Innovate or Die


Innovate or Die

That’s what they say right? What are we doing different as a rep agency in 2020? 

Earlier this year I read Robert Iger’s, The Ride of a Lifetime, in which he discusses lessons he learned from 15 years at the helm of Disney. One of the main principles from the book is innovate or die. Iger walks through his many acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 21st Century Fox, and creating their own streaming service, Disney Plus, to compete with the likes of Netflix. While you may not think of major acquisitions such as these to be innovation, it is in fact the exact definition of what it means to innovate. Innovate means, to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. Iger was able to take Disney from a classic children’s movie production company with a struggling creative department to a worldwide power house at the forefront of media innovation.

This got me thinking, what has our company done to innovate in 2020? This has been one of the toughest years on record for many businesses and the companies that have been able to pivot the quickest and introduce new methods, ideas, or products will likely emerge from this pandemic flourishing and ready to grow. JL Jones Group may not be the size of a Disney, but I think we can take many of the ideas and thoughts Iger put in to the growth of Disney into our own company. 

One of our core values is Independent; Don’t do things the way they’ve always been done just because they’ve always been done a certain way. Chart your own course, be independent. In this I would like to share several of the innovative ideas we have come up with to continue to add value to our customers and manufacturers during a time when face to face meetings are all but gone. While some of these ideas may not seem innovative, they certainly are for a manufacturers representative firm, especially in the building materials industry.

  • Email Marketing 
    • We have fired up the marketing engine this year to stay in touch with all of our contacts. It has become more difficult to have face to face interaction in 2020. In order to stay top of mind we are sending out monthly news letters, new product update, and training invites. 
  • Training Tuesdays
    • This is something our company is most proud of. A small vision we had in April has become a pillar of our organization. Three Tuesdays a month we are training end users, architects, contractors, distributors, locksmiths, and integrators on various products we represent. We have had a tremendous amount of support for these classes and as of the end of October we have trained over 1,000 people in a 5 month time frame. 
  • Website Refresh
    • Our previous website was a generic website that was put together by us with stock images and little content. We hired a professional developer and designer to put together what we believe to be one of the best websites in the industry. We can now showcase what JL Jones Group and its manufacturing partners are really made of. 
    • Browse around the website, click the tabs, see what we have been up to.
  • JL Jones Group Logo Refresh
    • While only a slight change, we did change our logo. We left the large JL as sort of the logo portion but incorporated the entire JL Jones Group name in to it now. Making our brand more clear and concise.
  • Social Media
    • We took a stab at social media in 2018 that lasted only a few months. While it’s hard to gauge what type of returns you get from it you certainly can use it to stay in touch with your customer base. We now have close to 400 followers on LinkedIn and have our YouTube channel cranking. 
Manufacturers We Represent

Trimco Hardware





Mesker Door




Steward Steel


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Our Associations

Door and Hardware Institute

DHI is an association proudly serving door security and safety professionals, and the dynamic companies they represent, in the non-residential construction industry.

The American Institute of Architects

AIA is a vibrant community of architecture and industry professionals that are transforming the profession. Members enjoy access to industry-best benefits, products and services that support practice and professional development.

Construction Specifications Institute

CSI is a national association of more than 8,000 experts in building construction and the materials used therein. They focus on the materials used within construction projects and the specifiers who specify the products. We are active members.