Letting Go Is Hard to Do: A Tribute to Ideas… and the Canadian Penny

We all get ideas we can’t let go of. Right?

There are ideas that we ran with, got some success out of, repeated and eventually fizzled out. Sometimes the fizzle is lost in us – we don’t love the idea anymore. Sometimes the fizzle is out of the idea because your customers have moved on, trends have changed, the world has moved ahead.

There are ideas that we loved for all the wrong reasons, that never took off but we were attached to.

Let the old ideas go.

Letting go makes room for the new.

I’m wondering what positive changes will come from letting go of the Canadian penny, in circulation in its most recent form since 1937. Today marks its last day of new circulation. Read this article about the impacts we may feel: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/30/goodbye-canadian-penny_n_1391075.html

Letting go of things we love is hard. But we have to. For the sake of progress.

3 Old-School Marketing Ideas to Leave in the Past

  • Communicating to the masses gets the most results. That was the ideal before social media made word of mouth marketing actually feasible on mass scales. Word of mouth is one to one communication on steroids. It’s personal. It gets results. You can still marketing to mass niches. But true mass marketing is only for the “big brands” – not small business marketers who have so many more targeted “small mass” options and one to one choices to market that make more success-based sense.
  • Creativity gets you customers. Going back to the days of Mad Men all the way through to the mid-90s, spending thousands on creative marketing slogans and clever design was the only way to fly a marketing campaign. These days, being creative is still applauded and resonates. BUT… most small businesses can earn a healthy living on clear and consistent communication that has personality, not over the top creativity for the sake of it. Content that tells a story – with clarity, consistency and good grammar win!
  • The biggest investments get the biggest results. We sometimes think that if it doesn’t cost us money, it’s bad. Or if something is more expensive, it’s better. There is price point psychology, that we as consumers, buy into that is often false (sometimes it’s not). Then we apply this thinking to our own decision making for our business – both in setting prices and in hiring help. I have spent years honing an affordable set of programs and packages for my clients that are high value. I also have a stubborn resistance to paying or conferences or hiring coaches who don’t prove the value of their price point – either through trusted testimony from people I actually know or in results-based evidence. Or, frankly, following my gut. When in doubt, whether purchasing or setting a price point, try out the lost cost methods first. This gives you experience from which to weigh the higher priced alternatives strategically before making a leap.

But Before You Let Go… Celebrate!

All good ideas require a moment of reflection, so we can carry the greatness it was forward into new thinking. Right now, let’s celebrate the Canadian penny. When newly minted, it’s coppery shine had a hue incomparable to any other money. It delighted small children into thinking they had riches. It gave us luck when found and placed in our shoe.

“Find a penny, pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck.”

Next week we’ll talk about marketing ideas from the past that you should keep! Stay tuned.

In the meantime, what are some other “old-school” ideals you’ve had to let go of? Any lingering doubts about letting go of our beloved penny? What does that make you feel in relation to your business?

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