Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Let me just say, I’m all for bold, colorful, in your face, flashiness and I have the leopard skin disco suit to prove it. I’m also all for the hip, sleek and high tech gadgets that make me feel like James Bond…and I have the neighborhood’s only Bluetooth toilet paper dispenser to prove that as well. I mean, you have to stand out and be noticed, right? Isn’t that what marketing 101 is all about? And, while we’re waxing philosophical, isn’t it true that no two snowflakes are alike and we’re all different, unique…and, well, blah, blah, blah.

Yes, it’s true. But, not entirely true. Allow me to let you in on my Uncle Aldo’s great secret: Uniqueness is overrated. And for that matter, so is being different, exciting and good looking. Now, he doesn’t just say that because his wife likes to remind him of those facts every day of his life…he truly believes it.

Truth is, in the world of promotional marketing, being practical is a good thing. So, is being boring and utilitarian. In fact, these are the things I like to give the most. The more boring the better. Think about it. What do the key chain, paperclip and sticky notes have in common? Yes, they’re boring. But, they’re also reached for everyday. And this is the ultimate goal of promotional marketing…you want to give away something that will be reached for everyday, keeping you and your company on top of the mind.

The lesson for today is short and simple: In your quest to get noticed, do not over estimate the power of those simple, boring and yet incredibly useful products. The Bottle Opener Key Chain, the Paper Clip Buddy or 3″x3″ Notepads just may be the exact products your clients will reach for everyday.

And speaking of boring, my wife is making me watch Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves tonight. So, until next time, remember the words Henry David Thoreau once told my great grandfather Rex, “There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it.”