Brett* and I have been concepting on how to revolutionize the blogging world. We considered concepting blog topics back and forth via the Comment section of an unpopulated blog. It turned out to be a bit unwieldy and a bit hacky. Then we had our “duh” moment. It’s not the revolution, but it is a tiny uprising.

Lunchtime at R+M is a communal event, not a mass exodus. It’s part of our brand culture – we’re a family. We break bread together pretty much every day and top it off with a few rousing games of UNO®**. We always say, “We should record this; this is pretty good stuff.” So Brett and I did, unbeknownst to the others.

Brett's Gotta Pretty Good Hand

On this particular day (June 21, 2011) the topics flowed in this order:

  • Brett joked about my red gingham shirt (He asked Greg if he brought in pie, because we’re having a picnic on Lien’s shirt. “Picnic” is my new nickname.)
  • Shawn started talking about thunderstorms, knocked on fake wood, forgot what he was talking about, then remembered he was talking about how during thunderstorms limbs from his oak tree fall in his yard, but never on his cars. He knocked on real wood.
  • Wheat pasta. Bev tried it, but hated it. Seems Greg is the only one who likes it, although a couple people here pretend to like it.
  • Is white wheat really wheat?
  • Brett encouraged Greg to grow out his “horseshoe” mustache.
  • Chris announced Final Cut Pro X was just released for only $300.
  • Megan Fox was fired from “Transformers 3.” Susan asked why nobody gets upset over comments about Napoleon.
  • Brett throws out another “Picnic” zinger and Deb mentioned how smart he’s gotten since he lost the “junior” from his title.
  • (Greg got a phone call and left the lunch table.)
  • Rhyming taglines – Poison the Bait, Get a Court Date; Click It Or Ticket; etc.
  • New graphic images on cigarette packs.
  • (Greg comes back.) His lab puppy, Riley, ate another dog bed, some dry wall and a couple rubber doorstops. We all made suggestions. He said a few cuss words.
  • The first UNO game is dealt. We ended up playing six games in about 20 minutes. Some highlights:
  • The taste difference between Mountain Dew and Food Lion’s Mountain Lion.
  • Greg asked if he had two blue 7’s could he win. We’re befuddled. Of course you can’t.
  • Bev shared her mother’s coconut pie (delish).
  • Chris won with a “Rainy Day” – a Draw 4 Wild.
  • Greg talked about the awesomeness of Burke Brothers Hardware’s customer service.
  • Brett switched hands with me. I gave him two 0’s and a 7 (karma for all of his “Picnic” comments).
  • Shawn played a red 3 and Susan jumped in for the last win of the day.
  • The final tally: Lien 3, Chris 2, Susan 1, Greg 0, Brett 0.

We’re a close group that eats together, discusses anything, debates openly and laughs often. It’s our culture, we’re true to it and we live it every single day whether at lunch or at client meetings. It gives a realness to our brand.

Have you considered your culture and if it jives with your brand. You need to. If your culture doesn’t support it, your foundation is weak and you know what happens with a weak foundation. (BTW, we’d love to have you over for some games of UNO. You’re welcome to join us anytime.)

*This blog would not be possible without the unwavering support of Brett Hartsfield. I am indebted to him for all of his great ideas.

**When it comes to R+M UNO, we have our own “house rules,” which make the games move quickly. Some of our house rules include: if you have the matching card that was just played you can jump in even if it’s not your turn; if you play a 1, you give another card to someone else; play a 2, you put another card on top of the deck; 7’s let you switch hands with another player; 0’s force everyone to rotate hands in the direction of play. There are others, but those are the basics. It’s a riot and the quips are in abundance.