IABC Houston October Luncheon: Brand Building with Michael Holthouse

October 23, 2014 hosted a Brennan’s of Houston

The past two years I’ve have participated in Lemonade day  . . .It really is lot of fun and very fulfilling to see the difference it can make in young people. I’ve seen the marketing materials used etc.  World-class stuff.  I’ve heard his story before, but I wanted to get the latest version specifically as it applies to Branding.     The cuisine at Brenan’s is always good draw for me. So that cinched the deal.

After a brief introductory video. Michael Holthouse made a grand entrance as he sauntered into the room, wearing his lemonade hat, as he calls it.     He was in his element enjoying the moment. . and putting everyone at ease and in a lighthearted mood at the same time.

Michael is best known in the business world as founder and President of Paranet, Inc., a computer network services company. As an INC. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year and a two-time “Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company” winner, Michael grew Paranet in 6 years to 27 offices, 1600 employees and revenues in excess of $100 million and ultimately sold the company to Sprint in 1997.

Michael is almost evangelistic in his passion for entrepreneurship and using the vehicle of Lemonade Day, provides the formula, tools and action steps for all young people to learn the basics of life . . . By selling lemonade.  He  seems  happy if all the Lemonade day partners believe they are founders too. Michael runs lemonade day implementing this  quote – It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Harry S Truman

Part of Michael’s dilemma, about eight years ago, at the beginning  was… the message and branding  and to which target audience?  There were numerous organizations from faith based to community based to government to anyone interested in the future of our children.He’s still looking for the perfect slogan, but in the interim he has created some very impressive results. This year, Lemonade Day  is approaching the  one million-kid mark  and is in 100 cities.    This has been achieved by associating with partners from the global information technology  giant Google on down to local and regional school systems, clubs, churches and government agencies.

Michael shared all of his strategies and also admitted that his presentation to the Houston IABC chapter,  was challenging for him,  as he knew he was presenting to professional communicators.   He confidently and unabashedly  asked for positive or negative feedback from the room regarding his talk.   All the feedback was positive and most of the room stayed after the 1Pm cutoff time to ask questions and shake Michaels’s hand.

So . . .in closing . . . thank you Michael Holthouse for   a very nice engaging, informative talk on branding and for sharing some of your positive enthusiastic energy with us.   Thank you IABC Houston for providing excellent professional development, informative speakers, good fellowship &  great food at the fabulous Brennan’s of Houston.