"Sesame Street" began Nov. 10, 1969. Although I was only 2½ years old, I know my parents sat me in front of the television to watch as soon as they knew it existed. I am a child of Saturday morning cartoons, and my viewing was definitely intertwined with weekly afternoon cartoons, shows and children’s programming on public television.
For as long as I can remember, "Sesame Street" has been part of my life. It is only fitting that to celebrate the milestone, Business Currents looks back and creates some updated Sesame Street musically inspired business tips for this week’s column. Here are a 1,2,3,4,5 … 6 (thank you Count von Count) tunes that filled my view and mind as well as motivated this list of “Seven 'Sesame Street' Business Success Songs.”
"Rubber Duckie" — sung by Ernie: Ernie’s affinity for that bath time product should speak to all business owners. Do your current and future customers have the same strong connection and feelings as Ernie does for that rubber duckie? I am not suggesting that people will take a sandwich or garden rake into the bath with them. However, if they like what you provide, they do want to spend more time with the product — and maybe even sing about it.
"Bein' Green" — sung by Kermit the Frog: When Kermit told us about his woes of the color of his skin, at an early age I had no idea what this song was actually teaching me. But as I grew, I looked at the song in a much different light. We have come a long way in recognizing and even celebrating diversity in business to include employees and customer diversity. We can always do better. If you were green you may feel the same way as Kermit. The song is a simple reminder that we are all different and that is OK. Recognizing and understanding how these differences can benefit us all creates great opportunity.
"C is for Cookie" — sung by Cookie Monster: In a world full of acronyms, the fact that “C” stood for cookie stands out in an alphabet soup of business acronyms. I spent the majority of my career explaining acronyms of the organizations and companies I represented and worked with. When you have the opportunity to explain the acronym it gives you an opportunity to better connect with the people you are talking to. And like the cookie Oscar sings about, “that is good enough for me.”
"The People in Your Neighborhood" — sung by Bob: This one is simple. Whatever you do in business, get to know the people around you. Not just your neighbors but your customers, employees and even your competitors. They are all “people in your (business) neighborhood,” and getting to know them better allows you to know and serve their needs.
“Monster in the Mirror” — sung by Grover: When I think of this Grover tune, my mind goes to being honest with yourself and where you are in business. We need to “look in the mirror” and “reflect” on what exactly is happening. We may not like what we see, but you have to take a look and correct what you can, especially if you see a monster in the mirror.
"I Love Trash" — sung by Oscar: It doesn’t matter what you represent, sell or offer, if you don’t love it even when things don’t seem (or smell) good, how can you expect your customers or employees to show your business love? Take it from Oscar; he may be grouchy and lack some basic skills in customer service, but at least he believes in and loves his trash.
"Sing" — sung by the cast: Finally, this may be the most important business lesson in the bunch. I could have mentioned “Cash Flow” with Count von Count or discussed “Connectivity” with “Elmo’s World.” This song speaks to one of the marketing mix’s most important “P.” That critical-to-success “P” stands for “promotion.” So sing or speak about your business. Be proud about what you do, how you do it and whom you do it for. Make your message (spoken or sung) as unique as possible and your public will respond. “Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone to hear, just sing.”
So there you have it, seven "Sesame Street" songs for business success to celebrate the big "Sesame Street" milestone. Happy Birthday to the Street and thank you for the learning, the music, the memories and the motivation for this week’s Business Currents!