Updated: Jul 19
On the 52 square miles of earth which my current hometown of Stamford, Connecticut encumber, there are 962 public roads.
At least one road, street, place, drive or lane for each letter of the alphabet sans-x. The “City that Works’ using street-naming opportunities to pay tribute as they see fit.
When the apple orchards of North Stamford were replaced with single-family homes, the apple trees were replaced with roads named in tribute: Apple Tree, Apple Valley, Applebee, Crabapple and Winesap.
Stamford is also home to Frisbie Street, in honor of local resident William Frisbie.
In 1871, Frisbie was a baker and the owner of the Frisbie Pie Company in nearby Bridgeport, Connecticut. When students from a local college began playing catch with their empty pie tins, screaming “FRISBIE!” with each release of the disc, they had no idea the sensation they began. The Frisbee, not patented or manufactured by the Wham-o company until 1957, would go on to sell over 300,000,000 units!
The spelling change a typo they never bothered correcting.
And of course there’s the presidents. Stamford, like many other cities and towns around the country, shows honor with Washington (1st), Van Buren (8th), Grant (18th), Coolidge (30th), Hoover (31st), Kennedy (35th) and Carter (39th) all having a street named for them in Connecticut's third largest city.
Maybe the people at the Stamford's Highway Division knows something I don’t know?
Last week I spent much of my time perfecting the sites of Dages and Aucutt’s Paint, THE first two dealers to go live with version two of my web and e-commerce package for independent paint dealers, THE Revolution.
Among my tasks as I “polished” the sites was to edit by adding product descriptions to make them more user-friendly to consumers trying to purchase paint without the benefit of being at the counter.
While Benjamin Moore dealers can easily access product information to publish on their websites, Aucutt's is a PPG dealer. And PPG does not provide their dealers with a digital package which properly supports the sale of PPG products online.
So I had to make one!
By “I” I mean my intern, my cousin Anthony! Home for the summer after a successful freshman year at college.
At 19, Anthony tells stories reminding me of my years as a Terp. Stories I enjoying sharing but I like to remind “Ant” that my stories were from a time when pulling out a camera at a wild party would turn a rager to a game of musical chairs!
The music would stop and we would all grab a seat.
Anthony is of a generation which doesn't get that wisdom. I'm always expecting "Dude, my roommate was pukin so hard I took a video" to be the next words out of his mouth!
It was Anthony who built the databases needed to support the Aucuttspaint.com site.
With PPG doing an awful job of providing digital marketing support, Anthony was tasked with cutting and pasting the thousands of images, videos and product descriptions needed to build the site.
Interns come in handy when doing tasks not-suited to be done by busy e-commerce executives!
Before we can move on to building the next four sites I need these two sites to be perfect! They are the foundation all the sites to come. Going through the PPG database of products I noticed the descriptions, exported from a Decor database, were littered with visually unattractive and hard to understand (for a consumer), abbreviations.
"INT/EXT" replaced by Interior-Exterior, "SG" was replaced with Semi-Gloss and so on.
The abbreviations a reminder of the limited nature of point-of-sale systems.
The databases of THE Revolution contain tens of thousands of product pictures, product descriptions, videos. The ultimate repository of paint product data from across the industry.
Moving the databases of Aucutt’s POS system, which necessitates the abbreviations by limiting space they give to a products name, closer to irrelevance!
I also spend my time checking each link on both of the new sites. I following each “path to purchase” to the end, checking functionality as well as checking the price, description and picture of each SKU to ensure accuracy.
Clicking through the two live sites it’s hard not to get excited about what is coming for my Revolution.
This week I also made time to record two new podcasts, including one with the CEO of Diamond Vogel Paints, Jeff Powell.
Jeff and I spend the entire episode talking about shortages (material and labor!) and their effects on both the supply chain and price inflation. These episodes usually take a month from the time I record them until the time they get published but as paint dealers continue to struggle with these same shortages, I am hoping to cut that in half for this episode. Jeff shared valuable insights regarding what dealers can expect as it relates to price and availability of products through the remainder of the year.
Speaking of podcasts, thanks to all of you who let me know that you like my new short-format episodes: "In THE News!”
These 15-minute episodes are packed with paint industry news and information selected specifically for independent dealers. The short format ideal for staying in the know, while driving to work.
In this week’s episode I share news from RPM (Rustoleum and Zinsser) as well as data from the recent release of the Covid Tracker; the ongoing market research relating to consumer and professional behavior during and (now) post-Covid economy put out by the Farnsworth group.
You can watch and listen in all the usual places. If watching is your thing, take your voyeurism to my Youtube channel or web site and watch the episode there. If you’re into aural, you can still listen in all the usual places; Soundcloud, Apple and of course on my own site!
Until we meet again!