Empty suits don’t sell

Credit: Filmwise.com

Businesses profit from personality.

Nike spent millions of dollars to associate basketball star Michael Jordan with its shoes.  General Mills created a “character” for each of its successful cereals (ex. “Tony the Tiger” for Frosted Flakes.)  A popular movie star can command millions of dollars for an appearance in a single film.


Because people buy from people. It’s one of the most fundamental – and overlooked – facts of business.

It all boils down to information processing. With the never ending torrent of information that floods most people’s lives on a daily basis, we need something simple and strong to anchor on, and nothing anchors people’s perceptions like another human being.

It’s particularly important for small businesses to have personality and a human face (cartoon characters count.)

Sometimes business people like to hide behind behind a corporate ediface because they think it makes them look more “professional.”  Big mistake…

Here’s an interesting demonstration of how this phenomenon works.

Take another look at the picture above. It’s the scene from a recent movie – with the face of the actor removed. Even if you’ve seen it, I bet you’ll have trouble guessing what movie it is.  Why? There’s no human face. It works the same for how people think about and remember your business.

I got this from a site called FilmWise. Check it out and then think about what you can do to give your business something human prospects and customers can latch on to.

Empty suits don’t sell.



– Ken McCarthy

P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.

If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.

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One Response to Empty suits don’t sell

  1. Bryan Wheelock May 2, 2006 at 9:18 am #

    Ken makes a good point. For years, marketers have been operating under the idea that ‘Professionals’ only respond to a certain ‘sterile’ writing style. I’ve always thought this belief was just wrong because it’s based on the idea that we are somehow different in our jobs than in our daily life. Direct Marketing is bringing those ‘Dark Days’, to a close.


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