Looking for Millennials? Seeking marketing magic? Hit the library.

Looking for Millennials? Looking for marketing magic? Hit the library.

Ask a Millennial to explain the sharing economy and she'll tell you about Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. Ask a Mature, and she'll show you her library card.

Libraries have been around since Benjamin Franklin was flying a kite. Franklin and friends founded what may have been the first library in the U.S. in 1731. It wasn't open to the public, but members could borrow books.

It's no small feat that libraries have survived nearly three centuries of human ingenuity and restlessness. In the last century alone, they've survived broadcast radio, motion pictures, TV, cable, VCRs, personal computers and the Internet. Not to mention the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

How? They've quietly adapted and innovated along the way to maintain relevance. They've added meetings rooms, community rooms, galleries, seminars, reading clubs and children's story times. They added hardware, software and Wi-Fi. The unassuming masters of marketing aren't timid about thinking way outside the box—even if it means cracking open a toolbox, casting a line or taking a pulse.

Check out what's new at the library.

At the Free Library of Philadelphia, residents can now borrow blood pressure monitors and digital food scales for a three-week lending period. The items are part of the library's new Health Lending collection, which includes books on health conditions to exercise DVDs and cookbooks in various languages. The initiative also features hands-on lessons with a registered dietitian.

In a Pew Charitable Trust 2012 study, researchers discovered that a third of Philadelphia library visitors in a prior year visited specifically for health information. "We want to reach those folks where they are," said Dr. Carolyn Cannuscio, head of the Healthy Library Initiative.

At the Ann Arbor District Library, residents can check out everything from art prints and art tools to home tools, music tools and telescopes. Peruse the "Unusual Stuff to Borrow" aisle for more.

In North Haven, Conn., library goers can check out nearly 304 different kinds of cake pans. In Grand Rapids, Minn., community members can rent fishing rods and tackle. The Northern Onondoga Public Library will also lend you a robot, bike pump or kilowatt meter. Stuck at the library without an umbrella? Yep, you can borrow that too.

Libraries have even found a way to attract Millennials.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Millennials say they used a public library or bookmobile in the last 12 months. That's more than any other adult generation. Nearly half of all adults (46 percent) say they used a public library or bookmobile in the same period, a share that has remained steady since the previous studies.

Beyond the generational difference, women are more likely than men, college grads are and parents of minor children are more likely than non-parents to say they've visited a public library in the last year.

Chances are, these are the very audiences your brand is desperately seeking. Whether you're looking for market research or a marketing partner, a library may be a great place to start. For a steady diet of trends and insights, subscribe to the Brogan Weekly Recap.

Weekly Recap - November 10, 2017

Strange Mode. Some Lyft users found themselves on spooky, Stranger Things-inspired rides. Five spice girls. Six guys named Herb. KFC hints at secret recipe and rewards the Twitter user who notices. Top tier customer service. Zappos ads show just how far the brand will go for its customers.

DETAILS, Please

Lyft partnered with Netflix to bring riders into the creepy world of Stranger Things. Remember the Hawkins Power and Light billboards we told you about a couple weeks ago? That wasn't the only immersive advertising Netflix developed for Stranger Things fans.

KFC painted a portrait for the man who spotted its 11 herbs and spices stunt on Twitter. The social media publicity stunt continues. Check out how the fast-food brand uses humor to connect with customers.

Zappos turned true customer stories into charming ads. Not all ballerinas want ballet shoes. The brand reenacts the absurd lengths to which it will go to satisfy its customers.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Financial insecurity is making Millennials postpone marriage. If you wanted to marry the love of your life, how much would it cost you? Probably a lot more than you'd think. Of course, everyone's dream wedding is different...

How alcohol is influencing shoppers online and off. A third of Americans admit to having shopped while under the influence, according to the Finder.com survey. Millennials are the biggest offenders, followed by just about every other generation.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper "3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand."

SHARING is CARING

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How alcohol is influencing shoppers online and off.

How alcohol is influencing shoppers online and off.

I'm wearing a scarlet sweater today. It's the one I bought when I'd had one too many glasses of cabernet to care much about a budget. Ultimately, it was a good call—on sale, good fit, timeless. I wish I could say the same for the three pairs of jeggings and hombre sweater that I also bought when my guard was otherwise compromised.

I wasn't actually shopping when the incident occurred. In other words, I didn't tipsy shop intentionally. I was binge watching a drama when the clothing found me. True, I had flirted with the sweater once or twice before, even checked on the size and perused a couple reviews. But it hadn't made it to my cart. I'd forgotten all about it; but it didn't forget about me.

The retargeted digital unit found me at just the right time. (On an overstuffed chair, wrapped in a fleece blanket, wallet nearby, comfortably buzzed.) For months, I thought I was alone in my shame until I discovered that drunk online shopping is a thing.

A third of Americans admit to having shopped while under the influence, according to the Finder.com survey. The average spend is $206, just a little south of my spree. Millennials and Xers are the biggest offenders, 39 percent and 36 percent respectively, with Boomers representing 18 percent of sip and click shoppers.

It's a potent cocktail—with equal parts convenience and abandon. Online merchants are more than happy to oblige. Business booms Fridays after 2 a.m. at fashion commerce sites like Lyst and Racked, with sales increasing as much as 48 percent.

Brick and mortar stores want in on the action, serving alcohol in hopes of luring more customers' offline and into their shops.

Whole Foods has been pouring craft beer and wine at select stores since 2010.  "People like to get a glass of beer and make their shopping experience a little more relaxed," said Mary Ann Nisley, the store marketer of a Whole Foods in Ann Arbor when the store began serving alcohol in 2014.

Target sidled up to the bar, albeit briefly, when a Starbucks roommate at its Streeterville, Ill., location sold beer and wine as part of its short-lived “Evenings” program. The anticipation started building as soon as Target applied for a liquor license. "Target wants to make you a cocktail while you shop," reported delish.com. "A Chicago Target store could serve liquor when it opens in October," teased USA Today.

Retailers say they're not plying on alcohol to prey on consumers; that it has nothing to do with lowering inhibitions to boost sales. They're just trying to keep things interesting for consumers, and to stand out in a competitive market. "We want our customers to enjoy their shopping experience," Nisley told mlive.com.

Stay on top of the latest marketing trends. Sign up for Brogan Weekly Recap.

Weekly Recap - November 3, 2017

Women are still underrepresented in STEM careers. This powerful campaign hopes to help change that. There's a note for that. Apple stylizes the music note to represent different genres and artists. Unlocking cities. Uber says ridesharing is crucial for reaching cities' full potential. Never Stronger. Nike references Houston's devastating hurricane in World Series ad.

DETAILS, Please

This historical PSA encourages girls to defy stereotypes and pursue the sciences. Check out the stories of these female pioneers in the STEM fields. The 30-second videos were created to raise students' interest in careers in chemistry.

Apple Music builds a new visual identity around its musical note. Marketers won't want to miss this advertising eye candy. While promoting a brand redesign, the campaign pays tribute to artists like Sia, Dr. Dre and Drake.

Uber thinks inside the box. Uber uses a visual metaphor to humanize traffic problems. Cities around the world can relate to this powerful imagery.

Nike salutes the World Series champs. Houston Strong. A simple tribute for the Astros' first World Series win.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 tips teens can teach your brand about social media success. Teens are the true CEOs of social media. They decide the rules, they set the trends and they have the power to turn Average Joes into stars…

Marketing Statement - Fourth quarter 2017. Blissfully ignorant. That's one way to describe the financial state of Millennials as they head down the aisle today. Many know little or nothing about their partner's spending habits...

Healthcare Checkup - October 2017. HCIC was a definite highlight this month with the newest digital and Internet developments – see our take. Plus, lots of other happenings and trends for you from DNA kits to virtual reality marketing to the opioid addiction public health…

Before the big day, fiancées aren't talking finances. Picture this. You're standing at an alter in front of your family and friends. You're vowing to love someone in sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer...

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Marketing Statement - Fourth Quarter 2017

Blissfully ignorant. That’s one way to describe the financial state of Millennials as they head down the aisle today. Many know little or nothing about their partner’s spending habits, according to a new survey. Meanwhile half of Millennials would surrender the right to vote for student-loan forgiveness. Hello, teachable moment. App something already. (Honeydue before “I dos?”) Counsel, guide, advise. Even with all this fintech, branches still matter big time.

Before the big day, fiancées aren’t talking finances. According to an Experian survey, more than one-third of couples are in the dark on their wedding day. Thirty-six percent of them don’t know anything about their spouse’s spending habits.

Half of Millennials would sacrifice the right to vote for student-loan forgiveness. An astonishing 50 percent of Millennials with student loans are willing to give up their right to vote in the next two presidential elections to have their debt forgiven, but far fewer would give up texting.

To manage joint finances, couples consider mobile apps. Honeydue works with more than 10,000 banks across the country, so partners can import information from their checking and savings accounts. All expenses are automatically categorized, which provides an accurate snapshot of their spending.

Customer loyalty is a long, winding road. Ask a banker. Bank customers of all ages want financial tech and branches, too. This according to the ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2017 Banking Report (and the construction of new branches everywhere).

QUICK study

Gen We expects more from brands on social media. Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL. 

A clothing store with no clothes? Nordstrom Local reinvents retail. Retail is having a tough year. It’s no secret. While brick and mortar behemoths and multi-level department stores once dominated the market, there’s a new sheriff in town: online.

Skinny websites are in season.  Mobile usage trends prompted responsive design, with websites being crafted to render properly across all screen sizes. It has greatly improved the mobile user experience. Instead of requiring mobile users to scroll across inches of a site from a palm-sized screen, responsive sites scale purposefully, with tools like hamburger menus to facilitate the mobile experience. 

Why longer sales cycles make for happier consumers. Impulsive consumers report more guilt, anxiety and fear of missing out (FOMO) when making everyday decisions than those who delay gratification. And whatever immediate pleasure they may enjoy with purchase can be overshadowed by mounting debts, late bills and concerns about making it paycheck to paycheck.

8 signs your website is past its prime. In the course of a year or even months, a high performing site can be dealt brutal blows that negatively impact results. Your organization may shift focus, launch new products and services, invest in new markets. Search engines alter algorithms, revamping rules in pursuit of the ultimate results. Designers craft new designs, inspiring the next evolution of content management systems. Browsers update.

SHARPEN the saw

You can depend on social media to change. Often. What’s an industrious, but insanely taxed, marketer to do? Read our free whitepaper on the nine social media trends impacting your online performance, for starters. It’s a quick read, but it’s rich with key insights to evolve your social strategies for optimum brand engagement. Download now.

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Share the Marketing Statement. Tell two friends. And so on.

Customer loyalty is a long, winding road. Ask a banker.

Customer loyalty is a long, winding road. Ask a banker.

Bank customers of all ages want financial tech and branches, too. This according to the ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2017 Banking Report (and the construction of new branches everywhere).

To discover how customers bank today, the ForeSee followed 4,000 consumers along the journey to a new account. While most (61 percent) began the process digitally—desktop and mobile—nearly as many (58 percent) ended up in a branch. Not surprisingly, older consumers skew more brick and mortar while Millennials and Gen We tend to prefer digital experiences.

The report also indicates that Gen We bank customers are not as loyal as their elders. More than a quarter of young consumers said they would change banks if it were easier. In fact, one-fifth said they had changed banks at least once already. Other key findings:

  • Overall, 53 percent of consumers said they want more financial tech services from their primary banking institution (national bank, regional bank or credit union).
  • Younger consumers are the most interested in financial tech—76 percent of Gen We and 70 percent of Millennials. Still, nearly half of consumers want access to branch locations.
  • 21 percent of consumers feel stuck with their institution. They don’t leave because they’re entangled in e-payment relationships.
  • Just 38 percent would definitely consider their primary institution when looking for new services.

Credit unions fared better than national banks and regional banks across channels—desktop, mobile, app, contact center and chat—but by slim margins. There’s room for improvement across the consumer journey, across the industry. Begin with the end in mind.

Better customer satisfaction starts with better measurement and accountability.

Foresee includes great ideas in its report to improve the customer experience in branch, online and over the phone. Among them are metrics, champions and metrics (again). These tactics must be grounded in an overall, system-wide shared commitment to service excellence. This commitment should be apparent in the strategic and operational plans and included in employee evaluations and benefits.

When developing metrics, start big and refine as needed. Your consumer journey involves many channels, but it’s not terribly complicated. Start with the assorted touchpoints—web, mobile, app, call center, etc.—and flesh out the various ways that your consumers connect and traverse across these touchpoints. Think like your customer along the way, noting the pain points that matter most (site speed and downtime, teller lines, follow through, etc.). 

Identify champions for each primary channel, encouraging them to lean on primary and secondary research for guidance. Reaching out to vendors and peers is also helpful. For example, if an agency manages your website, ask them for suggestions to measure success. Building omnichannel excellence takes a village.

Set a benchmark and track performance regularly, sharing successes and learning from challenges. Consider incentives to motivate stellar front-line performance. An online shoe company invites shoppers to rate their experience with sales reps and rewards excellent reviews with coffee, lunch or product. What’s more, the customer gets to choose the reward. Meanwhile, the company has real-time data to act upon to ensure customer satisfaction.

Want more marketing insights about the financial services market? Subscribe to our free, quarterly Marketing Statement.

Weekly Recap - October 13, 2017

#Sponsored? The FTC wants disclosures on paid content from social media influencers. All your favorite apps are coming together. Snapchat partners with other big names to give us more location information. Now that’s customer service! Watch brand calls thousands of customers to personally apologize. Is Amazon’s ad business threatening Facebook and Google? Research from Catalyst suggests it might be.

DETAILS, Please

What marketers should know about the FTC’s crackdown on influencer-driven social media. Some influencers aren’t happy with these requirements. Check out the FTC’s recommended hashtags for paid content.

Snapchat Context Cards will bring a lot more information to snaps. Swipe up for more. The social media giant teamed up with other big brands, including TripAdvisor, Lyft and OpenTable, to bring about this new feature.

This brand is calling 17,819 customers to personally apologize. It may be a publicity stunt, but it’s still good customer service. Here’s why Filippo Loreti is calling so many of its customers.

63 percent of Amazon advertisers plan to increase spending over the next year. Amazon’s shopper data could be too good to pass up. More brands are planning to up their Amazon advertising budgets than their Google and Facebook advertising budgets.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials. VR is popping up across markets from healthcare to travel. Now it’s creeping into nightlife as clubs and bars attempt to attract a waning Millennial market.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

SHARING is CARING

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Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials.

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials.

Virtual reality (VR) is popping up across markets from healthcare to travel. Now it’s creeping into nightlife as clubs and bars attempt to attract a waning Millennial market.

The VR tactics are varied, from VR gaming in a bar setting to part of the drinking experience itself. The MGM Grand offers an immersive VR gaming course at its Level Up bar. Powered by Zero Latency, up to eight players are transported simultaneously to an immersive universe at an epic scale where “exciting, social adventures await.” Players compete and fight the undead and killer robots over topsy turvey pathways.

Bacardi and Virgin Atlantic collaborated to create an “Immersive Digital 360 Drinks Experience” at Virgin Clubhouses. Users are invited to visit premier bars around the world while waiting for a flight.  Imagine ordering a fennel cocktail at La Guardia, putting on a pair of VR goggles and watching a mixologist at the Walker Inn in Los Angeles mix it up. By the time your two-minute VR experience concludes, your trendy drink is waiting for you IRL.

Brooklyn is also on top of the trend with a VR arcade, appropriately named VRBAR. This venue seems to focus more on the number of different gaming journeys one can take and less on the drinking aspect. VRBAR offers over 15 different experiences, from painting a masterpiece to climbing Mount Everest.

Brogan & Partners recently produced a VR spot for our client, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning targeted at the nightlife inclined. The short film encourages people to “Do a 360” before heading out, using designated drivers, rideshares and other safe options to drink responsibly.

The interactive video can be found at www.michigan.gov/360.

“The Office of Highway Safety Planning works hard to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to communicating about how we can reduce drunk driving by encouraging people, especially young adults, to make a plan to get home safely,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “By asking people to ‘Do a 360’ we hope to bring a unique perspective to the issue of drunk driving and encourage people to make the right decision by finding a safe ride home.”

VR is an experience. It can help take your brand story or campaign to a new level, adding emotional depth and increased consumer motivation. It has tremendous possibility across many markets. Where will it take your brand?

Weekly Recap - October 6, 2017

Instagram for the win, again. Here’s why your brand should be using the app. Giant balloon dogs and more. Snapchat continues to ramp up its AR efforts. Avoid a 25 minute advertisement. Brands navigate producing podcasts without overdoing the self-promotion. Marketing to Millennials? It’s no secret that Millennials love Facebook and Netflix, but some other names on this list may surprise you.

DETAILS, Please

80 percent of Instagram users voluntarily connect with a brand on the platform. Instagram wants to bring users closer to the things that matter to them. Check out how the social media giant has redefined what brands’ relationships with consumers look like.

Snapchat and artist Jeff Koons create augmented reality lenses. Building on the success of the app’s dancing hot dog, Snapchat wants to inspire young people everywhere to create with their cameras. Warner Bros. and Bud Light are the first brands to join the fun.

Blue Apron launches its own podcast. While building a lifestyle brand, Blue Apron sees the podcast as a way to deepen its relationship with customers. Microsoft, eBay and Tinder have already created their own content in this arena.

Top 10 Millennial brands of 2017. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Millennials want convenience and value from brands. Check out which brands are delivering just that.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Gen We expects more from brands on social media. Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

SHARING is CARING

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Gen We expects more from brands on social media.

Like older cohorts Gen We is active on social media, but they have higher expectations for brands in the digital space.

Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL.  

Brands that miss this important new social reality risk becoming obsolete. Smart brands respect the social code and open up better ways to connect with Gen We, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

So, what makes Gen We consumers so different than Millennials when it comes to social media?

Well, Millennial teens grew up with Myspace and Facebook, with 55 percent adopting social media in 2007 (Pew, 2007). They shared personal stats and details, poked, and followed friends via news feed. They used bumper stickers and liked for hours. The focus was show and tell.

Meanwhile, Gen We teens had Facebook AND Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter, too—unique channels to share activities, thoughts, emotions and aspirations. They weren’t limited by a single reaction. To add color and depth to their content, they used video, memes, filters and tags. When they share, they’re starting a conversation and expect feedback, a dialog.

Per CEB Iconoculture, if the Millennial teen online presence was a profile—a static, one-to-many style of self-presentation—then Gen We teens’ online presence is a persona—a dynamic self-presentation emerging from the combination of the one-to-many (proactive) posts they create and their reactive posts (the likes, comments and reactions) they share in response to their friends’ posts.

It’s a popular forum for the cohort, much more so than Millennial teens. In 2015, Pew estimated 76 percent of Gen We teens were using social media and more than 70 percent cross platforms.

Prepare your social media for Gen We.

In order to connect to Gen We via social media, brands should continue posting quality proactive posts, but add reactive posts to the mix. Follow your followers, reacting to relevant posts on their pages and participate in real conversations.

Facebook facilitates this kind of communication by posting “likes” and comments that friends make on other pages. In doing so, Facebook elevates the users’ comments and provokes reaction and continued conversation. Instagram now uses an algorithm similar to Facebook’s. In order to determine which posts might be the most relevant to users, reactive posts are used to boost the audience for a given proactive post.

Taco Bell’s burrito hostage situation on Instagram playfully demanded “likes” to keep a popular burrito on the menu, eliciting many reactive posts. In keeping with proper etiquette, Taco Bell promptly responded to consumers’ cries of delight and distress alike.

Want more on Gen We? Here are 5 things you need to know.

Weekly Recap - September 29, 2017

Ecobranding is the new black. Slight alterations to traditional logos can have HUGE ecological and economic impacts. 140 characters not enough for you? You can now double your tweet lengths in most languages. Watch the disruptors. Tiffany & Co. reveals what it learned from newcomers in the market. Mindset matters. When shoppable ads meet active consumers, purchases happen.

DETAILS, Please

One designer’s plan to make brand logos more eco-friendly. Ecobranding could be the future. Check out how one creative director cut ink use to make logos more environmentally and economically friendly.

Twitter finally tests a 280 characters limit. In a world where attention spans are decreasing, will longer tweets be beneficial or irrelevant for marketers? Twitter promises to keep us all posted about how users react to the doubled limit.

What Tiffany & Co. learned about mobile from watching its competitors. Scared to diminish its own merchandise, Tiffany was once reluctant to use a mobile platform. Now, the VP of marketing shares how mobile helps the brand connect with young shoppers.

Shoppable media is transforming how consumers find and buy products. Serve your ads at the right time. Consumers in the “active” stage are three times more likely to complete a purchase after seeing a shoppable ad.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

A clothing store with no clothes? Nordstrom Local reinvents retail. Retail is having a tough year. It’s no secret. While brick and mortar behemoths and multi-level department stores once dominated the market, there’s a new sheriff in town: online.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture. Volunteerism is good for the workplace. It can boost morale, atmosphere and brand perception. It can make Millennial employees more proud, loyal and satisfied, and attract Gen Y talent.

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.
Spot the Brogan & Partners team member among the volunteers at this year’s Muir Valley Trial Days in Kentucky.

My job recently took me to Slade, Kentucky, home of Muir Valley—a nonprofit nature preserve in the Red River Gorge.

The Valley is a rock climber’s paradise, featuring 360 acres and seven miles of Corbin Sandstone cliffs with traditional and sport climbs that run 20- to over 200-feet-tall. Climbers trek here from all over the U.S. to discover more than 400 routes amid classic crags like Bruise Brothers, Midnight Surf and Land Before Time.

Here it’s not just the destination. The journey is equally spectacular, lined with oak, hickory, sugar maple and hemlock trees. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and bigleaf magnolias stretch and hover thick across the valley floor. Trails twist and climb, presenting waterfalls, caves and mountain streams.

This is a marketer’s dream. The creative brief would practically write itself. The Brogan Team would have a field day promoting this place.

But I didn’t go to Muir Valley to pitch business. There would be no campaign. Brogan sent me here simply to do good.

Like many progressive companies, Brogan & Partners encourages employees to contribute back to the community. We’re paid for a volunteer day annually and rewarded for sharing our time and talents to serve on nonprofit boards and committees. The agency partners with several nonprofits throughout the year, providing significant pro bono work and raising money for organizations like Game on Cancer.

Why doing good leads to great.

My volunteer day brought me to Muir Valley because it’s given my family so much. It’s where my son, Nick, travels with his rock climbing team in the summer. It’s where my daughter, Sofia, reads in peace and finds inspiration for short stories. It’s where we road trip on long weekends, catching up on the six-hour trip along I-75 and winding down in the hills of Kentucky.

At the very least, we owed Muir Valley a day’s work.

We joined 100 other outdoor enthusiasts to groom trails, build benches and bridges, paint outhouses and secure routes and belay areas. We met lots of new people. People just like us who had come to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge from far flung places like Brooklyn, N.Y. and Muncie, Indiana. And people who call the Valley home and volunteer regularly to ensure its integrity for generations.

We worked alongside Mike, a volunteer search and rescue team member at Muir Valley and longtime climber. Under his supervision, we pick axed, shoveled, dug and scraped post holes for new benches in the training area.

This was unfamiliar work for my family. We hiked to the job site with tools and relay teamed the building materials to the site. We learned how to use a green bar to break up a rock bed and how to secure a post by compacting soil, layer by layer, with a sledge hammer. We learned how to be flexible when nature proved otherwise.

It was hard work. By the end of the day we were exhausted and achy. But we felt amazing.

Volunteering is good business.

Volunteerism is good for the workplace, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey. It can boost morale, atmosphere and brand perception. It can make Millennial employees more proud, loyal and satisfied, and attract Gen Y talent. Survey results found that nearly two-thirds of Gen Y employees surveyed prefer companies that let them volunteer their skills.

These benefits span all generational cohorts, per the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) research. According to CTI data, older generations feel it is important to give back to their community or wider world through their workplace. This is true for 91 percent of Gen X women and 76 percent of Gen X men, and 90 percent of female and 79 percent of male Baby Boomers.

At Brogan, volunteerism contributes directly to our agency mission: creating an inspiring workplace and culture. I may have built benches in Kentucky but I came back to Brogan with so much more. Mission accomplished.

Want to learn more about what makes Brogan & Partners unique? Learn more.

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  • Brogan & Partners has worked on a wide variety of health issues for us over the years. They have not only consistently provided innovative ideas and award winning campaigns, but they continue to help us work towards our overall goal of improving the health of Michigan residents.  Their creativity, expertise, and enthusiasm makes them an invaluable partner in our... More

  • Hiring Brogan & Partners to help Michigan Women’s Foundation create the brand and messaging around the campaign to raise millions of dollars to solve the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit was a slam dunk!  With a well-deserved reputation for getting to the heart of complex and highly-charged issues with clear, action-driven communications, the Brogan team... More

  • A well-oiled machine operates at full performance, fluid and unyielding. At Frankenmuth Insurance we have often referred to Brogan & Partners as a well-oiled machine. Our experience with Brogan has been very strong and successful from the start. We view our partners at Brogan as an extension of our own staff. They are readily available to us at any time and deliver... More

  • When launching a startup, resources are very constrained and a startup has to pick its partners very carefully and with deliberation. There were many services that we have had to forego in the early stages of our company, Memloom. One crucial need, however, was identifying and aligning with a strong marketing partner who could help us with our brand, positioning and... More

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  • From the very first meeting we had with Brogan & Partners, it was clear that they had done their research on PREZIO Health, our competitors and the industry.  It has been  a very positive experience working with the Brogan & Partners team to re-design all of our service and product sheets as well as the total re-design of our website.  Their creativity is top-... More

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