Uncorking a Story - The Blog

Written stories and reflections designed to uplift those seeking a little inspiration

Don’t be a Club Member

I started my career in marketing research at an interactive marketing agency in Westport, CT known at the time as Modem Media.  It was there I saw my first focus group and, upon doing so, I knew immediately that I wanted to be the person in the room asking questions...

Questions for the Ages

Now that the holidays are over and I am settling into my new organization, I vow to devote more time to updating this blog.  Maybe vow is too strong a word, perhaps I will just promise to update it more often.  It seems that breaking a promise (with a decent enough...

A Focus Group on FARTS

Sometimes we can find humor in the most unlikely places.  Last year I was in Columbus Ohio running some focus groups for a client looking to get a read on various ways to bundle features and benefits for a new product.  There were 5 “concepts” highlighting different...

Unintended Product Benefits

Early on in this blog I mentioned that one of my clients is a large lawn equipment company (see post entitled Accents are Funny).  During a recent project our task was to understand how consumers describe the benefits of these features in order to help my client and...

Procrastination

Prior to this week I was on the road for nine days; all for one project. This of course means I have a lot of writing to do. Many people I know who do what I do for a living dread the report writing process, with good reason. We have to take multiple hours of...

Hotel Bar Hookups

What a week! Yesterday I ended an eight day project involving a series of focus groups, in home interviews, and shop-a-longs in Cincinnati and Charlotte. My brain is spent, so much so that I cannot even begin the report writing process until I get to chill out a bit....

The South Won’t Rise Again

I am in Charlotte this week for some focus groups and in home interviews / shop a longs. I am looking hard for this Southern Hospitality thing I have heard about, but thus far it has been elusive. I checked into my hotel yesterday morning which apparently had a...

It’s In the Bible

I ran three focus groups yesterday in Cincinnati and the topic of discussion was refrigerated heat and serve entrees; you know, the things you stick in the microwave, heat up for a few minutes, and call dinner. I started the session asking people what they thought of...

Like we stole it?

I find myself on commuter jets quite often for business. I will be honest, I do not like flying them. I happen to think that it is the "entry level" job for a new pilot. Last Sunday I flew from LaGuardia to Dayton on a US AIR commuter flight that was running late....

Losing 80 Pounds

I interviewed a man the other night in his home and the topic of our conversations was eating habits. He told me that his eating habits had changed rapidly in the past few months and of course I had to ask him how they have changed. He told me that since April he had...

Accents are Funny

I was once in Nashville doing some focus groups for a lawnmower manufacturer. When I asked the men in the group what they are looking for in a new lawnmower, one man with a thick southern accent said “I am looking for a big dick,” and he held out his two hands about...

Hope in Motion Update

I must admit, when I was stretching this morning at home I was a bit nervous. After all, I was about to partake in my first race since 1992 when I stopped running the Waveny Park concert series. I was filled with self-doubt, which is a runner’s worst enemy. Once I got...

Hope in Motion

Maria Fauci was my grandmother and one of the strongest women this world has ever known but she was not strong enough to beat cancer. She died just shy of Mother’s day in 1992 and just a few weeks before my high school graduation. Randy Cappiello was probably the...

The Joy of Se_ _ _ _ _

Serving - Not Sex. Sorry to excite anyone. ____ I remember as a kid my mother would always volunteer my brother Jimmy and I for various activities. We did everything from painting a rectory’s basement to cleaning a convent. In retrospect, “volunteers” was the wrong...

My God Complex

My mother is Italian and my father is Irish, which of course makes me Catholic. In many ways I am an exception to the rule; many in my generation do not practice the religion in which they were raised. While that may have been true for me during my college years, over...

I am a total bonehead

I am writing this while on vacation with the family in Ft. Lauderdale. As always, our vacation started off with a little drama. Pre 9/11, we traveled to St. Lucia and forgot a birth certificate; luckily we were able to find a sympathetic ticket agent who let us...

Grace Before Meals

I had an embarrassing thing happen today. During breakfast with my boss, Cathy, I noticed that before she ate, Cathy bowed her head and closed her eyes. Remembering that Cathy had been battling a cold for the better part of a month, I interrupted her moment of silence...

Resistance Training

I started working out with weights while I was in college. My best friend, John, was planning on joining the Marine Corps after he graduated and wanted someone to bulk up with. Prior to my junior year at the University of Connecticut, strength training was a foreign...

A Life Worth Noting

Growing up as a Catholic boy in Stamford, I went through a rite of passage that my older brother and countless others experienced before me; I became an altar server. While there were those boys whose parents “strongly encouraged” them to serve their parish in this...