Concerning An Introspective Paradigm Shift Of The Warm & Fuzzy Variety
I've been having deep thoughts lately. Perhaps it's the spicy Italian sausages I've been consuming, or the pain medication I take. But whatever the reason, I've been giving considerable thought to what we do ... the selling of promotional products ... and how that fits into the grand scheme of things. Is there more to it than offering up a coffee mug with a three-color logo or successfully solving a complex marketing challenge? What if the answer to this question could change the way you think about what you do for a living? Could it actually trigger an introspective paradigm shift?
Well I've come up with an answer that is both deep and meaningful ... and not really funny. Normally I write "funny," so this is ... a growth experience for me. Moving forward, there aren't a lot of gags in this article. For me, THIS is Bold, Different and, hopefully, Memorable...
When we're born, we are assigned a number. This number consists of nine digits and is used to identify us for the rest of our lives. In addition to this primary number, as life continues and grows more complicated, we select or are assigned user names and passwords, and then variations of user names and variations of passwords (to trick the unsavory people who may have figured out our original user names and passwords to prevent them from stealing us and other numbers associated with us), all circulating, like planets around a sun, around that primary identifying nine-digit number.
It's soulless. This existence of ours can be so mechanized and soulless. That's why the little human moments are to be cherished, to be celebrated. Moments of tenderness, of joy, of humor, of desire, of faith. These moments counteract the cold, grey inevitability of our ongoing and constant numberization. They are the counterpoint of real emotion to the harshness of how much we earn and how much we owe and how much is left - surely the coldest number of all.
Emotion is the great equalizer that makes life worth living. I believe the reason we are here is to reach out to those around us, to our family and friends and co-workers and fellow Americans and citizens of Planet Earth and to touch them on an emotional level. To make someone smile, to create laughter, to bolster self-worth, to praise and to love and to move them. That's what life is. A series of emotional reactions, from birth to death. To counteract the numbers and the passwords. I used to think that life was a series of down moments between ecstasies (I was young and didn't date much) but I've come to the more mature conclusion that life is a series of human moments between forms, data entries, tax calculations and mortgage payments. Emotional moments.
Promotional products, when used correctly, elicit emotional response. We could sell liability insurance or toner cartridges or industrial fryers but we don't, we sell dream realization and brand awareness and thank-you gifts and achievement awards ... we sell emotional engagement via behavior modification. That's more powerful than industrial fryers. (And less fattening.)
What we bring to the table appeals to people on a human, emotional level. This is the greatness that is promotional products. A creative and fun solution to a critically important communication problem where every day is Christmas and Happy Birthday and Thank You for being our customer. Branded merchandise is a gift, a present, a reward and we react very emotionally to this stimuli.
The happy conclusion that I've come to is that I'm proud to be a part of an industry that triggers smiles and warm fuzzy feelings. Life needs more smiles and warm fuzzy feelings. You just can't have too much of these good things. So be proud, 562-37-9848! You may be just another number in the grand scheme of things, but the people around you every day, your customers, look to you to make their clients feel happy, appreciated, rewarded. In my book, that makes you a success on every page, in every paragraph. What we do matters beyond the sale. It matters on a human level. You matter on a human level and you have every right to feel good about that and about what you do.
Sounds like an introspective paradigm shift to me.
Rick Greene, MAS is the Western Regional Vice President with HALO Branded Solutions, a Past President of SAAC and the author of two wildly funny books of fantasy fiction, "Boofalo" and "Shroom", available at Amazon or any online book retailer. His next article will return to the ''funny' stuff. Seriously.