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You think you’ve had a really bad idea …

THE TITLE of this edition’s lead story is ?Worst. Ideas. Ever.? In it, we have a bit of fun with business brainstorms and brilliant marketing plans gone (very, very, very) awry. 

Most of us have had similar experiences. For INSTORE, I think that probably our ?Worst. Idea. Ever? was the ?spectacular, high-impact? media kit we were (OK, I was) determined to create after our first year of publication. Intent on being different from everybody else in trade publishing, I insisted on the packaging being a magazine-sized foldout cardboard box similar in format to one I had seen either Elle or Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar use that year. It was hugely expensive to produce, but I countered every argument by saying, ?Imagine walking into an advertiser’s office and plopping this down on the desk in front of him.? 

Anyway, the kit came out pretty nicely, I thought. But it was still a disaster. Two reasons: 1. While the cardboard box would have been a perfect fit for a typical 900-page September edition of one of the aforementioned magazines, INSTORE at that time was only about 50 pages per issue and it took about 10 copies to make a nice, snug fit inside the box. 2. When filled in such manner, the box weighed about 15 pounds. And since our advertising representatives often had to walk around trade shows with dozens of kits to meet clients, they quickly stopped using it.  

In fact, I think we still have 1,000 or so of those old boxes in our office. The residue of what was definitely one of my … Worst. Ideas. Ever. 

Wishing you the very best business …

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David Squires  
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