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Brainstorms

Give Your Advertising the Black Marker Test

Try this test to see if you’re standing out.

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IS YOUR ADVERTISING sufficiently different? Is it helping you stand out, or is it just blending into the drone/clutter of marketing messages surrounding consumers in your town.

Here’s one test you can try to find out, suggested by the bloodthirstily-titled marketing book Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas To Boost Sales, Maximize Profits and Crush Your Competition by David Newman.

Take your ad (it also works with brochures, websites or any other marketing material) and an equivalent piece from your competitor and put them side by side. Black out both company names. Then ask yourself the following questions, and answer honestly:

Could my advertising material be mistaken for the other company’s? Could I just cut out my competitor’s name and put mine on it? Is there any chance my prospects wouldn’t know the difference between the two companies at a glance?

So, how did you do? Try running the same test on your staff, family and customers and see how you do then.

If you’re not passing this test, it’s time to take a different approach to your marketing.

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David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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Lisa Genovese, O.D., strives to give her patients the very best. At Insight Eye Care’s multiple locations, Dr. Genovese provides optimal care for her patients using the Reichert® Phoroptor® VRx Digital Refraction System. In this second Practice Profile Video from Reichert’s “Passionate About Eye Care” series, take a closer look and see how this eye care professional achieved a better work-life balance with equipment that’s designed and engineered in the U.S.A.

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Brainstorms

The Grinch Who Boosted Holiday Sales

Thinking of getting dressed up for a Christmas event? Go green.

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He’s misanthropic, mean-tempered, has a heart that is “two sizes too small” and is a vegetal green; but kids can’t get enough of the Grinch. That’s what pet store The Green Spot discovered when they invited clients to bring their kids (and pets) in to take pictures with the Dr. Seuss character on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30 in 2019). “It wasn’t until we started doing the event that we realized how much people loved the Grinch,” co-owner Jessica Ellis told INVISION’s sister publication PETS+. The Grinch’s presence and special offers produced sales about 25 percent higher than the typical Saturday, while The Green Spot also got attention from local TV news. Dressing up for Xmas? Go green!

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Brainstorms

Keep a Good Time Journal to Better Design Your Life

And overcome feeling uninspired at work by doing more of what you love.

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Feeling uninspired at work? Before you do something drastic like trade your business for a timeshare in Bali or resign yourself to a life of drudgery, try keeping a “Good Time Journal,” say Stanford professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, authors of the book Designing Your Life. For three weeks, keep track of your daily activities and keep an eye out for those you enjoy the most. Then try to redesign your current schedule so you do more of what you love and less of what makes you go “Ugh.” Success usually flows from things that make you happy. It may lead to a whole new optical business built around what you love doing most.

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Brainstorms

Have You Heard of the Diderot Effect?

It’s a psychological phenomenon that could help you close more sales.

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The Diderot Effect refers to the way a newly purchased product fails to deliver on the happiness it promised, and instead causes our other possessions to suddenly look timeworn and in need of replacement. It takes its inspiration from an essay by the enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot in which he laments how a new dressing gown has made his other clothes look like rags and he suddenly feels “discordant.” How to put this psychological weakness into play? In much the same way Ikea or any home goods retailer does: Through suggested add-ons. (“Now that you’re ordering that new dining table, shouldn’t you consider those plates, too?) Is it manipulative? We’d argue not. It’s not your fault a stylish new pair of sunglasses is suddenly making his readers look beaten up and, let’s be honest, when you take a close look, a little shabby. “I was the master of my old dressing gown,” Diderot laments in the end. “But I have become a slave to my new one.”

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