Heroes and Villains

Posted on Posted in competition, Creativity, Professional Development, Promotional Merchandise, work

I recognize that the following is not unique to the promotional products industry…my home for so many years.  I’ve seen it in the automotive industry, for example, where car companies market the same model, but with different names sold by their different brands.  Does it make them evil villains?  No…it’s all in the name of doing business.  But as someone who has been around and back again (and has the war stories and scars to prove it), I am never ceased to be amazed at what is often the lack of imagination over which I stumble regularly.  I think it bothers me most about the promotional industry because it is allegedly one which prides itself on creativity and originality…and yet I see direct imitations (“knock-offs” is such an ugly, yet accurate, word), and so many different “manufacturers” offering the same exact merchandise which they’ve sourced from the same overseas factories.

When customers or consumers can buy the same product or service from a number of different vendors, the question becomes: why should they work with you?  I’ve had this discussion many times over the years, with my bosses and my own staff.  What is it that sets you apart?  What’s the “secret sauce”?

If not your secret sauce, what’s your superpower?  This article, which is actually a clever dialogue, will help you discover what it is that sets you apart from the competition.  We’re all unique…sometimes we just need a little guidance to show us how to take advantage of that.

I’ll admit: I had never seen this video prior to including it in this post.  Very Beatles influenced, with a touch of the Dead, as well as a reminder to me of the Monkees’ “Rainbow Room” shoots.  All in all, way too many hallucinogenics clearly went into its creation!

Mike Schenker, MAS
Mike Schenker, MAS, is an award-winning promotional products industry professional and All That at Mike Schenker, Consulting. He’s been a distributor and a supplier, and has a view of our industry which can best be described as “unique”.  He takes the promotional products business very seriously, but not himself, and his reflections on all things imprinted can be found in his monthly column for PromoCorner.  He is one of the admins of the popular Promotional Products Professionals group on Facebook, a two-time candidate for the PPAI Board of Directors (but he’s not bitter), a member of the SAAGNY Hall of Fame, and the recipient of the 2014 PPAI Distinguished Service Award.
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