Expand Your Promotional Possibilities Through “Use Re-Invention” Thinking.

Here is the latest article from Mickael Merry Crooks, a 23 year advertising veteran in the US and a devoted writer of our BLOG!

Come on Michael, please us one more time!!!

You know that guy that comes up with an idea that causes you to roll your eyes ? I’m that guy. I’ve caused more eyes to roll than a potato farmer.

I recently caused an eye-rolling episode for a local florist . I was holding a huge, soft rubber fist that serves the promotional market as a 20oz beverage holder, primarily in sports settings. I said, “What do you think, Jim? It’s the Fistful of Flowers bouquet.”

He rolled his eyes. His wife rolled her eyes. Why? Because, in their mind, flowers go in vases and baskets — not in big fists. After some prodding, they agreed to put arrangements in the fist. Suddenly, they realized the marketing value of themed arrangements and their ability to appeal to specific circumstances and situations in people’s lives. This insight will help separate them from the rest of the florists in town.

Often my ideas are initially outside of people’s comfort zone because I employ “Use Re-Invention” thinking. I simply reinvent how something is used. For instance, if I say, “Hey, let’s put this tire on the car” you’d probably go along with it. But what if I say, “Hey, let’s use this tire to grow potatoes.” You may roll your eyes, even after I tell you that I know it works — because I’ve done it!…

While the big fist is just one example, any promotional product that holds liquid from mugs and tumblers to water bottles and carafes can be used as a vase for a fresh-flower floral arrangement. And the promotional products that can be incorporated into silk arrangements is even broader. How does knowing this help you as a marketer?

Consider this tale of two salespeople. Albert lands an appointment with a prospect. He has the meeting and gives the prospect an imprinted mug as a leave behind. Susan also lands an appointment and has the meeting. The next day, she sends a small arrangement to the prospect’s office with her company’s imprinted mug serving as the vase along with an appropriate note.

All else being equal, Susan’s actions are more impactful, memorable and effective than Albert’s. They both used a mug. But Susan employed “Use Re-Invention”, and something relatively benign that you drink out of — becomes a memorable delivery device.

A pen is another item that can be used effectively– differently. Normally, a pen is used as a writing instrument. Applying “Use Re-Invention” thinking, I focused on the clip of the pen and thought, “Hey! A paper clip that can also be used as a pen!” Under the right circumstances, using an imprinted pen with a strong clip as a paper clip can have an effective impact.

With a little creative thought, you can take a product that is intended for one purpose and turn it into a marketing multi-tasker. Take megaphones for example.

First, and most obvious, they are great to use as a megaphone. If you want to drive traffic to your website, incorporate a cheer-writing competition into your marketing plan. Then post most entries and winner’s photos on your website.

But by employing “Use Re-Invention” thinking, you can use those same megaphones as traffic cones as part of a bicycle safety rally, a community walk/run or for a school’s field day events. You can also place the megaphone over a vase, insert flowers and you have instant table centerpieces. And finally, if you purchase megaphones with the optional end cap, you can fill them with popcorn or peanuts giving you a great presence at fairs, festivals and trade shows.

Remember, promotional products do not know, nor do they care how they are used! Employing a little “Use Re-Invention” thinking can lead to memorable impact — and brilliant results.

Thank a lot Michael l!!!!