Creative marketing brings success
Traveling around the country puts me in
touch with many people sharing their business stories, and
it's exciting when I can bring their creative and inspiring
ideas to you.
Last February, my book tour stopped at
Border's Books in Chicago. I was busy signing books when a
young man gave me a black baseball cap with a note saying it
was a gift and asked me to wear it. On the front of the cap in
white letters is the word "ego" circled in red with a red
diagonal line through the word.
A number of people were waiting to get
their books signed, so I couldn't chat with him. I quickly
asked how to reach him to send a thank-you note. He said,
"Look at the back of the cap for my Web address." On the back
of the cap was the address noego.com.
That was how I met Glenn Cosby and his
cap business. Each time I wore the hat, people would ask me
where I got it and how they might get one.
I contacted Glenn to learn more about his
no-ego cap. The reason he started the cap business is
remarkable, but the most fascinating part is how he markets
Glenn's inspiration to launch his own
business occurred in 1995 when his father died. Glenn said his
father had always wanted his own business and mentioned it
frequently. But with a family to support, he thought it best
to continue his job as a Chicago police officer.
Glenn had often thought about
entrepreneurial endeavors, but like his father he put his
dreams on hold and took a job as a radio announcer. But the
loss of his father made Glenn look at life and spirituality
more seriously. He realized that dreams deferred are dreams
Glenn decided that whatever business he
embarked on would have a connection to spirituality.
Thinking about his father's life helped
him decide. "My most vivid memory of my dad is that whatever
he did he always prayed first and never edged God out of the
That memory gave Glenn his slogan. "No
EGO" actually means "No Edging God Out." He says, "The meaning
is something that most people in the world can agree on and
represents something that many strive to do in their work,
family relationships and social responsibilities, and 'No Ego'
serves as a constant reminder."
His creative genius came into play when
he laid out his marketing plan. Glenn believes the best
marketing tool is endorsements. He set out to find famous
people to wear the caps. What better endorsements than having
Hollywood stars and famous athletes wearing your
Glenn has famous people such as Steven
Seagal, Erin Brockovich, Queen Latifah, the Chicago Bulls'
Elton Brand and others sporting his caps. I visited the Steven
Seagal Web site (http://www.stevenseagal.com/), and sure enough,
when I clicked on the links icon there is Steven himself with
a No Ego cap. Click http://www.noego.com/ to see other celebrities
wearing the Ego cap. Glenn says he has photos of many stars
wearing the cap but hasn't had time to put them on his site
because of the large volume of orders.
I asked him how he managed to get the
rich and famous to wear the hat. He said, "I quickly tell them
what No Ego means, and then I ask them just like I asked you
to please wear the cap."
There's something to be said for the
saying, "Ask and ye shall receive."
Glenn has plans in the works to expand to
a full line of casual clothing using this trademarked
Stop back next week to meet a young
entrepreneur who helps us gain more hours in the day.
Entrepreneurial Tightrope appears
Wednesdays. You can write to Edmunds here
and visit her Web site at http://www.gladysedmunds.com/. Click here
for her previous columns.
Gladys Edmunds was a single teenage
mom in early 1960s Pittsburgh. She posed as an adult to make
money by doing other people's laundry, whipped up chicken
dinners in her grandmother's kitchen for taxi drivers and
stared down snarling dogs to sell fire extinguishers and
Bibles door-to-door. Today, Edmunds, 52, is an evangelical
entrepreneur preaching the value of self-employment. The
founder of a successful travel agency, Edmunds Travel
Consultants in Pittsburgh, she is the author of There's
No Business Like Your Own Business, a six-step guide
to success published in February by Viking.