E-letter: Rocking the boat

Oh, let’s be crazy today and talk about the N word. You do know what I mean, don’t you? Of course you do. If people didn’t know what “the N word” means, then they need to have it explained to them, or the whole phrase is meaningless, and if there is no meaning, there is […]

E-letter: Sex sells. Right.

We touch often on the issue of marketing for “occupied-space” product suppliers in Canada, but just when it seems it’s time to move over to something warm and fuzzy, along comes something like the most recent cover feature in Canada’s Marketing magazine: “Porn and Advertising: Will They Ever Hook Up?” Right about here is where […]

E-letter: Doing the math on success

I was fascinated last month by a new study on adult skills from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the U.S. According to the report, OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, North Americans are not bright. In fact, […]

In need of some restraint

The March Wood Industry e-letter on standards violations by Lumber Liquidators had barely made it out the door when the second shoe dropped. Apparently, some of the board members of Lumbers Liquidators, when they found they were under criminal investigation, sold off shares in an action being portrayed as insider trading. We don’t have an […]

Take it easy; own an editor

We continue to receive marketing letters telling us to visit the senders’ websites and find new product releases to place for them. Some of them have no relevance to our business, whatever. While I appreciate the value people see in electronic communication and data storage, including no postage and no separation of prints and text, […]

Browns to dreadnoughts

I stepped out front the other morning, felt the cool, Canadian breeze on my face. The bitter cold of the past weeks had broken, and the day’s forecast was for a high of -8 C and sunny. Out back, the trout in the river are taking a break. All but the fastest water is iced over, […]

E-letter: It’s a matter of law

I imagine most of us are justified in being irked at The Law. Shakespeare was, when he famously had his character Dick the Butcher say, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Farther back in history, Luke 11:52 says, “Woe unto you, lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. […]

E-letter: Several good-news stories

Statistics Canada yesterday reported an overall increase in building permits over September of 0.7 percent. Residential permits nation-wide edged down 0.9 percent, and total nonresidential permits increased 2.4 percent. The increase was led this time by the industrial sector, and, while our sector typically watches nonresidential commercial and nonresidential institutional, the increase in the nonresidential […]

Commentary: Give business a chance

As it turned out, 2014 was a very good year for Canada’s secondary wood-products sector. Manu­facturers are amazingly positive following the U.S. housing crash and steep financial slide of the last decade, but stock markets were up, Canadian building permits were at record levels (at least, at press time) and the U.S. housing market was […]

E-letter: Looking to differentiate?

The U.S. Senate (then) hopeful from Iowa, Joni Ernst, made marketing history last March as she broke into campaign mode with a hog-castration ad. “I’m Joni Ernst,” the ad opened. “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.” Cheap attention getter? The […]