Twisting a Round Idea to Fit Your Square Peg

September 12, 2013

round idea in square peg

Don’t toll aside an idea for improving your marketing when it doesn’t fit your business or customer base.  Kate Holmes, editor and publisher of Too Good to be Threw, a newsletter for the consignment and retail business, remembers giving a man advice on how to attract more customers into his clothing shop located in a wealthy tourist town.

Holmes suggested that the man send out some of his staffers to pass out brochures to the crowds of tourists on his street.  His response?  A burst of laughter.

The man said the idea was the stupidest one he had ever hear.  “My staff is too sophisticated for that,” he said.  Then he added for good measure, “And my ship is much too elegant.” 

The shop owner was no doubt right about his staff and his shop, but he was wrong about the idea.

And, indeed, a year later he had the good manners to call Holmes to tell her that he had begun passing out elegantly engraved invitations for wine tastings, gallery openings and other chic soirees – an adaptation of her original idea.

Be like that shop owner who (after he finished laughing) reconsidered Holmes’ suggestion and recognized that while the original marketing idea didn’t fit, its underlying premise did.  His challenge?  Figuring out a suitable adaption that fit his unique situation.  He rose to the challenge.

You can too.


  • Adapted from Kate Holmes, AOL Your Business

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