Yesterday my classmates and I had a two-days study trip to Richmond and Washington DC. It was our first company visit in this B2C CAM. The intent of this trip is to see how company managed their brand portfolio and how that evolved through time. We visited a pretty diverse companies in such short trip, ranging from kitchen appliances company to public relation agency.
The first company that we visited in Richmond was Hamilton Beach. They used to manufactured kitchen appliances until a couple years ago they moved all their manufacturing process to China (outsourced). The company now focus on product management. They are well known for their innovative and durable products. When we visited the headquarters, we had the chance to see their product development process. It was amazing to see the process of developing one product from idea creation to finally launched the product.
The next company that we visited is The Martin Agency. The advertising agency behind the famous Geico ads. Super cool office, open spaces, collaborative environment, strong culture, creative and talented people. You can feel the vibes as soon as you enter the office. One of the coolest office I have ever visited.
The next day we visited Marriott in Bethesda, MD. The HQ have a super cool lobby and common area. I did not expect that given the fact that they are a relatively big corporate and not-in-a-creative-kind-of-business. A bit different from The Martin Agency but still have open spaces, casual, collaborative and fun concept. The coolest thing that I noticed is that they have their own day care in the building. So employees can have their kids in the day care and have lunch with them in the cafeteria. They also have some area for children playground outside of the office near the lobby. During the presentation, they shared how they managed their portfolios brands and keep competitive among its competitors.
The last company that we visited before leaving to Williamsburg was a public relation agency behind the famous Dove #speakbeautiful campaign called Edelman. A global company that still remains private. We discussed some of the issues about brand image, how to handle negative issues, etc.
It was nice to visit companies in different industries and got the idea how they run the business. One of the commonality that I noticed during the visit was that companies are trying hard to fulfill Millennials needs as they are going to be the biggest customer segment in a few years. I think we have already seen how that affect our business practice in the past few years. We’ll see how it evolve in the next couple of years.