. (The Statistical Protal, 2017.)
WHY THE DECLINE? Stricter regulations due to the housing crisis almost ten years ago, shift in demand and interest rates initiated the spiral. Many community banks have changed faces several times, “but the profitability of those remaining has recovered closer to pre-crisis levels than it has for larger banks. And, perhaps most important, community banks’ share of the market for small business loans—the lifeblood of community banking—remains robust and vastly disproportionate to their size.” (Community Banking, 2016)
WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE? People! People bank with people and not buildings. Most banks have similar products and rates, but it is the teller, customer service representative and bankers who are constant fixtures even when the name changes that make the difference. Community Banking in the 21st Century 2016 National Survey “…offers insight into the close relationships that community bankers cultivate with these borrowers, to whom they lent $340 billion last year, an amount that, while slightly lower than in previous years, was nevertheless higher than the amount extended by their larger counterparts.” (Community Banking, 2016)
WHY COMMUNITY? Community Bankers are our friends and neighbors. The personal attention with face-to-face interactions allow for long-term relationships to be maintained while consistently not wavering with a .25 discount on a loan. “Unlike the large banks, community banks have usually been seen as a friend to the entrepreneur.” (Rogers, 2014, pg.180) Many of the larger banks offer an order taking style of service. Even though you can sit down with a person, lending decisions are made from a centralized loan office at head quarters which is hundreds of miles from small town USA. Depending on loan size, community lenders can decision loans at the branch and have answers within 24-48 hours. The community banker knows their customers and the customer capacity outsideof the ratios.
They work with you where you are not from an electronic application. “Close relationships between businesses and banks also are suggested by the frequency with which community bankers meet with, provide advice to or otherwise monitor small business borrowers.” (Community Banking, 2016) The frequency of the meeting may vary from quarterly to annually, but the premise is based on the needs of the customer.
I support community banks because I used to be a part of this financial sector. It brought me joy to accommodate a customer’s needs or offer an alternative solution. Community banks are a trusted friend for entrepreneurs. Start building your relationship today.
Community Banking in the 21st Century 2016 National Survey. (2016, September 28). Retrieved from Community Banking: https://www.communitybanking.org/~/media/files/communitybanking/2016/cb21cpublication_2016.pdf?la=en
Rogers, S. (2014). Entrepreneurial Finance Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. New York: McGraw Hill.
The Statistical Protal. (n.d.). Retrieved from Statistica: https://www.statista.com/statistics/318034/community-banks-number-usa/
In 1997, little did I know I would begin a venture as an entrepreneur. I just thought a group of friends that sang together in church were going to make something special and offer music outside the four walls of the sanctuary. It sounded simple enough because we had singers and musicians. My partner who was the visionary behind this plan, had been in the music industry before and he was a musician and producer. I was a banker by day and a songwriter by night. We had a place to practice, voices and full instrumentation, but where was the money coming from to start lacing the shoe? It came from our own boot.
I did not know it then, but our financial source came from bootstrapping. Investopedia describes bootstrapping as building a company without external investments. The startup company uses personal finances and the operating revenue generated by the company for capital. We held true the characteristics of a bootstrapping. There was little money as discretionary income and assets were definitely invisible to the naked eye. We didn’t have savings, but we were wealthy in sweat equity. We knew if we could complete a recording, we could sell the product at concerts. I had two vehicles at the time and I sold my work car to purchase the first round of product. That $1500, though little, gave our recording company straps.
The recording company branched off into another line of the business allowing us to form a lighting and sound company. The extra income from providing this service at other venues gave an additional infusion of capital for the recordings. We had basically all equipment needed for these other shows and if it was something that we didn’t have, we rented it and increased our base cost of service.
These two ventures were maintained for nine years by owner financing and operating revenues without other investors. We did not ask the members of the group to make any investment, allowing us to maintain control over the direction of the companies. Also we did not want them to take a personal loss on our dreams. Though it was beneficial for us to have decision-making power, we only achieved regional success. Our finances limited our ability to expand, but we were able to tie the laces into a bow by establishing ourselves as music artist one eyelet at a time.