"Step right this way, Sir..." Yep. I was the lucky one. Should have played that one last game of blackjack. Sure enough, I was the lucky one chosen at the Vegas airport to be the proud recipient of a TSA "exhaustive search". Why?!? Seriously? "What made you pick me?", I inquired, placing the business cards back into my pocket from the x-ray tub. "Those ... uh... THINGS! ... in your pocket. Are those magnets!?!", he asked, as if magnets were the next thing to a bottle of shampoo on the FAA "stuff that could be really deadly and dangerous on a plane" list. "No Sir, those are my business cards." Business cards?", he asked unbelievably. "Yes Sir.", I replied. "Whose stupid idea was it to print round business cards?", he asked smugly looking down his long nose at the blasphemous round objects. "Mine Sir.", I answered, wondering if he expected me to evaluate his mental capacity aloud in return. "Next time, keep those things in your briefcase. Anything that makes you stand out in an airport is not a good idea." "Yes Sir.", I said, channeling every ounce of self control within me to refrain from rolling on the floor laughing.
If you haven't already seen them our business cards are just like our approach to managing IT for our clients. Different. Other than conventional. Provocative. They're round. And, because we think too much pomp and circumstance goes into a title, we've made up our own creative titles - different, other than conventional, provocative titles. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I've received calls from clients telling me how much they like them - and even that they aspire to "collect them all".
I've been preaching to our tribe, through this economic downturn, about interruptive contact. Every contact we have with our customers, partners and distributors - whether it be a phone call, email, personal visit, or thank-you card sent by snail mail - must be interruptive. Interruptive - so much that it gives the recipient pause and makes them think "wow - these folks are different!".
I am continually turned off by bland, safe, industry standard "me too" marketing. That's why we've chosen to market in ways that are interruptive. Interruptive in ways that scream out loud that we are real people with real personalities and real creative ability. Yes, it's perhaps risky in some ways, but it's different. And different is good. Even if it makes some folks uncomfortable. Especially the TSA guy in the Vegas airport. I left him my card. Twenty bucks says he shows it to his wife tonight when he gets home as he tells her the story.