When Losing is a Win

March 29, 2010

Last year, the team at Baudville undertook a significant marketing initiative – to re-launch the brand with a new focus, hundreds of new products and a marketing campaign to announce our changes to the world. It was a lot of work and a ton of fun, and at the end of it all I think we all felt great about the outcome of our efforts. Best of all, our customers responded with praise and orders. By all accounts it was a success, and then came the icing on the cake: we received notice that the international direct marketing community had taken notice as well, as we were nominated for a John R. Caples award for our promotional campaigns.

Last week, I travelled to New York City for the awards gala – a fancy big city event attended by some of the highest-profile advertising agencies in the world. My table alone was represented by four countries, which, as I learned, was a pretty big deal. So when the time came for our category to be announced I brimmed with excitement. “How could our work not win?”, I thought. But the envelope opened and… we lost. 

Then a funny thing happened. Yes, I was a bit blue we did not get the hardware; but, more than that I was inspired and motivated. “Why couldn’t Baudville do something bigger and better this year?”, I thought. We can do work as good as them. Simply being nominated with the big guys gave me the belief that we could be as good as them or better. And so a seasoned “awards guy” was reminded of one of the great tenets of recognition events: they can be as motivating for the losers as the winners

Sometimes we worry about the impact of a few people getting awards. Why go to all the effort to make a few people feel good and the rest go unrewarded? Simple. The type of people you want on your team will be as motivated seeing the winners win as the winners themselves.

So here I am, back at the office. No hardware in hand; but a head full of new ideas and a renewed energy to beat the big guys in 2011; convinced that we can turn this loss into a win.



Baudville President & CEO 

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