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A brochure to die for

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The power of print can never be underestimated when you are trying to get noticed in a crowded market place. Mind you, this is not just a lesson for small businesses, but is one that wage and salary earners can take on board as well.

This business lesson of life came back to me when I saw an old copy of a magazine I used to edit before going to The Australian. The story which jogged my memory was called ‘Absolutely incredible, fabulously edible’. (I reckon I made this one up, but I’m sure my wife would tell you that she did!)

It was the story of a local business which used to be located at Sydney’s Botany that had made a gigantic splash in the smoked and wind-dried salmon market.

Who would have thought 15 years ago we would be taking Tasmanian salmon, smoking it in Botany and selling it in Japan and to the likes of Qantas? This was what brothers John and Don Wilson had done and it symbolises the entrepreneurial spirit which has emerged in this country.

If there is one plus coming out of the misery, which is economic rationalism, restructuring and downsizing is the emergence of a resilient small business breed of Aussies who will do anything to make a buck. Lack of mollycoddling protection often creates high achievers.

But I digress. Why more on this smoked salmon business? Well, the answer is simple. The reason I wrote about them was because I read about them.

A close friend of ours who worships at the foot of the food god had a wonderful brochure on her sideboard as we awaited her latest culinary creation one Saturday night.

Now Ms R is a smoked ‘salmonist’ and would be a contender for the world's most prolific consumer of the product. That is on a regularity of consumption basis and not a quantity basis. (That should get me off the hook.)

Back to the brochure. The trick about this brochure was it did not look like a brochure. It was beautiful paper with tasteful design and the words read like Seinfeld's ‘J. Peterman’ catalogue. (You know, Elaine's boss.) For those who don’t know, the script got you in like a blini (trendy version of a cracker) topped with smoked salmon and horseradish cream with sprinkles of dill.

Now I know I have really gone on about this, but as you can see this printed promotion did the trick for the business in question.
Marketing must leave an indelible message on the mental hard disks of potential consumers. The wage and salary earner should remember this when they put together their CVs and job applications.

Published on: Tuesday, September 01, 2009

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