Monthly ArchivesJuly 2015

Kowalski teams with SMZ to celebrate its 95th anniversary and facilitate brand growth. image

For Immediate Release, Contact: Louie Katsaros, (248) 269-4354 Troy, MI – SMZ will be helping one of Michigan’s most endearing names, Kowalski, refresh a brand that was for most Detroit area residents immediately synonymous with sausages.  SMZ President and CEO Jamie Michelson said the agency has been asked to help the company “celebrate both the present and the future” as it enters its 95th year in business.” Fourth-generation owned and operated, Kowalski is led by President and CEO Michael Kowalski and Corporate Secretary Linda Kowalski Jacob.  The company is poised to initiate facility, upgrades, market expansion and hiring increases on the cusp of its 95th anniversary. According to Michael Kowalski, “Reaching out to SMZ, to help us to raise awareness with a ...

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SMZers outside of SMZ … Staying in step image

Every now and then, we like to tell you something about one of us … Senior VP/Director of Print Services Kathleen Finley spends her days at SMZ working with print vendors and resident art directors, stepping her way through sizes, colors, press checks and more. Her name makes her heritage apparent, so it’s no wonder, yea, accomplished in Irish dance is she. There are three types … Irish set: fast paced and energetic, often called country sets, it resembles American square dancing though it does not require a caller. It’s also called Irish House Dancing, since it originated in the homes of Irish country folk. Sets are danced to jigs, polkas and reels. Step: Riverdance is a prime example of ...

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What’s your ice breaker? image

In this business, you’re constantly meeting new people: networking, emailing, having conversations. But how do you put them at ease? How do you make them comfortable talking, making them feel welcome? Studies and good sense say it’s the things you do before you speak that help put a person into a comfort zone. Things like smiling, having good eye contact, simple politeness. Nodding your head, showing you’re engaged and interested. Notice it’s interested rather than interesting. Interestingly, SMZ cofounder Larry Michelson found a way to put people at ease that still works today: candy. He always had a bowl of M&Ms on his desk. They were his ice breaker, his way to connect and make people feel comfortable coming to ...

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How can brands become enduring and iconic? Be like Keith. image

The Stones played Detroit last Wednesday and showed even skeptics like me why they still matter in the world of music.   I went reluctantly as someone who disdains stadium concert venues and came away a true believer that the septuagenarians on stage really are the world’s greatest rock and roll band. That epiphany got me thinking about how the real CEO of the Stones, Keith Richards, embodies what any truly great band or brand should do to endure, to be iconic. The formula for that is pretty simple, stand for something and remain true to that belief, no matter what. That’s a characteristic all great brands and Stones guitar whiz Keith Richards have in common. An iconic brand possesses important ...

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Summer school image

Back in March, I received a letter from Dr. M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University, about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. This program was established and funded by Goldman Sachs Foundation and local universities to help entrepreneurs grow their companies and create jobs by providing education, business advising and, if needed, access to capital. I was intrigued by President Wilson’s letter so I called the program office that same day. They said SMZ met the screening criteria and encouraged me to apply. Following a written application process and interviews, I was accepted to the program. Yes, I’m celebrating going to “summer school.” Cohort V, as we’re known, began on Friday, June 26 with two full ...

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