PepperMill October 2016

Tim’s Got the Fever

Did you think I could go on without commenting on our Cubbies? As you read this, the playoffs will be underway. I was talking with my brother the other day, poor guy lives in Florida, and he wanted to know how Chicago was reacting to the Cubs’ dominance in the regular season. And how are we coping with the stress of being the overwhelming favorites in the post season?

I’m not sure how everyone else feels, but I choose to be optimistic and curious. I so want to witness what will happen to the city if they are finally the World Series champs. I’d like to see the millions of fans, some of whom have weathered 60, 70, 80, even 90 years of hope not have to “wait until next year.” My mom’s one of them. I think of her getting to see the Cubs finally cash the ticket as being a culmination going back to when she was just a girl and listened to radio broadcasts with her grandfather at his farm in McHenry.

Even more than that, this team deserves to do it on their own merit. They are not intimidated in the least by what hasn’t happened in over 100 years. As manager and culture guru Joe Maddon says, “Don’t let the pressure exceed the pleasure.” They have understood the power of focusing on the team over individual accolades. The players on this team, even the veterans, are coachable and willing to modify their behaviors and attitudes as much as their techniques. Their trust in each other is evident, possibly even surpassing the Pittsburg Pirates “We are Family” teams of the 70s.

There is an excellent series running in the Chicago Tribune where team members, broadcasters and journalists share their favorite moments from the season. When you see one recounted every day, you are reminded of just how special this season has been. Even though every perspective in the series is that of a professional, you still “feel the fan” in them.

While the Cubs will finish with over 100 wins—the only team to do so this year—we take nothing for granted. All the teams that make the playoffs are tough competitors. Momentum can be generated at any time. Players have off-days and miracle moments. Anything can happen. Don’t count your chickens. This won’t be easy.

Or, are they just that good?

Tim Padgett

“Bartender? Barkeep? I've got the first round.”
—Joe Maddon upon being named the Cubs’ manager

“You have to have a little bit of crazy to be successful. I want crazy in the clubhouse every day. You need to be crazy to be great. I love crazy. I tell my players that all the time.”
—Joe Maddon

Through the Eyes of a Rookie: The Strength of the Wolf is in the Pack

Healthy cultural communication is critical for success—and for the past three months, I have written articles on Pepper Group’s eight core values. Speaking as a millennial, we highly value the type of culture we are part of, and we love having the ability to collaborate on an efficient team.

The Strength of the Wolf is in the Pack is our fourth core value, and one of my favorites.

I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina—home of the Krispy Kreme doughnut. In advance of your thank you email—you are welcome! The team I grew up cheering for hailed from Chapel Hill, also known as Tar Heel Country. Some of you may be familiar with that beautiful shade of blue, maybe even Michael Jordan’s famous last shot to win the title in ‘82. (That’s a smooth rhyme.) Yes, those Tar Heels.

As I grew older and began to make decisions for myself, I realized my heart knew its home, Raleigh, also known as Wolfpack territory. North Carolina State University, home of the Wolfpack, caught my eye—and my stomach. The barbecue just tastes better in Raleigh. The idea of a wolf pack seemed like a pretty incredible thing, and I wanted a part of it.

What is a pack, anyway? I found a few definitions on Merriam-Webster’s website:

1. A bundle arranged for convenience in carrying, especially on the back

2. A set of persons with a common interest

3. A group of domesticated animals trained to hunt or run together

If I had my own dictionary (it wouldn’t be very long, my vocabulary is small—don’t judge), I would merge all of those definitions into this one: A bundle of persons running together toward a common interest.

It’s special being a part of something greater than yourself. A deep calling within you wants security, accountability, community and belonging. At Pepper Group, The Strength of the Wolf is in the Pack. We are all running after the same goal—fulfillment and success for our clients and ourselves.

I think you and I want to be a part of something greater than ourselves. Community is powerful, and I hope you can tap into that within your workplace. If so, you are on to something extraordinary.

Corey Garrity

Pepper Group Wins 11 GDUSA Awards

For more than five decades, Graphic Design USA has sponsored competitions to spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. It honors outstanding work of all kinds and across all media. This year they recognized Pepper Group with 11 2016 American Graphic Design Awards! About 10,000 entries were submitted; a very highly selective 15 percent were recognized with Certificates of Excellence.

Pepper Group was commended for the design of:

blueStone Staffing SolutionsCorporate Brochure

Cintas—“The Power of the Uniform” Video Brochure

Follett School Solutions“Back to School” Campaign

MTC PerformanceCompany Website

NVISIA25th Anniversary Invitation

Pepper Group“Have a Field Day” Direct Mailer

QCCCompany Brochure

Sebold Capital Wealth ManagementBusiness Owner Invitation

Single Path—“Guide for Superintendents” Direct Mailer

Swift Prepaid SolutionsOverview Video

Vegetable Juices“A Natural Evolution” Brochure

This national online competition celebrates the power of well-designed websites and online communications to attract audiences, disseminate ideas and information, generate response and promote products, services and ideas.

Thank you to these and all our clients for allowing us to do such creative work!



The Novelty Multiplier Example #2: Insured Promotions

If you want to capture attention, try a Pepper Group Novelty Multiplier.

How did one of our clients recently achieve a 60% increase in qualified trade show leads from the year before, with a less desirable location? Because they had something so novel and cool that people couldn’t help but check it out.

This Novelty Multiplier offered show visitors the chance to win a trip to outer space—seriously! Supplemented by creative on-site advertising and handouts, booth visitors had a chance to open a safe and win $200,000—enough to buy a ticket on Virgin Galactic. It was a highly creative approach that also perfectly supported the campaign line “See Things Differently.”

How did we do it? Because of the long odds, an insurance company insured against someone winning at a tiny fraction of the cost of the ultimate prize. This provided huge impact with a small investment.

This is just one of dozens of creative tactics we can implement to help you win. Want to generate more qualified leads? Let’s talk!

George Couris

Blazing Forward

Almost every day, someone comes up with a new application for 3-D printing. Here’s how one company is turning layers of plastic into bundles of joy.

Polish-based In Utero 3D creates 3-D printed ultrasounds for pregnant, blind mothers, so they can “see” their baby. Even better, the company gives them a 3-D printed model of their unborn child, practically for free.

The company developed software that converts ultrasound files into 3-D models, and creates a bas-relief, actual-size representation based on the image that a sighted mother would see on an ultrasound. The company charges Polish blind mothers next to nothing for their services—just €1or 1 PLN (Polish zloty) for the model. Sighted mothers from other countries can also purchase file conversions that they can print locally.

Although the idea was to create these models for blind mothers, they also let blind fathers experience the joy that sighted dads feel when they see their child for the first time in an ultrasound image.

Sharla Davis