Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

If you follow my twitter updates, you know that I purchased, and recently returned, the must have gadget that every geek from here to Cupertino has in his (or her) Crumpler bag. There was an audible gasp when I walked in to the Apple store to give back my beloved iphone. I admit I did love that gadget almost as much as I love my wife, but the phone service left something to be desired. After dropping calls from my editor, my wife and my mother-in-law (the last one may have been user error) within a two-hour period, I decided I had had enough and made the decision to take my baby back to whence she came. I don’t shill for any particular mobile phone provider, but after my experience with AT&T, I switched to Verizon and haven’t looked back. While service isn’t perfect (it is a cell phone after all), I haven’t dropped a call yet. I do miss the fun apps that do everything from tell me what constellations are on the horizon to locating every Starbucks within a five mile radius of where I’m standing, which is highly important when on a writing deadline, but probably not as important as actually being able to talk to my editor when he calls.

The point is, while Apple is a great company and makes an excellent, highly desirable product, they didn’t pick the best partner when choosing a service provider. I know a lot of folks out there are willing to forgo good phone service for a killer app, but I am not one of them and I am willing to be there are hundreds of thousand of curmudgeons out there just like me. While this probably won’t hurt Apple’s bottom line enough to make a difference, making a similar gaff could cause irreparable damage to your small business. The lesson is simple, when choosing a company with whom to partner, choose wisely. Their reputation will rub off on you. And speaking of reputation, no one has a better one than Cutter & Buck—from watches to wine openers—you’ll never go wrong when choosing to put your logo on one of their quality promotional products.

Well, I’ve got to go learn how to use my new blackberry. Until next time, heed the words of innovator Steve Jobs and,” Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Well said Mr. Jobs, well said.