Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get out your bikini!

I just returned from a wonderful family trip to Cancun, Mexico. The incredible sun, sand, and turquoise water was so inspiring and beautiful. We were a big group. My husband, daughter (18 mos), brother, sister-in-law, and sister were all on vacation together. What fun!

Last year - or maybe longer ago - my sister-in-law gave me a new bathing suit. She is somewhat of a collector (dozens of suits on hand at all times). This particular one was a green bikini. I thanked her for the gift, and promptly crammed said suit deep in a drawer. 1) it was October in Chicago 2) I had no intention of putting on a 2-piece anytime soon.

I started thinking about that suit, and I packed it on the trip to Mexico. In fact, I realized that I could not recall even one time in my adult life when I had sported a bikini. This was not one of those "tankini" type things that shows 1" of midriff. We're talking the real deal - teeny, by my standards.

As you probably guessed by now, I put that little green thing on in Cancun. I thought - why not? Just because I am neither thin nor tan, and haven't shown my bare belly since giving birth - why should this stop me? And you know what - nothing happened. No one recoiled in horror, fainted, or even pointed! Turns out, everyone must be worried about their own cellulite instead of mine. Neat!

So what on earth does this have to do with marketing, anyway? Well, Dorothy (said the cowardly lion) - sometimes when you are vulnerable, take risks, and show a little of yourself, you get unexpected benefits. I walked a little sexier, felt a bit stronger after wearing that suit. Strange, but true.

Today I talked to a prospective financial services client on the phone for a while. His firm had recently been downgraded by a major ratings agency, and they were on the defensive. Seems like the marketing approach will be "go down to the bomb shelter and wait it out," or something to that effect. So to this guy (and others in his position) I say, "Maybe you ought to whip out that bikini and see what happens?"

And call me when you're ready to show some skin.

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