SUB-ZERO AT 70: A Company that Preserves Its Knack for Innovation
As a young man with an idea for a new kind of business, you could do a lot worse than having Frank Lloyd Wright give you your first big break.
That’s what happened to Westye Bakke in the 1930s. Wright, a fellow Wisconsin native, had heard of Westye’s aptitude for designing refrigeration systems. He hired the young man as a consultant to help create uniquely sized refrigerators for the architect’s residential projects.
By 1943, despite the materials shortages brought on by World War II, in classic entrepreneurial style, Westye had turned the basement of his Madison home into a product development lab and was planning to launch a new company. Working alone, he used scrap metal and other salvaged materials to fashion the prototype for a new kind of freezer, more reliable than any that had come before and able to store its contents at stable, exceptionally low temperatures – literally sub-zero.
If Frank Lloyd Wright provided the early aesthetic inspiration for Westye, more personal motivations spurred him to push through the technical limitations and supply shortages of the day to pioneer high-performance refrigeration for the home: His young son, Bud, had juvenile diabetes. The lack of reliable home refrigeration meant frequent trips to the drugstore for insulin. Under those circumstances, getting snowed in by a Wisconsin blizzard could be more than just inconvenient. In his basement lab, Westye worked with urgency.
Read Full Feature Story
WINNERS OF THE 2015 NKBA DESIGN COMPETITION
A panel of eight, certified industry experts evaluated nearly 300 entries for projects from across the United States and Canada in the 2015 NKBA Design Competition. All participating projects were scored on various criteria, including safety and ergonomics, elements and principles of design, design planning, creativity and presentation.
Read Full Feature Story
EVERGREEN: Cultivate the enduring customer loyalty that keeps your business thriving
By Noah Fleming
Loyal customers are the beating heart of every great business. So why do so many companies act like adrenalin junkies, chasing after new customers at the expense of creating deeper, more profitable relationships with the ones they already have?
Evergreen exposes the mad pursuit for what it is: a brief spike in metrics and an ongoing revenue drain, as one-time customers fail to return. A better solution is to shift resources from attracting new customers to engaging the base—the path to stable growth, season after season. The book’s entertaining stories and action steps reveal how anyone can:
From Internet startups and mom-and-pop businesses to multinational giants, strong companies are rooted in customer retention. Evergreen helps anyone merge high-tech tools with the personal touch to forge lasting bonds and steady profits.
About the Author
As a thought leader in strategic marketing and customer loyalty, Noah Fleming is the trusted source for coaching and consulting for thousands of owners, executives, and individuals. Noah helps clients dramatically increase their sales, multiply their profits, and maximize customer value. noahfleming.com