The guy with the bright shirts

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One of my clients makes candy. Really good candy. The colors of their logo, which has been their logo for around 40 years, are green and pink and are pretty distinctive. And their signature candy is made in those signature colors. A few months ago they showed me their latest venture… the candy bus. They bought an old Winnebago and painted it pink and green. There is pretty much no missing this thing when they come rolling up. Everyone in town knows the candy bus when they see it. Brilliant marketing if you ask me.

I think that successful companies, and successful individuals for that matter, find a way to set themselves apart. And sometimes it is as simple as doing something that leaves a vivid impression in their minds. For example, have you seen the Weinermobile? You know, that vehicle that looks like a hotdog in a bun? Maybe you haven’t seen it but you can probably guess which company it belongs to. Yeah, Oscar Mayer. Once you have seen it there is pretty much no forgetting it. There is a lawyer who has billboards and TV commercials where I live and he has this really catchy jingle. My kids can sing this jingle. They don’t know what he does, but they can sing it.

I was walking down the hallway a few days ago and ran into a fellow employee who was giving an orientation to a new employee in our building. She turned to the new employee and said, “This is the guy I was telling you about.” I thrust my hands in my pockets and stared at her with a fearful look on my face, waiting for the other foot to fall, half expecting something awful to be credited to me. Then she said, “You know, the guy who wears the bright shirts.” Whew.

The most prominent thing in her mind about me was the fact that I often wear bright colored shirts… green, lavender, yellow, purple, etc. The truth is that I also wear lots of white shirts, grey shirts, and black shirts, but it was my regular wearing of bright shirts that set me apart in her mind. It left an impression. What was funny about this was the fact that 2 days earlier I was picking up my dry cleaning (wearing a bright green shirt) and someone in the store saw me and said, “Man, that’s a bright shirt.” I just smiled and said, “Yep, it’s easier to be remembered that way.”

And I meant it. You see, I was at a meeting earlier that day with some very important people and I wanted them to remember me, and wearing a bright shirt is a great way to accomplish that. Those folks may not remember my name, but I guarantee that they will remember that green shirt and perhaps some of what I said. I try to wear bright shirts when I speak as well. It helps people remember me.

So my question to you is… what sets you apart? Do you have a candy bus? Do you always wear a mohawk? Do you have a catchy jingle? When all else fails, just wear a brightly colored shirt. It works for me!

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