Free ice water for everyone!

Hello there, good morning.

I’m always looking for great ways to market Mission Repair. Of course, a lot of it is done here on our blog, but we’ve got to come up with new ways to reach our customers. This means that I look at a lot of marketing on a daily basis, I try new things (if they don’t work, I stop!) and see what is helping other businesses get to their sales goals.

There’s a bit of marketing that seems to be pretty unique and you can see it all across the drive in South Dakota:

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Wall Drug (Store) has been in business for decades, and one of their “hooks” to get wary travelers to stop is to offer “Free Ice Water”. This was especially critical to some travelers back in the early 40’s.

In 1936, the owners of Wall Drug (who considered closing the place down due to slow sales) went to the highway and put up signs for free ice water. By the time they got back to the store, people had already begun showing up for their ice water. The owner’s wife was running all around to keep up.

“Five glasses of ice water, please,” a father called out.

“May I have a glass for Grandma?” a boy asked. “She’s in the car.”

They ran through their supply of cracked ice. So they chiseling more off the block.

“Say, good sir,” one traveler said in a Scottish brogue, “we’re going all the way to Yellowstone Park. Would you mind filling this jug with your water?”

“Hey this free ice water is a great idea,” said a salesman, sliding up onto a stool. “How about selling me an ice cream cone?”
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And there you have it. Free ice water was the key to separating themselves from the competition. The business was always there, it’s just sometimes we small business owners need to get out of our comfort zone and try something new.

I’ll admit that picture above is one that I took this summer. 60+ years later that store is still serving free ice water (and 5 cent coffee!) and it’s got me talking about it. I wonder what Mission Repair’s “Ice Water” marketing will be? I’m working on it.

Take care, Ryan

Yikes Microsoft…

I was sitting at my desk and noticed a CNN notification that stated “Microsoft says it will slash 7,800 positions in the company’s phone hardware business”.

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This is particularly close to me because we are in the “phone hardware business repair” market, and I don’t like to see when 7,800 people will be losing their jobs. That’s a lot of jobs which are hard to come by.

Today’s plans were outlined in an email from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to Microsoft employees:

“We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem including our first-party device family,” Nadella said. “In the near-term, we’ll run a more effective and focused phone portfolio while retaining capability for long-term reinvention in mobility.”

Um, Ok. I guess this means that you’ll be losing your jobs. Well, here at Mission Repair we don’t see many Windows phones but hopefully at some point Microsoft will be able to reignite the Nokia market. Time will tell…

Take care, Ryan

Ryan’s top 5 things to do on a rainy day…

Good morning!

It’s been raining here in Spring Hill where I reside for about a day now. I woke up this morning hoping to see some sunshine but only see grey skies and wet ground with a light drizzle of rain…so I’m coming up with my favorite top 5 things to do on a rainy day.

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1. Play a board game. Grab a friend, pull out the Scrabble board, and take your time getting through all of the letters. You’ll be surprised how many words you actually know, and don’t forget that you can add one letter to a lot of words to make a new word.

2. Watch a movie. I’m kind of bad at this one because I’m the type of guy who watches movies all of the time, and I tend to watch them over and over again. My family gets tired of me quoting old movies but it’s nice once in a while because it makes me seem wittier that I really am. Oh yes, and you need to do this activity in your pajamas with a bowl of popcorn.

3. Try a new recipe. This one I particularly enjoy…since you won’t be able to replicate anything from Bobby Flay’s BBQ Addiction in the rain, try something that is stove-top-able. For an added challenge, pick ingredients that you already have in the house. Frozen burritos don’t count.

4. Take the dogs for a walk. This translates into “play in the rain with the puppies”. I’d be happy to sacrifice my dry clothes and take the dogs for a walk. Layla really likes to play in the water, but Shadow could do without. He’s getting better, but he’s kind of a wuss when it comes to getting his head wet. So this is a good time for all of us to step out of our comfort zones and get some exercise. Then we can sit down and watch the Raiders of the Lost Ark marathon we were planning on!

And my favorite…

5. Go to work! Ok, just because it’s raining outside that doesn’t mean that we’re allowed to take the day off. In fact we’ve been so busy the last two days it’s not feasible for us at Mission Repair to take a break at this point. So there you have it, you know what I’ll be doing here shortly. I’ll admit that I’m getting a late start today (I’m actually blogging from home) so it’s time for me to wipe away the fantasy of playing games and watching movies and get into the the Mission Repair headquarters.

See you there!

Take care, Ryan