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Got a Big Heart and Want a Great Deal? Check out DealGooder

DealGooderIf Groupon got together with TOMS Shoes their love child would be DealGooder.

She would be a precocious little thing, genetically engineered to create incredible group discounts and do good deeds every day.

Fortunately for us, you can meet her, them actually, right here in Orange County, as the Newport Beach venture officially launched this week.

Their site, boasting a yummy design with cute characters, is currently offering a $140 value for $35.  It’s two private pilates sessions at Escape Pilates.

Check it out here.

This is a startup that is literally fighting the good fight, donating 50% of their revenue to a good cause.

50%?!?

Yes.

50%.

They’re clever to combine two proven concepts into one.

Their brand message is strong.

Promoting philanthropy as a value to attract customers who share that value is what rocketed TOMS Shoes into the startup stratosphere.

But they don’t take themselves too seriously.

They got some poor guy (is it co-founder Todd Meyer?) running around in a dog costume.

And whoever is doing their tweeting is fun, sassy and smart.

I like these guys.

I think co-founders Erica Austin, Cara Mungo and Todd Meyer can pull this off.

That’s why you’ll see their cute little logo on the right hand side.

Check Out ProductCamp SoCal This Saturday

ProductCamp SoCal

ProductCamp SoCal will bring together over 250 product managers, marketing professionals, and innovators from a broad range of Southern California companies and industries, as well as a few nationally-known experts, to discuss emerging issues & trends and improve how they conceive, develop, and market products,” said Greg White, Founder of Orange County Product Managers.

“Unlike a traditional conference, ProductCamp is 100% participant-driven. Everyone volunteers in some way: presenting a topic, leading a roundtable, sharing their experiences, or staffing the event. ProductCamps have been held, to enthusiastic reviews, in places like Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Austin, Toronto and Amsterdam, among many others.”

ProductCamp SoCal highlights include:

• Participant-led panels and breakout sessions,
• Workshops on topics like connecting with customers, social media’s impact on marketing & development, working
with outsourced functions, and the managing your career like a product,
• A focus on understanding customers and markets rather than on technology and “nice-to-have” features.

“This will be the second ProductCamp SoCal. If the first one was any indicator, it will be a great forum for practical solutions to many of the brand, product development, product management and marketing issues that need to be addressed,” said Jeof Bean, Principal, Del Mar Research & Consulting.

Interested product professionals can go to ProductCampSoCal to register, suggest a topic, and volunteer. The latest news & updates may be found on the website or by joining the conversation on Twitter by following @prodcampsocal.

Goodwill Halloween


I like Goodwill. Our family gives more to them than any other charity. They seem straightforward and honest. They have a clear mission based on the “teach a man to fish” principle. They also make fun Halloween ads.

Causing a Traffic Jam Doesn’t Make Your Music Suck Less

imperial starsWant to know how NOT to market yourself?

Meet Orange County-based Imperial Stars, who by all indications are neither imperial nor stars.

If they were, then they would not have had to block traffic on the southbound 101 yesterday to promote their song Traffic Jam 101.

Did I really just write that?

One punishment that has been suggested is to throw them in an Orange County jail for a year and force them to listen to their own music.

As you will see below, that might be considered cruel and unusual…

How Dianne Whitmire Became the Prius Queen of Southern California

You don’t get to be the King or Queen of anything without having a few loyal subjects.

And that’s exactly what you’ll find when it comes to Carson Toyota‘s Dianne Whitmire if you visit the PriusChat forums for folks in the market for a hybrid car.

That’s how I found her.

I had visited a few dealerships and gotten the classic runaround and decided to do a little more intensive research when I found all these people on PriusChat gushing over Dianne.

The Laguna Niguel resident is the perfect Prius salesperson for 5 main reasons.

1.  She’s a bit of a tech geek, having built websites for dealerships in the early days when everyone was coming online.

2.  She’s passionate about the Prius and really knows her stuff when it comes to all the details of the car.

3.  She goes the extra mile for the customer.

4.  She’s as honest as the day is long.

5.  She follows through.

I think of Seth Godin and his mantra to be remarkable or become a linchpin for your company and it immediately conjures an image of Dianne.

She is special when it comes to doing what she says she will do.  She stays in touch no matter what time of the day or night and promptly returning a text, call or email.

I wanted to surprise my wife with the car that day so what does she do?  Offers to drive my car TO MY HOUSE that night so I could enjoy a little fun with my family.

Prius

So how did Dianne become the Prius Queen?

Well she does all the stuff I just mentioned and more but what really happened was the merging of a personality with a trend.

As the Prius became more popular and more people were going online to shop for their cars, Dianne made herself into an expert on the Prius and online buyers.  She carved that niche for herself.

She sold other models too, but really focused on that one car.  She sold to buyers coming in off the street as well, but honed in on forging relationships with the online crowd.

She worked her tail off too.

To the point where she basically burned herself out, decided to leave the industry and semi-retire to her second home in the beautiful backcountry of Oregon.

She was hanging out there when she got a phone call asking if she would consider getting back in the game.

What was meant to be an hour long meeting at John Wayne Airport turned into six and two kindred car veterans realized they were a match made in heaven.

Today Dianne loves working at Carson Toyota where she began her career.

It’s good to be the Queen.

Interested in a Prius?   You can email Dianne directly at dianne@carsontoyota.com

Sushi Imari is the Best in Orange County

Sushi Imari You just can’t find better sushi in Orange County than Sushi Imari. It’s a hole in the wall location that will blow you away with product and service. Their Yelp reviews are ridiculously good and their marketing is almost all word-of-mouth.

When you read what reviewers say on Yelp about the place and then watch it actually happen, it says something about the owners.

They walk their talk.

We ate there with friends a couple of weeks back and it was one of the most relaxing, fun delectable night of dining we’ve had in Orange County.

You can get all fancy schmancy and spend a lot more money, but if you want an affordable awesome sushi experience you can’t beat these guys.

Thanks to Thank God It’s Food for the photo.