6 Comments // Filed in Business
After reading Seth Godin’s advice regarding brochures, I started thinking about how many businesses — our online industry included — throw so much money and time on things that don’t actually help their business or their clients, and instead merely contribute to noise. Or worse, they don’t throw enough money and time on things that do help.
These are symptoms of companies working unconsciously. It’s saying and doing things without thought. It’s being a corporate zombie.
It’s making decisions without asking or knowing why.
As a small business owner myself, I’m amazed at how little respect people give their own business. Yes, I say it’s a lack of respect for their own business because it’s making snap decisions not based on actual research. It’s not caring enough to do research. It’s also about being “safe” and frankly, there’s no place in an innovative business for that type of caution. It’s really a selfish way to run your business.
I find it sad because a lot of people aren’t even aware they are doing this. They are on auto-pilot.
If you are trying to be clever, be clever and unique. If you aren’t sure if something you are trying is unique, it probably isn’t. That said, the value of clever is that it might give me a chuckle. It won’t help you accomplish whatever you are trying to get done, only substance will do that… One thing that will immediately kill your chances is if you send me junk. Don’t send me a golf shirt, a coffee mug, a pen, a flashlight, or anything for that matter. It’s all junk to me and it only makes me wonder why you spent time and money on junk rather than on selling more of whatever it is you sell so you won?t need money.
Mark Cuban, Getting My Attention
Emphasis mine. Does anything more really need to be said?
As a design professional, I urge other professionals to encourage their clients or their bosses to rethink some marketing choices. Perhaps instead of investing in a brochure, custom thank you cards with a personal note may be more effective. Perhaps if it is a brochure, that it’s only a limited-edition, highly designed and specially printed piece with a specific target, instead of an “all-in-one” solution where we squish 5 pages of copy and photos into 8.5” x 11” space. Perhaps only a business card with your website URL is all you need — it saves them money and paper.
The moment we begin focussing on the why before we get to the hows and whats, the better everyone’s business will be.