Crafting Promotions With A Clear Purpose
David Hawes, MAS+, shares a day in his life as a brand architect for Geiger.
David Hawes may work from his home office in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, but the longtime Geiger employee maintains thriving relationships with colleagues and clients throughout the country. “I average six to eight business-related trips per year, and I try to devote eight hours of my week to volunteer work, for our industry and for the MS Society,” says Hawes.
When he isn’t providing excellent service on behalf of the Lewiston, Maine, distributor, Hawes and his wife spend time with their three children and six grandchildren, and enjoy walking, traveling and watching classic movies. Hawes also writes and sends a daily column, “Mind Matters,” to a select audience. Read on to learn more about Hawes and his work with Geiger.
What was your first job in the industry, and where?
My first industry experience was with a distributor in Chicago, Illinois. I was working as a corporate consultant for NordicTrack, and we collaborated on a financial fitness program for United Airlines.
How long have you been with Geiger, and what are your primary duties as a brand architect?
I started with Geiger in 2008. As a brand architect I focus on helping my clients recruit and retain their customers and employees. We try to start every promotion by asking, “How will this help expand the demand for our client’s brand?” Without a clear purpose, we can’t select the most effective promotional products.
What do you love about your company?
What I love about Geiger is that they are a company that cares. Three years ago our daughter was diagnosed with colon cancer. The outpouring of support from my colleagues at Geiger was overwhelming. I am very grateful to be with Geiger.
Describe your typical day.
I work primarily in my home office in Minneapolis. By far, my two most valuable habits are to start early, and take brisk walks to recharge my body and mind. While no two days are identical, I have found that this schedule works:
5:30-7:30: I do everything that is important enough to be completed before normal business hours. It's a prime time for calling decision makers.
7:30-8: A brisk walk clears my mind and energizes me.
8:30-11: I follow up with clients, and attend meetings and presentations.
11:30-1: I have lunch, typically with a client, prospect or a colleague.
1:00-1:30: I take another brisk walk, which makes dessert guilt-free!
1:30-3:30: I conduct more follow-up with clients, or attend meetings and presentations.
What kinds of projects or tasks might you tackle on a given day?
I am currently focusing on a project for auto dealers to reduce distracted driving. I’m also developing WalkStars, a health and wellness program for companies and associations.
How do you collaborate with co-workers?
Collaboration by phone and online is always available to me with our technology support team, marketing department, and Laura Holt, MAS, Geiger’s regional vice president. We also meet during regional shows, Geiger Galleria and The PPAI Expo.
How does this job challenge you?
My colleagues raise the bar pretty high, and I don’t want to disappoint them. Whether it’s helping a client grow their business or serving as a volunteer on PPAI’s Government Relations Advisory Council or their Public Relations Advisory Group, there’s always room for improvement.
What changes or improvements have you recently implemented, or are you planning to make in the future?
I will start to use Geiger’s new time-saving order entry system. I’m also looking forward to implementing WalkStars—the concept for it was actually inspired by a Geiger promotion that won a PPAI Pyramid Award.
What makes Geiger a valuable member of the promotional products community?
As the pacesetter in professional development, product responsibility, creative achievement awards and innovative technology, Geiger has elevated the level of professionalism and performance for the promotional products industry. Since 1878, they have been creating a culture of giving back that is truly remarkable.