Two For The Show

I was informed I’d be taking Gilbert Ghostine, the CEO of Firmenich, and his boss Patrick Firmenich, the Chairman of the Board, on an exclusive Trenz®Walk while they were in New York City. An unprecedented event, I only questioned the motivation for a moment. Senior management made several attempts to micro-manage my itinerary with meetings just to make sure I understood the brevity of the assignment and the importance of what I’d be doing. Not being allowed to join us was driving them nuts, but all I needed to know was what time do I pick them up and when do they need to be back.

On a gorgeous Spring morning, getting from the Firmenich office on 58th St. to West 3rd in Greenwich Village should take thirty minutes. I was told the Trenz®Walk had to be two hours – in total – including travel time. No room for error – or traffic. The luxury Sprinter van was outside the office half an hour early, giving me ample time to check that everything was in order. It wasn’t. The video monitors wouldn’t read my presentation flash drive! I hustled upstairs to the office and printed out three hard copies before meeting Patrick, Gilbert, and the envious Fine Fragrance executive team in the lobby. Ready to go, on time and enthusiastic. Once we were in the elevator, I told them the first thing they needed to do was take off their ties.

In the past, I’ve taken Israeli customers in Tel Aviv to the Neve Tzedek, Chinese customers in Shanghai to Tianzifang, and New York-based customers to Brooklyn. Whatever and wherever it takes to get them out of their comfort zone. Even in their own backyards. Ensuring we engaged in both smelling and tasting, Patrick and Gilbert were given the same multi-sensorial experience our customers receive. Stopping for 'everything' donuts, veggie burgers and fries, they were relaxed, disconnected, and curious. Whether walking a couple miles or only a few blocks, every Trenz®Walk with the customer, or the CEO and Chairman of the Board, allows you to connect on a more human level. It’s all business, but for genuine customer intimacy being in the streets can’t be beat. Hearing about vacation plans and morning routines as I point out unique products and signals is all part of the process. Sharing, teaching, and inspiring each other all along the way.


  • SPDR

    Mikel like your quote " come out of your comfort zone "; is the opposite of " lets think out of the Box IN THE OFFICE "
    The “new” is ALWAYS coming from the streets where ONE individual has a great idea that changes our world.

  • Michael Katz

    People still wear ties?

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