PepperMill October 2017

Tim’s Favorite Dude

It’s amazing the things I find en route to looking up other things.

The other day, I found myself viewing a list of the 40 Smartest People of All Time. As disappointing as it was, I haven’t quite made it on that list—yet.

I did find that television personality Rick Rosner just made it at #40. He’s taken more than 30 IQ tests and scores between 140 and 250.

Coming in at #34, and winning my award for favorite name on the list, Adragon De Mello. Go ahead, say it out loud. Fun! A college graduate at the age of 11, he has a projected IQ of 400. As of 2003, Adragon was working for The Home Depot after training to be an estimator for a commercial painting company. Go figure.

How about Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th century scientist and theologian? He topped out at 210 on the IQ test, but more importantly, his most famous work was Heaven and Hell, a description of the afterlife. How could he know how to describe things accurately? He claimed he could visit heaven and hell at will.

We all know Nikola Tesla these days, if only for Elon Musk’s cars. His IQ ranged from 160-310. He was a huge rival of Thomas Edison when it came to harnessing electricity, and probably never got the full recognition he deserved. Did you know he died penniless? Even stranger, he was born during a lightning storm!

Sure, Einstein was on the list, as were Johann Goethe and Isaac Newton. My favorite? Leonardo da Vinci. What didn’t he know about? As a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer, he was the original Dude. Sadly, he was a chronic procrastinator and few of his designs were ever realized during his lifetime. There’s a lesson there. I think.

The pursuit of knowledge takes me down many paths and it’s an adventure I never take for granted.

Live and learn.

Tim Padgett

Client Spotlight: TmaxSoft Website

TmaxSoft is a global software innovator founded on the principle that there is always a better way. By creating better technology solutions for mainframe rehosting, middleware and relational database management systems (RDBMS), it gives customers the freedom to take control of their technology.

A 20-year-old company with offices in 20 countries, TmaxSoft recently moved its global headquarters to Chicago and was looking to refresh its brand and boost awareness throughout the global market. TmaxSoft partnered with Pepper Group to complete a branding exercise to define its global brand and go-to-market strategy. With these foundational elements in place, it was time to bring the company to life!

Up first was a new corporate website that would establish the graphic identity for the company. It would define the new look and feel, “own” the idea of freedom, and be TmaxSoft’s primary channel to introduce this new brand messaging to the market.

We began by researching and planning the best user experience for the website. It was critical to not only communicate TmaxSoft’s product offerings, but to also focus on the end-user and how TmaxSoft’s solutions make their business more successful. This resulted in an interactive website that houses animations that demonstrate TmaxSoft’s unique approach to solving technology problems. A dynamic Insights section allows visitors to search for content that is relevant to them—whether that may be a case study, brochure or eBook—and serves it up throughout the site so that visitors always have access to additional information that may be crucial in their buying process.

In addition to developing the website, Pepper Group also redesigned of all the company’s collateral to reflect the new look and feel. We also produced the Imagine If company overview video that is currently on the homepage, and will be used in future sales presentations.

The site launched on September 13th, and in the few weeks that have followed it has generated lots of excitement. To visit the new TmaxSoft website check out

Melissa Troha

The B2B Marketer’s Fact Deck

We’ve put together Marketing Value: Facts and Best Practices, a powerful presentation that will surprise you with essential information. Whether you’re budgeting for next year or just looking for new insights, check out the deck to learn:

  • The average percentage of revenue B2B firms invest in marketing, and how it is allocated
  • The #1 reason websites are ineffective
  • How emotion plays into B2B and B2C decision-making (it’s not what you may think!)
  • Where marketing priorities are shifting
  • The most underestimated lead generation tactics

We move people. And that includes helping you move toward your goals. We hope you’ll find this information valuable.

George Couris

B2B Branding: Top Five From the Creative Suite

Business-to-Business marketing probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about design, branding and ad campaigns.

Mostly that’s because B2B companies don’t have the exposure B2C companies do. Though that’s true, it doesn’t mean B2B companies shouldn’t have standout branding. Here are a few examples of B2B marketing that caught our eye.

Deloitte uses a very simple color scheme and builds off of that simplicity. Their logo is their name with a small green period at the end. Sometimes you hear the comment “a first grader could do that.” To me, that’s a compliment! First graders are experts at saying exactly what they mean, and Deloitte’s branding exemplifies that. Check out the video introducing their brand identity.

When you see the logo and branding for Salesforce, you know exactly what they do—cloud-based applications for sales, services, marketing and more. It’s very direct and clean, like their products that don’t require IT experts to manage. They are passionate about their business and their brand. They have a team dedicated to telling stories about their clients’ successes and post them online for everyone to read. Read them here.

You know this brand as the starting point of great ideas turned into great businesses because it’s in their name. This is a brand that knows its success is only as great as its clients. They also tell their success stories to inspire people to take their ideas to the next step. That dedication to their brand and their message is a big part of who they are. See the projects they love here.

This is a company that has a long and successful history, and they want everyone to know it. They understand that bringing those successes forward to share is what keeps their brand relevant and successful. They make themselves relatable and simplify their often-complicated products through the look and feel of their products. Their AI product was given an icon and the name Watson (named after their long-time leader, Thomas J. Watson) so people have something to see and interact with. Watch Bob Dylan interact with Watson.

Zendesk supports company teams and their customer service. Their industry is often seen as simple and not exciting, but that doesn’t hold them back. Their website is fresh and they have fun. To drive more traffic to their website, they created a fake grunge band called Zendesk Alternative, with the intent of capturing people Googling alternative products to Zendesk. From the band’s website, you’ll find your way to the Zendesk corporate website (where you can watch a video by the “band” that writes songs about customer service). Check out the website here, and read more about how they stood apart from their competitors here.

Joe Whittington

360° video: How it’s Made

This month’s 360° video is a unique look into the production of a modern automobile. Hyundai Worldwide put together this fascinating piece showcasing a combination of 360° CGI and camera footage that walks us through the steps of manufacturing their new Ioniq Electric. In less than five minutes, we’re taken on a ride through the steelmaking process, stamping, welding, painting, assembly and we end up with an inspected vehicle rolling out of the testing facility.

I especially enjoy the pop-up factoids that appear throughout the video—particularly that it takes 7 hours to paint one of these vehicles, but only 3.8 hours to fully assemble it! Go ahead and watch this one a few times, there’s something to see in every direction.

Playback of 360° videos is most immersive if you have some form of a Google Cardboard viewer and can open the video in the YouTube app on your smartphone (email me if you don’t have a viewer and I will send you one). You can still have a lot of fun without one though by making the video full-screen in your Chrome browser and clicking and dragging with your mouse to explore.

Did we spark any ideas about how to involve 360 in your business? Reach out and we’d love to talk with you about it!

Want more? Check out our Pepper Group holiday 360 offering.

Todd Underwood