Thanks for this bag of trash

Helloooo! Over the past eight months or so, we’ve been doing a lot of pontificating over the meaning of life (and &yet). We now know the secrets of the universe and are ready to share them with you.

Just kidding. But we are ready to share our thoughts on an interesting problem we’ve been focused on.

“Thanks so much for this bag of trash”

We don’t always remember much from the talks we’ve attended, but this past year one of the conferences we went to taught us at least one important lesson—most swag is terrible.

At this extremely high profile event with thousands of attendees, the comment we heard most often was “thanks for this bag of trash.”

For a lot of people, this might have been something to briefly commiserate on and forget about, but for us, it fit into a larger pattern we’d been seeing with our clients and colleagues—a problem we were considering making central to our work.

People are less tolerant of marketing and advertising than they’ve ever been. This is certainly true at conferences, but it’s even more true online, where the “bag of trash” is in the form of invasive advertising, aggressive growth hacking tactics, and low value content marketing.

Much of our most impactful work has been designed to solve this problem in one way or another—to use creative technology to strengthen relationships, especially customer relationships. (We’re even solving the conference swag problem for one of our clients now, though it’s still pretty hush hush, as are a lot of the projects we work on.)

We strengthen customer relationships through creative technology

If you’ve been to one of our conferences, you get how important it is to us to create experiences where each person feels seen and valued. We believe generosity is powerful.

Though we’ve always done work in this area (in fact, our Chief of Strategy has been developing a framework around it for the past 15 years), we haven’t talked much about it publicly. Today, we’re ready to change that.

In upcoming posts, we’re going to share thoughts and research on strengthening customer relationships to solve pressing business problems—problems like low customer acquisition and retention rates, sales processes that don’t convert, and product and feature launches that don’t perform as well as you’d hoped.

We’ve also updated our website (complete with helicopters and designed by Lynn Fisher), our services, and our newsletter to reflect our focus.

The best way to get the latest updates on our research and thinking is to subscribe via RSS or our newsletter (when you subscribe, we’ll send you a copy of our framework for strengthening customer relationships; you can sign up below).

If you’ve got a pressing business problem, get in touch with Sarah at or take a look at our assessments and capabilities. We’d love to help.

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