Watch it Tonight Tuesday September 13th at 10 PM ET/PT
Tune in to CNBC’s business reality TV show “The Profit” tonight to check out some point of purchase displays that RICH LTD. designed and manufactured for Flex Watches. Tonight’s episode, which airs at 10 PM ET/PT, is about a charity-centric watch company called Flex Watches. Now in its 4th season, the show features Camping World CEO and serial entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis who helps turn around struggling small businesses by providing his business expertise and investment capital in exchange for equity. We don’t want to spoil it for you so we won’t say too much about what you will see tonight, but what we can tell you is that POP displays and merchandising are a key focus of the episode and one of the more challenging aspects of Flex Watches’ business.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch “The Profit,” you should. Not only is 42-year-old, Lebanese-born Marcus Lemonis Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, but he is a serial entrepreneur and turnaround artist who has turned around more than 100 businesses over the past 10 years. In the first 3 seasons of “The Profit” he invested more than $35M of his own money in a wide range of businesses. Marcus’ formula is to focus on 3 keys: people, process, and product. He comes across a bit arrogant, but his track record speaks for itself. “When I have skin in the game, my way is the only way your business will survive,” he says. Business reality TV shows like “The Profit”, “Shark Tank”, and “The Apprentice,” have helped to fuel an entrepreneurial spirit throughout the world. They offer some great free advice for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Flex Watches is a great example of a company built around a social entrepreneurship model. The company’s marketing messages include phrases like “10 Colors. 10 Charities. 10 Percent,”“It’s About Making Change,” and “It’s time to Make a Difference.” If you ask us, that’s a lot of messages for consumers to keep track of, but we’ll have to watch tonight to see what Marcus has to say. The idea is that when you buy a Flex Watch, the company will donate 10% of the purchase to a charity that’s “worth fighting for.” They offer a choice of 10 charities from which you can pick. The 10 charities are represented by 10 colors. Wow that’s a lot of colors- more colors than the rainbow. It will be interesting to see if Marcus addresses a focus issue on the episode. In designing the POP displays, we were asked to try to incorporate the company’s existing messaging into the POP designs, which as you might imagine was challenging. They didn’t ask us our opinion on the messaging since that’s part of what the show is about.
One of the inspiring aspects of Flex Watches’ story is the company’s desire to use the business to make a difference. These types of mission-driven, for-profit social enterprises have become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s a great way to earn a profit while also making a difference in the world. Cause marketing is a critical ingredient of the success of these types of businesses. One of the most successful of this brand of companies is TOMS, which was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006 after a trip to Argentina where he witnessed first-hand the hardships of children who were living their lives with no shoes. He developed a very focused, simple buying proposition: Buy a pair of shoes and we’ll give a pair away to a child in need. TOMS has given away more than 60 million shoes to date. The company has been so successful that it has broadened its worldwide impact by offering eyewear which has helped to restore sight to over 400,000 people, as well as providing over 335,000 weeks of safe water and safe births for over 25,000 mothers. But, it all started with a very simple and focused customer proposition.
Hmm, wonder what Marcus will say to the team at Flex Watches? Tune in tonight to find out and don’t forget to look for our displays.