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June 10, 2011

The Social Media (and other good things) Blog -

It is almost (June 8th, 2008) 3 years since my first blog and my 24th overall!  In that time the blogging themes have repeated - who wears hats and why don’t more men, China, travel, industry news, company news, and some fun photos of my journeys.  My first blog talked about me entering cyberspace and later I wrote about us getting into this whole “social media” thing.

Well, here we are 3 years later, and this whole “social media” thing has exploded.  (Funny, I think it even won an Academy Award or two.)  And we have tried to stay current.  Only, we haven’t.  I didn’t know how much behind the explosion we were until we hired our newest employee; Sara.  Sara is in charge of our social media.  And now I have new issues.  I have LinkedIn issues, Twitter issues, and Facebook issues.  I even have “Bob’s Blog” issues.  But it is all good!

A new way to communicate -  

So now I’m “Tweeting”, and we’re looking for “Fans”.  Plus I’m now reaching people through my LinkedIn “Connections”.  And I’m just beginning…

We have so much good stuff to tell about our brand building journey.  Since we don’t sell our hats direct to consumers, only retailers; we have a big story to tell.  It is about hooking up those who like to wear Broner Hats with those who like to sell Broner Hats.  And we are making progress.  So, if you want to learn more about who wears Broner and who sells Broner; “Like” us on Facebook or “Follow” us on Twitter.  You’ll be sure to learn something.

What I’ve been Tweeting about - 

JVS Strictly Business Luncheon:
Last Tuesday the Industrial Division (Broner Glove and Safety) of our company received the Business Leadership award from JVS Detroit.  It is an award that recognizes companies for the way they treat their employees.  And we were proud to receive the award in front of almost 800 people at the JVS Strictly Business luncheon in Dearborn Michigan last Tuesday.  Bill Ford Jr. was the keynote speaker, and I also got a chance to address the crowd.  My father was in the audience and I was able to give him his due recognition as this was in many ways his award.  The whole award process had me thinking about my Grandfather and the values he passed on to our family.  Locally, the award received a lot of attention and it was great press for our company and family.

Hat Day In The Sun:
Every year we participate in The Headwear Associations’ campaign called Hat Day In The Sun.  The event is about educating people that hats are a great way to protect you from the dangers of the sun’s harmful rays.  Hat companies around the country give away wide brim hats and literature about how hats provide protection.  This year we decided to join up with The Derrick Williams and Charlie Villanueva Charity Softball Game.  The game features NFL players versus NBA players and also includes a lot of Detroit media celebrities.  Tickets and proceed go towards the players Foundations helping those in the City of Detroit.  We were on site before the game and we gave away almost 500 hats for men, women, and children.  It was appreciated by all and I think we made a case for hat wearing.  It was neat to see, (almost a throwback to a past era) most of the crowd watching the softball game in the bleachers wearing hats - and better yet, wearing Broner Hats!

VIP Pre-Party:
In appreciation of our support for the Charity Softball Game, I was invited to the VIP black tie pre-party Friday night at the MGM Grand Detroit casino.  There I was (with Sara) hanging out with athletes, television personalities, and a bunch of other well dressed folks.  Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a bunch of local celebrities is my kind party.  And we gave out Broner Hats to all the celebrity athletes.  It was a fun night and it was a good thing I told my wife where I was going.  It turns out there was a film crew on hand and I wound up on the 11:00 news - cocktail in hand, cocktail dress by my side.  Like I said - my kind of party!

Coming attractions: New Computer System and a New Web Site –
Last year we purchased a new software computer system and with it comes a new web site.  I’ve blogged about this in the past and now here it is.  This weekend is the dreaded “Go Live Weekend”.  Which means say good bye to your family for a few days as we convert all our data to the new system.  Every open sales order needs to be re-entered.  Every open purchase order needs to be re-entered.  And we need to get it all done between Thursday night when we close the old system and Monday morning when we open the new one.  I’ve heard war stories from companies doing what we are going to do.  But it is all in the name of progress.

It’s all good –
So, there is a log of good going on here.  Business is ok.  There is still not a lot of confidence in the economy but hats seem to be selling.  It is hard to believe that we are 6 months into 2011.  Our 6 month report card will have us slightly ahead of last years pace with good bookings going forward.  The second half of the year should be better yet.  I leave for China in about 7 weeks for the fall 2012 buying trip.  We start selling the spring 2012 line in about a month.  As long as we survive this weekend you won’t hear any complaints from me.  But either way, you can “like” us or “follow us” and you will hear about it.

That’s it for now.  Cheers –

JVS Award

Broner receiving the Business Leadership Award at the JVS Strictly Business Luncheon

Hat Day in the Sun 2011

Broner Team setting up with 500 hats at Hat Day in the Sun


Derrick Williams, Charlie V, and Bob at the VIP Event for the celebrity softball game

Channel 7

Broner Hats were featured on Channel 7 and Fox 2 in Detroit



Stars in Hats



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