While I have worked in the jewelry industry since 2000, my college degree is actually in Marketing with an emphasis in Consumer Behavior and Psychology. Having that type of background has often helped with jewelry store marketing and especially the concept of how to price merchandise at our store in Crystal Lake, Illinois. However, my education has often made it difficult to accomplish one specific concept at Nelson’s Jewelry… coming up with a completely original idea.
To clarify, it is not that everything I ever suggest for marketing at Nelson’s I copied from someone else. Really, it is just that my education has taught me to doubt that any original ideas are actually left in the World. Stop for a second and think about one of your favorite commercials. Maybe go back to last year’s Super Bowl commercials, because really who am I kidding, no one watches regular commercials anymore, and try to remember what your favorite was from that collection of inventive thoughts. By far, my favorite was the Doritos commercial with the little boy. Remember, he talks to his mom’s date for the first time, watches him check her out as she leaves the room and then proceeds to slap him across the face just as he is about to eat one of his Doritos.
“One, keep your hands off my mama. Two, keep your hands off my Doritos.”
Now maybe that was totally an original idea from Doritos. Maybe no one else has ever had a little kid tell an adult to not lay a finger on one of his favorite food products. Or maybe this commercial never really aired during the Super Bowl in 1994.
I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure it did.
So, are there really any original ideas left? Part of me hopes so, because otherwise more of my friends in the marketing industry will soon be looking for employment, but part of me is just fine taking an idea and putting my own “original” spin on it like Doritos did last year. For example, I know I did not invent the Thank You card. However, how many people have you sent a thank you note to simply because Martha Stewart told you it was the proper thing to do? Or, how many thank you notes have you received that you were genuinely surprised someone sent you in the first place? Unfortunately, I think too many of the first kind have been sent and not enough of the latter have been received.
In 2011, my first idea of an original nature is to thank my customers for shopping during 2010 with an actual handwritten note of thanks. Seems like a simple concept, but how many of us in retail have forgotten that a little gesture like a handwritten note should mean a lot more to a customer than a huge Cash for Gold billboard? It feels like an awful lot of us retail guys are taking the email way out and I don’t know about you, but I am feeling like the last thing that says “thanks” is an email Constant Contact personalized just for you and 1,000 of your most intimate business friends.
This year, I am not going to copy that ideological trend. Instead, I am originating the thank you note of the future, a simple and genuine handwritten thanks. I will be sure to let you know how my idea works out and, just in case you were wondering, you are more than welcome to copy.