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Welcome to our blog page where we'll be offering our perspectives from time to time. 

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  • Writer's pictureBarry Lemmon

I still pay him, but does he still work for me?

back when I thought I didn't have to give him any more money

It’s been a couple of months since First Purchase Research took LinkedIn by storm with first me (link) and then my son Tom (link) reflecting on the joys of working together. Whilst the overwhelming response from readers was clearly one of pity for us both there were requests from a couple of sadistic individuals to make this a regular series, and even an enquiry as to whether I had a publishing deal.

So what has happened since we chronicled our first 100 days of working together?

1. With Tom’s induction programme at an end we meet to agree his objectives which I explain to him are (a) to market the Purchase Outcomes™concept as an innovative and brilliant way to embed Byron Sharp’s laws of growth into shopper strategy and help brands grow by targeting, understanding and influencing shoppers more effectively, and (b) make potential clients aware of our existence, thereby leading to meetings with the relevant individuals at each company. I suggest he starts by putting together a plan.

2. A few days later Tom says he is working on the plan but asks if I’ve had any more thoughts about pursuing a publishing deal. He says he wonders if now might be a good time to start cashing in on our collective misfortune.

3. We have a plan. Tom is going to make a video to help boost awareness of our existence and open doors for us. The video will be very humorous and will go viral very quickly. Within days we will have the likes of P&G and Coca Cola knocking at our door, begging for us to come and share our ideas with them.

4. There is a slight delay to the video. A friend of mine has set up a company that uses blockchain technology to create efficiencies in healthcare systems and asks Tom to help him produce a prospectus for investors. This means I pay Tom whilst he works for someone else who doesn’t pay him. Tom will, of course, become a millionaire if the blockchain company is a success.

5. The prospectus is taking a little longer to write than was initially anticipated. Just in case the blockchain company doesn’t make him a millionaire and he requires his parents to continue to support him financially I suggest he multi-tasks and makes the video anyway.

6. Tom’s brother is back from university for the summer. He asks if he can work for me as well (clearly he hasn’t read the blogs). I’ve decided the company needs to become a little more diverse and it is time to start recruiting from outside of my progeny, but we agree instead that he will do a number of odd jobs and repairs that need doing around the house, and will begin by repainting the back door.

7. Beer and wine stocks in the fridge are depleting rapidly, with a particular spike in activity during the hours I am asleep.

8. My wife and I go away for one weeks’ holiday walking along the Camino de Santiago. It is lovely. Tom and his brother are left in charge of the business and the house respectively. When we return there is no video, although one pane of the back door has been sandpapered. There is no beer or wine in the fridge.

9. Tom’s cat Leia, the poster girl of First Purchase Research and our very own distinctive asset, is attacked and injured by a rogue tomcat. Production of the video is halted whilst Leia is nursed back to health. Sanding down of the back door is also halted in sympathy. Happily she makes a full recovery.

10.First Purchase Research has made it on to the vendor list of a large multi-national fmcg company. Tom asks if he still needs to make the video. No further progress to report on the back door.

11.Later today, Tom’s youngest brother will return from his gap year travels in South America. We will have a full house throughout the summer. We are all overjoyed.

Barry Lemmon is the Founder of First Purchase Research, and father of Tom, Ben and Dan.

First Purchase Research is a shopper insights company changing the way brands think about targeting shoppers for growth.


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