PepperMill August 2016

Tim’s Lookin’ for the Right Fit

It all started with a newsletter article that led me down a rabbit hole of discovery. After a few twists and turns, I eventually happened upon an article with research I hadn’t seen before.

I was intrigued by the headline, It’s Better to Avoid a Toxic Employee Than Hire A Superstar. As a graduate of The Harvard of the Midwest (SIU), I’m always interested in what the real Harvard has to say, and this article was from December 2015 in the Harvard Business Review.

Everyone is interested in finding, attracting and retaining A-players, but how many of us are really hiring for cultural fit? With today’s hiring marketplace filled with millennials (and everyone else who appreciates working in a great environment with strong core values and recognition for great talent), it’s essential.

The article talks about how a toxic worker can have an adverse effect on a company to the tune of $12,500 in turnover costs, while a superstar employee only added an average of about $5,300 to the bottom line. That’s impactful at face value, but my experience is that that toxic individual’s influence on the company is even greater.

I also noticed a July 18, 2016 article on, Why You Can’t Ignore Culture In Your Recruiting Process. Leela Srinivasan, CMO of hiring software firm Lever, chimed in with a succinct observation. “Hiring today is not about vetting applicants who are eager to work for your company. In today’s business environment, the balance of power rests with the candidates. Today, recruiting is more about mutual evaluation and finding the right fit.”

At Pepper Group and our sister company, Teer1, we’re helping companies realize their potential to be a great place to work. A lot of their success will rely not only on their intentions, but on their ability to communicate well with recruits and employees. It takes creativity, passion and persistence.

I remind you to please read the second installment from our favorite Pepper rookie, Corey. He represents the next generation of employees and shares his perspective of what core values mean to him. And after that, remember to read and share all the articles in this month’s Mill. Your friends will thank you!

Tim Padgett

“The person who does not work for the love of work but only for the money is not likely to make money nor find much fun in life.”
—Charles M. Schwab

“The longest part of the journey is said to be the passing of the gate.”
—Marcus Terentius Varro




Through the Eyes of a Rookie

Work and Play With Passion

Writer and activist Pearl S. Buck is quoted in her novel, The Joy of Children, saying, “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word—excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” At Pepper Group, our second core value is Work and Play With Passion, and there is great depth packed into those five words.

My dad told me his father was not a huge fan of making excuses. My grandfather would look at my father with both hands out, palms up and say, “With ‘if’ in one hand and [something not fit for print] in the other, which one fills up faster?” I know, you probably have to process that one for a second, I’ve heard it forever and still have to. The essence of his teaching is the principle behind the metaphor—stop making excuses.

When you are working and playing with passion, you naturally find your purpose. Passion and purpose are inseparable, and a deep truth lies within all of us. We all desire purpose for our lives—we all want to matter!

At Pepper Group we live and breathe creativity. We must constantly produce ideas worth our clients’ time and expectations. Without tapping into our second core value, we will fail to do this, and if we don’t love and believe in what we do, who will?

I’m not sure who coined this phrase, but hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa said it well, “Work hard, play hard.” I believe a by-product of a life lived with passion is purpose, and it has the potential to transform every facet of our lives.

Corey Garrity

Client Spotlight: Edlong Capabilities Presentation

Every company has capabilities that set it apart.

For Edlong Dairy Technologies, these qualities include a unique focus on dairy flavor technologies, innovation, perfecting taste and best-in-class service. The company needed a capabilities presentation that supported its technical expertise and could be easily used by the sales team and others to share the value Edlong provides to its customers. We gave them a way to tell this powerful story.

Through our daily collaboration and strategic approach, we defined the company’s core messaging, and used a modular format that can be easily customized as needed. The result is a professional and compelling tool that is engaging, informative and persuasive.

Ask Pepper Group how we can help you create greater awareness and understanding of what makes your company the right choice for your audience. We’ll help deliver clear and captivating communications that will connect with them, and move them to action.

“As a company focused on organic growth, the Edlong team frequently meets with new potential customers. Our company presentation was not exactly captivating and became too wordy. We collaborated with Pepper Group to develop content that was fresh in appearance yet brand consistent, with clever use of imagery and custom graphics.” –Laura Parker, Marketing Director, Edlong Dairy Technologies

The Novelty Multiplier™

According to the CMI’s 2016 survey, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing and 75% of them are planning to increase the amount of content they create. It means that getting results is becoming increasingly difficult.

The production of content continues to increase exponentially. And while technology does give us the capacity to consume increasing amounts of content, there is a limit. We are only human after all. Content production is dramatically swamping the ability of people to consume it, and it’s getting worse.

Quantity as a strategy no longer works. Creativity and quality are now must-haves. Enter Pepper Group’s Novelty Multiplier™. It’s the boost that creativity delivers. It can be the novelty of the delivery method, format or the distribution channel. A Novelty Multiplier is something that’s so cool, it often gets a “Hey Joe!” reaction, as in “Hey Joe, come here and look at this!”

Novelty and newness attract attention. Aren’t you more likely to engage with something that you’ve never seen before? Or something delivered in a really unique and interesting way? Or a different and new approach to conventional wisdom?

For example, rather than a standard video, we created an interactive one. A recent infographic was dynamic vs. static. We used red-lens glasses to deliver a message in a unique and memorable way. And we’re applying technology in new ways, before anyone else. All of these drive higher levels of engagement and results.

The saying used to be Content is King. Not anymore. Today, Content is Critical, but Creativity is King.

Interested in seeing more Novelty Multiplier ideas and creating some amazing results? Let us know.

George Couris

Blazing Forward

You think you know all about the Internet. But have you seen the very first refrigerator-shaped piece of equipment that made it run? Do you know the first word that was typed on it before it crashed? The new Werner Herzog documentary, Lo and Behold: Reveries of The Connected World, shows you all this and more, and the good and not so good aspects of how the Internet has changed our lives.

It’s fascinating to see how its founders still have a passion for talking about it. The film also touches on the pain the Internet has caused, from people who think electromagnetic fields have ruined their lives, to the family of a young victim of a car crash, whose horrific pictures were leaked online.

The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and is scheduled for release in select theaters on August 19. Catch it if you can. You can watch the trailer here.

Sharla Davis