Creativity Only Means Something If You Put In The Work

In the November PPB article, “Creativity Is Meaningless,” Bill Petrie, founder and CEO of brandivate, an executive team outsourcing company focused on the promotional products industry, shared his thoughts on creativity and how it only represents real value if you’re prepared to back it up with research, execution and effort.

Petrie’s November article in PPB was enlightening; however, one important element was missing. What term would Petrie use in place of “creativity”?

Michael Turner, M.S.


Bearsworth Promotions

Chatsworth, California

PPAI 553137

Petrie responds: There is no magic word or phrase that one can simply substitute in place of “creativity.” My point with the article is that one should only use words that can be backed up with tangible proof which provides both context and meaning. For example, if a prospect asks why they should hire you, the response “because I’m creative” has as much meaning as if you had said, “because I’m awesome.” Both may be very true, but without context, the words are very subjective and, therefore, meaningless. However, if you answer the same question by stating that you are creative and would like to show them a case history that backs up your claim, you provide something tangible that the prospect can understand far beyond a hollow industry buzzword.

The Prominence Of Profitability

Cliff Quicksell, Jr., MAS+, consultant and acting director of marketing for distributor iPROMOTEu, shared his thoughts on keeping profitability front-of-mind in the December PPB article, “Sales Are Great But Profitability Is King.” Strong sales numbers are great, Quicksell wrote, but without equally strong profitability, they don’t mean much.

This industry, by following your suggestions, can ensure survival in difficult times. I have always believed the promotional products business has suffered from an institutional inferiority complex. Your comments will help people get beyond the idea that their products and services are not worth a higher price.

Like you, I have lectured on this topic for the past 25 years. In almost every class, someone has made a comment similar to the one you mentioned about overcharging. Profit is not a dirty word. People need to understand that their personal value concepts may be quite different from their clients’.

Barry Hults


Hults Consultants and The School for Promotional Marketing, Inc.

Bridgeville, Pennsylvania

Praise For PCT

Published five days a week, Promotional Consultant Today (PCT) has made an impression on readers with its quick-read, daily delivery of short, snappy sales tips and effective expert advice tips targeted to the unique educational needs of distributor salespeople. Visit to sign up for PCT.

I want to let you know how much I’m enjoying Promotional Consultant Today. Just long enough; just short enough. I read them all.

Paul E. Prendergast

Vice President, Sales and Marketing

A. Dion, Inc.

Attleboro, Massachusetts