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He Was More Motivated!

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

On July 18, 1885 Ulysses S. Grant put down his fountain pen on the final page of his memoir.

THE effort, robbing Grant of his remaining energies. Just five-days afrer laying down his quill, the commanding general of the Union army and 18th president of the United States, was dead.

Succumbed to the effects of throat cancer.

And while a diagnosis of terminal throat cancer could inspire anyone to grab their pen, Grant had an additional motivation.

Seven-years removed from the White House, by 1884 the former president and war hero was penniless; the victim of a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Ferdinand Ward. The Bernie Madoff of his era! Ward’s swindle was so far-reaching historians credit it with causing the Panic of 1884.

It would be sales from Grant’s two-volume personal memoir which would return the Grants to the 1%, though THE general would never know it. Posthumously, Grant’s autobiography become one of the best-selling books of the 19th century.

Grant found his “humane, simple, modest” writing style walking the grounds of Ferdinand Ward’s Strawberry Hill Estate. A guest of the financier, before he became notorious.

Ward’s palatial Strawberry Hill Estate is now quarter-acre zoning. The stone walls along Stamford’s Strawberry Hill Avenue, the only evidence of the estate’s former boundaries.

And while Ward and his vanity had been forgotten, the ground continues to inspire old men, hoping to pen a relevant word.

Which I think, I'll get a plaque for!

Paint dealers I've spoken with recently, share word of slower tinters and shakers. The cold weather and holiday season doing what it does to most paint stores each year at this time.

Despite the seasonal lull, most dealers also share that they expect 2022 to score sales gains of more than 20%. And while inflation makes understanding that growth more complicated, 2022 will be the third consecutive year of record sales and market share increases for both Benjamin Moore and their network of independent retailers.

Ace Is THE Place!

Ace, the world’s largest hardware cooperative, reported recently that online sales for Cyber Weekend increased 33%, including a 45% increase on Black Friday! is the digital front door to THE cooperatives 5,600 storefronts. A common platform for the coop and retailers to execute their omnichannel strategy.

Integrations with member's point-of-sale systems puts the counter of an Ace store in the pocket of every customer.

And if #DanCalkins wants his paint and decorating dealers to hold on the gains of the pandemic era, or establish his brand's foothold in cyberspace, he's going to need to offer them a similar platform!

But Benjamin Moore is not known for their hustle when it comes to advancing technology. Old-timers remember that it was 2010, before dealers got word that there would be no Software 2000.

But the circumstances of the current era will require more deft. Dramatic changes in consumer patterns require a rapid response if Benjamin Moore is going to meet their consumers where they are now: online!

It’s not just Ace investing in their omnichannel strategies. Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and PPG are all investing in infrastructures which allow them to target the rezi-repainters who keep the shakers shaking, with apps designed for the task.

None of this is news to Calkins, who if he doesn’t read this blog at-least reads the news.

With 81% of all retail sales beginning online, an digital platform which allows for an omnichannel strategy is table stakes if Benjamin Moore want's their paint and decorating dealers to continue to grab share.

Or at-least keep up with their hardware brethren.


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