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Brainstorms

How an Old Beer Mug and a Pair of Readers Can Create Marketing Magic

But make it fashion … and marketing!

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Writing on the Daily Optician blog, Lori Fender suggests a neat low-cost marketing idea: placing readers in artfully branded beer mugs sourced from thrift shops at your local tavern with a business card attached. “It was an instant success,” she says of the idea, which was inspired when she noticed customers struggling to read the menu. “People were not only borrowing the readers, they were putting them on and taking pictures of themselves to post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve even had people leave their old readers and trade for stronger or more fashionable ones,” she writes.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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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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