In September we launched our Made To Work campaign and introduced Joe Branch, Reed Woodson and Justin Talt – three guys who know the value of rolling up their sleeves to get the job done.
Since then, their stories have been seen (or read) around the world on CNN, Discovery Channel, ESPN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Delta Sky Magazine.
Oh yeah – and in over 3 million Lands’ End catalogs.
I recently caught up with them to see how things are in their lives now that the world knows who they are.
Here’s what Joe shared with me. . .
Randy: If you don’t mind, would you be able to share some personal thoughts you had while working on the Made To Work campaign?
Joe: First of all, it’s different from a typical campaign. I think it was cool to have a chance to represent the people out there in the world working hard for their families, causes, and things that they are passionate about.
The campaign was an opportunity for me to reflect on the great mentors in my life and how they’ve influenced not only my work ethic but also my personal style. As a young man, observing significant men in professional attire really impacted me. I remember seeing my dad get dressed for work and church. I remember my first headmaster at Houston Preparatory School always wearing suits, dress shirts and ties. My brother has a great “take care of business” look when he coaches. My mentors Lee and Bill always wore nice suits, shirts and ties at their respective executive offices. And even my Pastors Caldwell and Trufant continue to impact lives on Sundays in a non-traditional buttondown or collared pastoral look. Through them I learned what to wear when it’s business time and that what you wear does matter.
Randy: Now that the campaign is out there, what do you think?
Joe: I think it came together nicely. The integrated mix of traditional advertising, internet and TV was cool. I think you went big and bold and I think that has helped ensure people will have brand recall. I’ve seen the TV spots during big football games and right after the commercial my old high school and college friends have either text or called me, which has been great.
Randy: Has much changed for you since the launch of the campaign?
Joe: I’m a behind the scenes kind of guy. I just like to get the work done and celebrate the teams that I work with. It was a stretch to do something like this but I had fun with it. One of the main reasons I got involved was to educate people about UWANTGAME, our mentorship and life skills program for HS student-athletes. We like to tell our students that “appearance matters” and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I am also always stressing that they need to do things that make them uncomfortable. So the campaign was fun for me because it was a chance for me to show my young guys that I walk the talk, so to speak.
I’m learning not to take myself too seriously and enjoy life. It was funny to get the calls from shocked friends. I really liked how it allowed us to showcase the work that we’re doing and keep the conversation going for the students. My hope is that it inspires young men to celebrate fashion and want to look great and feel great. I also hope that it inspires other businessmen to mentor the next generation as we do in UWANTGAME. I always say it takes just one. If we get at least one more to commit to a young person out there, it will make a world of difference.
Randy: Just one last question. Traditionally, the term “hard working men” has been associated with guys who work outside pounding nails, fighting fires or catching crabs in Alaska.
How do you define what a hard working man is in this day and age?
Joe: I’d like to learn how to catch crabs in Alaska…sign me up!
But to me, a “hard working man” is anyone who has a goal and they commit to doing it even through the roadblocks. Pastors, Investment Bankers, Journalists, Teachers, Coaches, Shoe Salesmen, Personal Trainers, and yes the Alaskan crab fisherman – any and everyone that stays on their grind! I even like the young entrepreneurs on the train selling candy. True hard working men have a mindset and “get it done” mentality. For those that love what they do there are no days off. They embody what they do. And if they aren’t actively doing it at that moment, they’re thinking about ways to do it better.
Have a story or photos you’d like to share?
Email it to us at MyStory@landsend.com
(Please keep any images under 12 Mb.)