Growth & Scale Report: [FULL STORY] Lindsay Smith - No One Needs Another Company Mug

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In the fast-paced world of business, the term "customer experience" can often be heard in boardrooms and meetings. But beyond the buzzword lies a fundamental question: How can companies truly prioritize customers if they fail to prioritize their own people?

Meet Lindsay Smith, a seasoned title and escrow professional with over 20 years in the industry. But to confine Lindsay's role to the industry alone would be an oversight; she is the architect of a cultural revolution within companies and organizations alike.

Throughout her over 500,000 miles flown in the last decade, she has had a first class view of team members, partners, customers and the things that drive - and don’t drive - them. What she identified was that overall allegiance lies not with the corporate entity or the organization but with their own personal brands that those entities and organizations allow for them to foster.

But how did Lindsay stumble upon this revelation?

It began with a simple yet profound gesture - the ordering of mugs for her team over a decade ago.

In a stroke of brilliance, Lindsay recognized that amidst the clamor of corporate branding (something most have spent a lot of time and money on), the individual team member’s voice often gets drowned.

So, she orchestrated a paradigm shift: rather than imprinting the company logo on the mugs, she chose to inscribe the initials of each recipient. Little did she know that this seemingly insignificant act would sow the seeds of a cultural metamorphosis.

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Dale Carnegie's timeless wisdom, "A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language," echoed in Lindsay's mind as she embarked on her mission. By bestowing upon her team members the gift of personalization, Lindsay ignited a spark that reverberated through the corridors of the organization for years to come. The proof? The mugs are still used - today - by team members who received them.

But Lindsay's vision extended far beyond mere mugs; it permeated every aspect of the business. She understood that genuine value resides in experiences and personalized moments not branded possessions.

As a member of the COO Alliance, Lindsay recognized that the well intended keychains and business card holders didn’t connect with the members. As such, she connected with their founder Cameron Herold and shared with him opportunities to better celebrate the members that make the group special. At the next meeting, custom Yeti Mugs were gifted, complete with the members’ initials. Then at the next, a board breaking and fire walking experience that left the members with memories for a lifetime.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, tensions were high, and the industry was overwhelmed with business. Lindsay identified a need for familial connections and a gesture to show the teams that their families were part of the success of the team members. She orchestrated a series of personalized gift boxes sent home to every single employee.

These included items such as personalized Otterbox mugs with each family member’s initials and all the fixings for hot chocolate and cookie baking, DIY homemade pizza night packs, Cinco de Mayo themed taco kits, or the famous Luau in a box (complete with custom embroidered beach towels with each team member and their family member’s initials).

While it would have been easier to send gift cards or company branded swag, Lindsay knew that those items wouldn’t create an experience that would long be remembered by the recipients.


Mya Angelou said “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you do. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Lindsay takes this to the next level focusing on every element. If she can make people feel like they are in a first class environment - as a team member or a client - the rest will follow.

So, what lessons can leaders who want to elevate their company and organizational culture take from Lindsay's story?

First, prioritize personalization. Small gestures, such as personalized gifts, can profoundly impact team morale and culture.

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Second, place a premium value on experiences. Invest in creating meaningful moments that resonate with individuals on a personal level.

And last, but not least, genuinely care for your team: Prioritize employee well-being and growth, recognizing that their satisfaction directly influences company success.

From Lindsay, we learn that the foundation of exceptional customer experience lies in exceptional team experience - that can’t be replicated in the organization or the company next door.


The Growth & Scale Report is published by CloseSimple, and explores strategies for growth and tools for scaling your title or escrow company. The report emphasizes the art of balancing growth and scale, with a focus on personal and organizational success stories. It aims to share insights from industry leaders who have navigated these challenges, providing a platform for broader conversations in the business landscape.