Friday, April 01, 2005

How gutsy are you?

One of my favorite business innovators is Donald Cooper, the indefatigable former manufacturer and retailer who now travels the world speaking about human marketing.

In a world of self-serving sound bites, his monthly e-newsletter is one of the wordiest, and worthiest, sources of business insight you will find on the Net.

In his latest issue (March) he recalls an incredibly gutsy ad campaign he created for his women’s clothing store that had the experts chortling – until it brought the customers in by the busload.

Oh, let him tell it. The ad read:

“You’ve probably heard my other radio commercials where I tell you about our incredible prices on a huge selection of the latest fashions for women of all ages. You’ve probably heard me talk about our amazing invitation to ‘Please take as many items in the change as you wish’, and our electric massage chairs for husbands and our fabulous pirate-ship play area for kids. I bet you’ve also heard me brag that we have the friendliest, most helpful staff anywhere and that they’re not on commission, so they always tell you the truth.

“Well, don’t take my word for it… call us here at the store, right now, and ask to speak with one of our customers. Ask them if it’s true. Ask them if there’s any other store, anywhere, that they’d rather shop at. Call us, right now at 555-321-1234.”

The result? According to The Donald (Cooper is the real deal; Trump is just a poseur):

“Hundreds of women called and customers begged to take those calls so that they could tell other women about their favorite store. This ad helped make us famous. It was gutsy, it was outrageous…and it worked!”

So how could your business be gutsy and unique… today?

To learn more about Donald Cooper, visit
You’ll have to “register” to get his free articles, but they’re worth it!

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