Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #1: Twitter Signs for Long & McQuade Brampton

Welcome to the first day of the September Make n' Tell Challenge!

I'm appreciative of my "day job" at Long & McQuade, because my managers allow me to set my creativity loose in the store.  (Check out the window displays I helped design for the store!)  We're always ahead of the game from other stores with new innovative ideas for customer service, promotions, events, our lesson centre ... I could write an entire blog about what we do around the community, but that's not why we're here today!

The latest innovation from our trusty one-shop-musical-stop is ... drum roll ... Twitter!  That's right - Long & McQuade Brampton is on Twitter!   Musicians tend to get better than their instruments after a while.  I've seen many a' soon-to-be rock star come in to buy their first Fender Squier, the typical 'student model' for those introduced into the world of guitar, gazing dreamily at the Gibson Les Paul Standard, with gold top finish, three kickin' double-coil humbucker pickups, silky smooth, 'solid body' mahogany arch top with ebony fretboard, gorgeous mother-of-pearl binding and inlays ... sorry.  I tend to get carried away.  You can tell what I'm coveting at work at present moment.

Well, the point is, that musicians eventually need something better when their instrument-playing skills get better.  You wouldn't use tools you bought at a dollar store if you work as a construction worker, right?  You'll get the best, reliable tools that will do the job right.  Think of your tools as an artist, the beads, gemstones, findings and colours you select, and how it all comes together into one visual feast.  We grow as artists, and eventually learn more skills, better our work, leading to better tools, using better materials in our work ... I assume you know where this leads now!  To help L'il Miss Rock Star road from Squier to Gibson, we help her by buying her Squier from her for credit to help go towards something else - something better! - that she can exude her masterful skills upon.  Then, when she's playing better than that one, we'll do the same thing all over!  And, pray tell, what happens to those instruments that we've bought from her?  We resell them at really great deals!  We look forward to a lot of these 'trade-ins' because there's usually a list of customers each of us salespeople have when a really good deal comes in we can tell them about.  We've stepped up the game and have started announcing these great deals on Twitter, as well!

Where does that leave me in this circus?  My manager, Charlie, knows how 'oddly creative' I am.  I always wear my own jewelry to work, receiving compliments from my colleagues with every new piece.  This may be a common insight, but when you're one of two female salespeople on a staff of approximately 25, I'd like to say the guys I work with have some style.  A lot of them have bought a few pieces for their girlfriends and spouses, which always follows with a compliment on my work the next time I see them in the store.  I made a friend!

My window displays, visual merchandising and clever eye-catching tactics around the store proved my versatility with what I can do at work.  He pulled me in his office, and asked me to make some cash register signs that were, and I quote, "odd, but cute".  Yep, I can do that.  Just, how do I do it with musical instruments, birds and the internet?

This is a work in progress, which I believe is consistent with Rule #6.  I had been working on these last week, and I'm almost finished tonight!  I want to finish these as quickly as I can to get them to the store!  Take a look!

DJ, PA and Rental
Electric Guitars

Drums and Percussion


Acoustic Guitars

Concert Band and Orchestral Strings

I had swiped a few medium-sized 'silent salesman' price tags (approximately 4 by 6 inches) as well as a few of our rental catalogues with a wide range of different instruments from our different departments.  I figured I'd make each one department-specific to get more creative, and by announcing our 'takeover' of Twitter, I'd make an orange bird identical to Twitter's iconic blue bird.  The dollar store provided the construction paper, and I used double-sided tape to stick everything down (much less messier - I love 'cut n' paste', but I'm also a messy spaghetti eater).  There is one card missing, showing the two birds juggling a couple of amplifier heads and speakers on their heads.  The Twitter bird has a speech bubble with an exclamation mark, where the L&M bird has a speech bubble with our company logo.  Charlie's kept that one for now to make some measurements for displays and text and whatnot.  I'm just about done these, hopefully for tomorrow.  I can't wait to get them up in the store!

That concludes our September Make n' Tell Challenge for Day One, and now I will go visit my friends and see what they're up to ... come on over!

Check out the badge our brave leader has made for us!

See just how culinary a cafeteria lunch can become with a little creativity! 

Stroll the rose gardens in this parasol!

Purple blooms and "technicolour odds n' ends" decorate these cool totes!

If you'd still like to jump on the creative bandwagon, read this blog and get makin'!

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