Being Better than Good

  • Sep 15, 2017

Anyone directing a special event or running a business has the challenge of standing out and finding an edge over the competition. It is essential. Marketing expert David Avrin takes this sentiment one level deeper. "In business, it's no longer about being good. Today, everyone is good! it's about being a visibly better choice than all of the other good choices."

Author and marketing entrepreneur Seth Godin discusses the importance of being remarkable in his fine book "Purple Cow". The concept of driving through the country side and coming upon a purple cow would certainly be remarkable. It would be worthy of photos, tweets, Instagram, your Facebook page and other social media.

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of listening to a key note address at the PPAI Expo by a young man whose creativity, energy and bravery lead to the creation of something ultimately and absolutely remarkable.

You may not be familiar with the entrepreneur Johnny Earl but his corporate name "Johnny Cupcakes" is an appreciated and exciting phenomenon world-wide. He isn't a baker. His company uses a cupcake as their prominent design motif. They creatively replace iconic symbols on t-shirts designs and sell premium priced t-shirts. Imagine lining up for three hours for the opening of what looks like an extremely cool new bakery and finding that they only sell t-shirts. But they don't just sell t-shirts. They deliver a total customer experience.

The Johnny Cupcake package is shipped very well, and it is unique. Their stores have antique refrigerators, baking racks, 1930 dough mixers, and ovens that open periodically and let out steam. Vanilla scented air fresheners give the venues an aroma of fresh baking. T-shirts are displayed on baking trays. People carry away their purchases in carefully designed packaging associated with food take-outs.

Johnny Cupcakes' creative care to details and smart business sense lead to incredible success. In 2008, Business Week recognized him on their "Best Entrepreneurs 25 and under list." Dedicated fans line up and camp for 24 hours to purchase limited edition releases of his one of a kind t-shirt designs. Successful collaborations with Nickelodeon, The Simpsons, Gillette and Warner Bros. are further testament to the momentum of the Johnny Cupcake concept.

At the PPAI Expo last January 10th, Johnny Earl encouraged everyone to try, fail and learn by their mistakes. He introduced his family and his motivation to be with them often and his joy of working as a family business. His energy and enthusiasm was contagious. Often Johnny Cupcakes signs a package with a simple "Thank You" and his signature. He suggested that all business would benefit from hand written notes. We can do that too.