Do you love that company?

IKEA gift card

“Love covers a multitude of sins…”*

When you love a company, you’ll forgive their little mistakes.

I love IKEA:

  • I love their relatively inexpensive stuff.
  • I love how they suggest doing more things with less space.
  • I love the photo of the old Fiat 500 with a living room being transported on its roof.
  • I love the fresh, healthy and sometimes tasty food options in their cafeterias.
  • I love the style of much of what they sell.
  • I love the exotic-ness of the weird Swedish names for their stuff.

Because of my love for IKEA, I’m willing to put up with the things I don’t like:

  • I hate how they spell their name in all caps.
  • Some of their stuff is poor quality.
  • Since their goods are so inexpensive, workers in other parts of the world are not making enough in their factories.
  • The maze can be annoying, even though I know the shortcuts.

A very illusive goal for any company is to make it onto someone’s loved companies list. And it’s easy to get off that list. (Hello Chipotle and VW.)

Homework for my marketing friends out there: brainstorm with your team ways your company can get on your customers’ loved companies list.

* 1 Peter 4:8b.



I love dreams. I rarely remember them, but when I do, and when they’re interesting, I enjoy telling Heather about them. If I have time, I like to write them down.

Saturday morning very early, I had this dream…

the band Quasi

I was supposed to play drums for my favorite band, Quasi. We were to perform at a small outdoor festival, kind of like on a gazebo in front of a medium-sized picnic. I was panicking, since I don’t play the drums. But in my dream, I could play them at least a little.

I asked Sam Coomes if my son could play instead of me. (And Jay can play the drums.) We were in the middle of negotiations when the dream faded. So I’ll never find out if Jay played drums for Quasi.

The irony of the dream is that Quasi has an amazing drummer. (Janet Weiss is my favorite drummer.) So why would Sam be asking me – or Jay – to play the drums?


Variety and uniformity

a collection of vinyl records at a thrift shop - copyright 2016 by paul merrill

We love variety. We love uniformity. This contrast in our wants and needs is intriguing.

The familiar can be comforting – knowing that something will always be there. And yet, we love change. Few people would choose to have the same meal three times a day. We love listening to different tunes. A change in seasons is often welcome.

And yet everyone has different needs for variety and uniformity. Some people are content with no change, ever. On the other side, our ADD culture pushes us toward constant stimulation, which requires never-ending change. I’m probably closer to the wanting-variety end of that spectrum.

My need for constancy is reflected by the fact that I’ve been married 26 years. Yet there is endless variety in my wife. (Women are so different than men that I will never figure her out!)

Finally, variety is a luxury. In America today, we have far greater choice than kings and queens did 400 years ago. We can get fresh fruit 365 days a year. When I lived in Africa, my friends in rural areas did not have that luxury. If mangoes weren’t ready to pick, you didn’t eat mangoes. If they were ripe, you ate a lot, for several weeks straight.


Let’s go outside

During my frustration with this political season, it’s nice to go outside and take a few deep breaths. (There’s something bigger than politics.)

I took that photo with my phone a few weeks ago.