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EnduraCool: A towel that sells itself

Infomercials have a bad reputation. The products sometimes look cheap, almost too good to be true. The lessons that you can discover, however, from a sales, marketing, and merchandising perspective are many.

I’ve been watching some of the NBA and NHL playoffs (yes, I do watch hockey) on television. The final teams are battling it out on the ice and the court. Six months of grinding, fighting, pushing, shoving and strategizing come down to one fluke bounce of the puck or one misjudged inbounds pass. Sweat is spilled, elbows are thrown and bodies heave and lunge in every direction to put the puck in the net or the ball in the basket.

One commercial that’s been in heavy rotation on ESPN and TNT for the past few weeks has been a commercial for EnduraCool, a towel that appears to have magical powers to cool down even the most overheated worker or athlete. The commercial packs the best of a long-form infomercial into a 30 or 60 second spot.

EnduraCool towel

EnduraCool does a masterful job at demonstrating a reason to believe.

Did you ever think your life was lacking a towel to cool you off after a hard workout or a grueling day of outside labor? The commercial does a superb job of selling the benefits of a plain, simple, pedestrian towel.

So what’s the formula? What makes this product pitch a lesson to follow? Here are the 3 keys:

1. Credibility/Authority: Yes, the product does have a 1-800 #, but it’s also available at all Lowe’s stores. Lowe’s is a recognizable, proven, trusted brand; if they are carrying this product, the legitimacy skyrockets. This is no fly-by-night operation.

Super star athletes Dwayne Wade, Reggie Bush and Serena Williams endorse the product. We may never move fluidly like Reggie or drive to the hoop with purpose like Dwayne, yet we’d certainly like any athletic edge to help us get there.

“The towel helps me stay focused on my goals,” Dwayne says as he places the towel around his neck. I nearly reached for the phone.

2. It’s simple:

  • Step 1: Soak the towel in water.
  • Step 2: Rinse the towel.
  • Step 3: Snap the towel, unleashing the cooling power.

It’s perfect timing that the EnduraCool towel enters the market now because summer is on the doorstep. Whether you need a cooling sensation while cutting the grass or refreshment while washing the car outdoors, the EnduraCool towel seems to provide instant relief.

3. Show me, don’t just tell me the benefit: The secret sauce appears to be the technology that keeps the towel cool while the outside world bakes and scorches in the summer heat. The EnduraCool commercial shows a temperature gauge on an outdoor worker’s shirt – the temperature reads 89 degrees. The temperature gauge then points to the towel and tells a different number: 59 degrees. Now that’s an escape from the summer heat.

EnduraCool does a masterful job at packing credibility, celebrity and clear, true benefit into a 30 second commercial. Leverage these tips, tricks and techniques for your business’ advertising, promotion and positioning. You may find yourself with more business than ever before.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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Words that kill: I am just a sales guy

I was on a product demonstration yesterday when I heard a salesperson say, “I am just a sales guy.”

In isolation, one could think this phrase is harmless, but let me continue to document an alarming trend starting to blanket the business world.

Imagine you are visiting a restaurant for Mother’s Day, and your waiter shares with you the day’s specials. You respond, “Wow, that omelette sounds great. This place looks cool. How long have you been open?”

I am just a sales guy.

Just ‘doing the job’ doesn’t cut it today. You need to exceed all expectations — no matter the role.

“I am not sure. I am just a waiter. I’ll have to ask my manager,” the waiter responds, his voice quivering with indifference. In your mind, you wonder why this waiter doesn’t care enough to know this answer.

You sit in the dentist’s chair as Dr. Smiles views your molars for decay. “Have you been brushing and flossing every day?” Dr. Smiles cheerfully asks.

“I try to floss every day, but sometimes I just forget,” you respond. You notice his University of Texas degree on the office wall and say, “I see you are a Texas graduate. I love the Longhorns. How long have you been a dentist?”

Dr. Smiles answers: “Oh, I don’t remember, a few years, I think. I was hoping to become a surgeon, but I wasn’t smart enough, so I just became a dentist.”

For a man that might be drilling holes in your mouth, this string of words isn’t a way to fill you with confidence.

These words that kill can also infiltrate your home.

You’ve plans to turn your backyard into a blanket of color and beauty with some native Texas landscaping.

A number of landscape experts visit with you, sharing details and proposed costs of the work you want done. One gentleman, whom you particularly like, shares: “I can probably do this work, but remember, I am just a lawn guy.”

This phrasing, this unfortunate sequencing of words: “I am just a ___ (dentist, lawn guy, fill in the blank) is a demoralizing put-down. As a potential buyer of your services, I am immediately second guessing if I’ve made the right choice.

You’ve immediately placed yourself into the world of a commodity. Instead of being a unique, talented professional with specialized skills, you’ve branded yourself as a regular, typical, ordinary worker.

My time and money are valuable. When I choose a restaurant, dentist, landscaper, I want to know that I am working with people who think of themselves as artisan craftsmen, not just someone after a paycheck.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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5 Days of Fearless Living: Day 5 – Eliminate Passivity

Our final day of the living fearlessly series may be the most difficult concept to grasp, especially for men. Eliminate passivity is the focus for Day 5, our final day.

Men sometimes have a tendency to lose aggressiveness, drive or initiative. There’s almost a fatalistic thread to this woe. I declare for men around the world to move boldly and confidently as friends, husbands, professionals, citizens. Don’t wait for others to take the lead – you do it.5 days of fearless living

Let’s be the people in the home to take out the trash, bathe the children, cook the dinner. We are way past the time where these duties were considered not part of a man’s DNA.

On football Sunday, get off the couch and play with your children or read them their favorite storybook. There will always be another game to watch, but your children won’t stay young forever. They are looking to you for leadership.

The big challenge with this fearless focus: its silence. A friend won’t necessarily tap you on the shoulder, saying, “Stop being passive at home and work.” Your significant other may not share at dinner that she needs more help from you around the house. Trust me: she does.

This challenge is squarely on you to recognize, acknowledge and correct. Eliminate passivity today; don’t wait for tomorrow to embrace the active, eager you.

So what do you think? Can you live fearlessly? The answer is yes!

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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5 Days of Fearless Living: Day 4 – Be Responsible

Yesterday, we talked about stretching beyond the familiar, taking a small step to ‘change it up’. This modification could be as small as taking a different route to school or switching your career from a chemist to an actor.5 days of fearless living

Now, we’ve arrived at Day 4 of living fearlessly. Today, we’ll dive into ‘being responsible’. Being responsible seems to be at direct odds with stretching beyond the familiar, yet there’s a subtle, important difference. Being responsible can take many forms as part of your day. It could be picking up after yourself when leaving a campground or cleaning your room before departing for school or work. For professionals, it could mean erasing the whiteboard when you are finished with a key meeting or leaving the lunch break room a little cleaner for the next person.

Think ‘do the right thing’ when being responsible. This doesn’t translate to ‘act conservatively’ in all that you do; some of my best learnings have occurred when I took a risk. But it does mean to follow your nation’s laws and guidelines for safe living.

Stretching beyond the familiar means attempting something that scares you (public speaking or an acting class); it doesn’t mean breaking laws, disrespecting people or damaging property.

Be responsible in all you think, say, or do and you are on your way to living fearlessly.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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5 Days of Fearless Living: Day 3 – Stretching Beyond

It’s Day 3 of living fearlessly. Do you sense something changing within you? If not, don’t despair, change isn’t easy under any circumstances.

Today, we will center our energies on stretching beyond the familiar. This suggestion can take m

5 days of fearless living

any routes: taking a different path to work, trying a special dish for dinner you’ve never sampled before or calling up an old friend whom you’ve forgotten over the years.

It’s tempting to fall into a routine; day after day and year after year. Human beings are creatures of comfort; we crave the convenience of knowing what’s next; preparing for the new and surprising can be stressful because it’s unknown.

The unknown, however, can be a destination bursting with excitement, with wonder, with exhilaration. Think of how you felt when you took on that challenging assignment at work only to impress yourself and your peers. How about when you ran 2 miles in the morning instead of the usual 1 mile? Your body may have been saying ‘stop’ with the ferocity of a lion, but you pushed through and felt alive and alert from stretching beyond the familiar.

Go deep into the unknown today. Find a place that’s foreign. Enjoy the spontaneous, spectacular joy of something new. That’s living fearlessly.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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