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Theresa Quintanilla
Houston, TX
Founder at
Interests: CRM, customer relationship management, marketing, loyalty, innovation, business books, houston's image, blogging, new york, marketing trends
Recent Activity
Creative Houston is a new venture for me, an effort to build a business that could support the development of Houston as a magnet for talent and a creative hotbed for the arts, technology, and entrepreneurship. Please visit the BETA web site at, and check out to see our crowdfunding campaign. We mean to be a data driven company, monitoring the way creative professionals view and appreciate the opportunities and resources in Houston. Our current campaign is to raise money for the foundational research we need to focus our efforts as we build the company. Creative Houston is... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2019 at QViews
We're rapidly approaching the moment when every retailer has to have a mobile app to serve his physical spaces. Retailers without a mobile app will be 'disabled' and at a significant disadvantage. Sailthru: 4 Ways Retailers Use Digital Technology to Improve the Brick‑and‑Mortar Experience, 2019-May by Mike O'Brien When Sailthru surveyed more than 2,000 American and British consumers, we found that most of them didn’t notice or care about the absence of stores like Sears, Toys”R”Us or House of Fraser. However, we also found that people generally prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. The catch is that consumers favor physical stores... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2019 at QViews
Shopping at Amazon seems emotionless to me. We can shop where enthusiasm thrives. Who needs creepy customer stalkers when you could have someone make something special for you? Quartz: You might not have heard of Fanatics yet—but it’s taking over sports apparel one league at a time, 2019-Apr-25 by Mike Murphy In the mid-1990s, you probably would not have noticed Fanatics, even if you lived near one of its handful of Florida mall locations. The stores, called Football Fanatics at the time, looked like any other sports memorabilia outfit. But if you’ve purchased any fan apparel online or at a... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at QViews
For Starbucks, managing growth is becoming a matter of their loyalty program. New stores will continue to be necessary, but profitability will be driven by customers using their mobile app. Not only are those customers rewarded, they are measured, tested and tracked in a way that retailers haven't known before. In the future, rents will still be paid, but managing a successful retail business will be more about a company's ability to leverage mobile-based relationships. The Motley Fool: How Important Is Starbucks' Loyalty Program?, 2019-May-5 by Daniel B. Kline The program has grown steadily for two reasons. First, it's tied... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at QViews
The car manufacturers have for years focused on creating and manufacturing cars that generate loyal repurchase. Now Ford has come to the realization that it needs to maintain a connection between purchases. One of the keys to a continuous positive experience is figuring out how to make service calls, handled by Ford dealers, more integrated with with the rest of the customer journey. The Detroit News: Ford rolls out rewards, moves to boost 'customer experience', 2019-May-02 by Ian Thibodeau The automaker on Thursday announced a string of "customer experience" pushes under Elena Ford, the company's chief customer experience officer. They... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at QViews
I've been considering contacting ex-Houstonians for support in building a better image for the city. Their interest and support will be built on their having had positive emotional experiences here. In many instances, their bad experiences will be unrelated to the city itself, but affect their attitude. So when we reach out to ex-Houstonians, we'll need to be very sensitive and accepting of their sometimes bad opinion of the city, even if it's unfair. We cannot always prevent bad experiences and we have to allow others the space to be unhappy. Can we repair the relationship? Maybe. Sometimes. If we... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at QViews
As an analytical thinker, storytelling has always been a struggle for me. I tend to organize information differently than storytellers. But throughout my career it has become increasingly important. Anytime I find a good teaching tool for storytelling, I try to work with it and incorporate its lessons. I especially value the reminder here to pair our stories with artifacts. If we handle it correctly, a very complex story can be embedded in a single image or token. Nielsen Norman Group: 6 Rules for Persuasive Storytelling, 2019-Apr-28 by Rachel Krause Stories help us explain difficult concepts. Giving additional context helps... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2019 at QViews
Too many people see innovation as a project when it's really a process. Or maybe it's a culture. Every business, every organization, every person has to decide what role innovation will play for them. If you crave stability, then innovation will be driven by necessity: fixing things that don't work anymore. But if you want to be a leader in building a better future, then you need to consider how innovation will be integrated into everything. Digital Tonto: How Experian’s Networked Culture Drives Innovation, 2019-Apr-24 by Greg Satell In Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance, the bestselling memoir of the his... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2019 at QViews
I would certainly wince to see an annual report from some of my favorite places to spend money, but The RealReal and Rent the Runway are emailing customers a personalized annual report that makes them feel good. Glossy: How The RealReal and Rent the Runway are using personalized email reports to deepen customer loyalty, 2019-Apr-29 by Danny Parisi “Our clients have told us for years that the sustainability element is one of the biggest motivators for buying or consigning with us, but for the first time, we really wanted to be able to quantify exactly how positive consigning is for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2019 at QViews
Half Price Books is the perfect example of a company that deserves our loyalty, not because they care, but because they care enough to institute systems that preserve their values. Retail Touch Points: At Half Price Books, Empowered Associates Create Curated, Store-Specific Assortments, 2019-Apr-19 by Bryan Wassel Half Price Books is unafraid to take its time when expanding to new markets. The retailer needs the right combination of demographic makeup, population growth and size for a city to become a good target, and it recognizes that not every scouting mission will be successful. “Unlike a shoe store, we need lots... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2019 at QViews
Theresa Quintanilla added a favorite at The Red HOT Pen
Apr 26, 2019
Loyalty programs are frequently misunderstood. Used properly, they allow both the customers and the business owner to realize benefits from investing in a long-term relationship. Get customer profiles into a data repository. is free and as easy as a spreadsheet PLUS much less vulnerable to user error. Or get a real CRM... Find a way to connect customer profiles to behavior... Credit card I.D.? Loyalty card? Phone number? Be sure that one customer doesn't end up with multiple accounts which will make that customer seem less important. Allow customers to build up capital in the account. Purchases are a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2019 at QViews
As Amazon expands into the grocery business, we can learn great lessons from the companies which are competing effectively, especially Walmart and Trader Joe's. Walmart's success is mostly about distribution power, but Trader Joe's uses techniques which any retailer can copy. The Trader Joe's approach to retail: Make it personal Make it enjoyable Make it easy to manage transactions Make us feel like we are supporting the community. Harvard Business Review: What the Grocery Stores Holding their Own Against Amazon are doing Right, 2019-Apr-12 by Amit Sharma The nature of customer loyalty is changing as shoppers get more comfortable buying... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at QViews
I've been trying to put together images from creatives in Houston on Pinterest, but it's very difficult because the identification on the images is so poor. I don't mind that people mix up the images from all over, but I'm frustrated in trying to figure where an image originated. Nevertheless, I think Pinterest will be very important in showing people how inspiring it is to live here. VentureBeat: Mid-funnel: Pinterest’s undisputed superpower, 2019-Apr-18 by Aaron Goldman of 4C Insights More than 250 million people are now using Pinterest every month to immerse themselves in new ideas and deepen their engagement... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at QViews
Life Storage Blog: 11 Reasons Why People Are Moving to Houston, 2019-Mar-22 by Lindsay McClelland and Lauren Thomann What makes Houston more desirable than other Texas cities like Dallas, Austin or San Antonio? H-Town is progressive and may be attracting almost as many millennials to its city as Austin. It’s also one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country, which isn’t just by happenstance. Perhaps the reason people move to Houston boils down to the fact that it is a well-rounded, desirable place to live. Ask any Houston resident—native or transplant—and they’ll beam with pride and explain just... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2019 at QViews
It's challenging to try and compare Houston to all other American cities, but comparing Houston to Austin is helpful, especially if Austin is 'the best' according to U.S. News and World Report. Creative professionals in Houston usually have some direct experience of Austin, so personal knowledge can come into play. Here are some things to consider: Should Houston try and become more like Austin? Are the differences in geography always going to hold Houston back? Is the general American perception of Austin any more accurate than the perception of Houston? Are there subtle differences between the way the general population... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at QViews
We can know our customers on many different levels, for many different purposes. For a cafe owner or server, the most important way to 'know a customer' may be to recognize the face of a regular, whether or not a name or address is ever acquired. For a bank, identity and background have to be checked before an account can be opened. Facebook and Twitter know many intimate details of our lives, yet they make no effort to verify identity, leading to some really serious problems. I agree with Andrew (see below). We need to figure this out, and I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2019 at QViews
I appreciate Chris Tomlinson's recent article about rebranding Texas, and I don't disagree with his point, but... As a marketing professional, I always raise a skeptical eyebrow when someone says something has to be 'rebranded.' Changing the message doesn't change perceptions. Changing behavior changes perceptions. If we want Texas to be seen as a dynamic, diverse, and sophisticated place, we have to vote, run companies, and participate in enterprises that demonstrate it. Chris and Hajj Flemings acknowledge that. Now we have to find ways to inspire Texans to fulfill all our capabilities. Houston Chronicle: Texas needs a rebranding away from... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2019 at QViews
What's most helpful is the pile of tips, where you can check for something you're not currently doing. Harvard Business Review: What Makes Some People More Productive Than Others, 2019-Mar-28 by Robert C. Pozen and Kevin Downey More specifically, we found that professionals with the highest productivity scores tended to do well on the same clusters of habits. They planned their work based on their top priorities, and then acted with a definite objective. They developed effective techniques for managing a high volume of information and tasks. And they understood the needs of their colleagues — for short meetings, responsive... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at QViews
I keep meaning to go through the entire "Learning How to Learn" course, but in the meantime, here are some reminders... Nautilus: How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math, 2014-Oct-2 by Barbara Oakley Understanding doesn’t build fluency; instead, fluency builds understanding. In fact, I believe that true understanding of a complex subject comes only from fluency. In other words, in science and math education in particular, it’s easy to slip into teaching methods that emphasize understanding and that avoid the sometimes painful repetition and practice that underlie fluency. I learned Russian not just by understanding it—understanding,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2019 at QViews
I keep clipping these articles to try and get it through my head... Good News: Herd Immunity, 2018-Mar-13 by Mike Monteiro So, while you should absolutely include the study of data in your approach, recognize that when you get to the point where you’re trying to persuade someone about good work, you need a story. Work like a scientist but present like a snake-charmer. When I’m trying to persuade someone, I start by painting a picture in the person’s mind. There’s a future where you do what’s right, and I paint that rosy. There’s a future where you do what’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at QViews
I'm an innovator first, and a loyalist second. For the past few years I've been studying loyalty and wondering why it's such an under-esteemed trait among innovators. Now the work of Charles Duhhig and Amy Edmondson have made it clear to me. Loyal behavior tends to depress the natural friction required in making changes. This realization has brought it home to me that I see loyalty in a different way than most people. For me, loyalty is about a commitment to support someone or some institution, but not about following. I can imagine trusting someone enough to do something their... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2019 at QViews
I've never been a poker player, but I recently started using a computer game that frequently deals me new playing pieces on a supposedly random basis. Playing that game has made me very sensitive to the fact that, no matter my skill level, I can't go very far in the game unless the right pieces appear at the right time. In life, persistence will pay off provided that bad luck doesn't disable or derail us. Unfortunately it often does, and then we are often further punished by society. If we are committed to being fair to those around us, then... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at QViews
As we build our companies from the ground up, different processes and IT systems are installed to handle different tasks. It's becoming increasingly clear that customers will not tolerate these silos. If our customer marketing system is not integrated with our customer service system, we will drive customers away. They now expect us to recognize every way they've ever intersected with our company, and change our behavior accordingly. In order to have a good and growing base of customers who appreciate our company, we have to create a single IT system to take care of these people. That's why the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at QViews
According to Ryan Buell, operational transparency is "the deliberate design of windows into and out of the organization’s operations to help customers and employees alike understand and appreciate the value being created." Every startup should be considering how to bake transparency into their business. If you facing the challenges, do read Buell's article. He covers the dangers as well as the benefits. Harvard Business Review: Operational Transparency , 2019-Mar/Apr by Ryan W. Buell Customers are, as a researcher in the 1960s boldly called them, “environmental disturbances.” As the argument goes, separating customers from internal processes through physical distance, time, or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at QViews