My wife's car has been in the shop for the past few days.  A few weeks ago the entire suspension system had to be replaced.  That was awesome.  Problem is, the computer component that regulates said suspension system was bad and that's what was causing the suspension problems to begin with.  So a month later, it had to be replaced again.  Under warranty... no big deal.  BUT, that computer component had to be replaced as well so that was another sum of money I hadn't really planned on forking over.  Anyway, the fella at the auto shop told me that the dealership had to reprogram the thing.  They installed it and were to take it over to the dealership first thing Monday for reprogramming.  I'd have it back by end of day Monday.

So Monday comes and I hear nothing from them.  End of day Monday comes and I finally call to see what's up.  No one answers.  So I literally run to the place from work (as I have no automobile) to try to get there before they close.  I arrive and find the guy leaving the place.  I flag him down and give him some version of, "WTF, mate?"  He says, "Oh, man... I totally forgot to call the dealership."  Too late to get the car by this point, I'm another day without the car.  I've already been without it for 5 days and have made due.  But based on his promise that I'd have it back Monday, I made plans for Tuesday that required me AND my wife to have our own automobiles.  And all those plans were shot because dude "forgot" to call the dealership.  It's not like he just couldn't get the job done or that a new problem came up and the project was delayed.  He forgot.

And that made me mad.

Old Hat has many core principles and a brand promise that I've blogged about.  But man... none of that matters if you don't follow the one rule that should be common sense.  Do what you say you're going to do.  And if for some reason you can't, do anything you can do to make it right.  And that's another area that my auto shop failed.  He didn't do what he promised.  And made no attempt to make it right.

I run into so many businesses that stay afloat despite their inability to follow this rule.  They might not be Fortune 500 companies but they've been in business for many years.  But time and time again, they don't do what they say they're going to do. And it boggles my mind that they are still around.  But what that tells me is that if these people can stay in business, think about how successful they could be if they just did what they said they'd do.  

This blog seems like more than a rant than anything offering any real direction.  But I guess what I'm saying is that if you own a business... if you work in a business... if you want to be succesful in whatever it is you're doing... Do what you say you're going to do and your path to success will be a lot smoother.

So, my older sister is about to have a baby! It's the first one, so my whole family is so excited to meet the little boy. A couple months ago, I was trying to think of something to get her that wasn't just clothes or toy, something that would mean more then that. Don't get me wrong, I have already bought that little boy a ton of clothes, but I still wanted to get him something special. So, I started shopping on Amazon, and came across toy boxes. Do you know how much those things are? Well, out of my price range is how much those things are. My dad loves building things, like this table he built me last year. So I told him he should build a toy box and then I could finish it--and thats what happened! 

This past weekend was great weather in Norman, and I got a sander for my birthday (yep..a sander! So exciting!!!) I got to break it in on the toy box. Here it is in mid sanding--you can't really tell, but I'm getting that thing silky smooth. 

The next step was to bring it inside and start staining it. When you stain, you have to apply the color, then wipe it off with a clean sponge thing. So it's like a wax on, wax off kinda thing. My sister picked out the color, and I really like it! its dark and will go great in the nursery. 

I waited a couple hours, watched some TV, did some laundry and then spent Saturday night applying some shiny polyurethane to finish off the toy box. The polyurethane seals the stain and makes the piece shiny (which you can't really tell in the picture, but trust me, its shiny).


Overall, I am really pleased with how this turned out. I am super excited to bring it down to Dallas when I get to meet my nephew! 

Do you recognize the image above?

I'd bet even if you've never seen HBO's Game of Thrones you know that uncomfortable-looking sword chair.

That's right, it's the Iron Throne—a major icon for the series. Obviously, it sticks out because of its unique appearance, but HBO also takes pictures of their stars in the chair for Internet fanboys and fangirls to see. The icon spreads, people get familiar with what it is/means, and, boom, you've got yourself an audience that recognizes the brand.

Branding is cool and today I wanted to share some examples from two juggernaut TV shows. I'll just link the articles because the main authors have said it way better than I can. 

A few paragraphs down, this article speaks about the branding of Game of Thrones. It's interesting to think about how the show brands itself and makes its product (the experience of watching and knowing the show).  It's also interesting to know how HBO add it's marketing abilities to the show, creating a campaign the size of the Wall itself. So, yeah, read that article.

Another great study comes from AMC's Breaking Bad. Walter White creates a type of methanphetamine that needs to break into the market. How does he do it? Read this article. It describes three good points on brand recognition.

If there is a particular show you enjoy watching, I bet you can find great examples of marketing and branding within. They reach millions of people, so they've gotta be doing something right, right? Right.

Until then, hop on the spoiler train for Game of Thrones because I've read all the books and this season we're still going to see [REDACTED] die during [REDACTED]'s escape and then [REDACTED] dies and he was always a nice guy and then [REDACTED] dies after [REDACTED] kicks her out the one place and, yeah, prepare for maybe 5 more main characters to die.

Stevie, brace yourself.

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