©2019 by Mark Lipton

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  • Mark Lipton

Letter....I Get letters.....

Well.....emails anyway!


If you're writing for a broad enough audience, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. I may have already known that, but in-case I forgot; I had the lesson reinforced for me this week!


My plan was to take the two-weeks around the Christmas and the New Year and not do any serious writing about paint or the paint companies! Two weeks-just me and you; and a peek into my private life. Two weeks became three, I was not ready to get back to work! Everyone needs a break even if it’s just from walking upstairs in your pajamas and writing all day!


I’ll admit, I was wondering if it was too much private and not enough paint. And I thought that the first email I got after my last blog posted had my answer:


“You need to get relevant pretty soon!” said the writer.


Well, it’s never too early to get relevant so I appreciated the advice!


One of the nice things about having a blog though, is that I get the last word! So while I DO agree, it’s time to get back to work; I do get to share that my emails on that topic were 3:1 for more of my private life!


So, like the Terminator: I’ll be back!


If it looks like I’ve been taking time off, that’s just an illusion anyway. In-fact I’m busier now than I’ve been in quite a while!


And it’s time to share some what has been keeping me so busy!


On November 8 2019, I began working for Benjamin Moore as a consultant. At that time, CEO Dan Calkins asked me to help them communicate in a more robust way with their dealers while helping to make it easier for their dealers to communicate back with them. He expressed at that time that he liked my work reaching dealers on social media and through my podcasting and so we agreed that the project should include efforts in both of those areas.


Since that time, I’ve been working hard to develop a full-season of podcasting content specifically for Benjamin Moore retailers.


Does it make me strange that this is my dream job?


As you may imagine, the corporate offices of Benjamin Moore are filled with programs intended to help independent retailers of paint, succeed. As a retailer for 30+ years AND a journalist who covered the Benjamin Moore universe for much of that time, I thought I knew all that they had to offer retailers.


I was wrong!


And I think that the many Benjamin Moore retailers that are following along here are going to be very surprised!


As retailers of-course, there is more to being successful than just knowing a lot about the paint company we buy from. Our stores contain full sundry departments, we sell and service spray equipment, we offer design and color consulting services and much more! I am glad that Dan agreed that if we want to help educate dealers and to help them succeed, that we would have to include more than just Benjamin Moore specific topics!


So about one-month from today, we are going to “drop” our first episode of “The Independent Channel:” The only podcast produced exclusively for Benjamin Moore retailers.

The first season will be 40 episodes and if you want more than that…..don’t forget to email Dan and tell him so!


I’m only on a one-year contract!


Of the 40 episodes that we have planned for this season, ten of them are going to be with other retailers. Any effort to educate and inform or even just get the attention of the Benjamin Moore retailer MUST start with the retailers themselves. The largest repository of knowledge on the topic of “how to be successful as a Benjamin Moore retailer” does not reside in Montvale. It resides in the stores and in the heads of retailers from all around North America and so the best way to get it out there, is to speak to retailers who are sharing our experience.


About half of the episodes will be covering specific Benjamin Moore content. We open up the acronyms vault and share with you what programs are available Benjamin Moore make available to dealers: particularly those who are looking to grow their business! There’s OSR (Outside Sales Rep), BOP (Branching Out Program), NEP (New Entrepreneur Program-for those who are not currently dealers but want to be), NAPP (National Accounts-with some P’s which I’m sure mean something to someone) and of course there’s the granddaddy of all acronyms: CotY. I’ll leave you guys to figure that one out on your own!


The last group of episodes, about 25%, are reserved for content that comes from outside Benjamin Moore. I’ve been given the freedom and flexibility to use these episodes to highlight other aspects of your stores which I feel will either educate retailers in some way or in some way help them improve some aspect of their businesses. We have episodes planned on brushes and rollers, spray equipment, designers and other areas of interest from your stores.


All designed to help retailers grow, gain profitability or otherwise improve your business in some way.


In every group of readers there are always skeptics. If that’s you, let me share with you that these are NOT advertisements. While of course Benjamin Moore wants retailers to know about all the programs that they offer, these podcasts as designed to educate AND entertain!


And entertain they will!


Dan says that this project was a collaboration: His content delivered in my format. I’m just not sure why I had to do all the work!

In addition to working hard to select the right content, I’ve been working hard on the production quality and “entertainment” value. During the design-phase of this work, Dan shared that he wanted me to make the episodes more entertaining than some of the previous podcasting work I had done.


I don’t plan on making him regret that decision. But I do plan on coming close!


Lots more details to come in the coming weeks. I’m excited to share.