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Looking for Mr. Know-it-All

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Derek BartonDerek Barton

I miss Mr. Know-it-All. Not the guy who thinks he knows it all, the one we never liked. I'm talking about the guy who actually does know it all, the expert in his field, the one we liked and respected!

My first run-in with Mr. Know-it-All was at our hometown Sears store in Northern California. My Dad used to take me with him to buy appliances and tools there. I remember my Dad saying to me, "This guy knows it all!"

So, when Mr. Know-it-All at Sears explained to us why this particular washing machine model was perfect for us, we believed him. Why wouldn't we? He knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING in his department. He was so confident, knowledgeable and passionate that we felt the same way about his products. And, we became loyal customers and advocates. Sadly, today I can't find a Mr. Know-it-All at Sears, so I, along with many others, don't go there anymore. And, the brand suffers.

On the main street in our hometown of Burlingame, there was a Radio Shack. Every one of those guys in that store was a Mr. Know-it-All. They loved working there, and it showed! They knew all the answers to all my questions. Radio Shack had geniuses before Apple had geniuses. They were the original Geek Squad. They knew all the gauges of speaker wire, all the right adaptors, connectors and batteries. They knew EVERYTHING about EVERY product in their store and we could count on their help. We became loyal customers and advocates. Sadly, today, I can't find a Mr. Know-it-All at Radio Shack, so I, along with many others, don't go there anymore. And, the brand suffers.

When I first entered the health club arena in 1985, I landed at the "Mecca of Bodybuilding." Gold's Gym Venice was a haven for Mr. Know-it-Alls. I was blown away by the knowledge and passion of those trainers and bodybuilders. Forget the steroids, they knew how to get results from just working out! They knew what every machine did for every body part. They knew how many reps each muscle needed and the right amount of weight it would take to get the maximum results. They knew the right foods to eat, when to eat them and when not to eat them. They were professional sculptors of the human body! This inspired me to create the first official tagline for all Gold's Gyms worldwide, "Results for Every Body!"

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