Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

My wife and I decided to spice up our culinary lives, so we went on a little adventure last weekend. We thought it would be fun to pick a cuisine that neither of us had tried before and pick the best restaurant in which to try it. After much research on chowhound (the website for foodies everywhere), we settled on The Golden Deli—a Vietnamese joint reported to have the best Bún this side of Hanoi. We arrived at noon to discover a packed house and a twenty-minute wait—a very good sign—so we browsed the neighboring shops while we tried to ignore our rumbling stomachs. The store next door was jammed with Chinese chatchkis and we had fun browsing the racks of necklaces, prayer beads and carved animals. I was actually very inspired and came up with an innovative promotional idea based on a laughing pig. I can’t say more now, but I have a feeling it’s going to be big.

At last our number was called and we sat down at a small table for two. After browsing the long, and overwhelming, menu we decided to order the Bún (vermicelli noodles, fish sauce, vegetables and shrimp paste), since we had read so many rave reviews. I was a little worried about the shrimp paste, but the dish was delicious. We loved our meal and I was pleased to find it wasn’t as spicy as I, and my ulcer, had anticipated. The waiter even taught us a few words in his native language. It was fun to get out of our comfort zone for an afternoon and try something new. Not only did we enjoy a great meal, I was inspired to create a new promotional product. Definitely a winning day!

The lesson here is simple; in marketing, as in life, it’s good to shake things up, do things a little differently and go out on a limb. It doesn’t have to be huge—like revamping your entire brand or scrapping your marketing plan and starting over. But you can try on offbeat, unexpected way to market your services. Sometimes taking a small risk can pay off in a big way. For example, I know a personal trainer who sent chocolates imprinted with her name and the message, “Eat this and I’ll help you work it off” to every member of her gym. It paid off with 5 new clients in less than a week. I also know a pest control specialist who sent an envelope filled with rubber cockroaches to potential customers. The message said, “If you don’t want them to move in, call Pete’s Pest Control.” Risky? Sure, but it was effective…and memorable.

The point is, sometimes you have to try something new, and a little out there, to get results. Rush Imprint doesn’t carry rubber cockroaches, but they have plenty of whimsical items that will help you promote your company in a fun, interesting and effective way.

Well, I’m late for dinner—Mrs. Winston was so inspired by our meal that she decided to try her hand at cooking Vietnamese cuisine. Wish me luck. Until next time, remember, “Every day is an adventure…especially when your wife tries a new recipe.”