The truth about direct mail marketing campaigns – still effective after all of these years; and yes, even to millennials

Direct mail marketing - to millennials

There has been quite a backlash from The New York Times blockbuster article last weekend claiming that social media giant sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others routinely look the other way (some would say even encourage) when fake and paid-for profiles make up a significant portion of a member’s group of followers. Part of the narrative is that internet marketing numbers have been over-hyped from the beginning, and that this latest expose should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the history of online marketing.

The overstating of subscriber and follower numbers and impact is a reminder that there are other, often more reliable forms of marketing that are available to your business. With the right advisor to guide you while also helping you to create, design and execute a highly effective Direct Mail marketing campaign, you can reap significant financial benefits from your marketing budget. In the West Palm Beach market, Print It Plus is one of the very few printing, branding, advertising and marketing companies that has the expertise in all of those areas to help you maximize your return on investment on your direct mail campaign.

Is it true that direct mail can still be an effective and cost-effective marketing tool for your business? Yes. And do not take our word for it. There have been numerous studies conducted by well-respected companies in recent years highlighting that even millennials – yes, millennials! – read and utilize information and coupons they receive in their physical mailboxes. How attracted to direct mail are millennials?

Recent studies report the following data:

A study cited in a 2013 article in Compu-Mail shows:

And here are additional statistics cited from another recent article on Digitaldogdirect.com:

  • 90% of Millennials said they would prefer postal delivery over email when receiving promotional items. (Source)
  • 82 percent of Millennials read direct mail from retail brands and more than half (54 percent) look forward to receiving hard-copy retail catalogs in the mail. (Source)
  • 73% of Millennials use direct mail coupons when making purchases. (Source)
  • 63% of Millennials who responded to a direct mail piece within the past three months made a purchase. (Source)
  • 90 percent of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable. (Source)
  • Those ages 18 to 21 read mailings immediately 62 percent of the time. (Source)
  • 25% of Millennials consider reading direct mail a leisure activity. (Source)
  • 80% of Millennials want brands to entertain them, and they find direct mail entertaining. (Source)

 

The bottom line is that a well-strategized plan using Direct Mail and/or Every Door Direct Mail campaigns will get your business a significant amount of exposure to potential customers, even when they are millennials.

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your marketing ideas, including showing you how to incorporate a powerful direct mail campaign into your plan for 2018. In addition to our knowledge of every door direct mail (EDDM) and all other aspects of direct mail, we offer custom design and production for all of your marketing pieces including on vehicle wraps, posters, banners, signs and all printed materials. We also offer mailing, branding, business stationery and business cards, marketing collateral, variable data printing, promotional products, websites and secure web form services for medical offices.  It is our pleasure to service the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton. Ask about our free pick-up and delivery throughout the county on your order, as well!

To talk with our account team, one of our designers or to place an order, contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884. You can also visit our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or email us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES throughout this new year of 2018 and well into the future!

 

Here are links to the two articles mentioned above:

 

 

Here are links to four other articles with more data which further supports millennials’ attraction for and significant usage of direct mail.

 

 

 

 

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Print It Plus Celebrates 30-year Anniversary in Palm Beach County!

30 year Logo

We are proud to announce that 2018 marks its 30th year in business in Palm Beach County! Founded in 1988 by David and Kimberly Leland, Print It Plus has come a long way in 30 years – while never losing sight of our mission to bring high-quality, locally-based products and services to the Palm Beach County business community.

“Honestly, our 30 years in business here in Royal Palm Beach has been an amazing experience,” Kimberly said in a recent interview. “Not only is this a wonderful community, but we have really enjoyed working with individuals and businesses in helping to better this community. Helping local businesses grow and become successful has been very rewarding for us personally as well as professionally.”

We officially opened the doors to Print It Plus in October of 1988 in the same location where our business still resides today – 11420 Okeechobee Boulevard near the heart of the Village of Royal Palm Beach.

“Back when we started we were a two-person operation: I was out on the road during the day, while Kimberly waited on customers here at the shop,” David reminisced. “At night, I would run the printing presses while Kimberly did the typesetting. Our 3 kids would be doing the homework, eating their dinner or watching TV in the back. When they were old enough they would help us with some of the work.”

“As area residents, as well as local small business owners, Kim and I are extremely proud to be celebrating this milestone of 30 years,” said David. “We’re proud to say we’ve grown and evolved as technology has changed, and we look forward to serving this wonderful community well into the future.”

He continued, “We have gone through good times and bad, including one of the worst economic downturns of our lives (the Recession from 2008-2010) – and we survived because we have built such a foundation in this community of not only volunteering and supporting our community and it showed that it supported us during the hard times or we probably would not have survived like so many other businesses didn’t. It is nice that we are still getting the support from our local Village, and our local businesses”

We credit our team’s commitment to offering the highest quality and best customer service on a daily basis to continue building on our company’s winning formula. Today, Print It Plus employs local experts and has expanded its product and service offerings to include vehicle wraps, graphic design, branding, website, multi-media marketing, advertising, promotional products and of course, printing – most of which are produced onsite or sourced locally.

“We give tours of our operation, and people are always amazed to see what goes into creating great printed and branded products,” said Vice President Kimberly Leland. “It takes a combination of excellent customer service, designers, as well as, state-of-the-art equipment.”

Come in any time during business hours and we will be happy to work with you to create a winning marketing strategy, and/or take you on a guided tour of our facility. We specialize in turning your printing, branding, marketing and advertising ideas into profitable solutions for your company.

Print It Plus will help you grow your company by finding the best marketing and advertising products and services for your situation in Palm Beach County – from Royal Palm Beach to Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee and everywhere in between. We provide virtually any product or service imaginable to communicate with your clients, employees, stockholders, and vendors.  We are experts at corporate identity pieces, branding, marketing, printing and design. For more information about Print It Plus, contact Kimberly Leland at kim@printitplus.com, by calling (561) 790-0884, or go to our website at www.printitplus.com.

We wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2018!

Custom Calendars are one of the best gifts to keep you in front of your customers this holiday season

Custom Calendars - November 2017

One of the hardest things to do as a vendor is to stay in front of your customers on a daily basis so that when the time comes for them to purchase the products or services you offer, they think of you first. You know that you do not want to come across as overbearing, or pushy: you can quickly turn a valued customer into a lost customer if you make them feel harassed or pressured.

And yet being at the top of their minds when they are ready to purchase is a key to growing your business. Throughout our three decades in business in Palm Beach County we have been asked “what are the most successful ways to stay in front of my customers during the year without turning them off?”

Customized calendars are one of the best, most valuable, least offensive and cost-effective ways to stay in front of your customers. Calendars can serve as an excellent marketing piece. A calendar can be seen by dozens, if not hundreds, of people during its life cycle, exposing your brand and business in a stunning, beautiful way. Calendars also allow you to effectively convey the holiday spirit all year round to the people you care about the most.

At Print It Plus we have found that printed calendars stand the test of time as one of the most effective ways to accomplish this feat.  Calendars link your photographic life to your everyday life. You can create a calendar with your own pictures, pictures from your customer or vendor, or some other group that you know will keep you top of mind with the most important people in your life.

In addition, a printed, custom calendar is often faster and more straight-forward to use than electronic devices. Is it easier trying to convince someone to download your app to their phone, or handing them a ready-made calendar that they can hang on the wall or put on their desk and reference it literally at their fingertips any time they want? For most people, a printed calendar is still a vitally important piece of their personal organization.

We can produce custom calendars with your images. Or you may want to have calendars that advertise your business from a huge selection of our pre-made designs. Either way, we have the following full-calendar printing services available to you:

  • High-quality full color, offset and short-run digital color and black & white printing
  • Multiple options of premium paper stocks available
  • Multiple sizes and binding options
  • Very fast turnaround times

Custom Calendars 2 - November 2017

AND RIGHT NOW our custom Calendars for 2018 are available for you to purchase at a special price! Go to  https://printitplus.com/printing/calendar-specials to choose from one of wall or desk calendar options and receive incredible discount off our normal prices. And if you need more hands-on help, call us at (561) 790-0884 and we will get you connected with our award-winning design team to help you to design a beautiful calendar today.

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your printed calendar and any other printing, advertising, direct mail, medical office and corporate gift ideas. We also do vehicle wraps for one vehicle or a whole fleet, and wide format banners and posters too. For 3 decades we have proudly served the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, and Riviera Beach.

Contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884, visiting our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or by emailing us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES this and every holiday season!

The time is here to get your holiday cards – and save money with our Print It Plus October special!

hope-peace-joy this Holiday season

October is not only the time of fall, pumpkins and Halloween. It is also the time of year for people to pick out holiday cards to send to customers, vendors, family, and friends alike. You want to find that card which expresses the beauty and elegance of this time of year while also showing those that you care about the most how happy you are to have them in your personal life or working with your business.

Print It Plus is the place to come to find, choose and send out the perfect card this holiday season. With almost three decades in the business of holiday card offering and mailing, we know how to help you find the right card to convey your message with just the right touch – and you do not even have to come into our office to make your selection!

Go right to the page on our website https://printitplus.com/printing/holiday-cards to go right to our holiday card page. On that page you will be able to choose from over 30 million beautiful images from our online collection, or we can custom print any design using photographs of your company or family to create a more personalized look. Your creative possibilities are almost infinite!

If you want to take a more hands on approach, you can come into our conveniently-located Royal Palm Beach location right on Okeechobee Blvd. just west of 441 and browse through our many catalogs to select from extensive choices of extremely elegant holiday cards. One of our expert designers will be happy to work with you and help you pick that perfect design for this holiday season.

Furthermore, if you already have a design we can custom design or print from your design with our quality multi-faceted printing processes that will ensure your piece is delivered as vibrant and sharp as you imagine. Add our cutting-edge Spot UV coating to impress your recipients. Come on in see and feel the difference… and take your cards and other printed materials to a whole different level!

And why wait for the December holidays? If you are the type of person who likes to send cards for weddings, birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving or any other special announcement, we are here to help you. Do you need your cards or other printing fast? Call us directly at (561) 790-0884 or go to https://printitplus.com/printing/premium and you can get a rush delivery on your order.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

And during this month of October we are offering the following SPECIAL – Place your Holiday Card order through our website, use the return address on the holiday cards is printed FOR FREE. That is equal to at least a $20 savings on your order! All you have to do is place your order before the end of the month.

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your Holiday, Wedding and Post card design, printing, addressing and mailing in addition to any other printing, advertising, direct mail, medical office, vehicle wraps, banners and corporate gift ideas now, and throughout the whole year. This is our 29th year proudly serving  the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton.

Contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884, visiting our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or by emailing us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES this holiday season!

Millennials Hate your Marketing — Here’s Why (and what you can do about it)


You’ve done it! You researched the young adult market, identified their buying power, and now that “just for millennials” campaign has launched and you’re waiting for the leads to roll in. But instead, nothing happens.

What’s behind the lack of attention and response from this coveted age group? Adults under the age of 30 make up about 1.4% of the U.S. population and pack about 1.3 trillion in buying power domestically. This massive market is made up of savvy consumers who are digital natives and who are very aware of marketing and advertising.

So, why aren’t they paying attention to your marketing? It could be one of these three reasons.

You Treat Them as an Afterthought

It’s a common misconception that millennials, particularly young ones, don’t have the money to buy things or that they waste their money on the wrong things, like avocado toast and pumpkin spice lattes. The problem with this approach is that brands who see these young adults in this way tend to promote the most heavily discounted or bottom of the line products using cost-conscious gimmicks.

Both entry-level products and marketing gimmicks drive millennials away. These savvy users what the newest, the latest and the best, and they can pay for it. Don’t assume your youngest targets can’t afford your best or most recent models. If they are truly captivated with your brand, they’ll find a way. Offer your best products and your most innovative lineup to this group and if they like what you have to share, they’ll keep coming back for more.

You Roll out a “Millennial” Product

You may call it that internally, but labeling your product as a millennial offering is a sure way to drive young adults away from it. Promote it that way on social media and you could get a lot of attention – in a negative way. That innate disapproval of marketing means that millennials are going to be suspicious of any product that announces itself as aimed at them (and could even mock it relentlessly online). You can target millennials with a campaign, approach, or product, but don’t overtly mention it in your materials to avoid a backlash.

You’re Not Social

If you’re dabbling in social media because you are supposed to, but not truly interacting, you’re likely driving away the very consumers you want to attract. Millennials are social media savvy and use channels regularly for entertainment, engagement, and social chatter. A steady stream of promotion is going to drive these coveted young adults away. Instead, pull back on the promotions and truly engage.

If you have an employee who already loves social media, this might be the right person to have monitor and post, even if they are not officially on your marketing team. Social media channels that speak to and “get” millennials can lead to huge brand success, while a mismatch in your messaging can cause millennials to see your brand as out of touch or irrelevant.

Harnessing the power of this massive demographic is well worth the effort, but the first step is ensuring that your current messaging isn’t driving your young adult targets away from your brand. Taking the time to learn how millennials spend money, what matters to them, and even why they love engagement so much can help you tailor your efforts to resonate with this coveted group.


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The Rise and Fall of Nate Silver: A Lesson in Risk Communication


Political prognosticator and analytics guru Nate Silver rose to national fame by correctly predicting elections. But in 2016, Silver joined almost every other analyst by projecting a victory for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Was Silver’s good luck over?

Cognitive Bias and the “Failure” of Data

Actually, Silver’s estimate for the 2016 election was closer to correct than almost anyone else’s. He saw Clinton as a heavy favorite, but still gave Donald Trump a roughly one-in-three shot of winning. But the world didn’t remember that part of the projection once the election results came in. They just remembered the part Silver got wrong. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman has an explanation: cognitive bias.

Kahneman studied how people make decisions and judgments, and he quickly discovered that they don’t make any sense. People like to think of themselves as logical and rational, but they mostly use logic to justify believing whatever they want to believe anyway. And one thing people absolutely love to believe is that the future is certain. Human minds loathe uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds anxiety and fear—sometimes paralyzing fear. So when given a number like “one in three” or “ninety percent,” they subconsciously convert the odds to “yes” or “no.”

This cognitive bias is often very useful. You probably never consider the statistical chance that you’ll be run over by a bus because if you did, you might never leave the house. It’s far easier, and probably mentally healthier, to treat the risk of bus accidents as a 0. But the tendency to round probabilities up or down can be disastrous in the business world.

Communicating Risk

Have you told your boss that there’s a 90% chance you’ll make the sale? If the deal didn’t go through, you were probably in a bit of hot water. Has a supplier ever told you her product’s failure rate was less than 1%? You’d probably be pretty mad if your order was a dud. The problem with both of those statements of probability is that they do a poor job of communicating risk. They invite the mind’s cognitive bias to take over and convert the estimate into a certainty. When that certainty turns out not to be so certain, it feels like a broken promise.

That’s why the world decided Nate Silver was wrong. They had rounded up the probability of a Clinton victory to a guarantee. When Trump won, it felt like Silver had broken his word. His failure wasn’t in the data—it was in the way he communicated the risk.

The lesson here is that quoting numbers won’t save you. Don’t just toss out percentages—put them in context. Visualizations are one useful technique. If a product will fail one time in a hundred, a graphic with 99 white shapes and one black shape gets the message across far more effectively than the numbers. Analogies are also effective. A 90% probability? That’s about the same as the chance that an NFL kicker will make a 32-yard field goal. Anchoring the numbers to a familiar context creates a lasting impression. It forces the mind to acknowledge uncertainty.

In business and life, people care about honesty. But if your goal is to be trustworthy, it’s not enough to state the facts. You have to make those facts sink into others’ minds. When it comes to probabilities and risks, that task is taller than it looks.


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The Art of Time-Blocking: A Simple Tip to Revolutionize Your Productivity

time calendarMost people just aren’t that good at multitasking. Trying to remain focused (and organized) is one of the most significant time wasters, especially in the life of a business professional. When you try to do too many things at the same time, you become a “Jack of all Trades, Master of None.” Just when you’re trying to get work done on that big project, another email comes in that you have to respond to. You hop over to your email client and suddenly the phone is ringing, or you realize that you have to proof a new design before it heads out the door. It’s maddening.

Thankfully, there is a better way. By adopting the fine art of time-blocking, you may have just found the simple, yet effective technique you’ve been looking for to unlock a bold new era of productivity in both your personal and professional life.

What is Time-Blocking?

At its core, time-blocking is the idea that you should segment your day into clearly defined (and strictly adhered to) blocks of productivity. Organize the tasks you need to complete by category and set aside a specific amount of time for those categories each day.

If you feel like you’re spending an unfortunate amount of time responding to emails every day at the expense of everything else, set aside 9:00 am to 10:00 am every morning to just focus on emails. Devote every ounce of your attention to this one task and when it’s over, move onto the next one. Outside of the occasional emergency, don’t respond to emails for the rest of the day. Get it done, and then move on.

The Benefits

The beauty of time-blocking falls into two distinct categories. First, it’s an incredibly effective way to eliminate distraction. Instead of trying to divide your attention between ten little tasks, it’s almost like you’re tackling just one big one (i.e. emails, and nothing more). Not only do you get those initial tasks done faster, but the ultimate quality of your output is also much higher because you’re no longer trying to do too many things at once.

Next, time-blocking is also an excellent way to build up a strong sense of momentum that will carry you through the rest of your day. As you begin to move from block to block, you’ll constantly be surprised by just how much you’re getting done. This wave of productivity (not to mention the wave of euphoria) builds on itself, driving things home towards the finish line (and the end of the work day).

Success Comes When You Look Ahead

Another one of the keys to success regarding time-blocking is a little bit of forward thinking. This isn’t something you can make up on the fly. You need to consider the types of tasks you need to do each day and what you have to get done by week’s end. Look ahead a little bit and make a list of your top priorities. Then, separate those into categories and get down to business.

Remember, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Time-blocking won’t suddenly create an extra hour in your day, but it will help you make better use of the hours you already have. If you try to add too many things to your list to the point where it becomes unrealistic, you’ll end up working against your goal and not towards it. You’ll quickly begin to feel overwhelmed, which is something that you do not want.


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The One-Trick Pony Syndrome

One trick pony.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “a one-trick pony?”

Researchers believe the “one-trick pony” phrase comes from an entertainment background. According to research, the earliest reference was associated with circus ponies used to perform a trick or feat that impressed audiences. The ponies involved could do an amazing act, such as walking on their hind feet, but that was all they could do. Eventually, the audiences got bored with the show. In one version of the story, a pony had a dog partner that would ride on it. While the audience got sick of seeing the pony do the same thing every time the circus was in town, the dog gained fame because it learned and began to perform new tricks. In time, the dog became the star, and the pony was relegated to hauling circus carts.

Is Your Business A One-Trick Pony?

The moral of the story here is not to allow your business to get stuck on only one good thing. It’s tempting to think that if you have something good going, why ruin it? Well, over time that good thing will become less and less popular. The number of customers who want it will diminish and the business will have to start cutting prices to keep it attractive. Eventually, the product or service won’t sell at all.

Palm PDAs and Blackberry were both perfect examples of the one-trick pony mistake. They both had a really good product for a while, but both companies failed to upgrade and develop new products. Eventually, someone else did, and their customer base walked away. Those text screens on a Blackberry and similarly on a Palm PDA simply looked old and obsolete versus smartphones like the original Apple iPhone. The world had changed.

It’s Time to Diversify

Is your business riding the wave right now of a star pony? If so, now is the time to be looking for and generating a new path. Diversify into a new product or new service. Not only does it protect your business’ longevity, but multiple revenue streams from different customers will eventually offset each other when one of them starts to weaken.

Companies that map out their product/service life cycle and plan for eventual loss with replacement “ponies” are the firms that survive and grow. Don’t let all your energy, money, time, and effort go down the drain with a one-trick pony. Instead, use the initial success to be your springboard for the next one.


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What Happened to Summer? Back-to-School Marketing Starts Earlier Than Ever

Back to School Marketing
The temperature is soaring, steaks sizzle on the grill, and kids play in the pool, but not everyone is thinking summer. Back to school season is starting earlier than ever for big retailers and the impact trickles over into all aspects of marketing. Both Office Depot and Land’s End launch back to school campaigns at the start of summer – in some cases before school even ended in some parts of the country.

This is a change even from last year; according to AdAge, 2016 saw back to school marketing head into full swing around the middle of July. Time magazine cites the need for retailers to make as many revenues as possible during the highest spending periods as the reason Black Friday, Halloween, and Back to School promotions are being scheduled earlier than ever before.

When does Back to School Begin?

Big retailers working on the premise that earlier is better have begun pushing back-to-school marketing back each year. Back to school is big business for retailers, since it is worth about 78 billion; it is second only to the major holidays for revenues, according to AdAge.

How Early is Too Early?

Office Depot’s back-to-school advertising rolled out June 25 of this year, a full three weeks earlier than 2016’s July launch. Other retailers are following suit, but there is some consumer backlash against the early push. Lands’ End received public criticism on social media when their back-to-school catalog dropped while kids in many parts of the country were still in school.

“We got your #backtoschool catalog in the mail. Our kids still have two weeks of school left this year! #fail #marketing,” tweeted Greg Magin.

@GregMagin helpfully tagged his rant with #fail, #backtoschool and #Marketing, so it was seen by far more than just his followers. This backlash from consumers shows that a too-early launch can backfire. Right now, the sweet spot for back-to-school marketing seems to be right after the 4th of July through the end of the month.

Back-to-school marketing is all about timing. Being aware of this pitfall, and of the enormous potential of this busy season, can help you make the most of Back to School season for your brand and ensure your organization has a visible presence during this often overlooked marketing opportunity.

Make Back to School Time Count for your Brand

Positioning your Back to School promotions in July and working to build not only sales but also awareness can help place you in front of consumers when they’re ready to outfit the kids for the next school year. Since most consumers begin searching online well before they part with actual money, building awareness ahead of this busy season can help you get the results you want without irritating consumers.


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Indra Nooyi: A Story in Being Yourself and Persistence

happy woman

Have you ever heard of Indra Nooyi? Maybe not, but you’ve probably bought her product at one time or another in the past year. Ms. Nooyi is the CEO of Pepsi-Co., the makers of the popular and well-known Pepsi soda brand. However, her position at Pepsi is not necessarily what is the most amazing fact of her story. Granted, reaching the status of being a Fortune 500 company CEO is huge and significant, but how Ms. Nooyi got her start is the real story. That’s because she risked everything with no safety net to fall back on.

Some Compelling Advice

Indra Nooyi came to the U.S. like so many other great minds, arriving as a student immigrant. Ms. Nooyi jumped to a slot in Harvard’s master’s degree program in business. However, graduating wasn’t her biggest challenge. It was translating her academic success into a result: getting a job. Ms. Nooyi’s first real interview was total failure – no connection, no rhythm, no job. However, she received a piece of advice from a professor that Ms. Nooyi has carried forward since then to her role as a CEO. She was told to simply “be herself.”

Ms. Nooyi clearly took the advice she received to heart. Not only has she been herself as intelligent, smart, persistent, and daring, she has also scored an enviable position of 75 percent plus support by her own employees worldwide. See if you can find a politician with as much support even when winning a national election.

What Makes A Person Successful?

For business owners and leaders, the lesson from Ms. Nooyi is to never forget what really makes a person successful. It’s not the suit, it’s not the past laurels, and it’s not the school degree. What makes the difference that catches people’s attention and gets their support is one’s personal confidence and persistence. Ms. Nooyi gambled everything with not just coming to the U.S. to succeed but to also establish herself in a highly competitive arena: business consulting. Had she failed, Ms. Nooyi would have had to return back to India and likely would have disappeared into a vast number of IT companies there; everything for her was on the line. But she persisted. And Ms. Nooyi, with her new advice on being herself, was quickly hired. That in turn became her path to eventually becoming Pepsi-Co.’s latest CEO.

A Better Choice

Business leaders trying to keep a company going will at some point face a challenge where everything has to be put on the line to get to the next level. Many don’t take that leap. It’s too risky, it’s too costly, or it’s too unknown. Yet from Ms. Nooyi’s example, the last thing anyone should be doing is trying hard to fake their way through the issue. Be yourself. Trust your skills and trust your gut to make the right the decision. That’s what got a person to a leadership role in the first place, so why should he or she be any different at the moment that counts the most? Risk, responsibilities, fears of what-if can all combine to make someone think behaving differently may be the best path forward. Clearly, from Ms. Nooyi’s example, there’s a better choice.


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