Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, July 29, 2011

How do you deal with unethical business practices?

Paul Lewis Siddoway
My neighbor, my cousin, and my wife’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend all work at the same small business. (I wrote a blog about networking. Check it out here.)

Recently, I’ve had conversations with them about their frustrations with their jobs. They’ve had small issues come up before, like the owners driving BMWs and Audis, while it takes over a year and a half for the employees to get a 36¢ raise.

A couple weeks ago, a team of six employees went on a five-day retreat with about two dozen clients. These employees are all full-time college students in entry level positions and get paid less than $10/hour, so when they received their paychecks, they were pretty angry to find that they were only paid for 12 hours a day, when they had worked 16.

Their company claims to value open, honest communication and healthy relationships, so when these employees went to talk to the owners, they were surprised when their concern was dismissed, but they also felt their jobs were threatened if they continued to bring it up.

Sometimes I write blogs because I want to share something I’ve learned. I’m writing this one because I’m sure there are ways of reporting unethical businesses, but none of my acquaintances know who to talk to.

There is a comments section. I’m sure there are others out there who don’t know what to do about ethics at their jobs (or the lack thereof).

These friends would quit, but it’s not an easy thing to find a job in Logan.

My neighbor once explained the job situation in Logan like this: every employer knows that there is a near endless supply of college students desperate for work, whom they can pay whatever they want. So they pay the lowest hourly rate they can get away with, knowing that if some employee starts making trouble, they’re easily replaced.

That’s why my neighbor is just going to keep his head down and hope he can find another job. He’s been working for this small business for about a year and is one of the most senior employees at this job.

My cousin, after confronting the owners about his paycheck, has since, without explanation, found himself no longer scheduled as part of this six-man team that goes out with the clients. He is just one of the regular employees now, back at the office. He needs the money to go to school and pay rent and eat, so it’s better than no job at all.

I’m saying this all second-hand so it might not have the same effect, but it makes my blood boil when I hear it from them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paid, owned and earned media: The new marketing model

Eric Schulz
The brand media management models most national advertisers and many larger and more sophisticated local clients are adopting have evolved rapidly over the past few years.  No longer is media planning compartmentalized into the traditional buckets of Print, Electronic Media (TV & Radio), and Out-of-Home.   The new model is Paid, Owned, and Earned Media.  Many brands are now becoming their own media companies in effect (especially national clients), and how they will use both traditional media and social media in this new model is changing.

Marketing managers and CEO’s are all jumping on the bandwagon of social media.  Why?  It’s free.  They think if they set up a Facebook page and hire a couple young kids to Tweet for them, they can cut a million or two from the advertising budget.  But they are now learning it’s not quite that simple.  There is angst in ad land over the complexity of media.   Ad planners wring their hands, bemoaning the proliferation of media channels and the unpredictable ways in which “consumers” jump from TV to Facebook to text messages to Google to Foursquare to iPods…and so on.
 Out of the chaos in the media world and the complexity of infinite digital channels, a new way of looking at media is emerging that is simple, useful and strategic: 
Paid jumpstarts owned.
Owned sustains earned.
There are a plethora of benefits to approaching media this way; the most important are these two:
1. No matter what new media channels the geniuses invent tomorrow, this logical set of strategic categories doesn’t change; and
2. The end result of using media this way is the creation of a permanent marketplace advantage for a business: Total cost of marketing ultimately goes way down because expensive media buys are less necessary.   Credibility goes way up because ordinary people are talking up the brand to their friends and online connections, which have a far greater impact on purchase behavior than anything a brand could ever do or say on its own.
Roughly eight years ago, it became clear that traditional media (outdoor, newspapers, magazines, TV, music and so on) and traditional advertising tools (billboards, TV spots, print ads, radio spots and so on) were on a collision course. For example, in the television world, new technology - Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) - began passing control over advertising from the media companies to the audience. The day is rapidly approaching when no one can force people to watch ads. So the ads have to go away or become something else.
 It has become accepted that advertising needs to add value to people’s lives or it will be ignored.  It has to be useful and valuable, entertaining or informative or both. Everyone supposedly began to understand, in other words, that brands have to be media companies, but almost no one knew how to do that or what it really might mean.  A terrific example of this is the recent SmartWater social media campaign, begun by posting a video entitled “Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape”.  If you are going to generate some viral marketing interest, that’s a great way to do so.  The video is funny, informative, and entertaining, and since its debut on March 7, has received over 9.7 million online views.  SmartWater is very smart.
 FIRST, PAID MEDIA: It’s any form of media where brands pay the media owner to insert the brand’s message. Central to this exchange is the idea that the media owner has gathered an audience that the brand wants to address. That’s why the brand is willing to pay.
Examples of paid, include TV spots, print ads, billboards, paid search, online banners, promoted tweets and so on.
The truth about paid media: Paid media works, but only so long as the money spigot is turned on and gushing. Stop spending and paid media stops working with little or no residual benefit. Put another way, the meter is always running and no matter how far you ride, you never own the taxi. 
One exception to this is embedded paid media.  Chevrolet for example has embedded its cars into the new “Hawaii Five-O” series and in the “Transformers” movies, with virtually every vehicle shown in each episode a Chevrolet.  These episodes will have a long shelf-life with online viewing and television reruns / syndication, which could extend the reach of this paid media for years.
NEXT, OWNED MEDIA: Owned media is real, engaging media that is created and owned by a brand. That sounds simple enough, but it requires great skill to execute. Brands now create and own all kinds of media. First and foremost is their website, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and blogs.  But for many larger brands with deeper pockets, it can also include Films, TV shows, webisodes, magazines, books and so on. Owned media is what everyone is talking about when they say, “Brands must be media companies.”
The truth about owned media: It is relatively expensive to create great content, but when the spending is over the media can keep working indefinitely. In the case of owned media, the brand’s spending is really investing; the brand is creating a valuable asset with a more or less unlimited useful life.   Audience generation usually requires paid media to get it started, especially if anyone’s in a hurry to get noticed, which everyone usually is.
FINALLY, EARNED MEDIA: Earned media is positive brand messaging that’s produced and spread by unpaid (at least not paid by the advertiser) influencers. This group includes bloggers and tweeters, journalists and media reporters, Facebook updaters. Anyone large or small, amateur or professional, who finds your brand content worth sharing with others, is creating earned media. Earned media is routinely focused on spreading content that an advertiser created (see “Owned Media” above).  
This makes owned media the center of all attention because it is or should be the object of paid media and the subject of earned media. The purest variety of earned media, of course, involves content that is both created and spread by brand advocates on their own – think Diet Coke and Mentos for example.
The truth about earned media: Earned media, when it happens, is the best form of advertising on Earth. Not only does it spread brand messages at no additional cost, it also carries more credibility and has greater impact on purchase decisions (according to global survey evidence from Nielsen) than anything the brand can ever say about itself.  But it is impossible to control and very hard to generate completely free marketing from a brand’s fans. Generally, you need a paid campaign to get it going and owned media to keep it going.
Paid media, more and more, is all about generating an audience for owned media. Paid’s greatest virtue is that it gets attention and it’s fast. But it works best if it’s getting attention for something specific–if it’s pointing people to a piece of content that can deepen their knowledge, understanding and emotional connection to the advertiser’s brand. So the first new rule of paid–whether it’s a billboard, TV spot or banner ad or search–is that it should point to a really good, genuinely engaging, audience-pleasing piece of content.
Owned media is about telling the brand’s story in great depth and infinite variety. This is the kind of media that connects the advertiser’s brand to the audience’s lives. Like all great media, it’s got to be deeply engaging, informative, entertaining.  But that’s just table stakes in the owned media game, because the content also must embody the brand and accomplish the brand’s business goals.  Fueled by a smart paid campaign to generate audience, owned media needs to be search optimized so it’s easily findable and it must be spread across digital and traditional channels where its audience spends time.  When all this is done properly, there is nothing more powerful than owned media, which has the unique ability to gather and grow communities of brand fans.
It used to be that owned media was pretty much restricted to a brand’s web site. In today’s world of distributed digital content, owned media needs to be strategically spread all over the internet on the digital and traditional channels where its intended audience is most like to encounter it.
Advertisers looking for earned media have only one choice: a really well executed owned media strategy. Owned media, deployed so it is easily shared and commented on.
Paid, owned and earned–the present and future structure of media–only work together in integrated, content-focused programs.

Eric D Schulz

Eric D Schulz is a senior lecturer and co-director  strategic marketing and brand management at the Jon M Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  He is a brand marketing expert and the author of The Marketing Game, How The World’s Best Companies Play to Win, a book that has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide.  Follow him on FACEBOOK at The Brand Cop and on Twitter @thebrandcop.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ideas begin to shape new building

Ken Snyder
The new building is starting to take shape even though we haven’t even had the groundbreaking yet.

In my last blog I asked students, faculty and alumni for their ideas on what we need to be including in our new building. Some suggestions came in the comment section and others were e-mailed directly to me. I was relieved to discover they all seemed to be thoughtful and reasonable suggestions.

Here are some comments regarding ideas that have come up:

The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence – Our internationally known Shingo Prize headquarters has not been located in our building for years. We envision it being an important part of the new building. But the solution has to be part of a greater consideration. The Shingo Prize is an example of a program that cuts across departments. We have announced our intent to form other “centers” that cut across departments, such as for global engagement, for entrepreneurship and for leadership. It is not clear to us what the long-term staffing needs of these programs will be.

A student lounge – A few years ago, a renovation project took out the dean’s offices and created a student lounge on the main floor that is in constant use for study, meetings, socializing and eating. It has become the best-used space in the building. There is a consensus that more student space like our current lounge is needed.

A café or coffee shop – This is on the list of things to be considered.

A Huntsman School of Business merchandise shop – This is on the list of things to be considered.

Water-bottle equipped drinking fountains – Good idea. We’ll make sure at least some fountains have this feature.

Faculty lounge – We’ve visited a number of business schools and some have a faculty lounge and some don’t. Often when there is such space set aside, it also serves as a meeting room or lunchroom. This is something we are still considering.

An open design – We have begun negotiations with a Salt Lake City firm, GSBS Architects, which would be teaming up with a Seattle firm, LMN Architects, to construct our new building. GSBS designed the Merrill-Cazier Library right here at Utah State University. The library has the type of open building space that takes advantage of natural light and lots of windows that we want in our new building.

This, of course, is only the beginning of the ideas we will be considering as we make thousands of decisions in the months to come. Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to share more ideas with me.

Ken Snyder

Monday, July 25, 2011

San Francisco/Seattle trip recap

After a busy week of visiting some of the biggest companies in existence and learning everything there is to know about how to get a job, the time finally came to go home. I wasn't very excited to end the trip. It felt like just yesterday we were getting off the plane in San Francisco.

I learned a lot of really important things while I was out there. I learned the importance of networking and getting to know everybody you can. In the long run, you never know who will be able to help you get a job. From people you meet at a little league soccer game to a contact your friend said hi to one time at a coffee shop, I've heard real stories of how these kinds of contacts have helped people get the jobs they want.

I also really enjoyed being able to learn and understand how important a company's personality is. Each company has a different culture/personality, and because of that people with the same idea of culture enjoy working at those places more than they would another place. Before this trip I just thought I would pick a place that was cool and hope to get a job there; now I've learned that I should research the company personality and what working there is actually like. If you do this I would dare say you could be a happy employee of that corporation the rest of your life!

There are so many opportunities outside of our state and I will forever be indebted to these cities and the people who helped me learn what I did while on this trip. I would encourage any student to go on a trip like this because the things you learn out there can't be learned in the classroom.

Week recap video:

Braden Thompson

Friday, July 22, 2011

Networking and the six degrees of Kevin Bacon

Paul Lewis Siddoway
In December, I’m planning on graduating, which means that really soon I’m going to have to start looking for a “big boy” job, where I have to wear slacks and a shirt with a collar. And maybe even a tie.

Obviously, I’ve been talking to some of my professors to get some of their insight on the industry. One professor said that less than 10% of his students come in for that kind of advising. One thing that comes up over and over is networking -- who you know, and who they know.

There’s this idea that anybody on the planet is linked to anybody else on the planet through at most six other people. It’s the ultimate networking game.

I have always hated looking for jobs. There’s just something about wading through job boards, filling out countless applications that all ask for the same information, and then not even hearing back from the company. And it’s even harder in a college town, where half the population are all competing for the same handful of jobs.

When I moved to Logan a couple years ago, I had enough money saved so I could pay rent and buy food for three months. I didn’t have a job, and I had that long to find one. I had been keeping an eye out in the newspaper and on the USU job boards, and I got called back for quite a few interviews, but nothing seemed to work out. A week before school started one of my roommates said there was an opening at his job in Brigham City. So I interviewed and got the job.

Over the next year or so, I came to realize that 90% of the people working there knew someone. Not every applicant with a connection got a job, but it was obviously an influence.

As I think back on the various places I have worked, two thirds of the jobs I’ve had came from networking.

So now that I’m going into the “real” world, I’m trying to talk to everyone I know for tips or suggestions on where to apply. My mom has a cousin (I say cousin, but I don’t actually know how we’re related) in Georgia who is very well connected who said he’d let me know if he hears of any open positions.

Luckily for me, Kevin Bacon and I are only separated by one person. If only that could help me get a job in the business world.

Paul Lewis Siddoway

Seattle Day 2 (Thursday, July 21st)

In front of Pike Place Market
This morning we had a great time enjoying the wonderful city of Seattle by going to Pike Place Market, one of the most famous farmer's markets in the world. Although this activity was a fun break, it was still fascinating to see a different aspect of business with hundreds of little businesses selling a variety of knick-knacks. The market had a distinct smell of fresh flowers and, of course, FISH!

It was amazing to see so many different flower vendors and the beautiful bouquets that they were selling. We were also able to see the famous fish throwing and as several of us discussed, we realized there are only a few people in the world who can be considered a tourist attraction, but the fish guys at Pike Place Market clearly fall into that category.

Pike Place Market
A few of us ate a delicious lunch at the “Athenian” this great diner looking out over Puget Sound. For those of you who lived through the '90s or love romantic comedies, you’ll know that this little restaurant is one of the locations where Tom Hanks is filmed eating in the movie, “Sleepless in Seattle.” I ordered a delicious crab cake sandwich that was very tasty.

In the afternoon we met with Phil Bussey who was the President of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. It was really interesting being able to realize the role the Chamber of Commerce can play in the business world. The Seattle Chamber of Commerce has done a lot recently to keep up with the innovative feel of Seattle by implementing some really key programs.  

Crab Pot
Brent Meacham
Later in the evening, several of us went to Crab Pot, another famous Seattle restaurant. I ordered a slew of seafood and after devouring my full Crab, lots of mussels, shrimp, and other food I realized that I prefer the deep fried seafood covered in batter…with the exception of the crab…it was DELICIOUS!!!

It was a fun day experiencing the culture of Seattle. I’m excited for the fun visits we have coming up tomorrow and I can hardly believe our exciting week is coming to an end tomorrow! I guess I'll just have to live it up until then.

Brent Meacham

Thursday, July 21, 2011

College football cheating and vacated victories

Eric Schulz
Forgive me as I veer from marketing talk today to vent on the state of college football's rampant cheating scandals.


Last year, USC "vacated" all of its victories achieved in 2004 when Reggie Bush was playing for them as a result from his accepting "improper benefits" as a student-athlete there. Then, earlier this month, Ohio State "vacated" its 2010 season as a result of the problems that recently have surfaced there from football players selling memorabilia to a tattoo parlor, again receiving "improper benefits". More recently, Georgia Tech "vacated" its 2009 ACC Football Championship for similar violations. Auburn won the BCS game last January, and they too are under investigation, and my hunch is their waterloo is not too far away. Again, when they get caught, they'll vacate victories and hand back the trophy....

Pardon my disgust, but vacating victories is an insane concept. There are no Mr. Clean Magic Erasers in sports. It's history. Done. In the books. You can't rewrite it. This is akin to Germany vacating any association with Auschwitz. USC and Bush were the dominant team in college football in 2004. They won the BCS Championship. No magic eraser can change that.

The fans paid their money for tickets...the viewers tuned in....the advertisers paid for their spots....I think, since, now that these games and victories have been erased from the books....shouldn't they all get their money back, their time back? Not a chance. And that's why this thing will never get fixed in the current system. The athlete that cheats, in most cases, has "vacated" town before his "improper benefits" surface, with no penalty on him. The university gets embarrassed, but they got rich, so OK, they take the slap on the hand, get out the magic eraser, and go forward, business as usual.

So here's a radical idea. Make the acceptance of improper benefits while a college athlete a criminal offense. Yes, I said it. Make it a criminal offense, so that even if the athlete has already skipped town and moved on to the NFL or NBA, they can be prosecuted for their crimes. Then, have the courts nail them with major fines and jail time. That will make a student-athlete (that's a whole 'nuther blog for another day) think twice before accepting the gifts. This would move the onus off the schools and onto the athlete where the responsibility lies.

Schools also need to take responsibility, because they recruited these delinquents. So rather than just having to use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to rewrite history that really can't be rewritten, FINE them. That's right. One of your student-athletes breaks the rules -- they go to court -- you pay a $500,000 fine. That's a big enough incentive to want to steer clear of misdeeds. While that still doesn't help the fans or advertisers that paid their money to see these "invisible" games, it will make the institutions and their coaches think twice before looking the other way (which is what happened at Ohio State, and without a doubt, happens every day at most of the "power" athletic schools that reap in millions to their university every year.)

Under the current system, there is no reason not to cheat. The hollow practice of "vacating" victories is a joke.

Eric D Schulz


Eric D Schulz is a senior lecturer and co-director  strategic marketing and brand management at the Jon M Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  He is a brand marketing expert and the author of The Marketing Game, How The World’s Best Companies Play to Win, a book that has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide.  Follow him on FACEBOOK at The Brand Cop and on Twitter @thebrandcop.

Seattle Day 1 (Wednesday, July 20, 2011)

Today was a really interesting and fun day. This morning we had a chance to go to the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Washington. We met with a USU alumnus by the name of Marlowe Dayley. It was a very unique experience because were able to sit down with him in a conference room and after sharing his background with us, we were able to pick his brain for the next hour and a half. It was very interesting because there was no question that we couldn’t ask. We covered everything from competition with Apple, Microsoft’s strategy, relations with vendors like HP, and everything in between.

This was my second time visiting Microsoft's Headquarters. Last fall I had the chance to visit the Microsoft’s international headquarters in Paris, France with the Huntsman Scholar Program. Both times I have visited Microsoft I have been so impressed with their company and the culture and passion that exist within Microsoft. The story I always share with people is how last fall one of the international executives flat out told us, in his opinion, the iPad out performed what he thought it would. His honesty about their competition was refreshing and this time I feel I understood more about the overall vision of Microsoft to work with various companies to get their products to consumers so that one day every home and every business is running Windows.

Fish 'N' Chips at Ivar's for lunch

After Microsoft we headed back to Seattle and ate at the famous Ivar’s Restaurant down on the water. I ordered the delicious fish and chips and we had quite a fun time feeding the seagulls around. At one point I found myself with a French fry in my mouth getting close to a seagull to see if he would eat it, but I think it freaked him out and he flew away. We then got Melinda to hold a straw in her mouth with a French fry on the end and as she got close to one bird another one swooped in and ate it suprising her and all of us. Luckily we got the whole thing on video! It was a fun time.

Blog post by: Brent Meacham
After lunch we visited Projectline, a marketing consulting company for the tech industry. We met with one of their founders, Anika Lehde, and Eric Larson, a senior marketing consultant. This was probably one of my favorite visits because it was so interesting to learn about Projectline’s unique business model. Projectline encourages employees to ONLY work 40 hours a week, all the employees participate in monthly community service projects, money is donated monthly to various organizations and they do a variety of other unique things. They are very progressive in providing a fulfilling environment for their employees. Projectline goes against the usual business model and provides an atmosphere where employees want to be and because of that their employees are more successful and invested into their work. It was neat to see such a unique successful company.

After visiting Projectline we headed back to our hotel and had a small alumni mix-and-mingle and it was a lot of fun! Overall, today was a great day full of fun, exploration, and has left me anything, but “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 2: Passion yields success

Today was our last day in San Francisco, and even though we were here for such a short time, I feel like I've learned more than I would in a month sitting in a classroom. Meeting with incredibly successful companies and being able to learn how they got where they are and what they are doing day-to-day has been quite an amazing experience.

Perks are amazing on the Google campus. Food is free, they give free massages, there is a sand volleyball court and pool to enjoy yourself, they have hundreds of bikes to ride around from building to building and I'm sure there are so many more.

Despite all these perks, the thing that keeps people happy and working for the company is the atmosphere. I realized today after having been to six different companies in two days that every company has a personality. Personalities range from serious and strict to comfortable and relaxed. All of the companies we visited had different personalities, but each was very professional and had employees who were passionate about what they did. Passion yields success, and when it comes down to it, if you don't have passion to do something, no matter what perks a company throws your way, odds are you aren't going to accomplish anything life-changing.

To sum it up, here is what I learned during the San Francisco portion of the trip:

  • Find a company that matches your personality
  • Do what you are passionate about
  • Get going on your career before you graduate through internships or other similar opportunities
At all the companies we've talked to so far, interns are the main pool of people used for hiring new full time employees. Internships are the easiest way to get your foot in the door of a great company and network with people who will help you in the future. Find that company that matches your personality. Make sure it gives you the freedom to be passionate and work doing what you love. Then search your little heart out for an internship or some opportunity to get into that company. I promise you won't regret it! In fact, I'll slap a Braden Guarantee on that. (All donations to the "Thanks Braden for the great advice I now make a lot of money in my career and want to pay you back with a large sum of money" fund are graciously accepted.)

Here is the video recap for day 2:

San Francisco was a great place to see some amazing companies. I'm very excited to move on to Seattle now and learn even more.

Braden Thompson

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Now is the time to create a facility that will serve generations

Ken Snyder
The next step of our building process is deciding what’s going inside the new building. We call this “programing.” We need to figure out what must we do to “program” a facility that will not only serve today’s students but generations to come.

In the programming process, we need to decide questions like the following:
  • Classrooms – How many tiered classrooms do we need? How many flat classrooms? How many 80 seat? How many 55 seat? How many 40 seat?
  • How many meeting rooms should we have for our students to use?
  • Should we have a business library? With books and magazines, or just electronic kiosks?
  • Should we have a café? How about a food court? Should we have a coffee shop?
  • What kind of student lounges should we have? Should we have both an undergraduate and a graduate student lounge?
  • How many computer labs do we need?
  • What types of classroom technologies should be standard in our classrooms?
  • Do we need another auditorium that is centrally located for big events? Should it be bigger or smaller than the one we currently use in the Eccles building?
  • Should we have a store that would carry official Huntsman merchandise?
I’d like to hear from you! What do you think? Have you been to another business school and seen something you think we should include in the new Huntsman Hall?

Ken Snyder

San Francisco day 1

I set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. and closed my eyes for a mere 20 seconds before sitting up in bed realizing how early my day would begin the next morning. After a three-hour "nap" and a bit of a drive to the airport, though, I didn't mind the early wake-up call and was excited to be able to be going on this trip.

Being so tired, talking and doing normal things people do when they are awake seemed out of the question during the flight to Phoenix and the connecting flight to San Francisco. I stayed awake just long enough to get my free in-flight beverage and peanuts and not a second longer. In fact, I almost choked on a peanut as I drifted in and out of sleep mid-chew. I did, however, manage to grab a few shots out the plane window before I lost consciousness, including this one as we rose above the clouds in Salt Lake to find the sun shining beautifully at 38,000 feet.

Despite our plane arriving early, a line out the door and a bunch of very confused and clearly unorganized rental car employees managed to stall us an hour and a half, putting us behind schedule. Luckily, we were able to make it to our first appointment which was with Ali Towle, the Director of Marketing for the San Francisco 49ers. This was definitely my favorite visit of the day. She did an excellent job of explaining in detail the path it takes to get to where she is now.

After that, we visited with two more companies, Portola Pharmaceuticals and SteelRiver Infrastructure. To spice things up, we even crammed all 12 of us into an elevator and got stuck between the 4th and 5th floors for 20 minutes. The experience proved to be the best bonding experience we had all day. At the end of the day we got to tour a little of downtown and eat some pizza with the locals. If Utah had a pizza place as good as the one we went to I would go there everyday, even if it was in Salt Lake and I had to commute. The pizza was that good!

If I was to rate this day I would give it four stars and two enthusiastic thumbs up. Here is a short video recapping everything that happened.

Braden Thompson

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Global Vision" on full display at U.S.-China conference

Last Thursday and Friday, I was able to attend parts of the U.S. & China Trade, Culture & Education Conference. I heard from Gov. Gary Herbert, former Sen. Bob Bennett and four prominent Chinese politicians. I also heard from several other professionals in government, business and academia.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert
I got a lot out of the experience, and it was very rewarding to interact with so many wonderful people from China. But for the purposes of this blog post, I want to focus on this quote from Gov. Herbert: “…It’s easy to see the future of business is in the international arena.”

We at the Huntsman School of Business hear about this principle repeatedly. One of our four pillars is “Global Vision,” and we have some incredible study abroad opportunities that students can participate in at a relatively low cost. As someone who has traveled internationally with the School, I can say with confidence that the School is doing more than just talking about global vision.

A lot of what I learned at the conference was right in line with what I have been learning about in my three years at the Huntsman School. Business can be so much more rewarding – both economically and culturally – when done in the international arena. It’s one thing to say you understand the importance of this principle, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually put forth effort to become more globally aware.

Connor Child

Friday, July 15, 2011

Do college graduates remember what their student experience was like?

Whether you’re a recent grad or recent retiree, we all remember those long nights and longer study sessions spent cramming for that ever-so-important exam. We juggled a swinging single social life or caring for kids, working 20 to 40 hours a week, an internship and not to mention what seemed a more-than-full time school schedule. Yep, it was a wonderfully busy time (emphasis on the wonderfully, though, right?). Now, some of us have moved on into the real world. Hopefully we will get to use that degree we worked so hard for, and hopefully we can continue to dare mighty things. The question is, “Do we remember what it’s like to be a college student?” Things may have changed, so we’ve supplied a quiz to give an idea of where you might fit on the scale.
Rob Goates
How do you relax?
1.       Night on the town, cruising Main Street, spending time with the apple of my eye.
2.       Drive up Logan Canyon, pay Old Juniper a visit (rest assured, he hasn’t changed).
3.       You’ll find me in the front row at the Spectrum, losing my voice.
4.       Stay inside, hanging with the roomies, watching that flick or TV show we just can’t get enough of.
5.       Speaking of can’t get enough, I need to study, back to the library!
What do you eat?
1.       I’m poor, the only thing I can afford has noodles in it, i.e. ramen and cup of noodles (and we loved them!).
2.       Don’t have time, eating is a luxury, grab that energy bar and get to class.
3.       Go with my sweetums out to that restaurant that we love, no matter the price.
4.       Marketplace, Sky Room, Junction and the Hub, every meal, every day.
5.       Live off the land, thar’ are turkeys in them hills.
What do you drive?
1.       Honestly, anything that gets me from point A to point B.
2.       I don’t need to drive, I live on campus.
3.       I wouldn’t say I drive it, but it does look good in the mechanic’s shop. Luckily, Cache Valley Transit is free...
4.       Are you kidding? Cycling is the only way to go, come rain or shine.
5.       Sports car, enough said.

1.       I sleep better when it’s not raining because my lean-to shelter I call “home” gets wet.
2.       I sleep better when it’s not raining as well but because our ceiling leaks so badly.
3.       Excellent, the house I own is top-notch.
4.       Study now, sleep later. I can sleep when I’m dead.
5.       Dead asleep; the Howl last night was so much fun.
Now count your points!
How do you relax?  1 = 5 points, 2 = 2 points, 3 = 4 points, 4 = 1 point, 5 = 3 points

What do you eat?  1 = 1 point, 2 = 3 points, 3 = 5 points, 4 = 4 points, 5 = 2 points
What do you drive?  1 = 3 points, 2 = 4 points, 3 = 1 point, 4 = 2 points, 5 = 5 points
How is your sleep?  1 = 2 points, 2 = 1 point, 3 = 5 points, 4 = 3 points, 5 = 4 points
5-7 points, Congratulations, you definitely remember what it’s like to be a student! You may consider yourself “economically-friendly,” but when it comes down to it, you are POOR. But deep down inside, you look back on it with fondness and look forward to those experiences for your kids.
8-10 points, Congratulations, you definitely remember what it’s like to be a student! Taking advantage of the beautiful landscape that Logan has to offer is one of your fortes. You may have skied the Beav or fished at Second Dam, but you were there, enjoying every minute.
11-13 points, Congratulations, you definitely remember what it’s like to be a student! You were a studying machine with the drive of a jet engine. Working those all-nighters and running on empty, you’re hopefully now enjoying the fruits of your labors (and remembering your alma mater J).
14-16 points, Congratulations, you definitely remember what it’s like to be a student! What a socialite you are, you make events successful and work hard to get the most from what’s offered. Because of you, the traditions that make Utah State great live on.
17-19 points, Congratulations, you definitely remember what it’s like to be a student! While you weren’t the wealthiest, you still enjoyed many comforts during your college years and knew how to take advantage of what was given you.
20 points, Uh, you definitely DO NOT remember what it’s like to be a student! If you are in this group, I wish I were friends with you. You are one of the very select few that really enjoyed a plush lifestyle in college.

Rob Goates

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't throw TV advertising off the train quite yet

Eric Schulz
It’s fashionable to embrace the notion that traditional television advertising is dead. It’s sort of like the 50-year-old who ditches his wife to go after that hot, sexy Victoria Secret model in silky undergarments. We read that using TV as an advertising channel has become obsolete, which sends us headfirst into a middle-age crisis - so we rush to make ourselves “young, hip, and cool” by tossing aside everything we have learned and used effectively for the past 30 years to embrace digital and social media as the cure-all to reinvent our career relevance. 
This so-called crisis has been caused by two emerging trends - the growth of DVR’s and the increasing number of hours spent online. The rationale goes, “Well, if they are skipping commercials, no sense advertising on TV1. So let’s move all our money online, get a Facebook page, and start tweeting!” While digital and social media is a tool that has to be integrated into all marketing plans, television, to borrow a line from Monty Python is “not dead yet”. Let’s look at the realities in TV viewership in 2011.

The growth trajectory in DVR ownership suggests that penetration among television owners in the US should cross 50 percent in 2011-2012 2, making it theoretically possible for half of all households to avoid television commercials altogether. Most marketers believe that it’s useless to advertise on television any longer, as “everyone is skipping commercials” (so they believe, because they themselves are doing it). But, according to a just-released study by Deliotte LLP, while DVRs provide the technological capacity to skip ads, the majority of DVR owners are still watching live broadcast television as their first choice, and only turn to recorded programs when they don’t find anything ‘live” that they like.

Viewing behaviors of DVR owners.

Source: Deloitte LLP UK, July 10, 2011. Sample: 958 DVR owners

In 2011 and beyond, many surveys of consumer behavior are likely to indicate rampant advertising skipping 2. Measured data, rather than self-reported data, paint a different picture. Measured research shows that only15-25 percent of programming is fast-forwarded through, but even that is not necessarily a squandered resource. Even ads viewed at 12x speed are still retained by viewers, and by including more distinctive imagery advertisers can further enhance the impact of fast-forwarded ads 3.

In an industry adept at creating compelling television programming and among a viewership that consumes an average 20 hours per week (and over 35 hours in some markets), pre-recording everything is almost impossible. Secondly, skipping through every advertisement, including the end “bumper”, requires a precision that most of us lack. The television advertising model is not broken, at least not by the DVR. To the contrary, there is evidence that the growing household penetration of high-definition televisions is actually INCREASING time spent watching television! The majority of homes, roughly two-thirds, now own a high definition television. Not coincidentally, Nielsen reports that overall TV viewing increased 22 minutes per month, per person over last year!

The increase in online consumption is also somewhat of a misnomer. In the last quarter of 2009, simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35 percent from the previous year 5. Nearly 60 percent of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV. The Internet isn’t replacing TV viewing – it’s happening simultaneous to it!

In summary, TV advertising still works. Eyeballs are still there. Don’t ditch TV as an effective way to reach consumers, even though it’s not as sexy and trendy as jumping on the social media bandwagon.

Eric D. Schulz

Eric D Schulz is a senior lecturer and co-director of strategic marketing and brand management at the Jon M Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  He is a brand marketing expert and the author of The Marketing Game, How The World’s Best Companies Play to Win, a book that has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide.  Follow him on FACEBOOK at The Brand Cop and on Twitter @thebrandcop.


1 One survey of marketers found that 75 percent would cut their television ad budget as a result of ad-skipping technology. Forrester report from February, 2002 cited in: The TiVo Effect: Advertisers See Less TV Ad Spending, ClickZ, 25 November 2002:

2 At the end of Q2 2010, 40 percent of all US households had a DVR, a rise of 14 percent on the previous quarter. Source: Bigger TVs, DVR and Wi-Fi among Hot U.S. Home Technology Trends, Nielsen, 30 September 2010:

4 Why DVR Viewers Recall Some TV Spots, Wall Street Journal, 26 February 2008:; Also see: DVR Fast-Forwarding May Not be Fatal to TV Ads, PRNewswire, 3 November 2008:

5 Americans Using TV and Internet Together 35% More Than A Year Ago, Nielsen Wire, March 22,2010:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Closing Social

Tuesday night we were treated to an elegant dinner at the USU Alumni Center. The idea of the closing social is to give the participants the opportunity to interact with professionals in a social setting. We were pleased to have the company of a few industry professionals representing the Merrill-Cazier Library, DuPont, West Host and ATK.

Along with a great dinner, we had the opportunity to hear from Paul Fjeldsted, senior lecturer for the Huntsman School. He gave a great wrap-up and summary to the 9-week course by sharing various experiences from his life as he took charge in discovering what he wanted out of life and worked to achieve a great career. The evening ended as we presented the participants with their certificates of completion.

We had a great time getting to know one another as students and faculty. This course has helped students identify and develop their unique skills and has given them the confidence to take charge, be bold and get the work they want.

The course will start up again in the fall semester. We extend an invitation to all students to make time to get involved in this incredibly helpful workshop. We’ll keep you posted on the upcoming dates and deadlines.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The good, the better and the best overcome headache during long meeting

Sometimes meetings can prove a headache. Unfortunately, last week I went to a long, long, long all-day meeting and I brought my headache with me. The meeting was to choose the architect to program and design our new building. Each firm was given the opportunity to make a presentation and we asked lots of questions. You might think that such an arduous meeting, coupled with a headache, would be just plain all around bad but actually, the meeting was really very good.

Ken Snyder
The architectural firms were well prepared and they all did a very nice job with their presentations. It was a case of good vs. better vs. best as opposed to good vs. bad. Despite the headache, it turned out to be an enjoyable and educational day. All of the final five were Utah firms that were partnering with other national firms that were experienced in designing business schools. While I think any of the five firms would have done excellent work, I think we picked the firm that will best meet our needs.

We selected a Salt Lake City firm, GSBS Architects, which is teaming up with a Seattle firm, LMN Architects. Just picking them, at this point, doesn’t mean, however, that they will be doing the work. We first must negotiate an agreement with them before we can proceed with the project.

LMN designed PACCAR Hall for the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. One thing you notice about PACCAR Hall is that it is designed to let in lots of natural light. When you consider that our building will overlook Cache Valley, it would make sense that a building be designed that would take advantage of the spectacular views our location will offer. You can take a look at PACCAR Hall, which I have toured, by watching the video below.

GSBS designed the Merrill-Cazier Library right here at Utah State University. It also designed the Gore School of Business at Westminster College.

Once we’ve negotiated an agreement, we can move ahead with the programming. That’s where the fun really starts.

Ken Snyder