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If you’re primarily acquiring your clientele by networking, it may make sense to invest a few dollars into making yourself stand out of the crowd. Courtesy photo
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Betting on better recognition

In 2009 I sat on the board of a nonprofit, and we arranged a daylong organizational retreat at an area casino to discuss long-term strategies. As a thank you, each participant received three $1 poker chips.

Hey, it was a nonprofit giving them away — let’s cut them some slack.

All these years later, I still have the chips. Admittedly, I haven’t returned to the casino, but we can discuss their marketing some other time.

But it’s been ingrained in us that casino chips have value…and you don’t just throw money away.

Shift now to a recent Wednesday evening, when I attended a networking event with about 100 of San Diego’s top business leaders. There I collected lots of business cards…and one poker chip.

During the course of the evening, I met Larry Kesslin of LiBr8. An executive coach, Larry regularly gets tasked with bringing in interim CEOs and COOs for a range of companies and industries.

And because he recognizes that most folks see poker chips having value, he had some made to be his business card.

With the exception of cloud innovator Jeffrey Scott, I can’t think of anyone else I’ve met using poker chips for business identification. However, I doubt Jeffrey and Larry are alone.

There are a handful of companies making poker chips customized with company names, logos and personal images. These chips might be in any of a dozen colors, with or without stripes or patterns. You can upload your photo, a logo or a QR code to tell about your brand or special event.

Poker chips can also be made from plastic, clay, ceramic or metal, so there’s an option for every style. The challenge? Poker chip business cards cost roughly 15 times more than paper.

Meaning that using these chips on a day-to-day basis may not be economically feasible for start-up businesses on a really tight budget.

But if you’re primarily acquiring your clientele by networking, rather than by digital advertising or other remote marketing efforts, it may make sense to invest a few dollars into making yourself stand out of the crowd.

For anyone looking to show you provide value or put money into someone’s pocket, poker chip business cards or collateral may just be what you needed to build long-term sales.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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