Thank You for That Slap Upside the Head

I got passed over by an existing client recently for a total rebranding of their organization. At first, I was disappointed in them for not giving me a shot at pitching the project, but after some reflection I realized that it was the shot in the arm that I really needed.

So thankful was I that I felt compelled to pen a letter to my client. Here it is for your enjoyment:

I want to thank you for something that you may not have known that you did. What was it, you may ask? You jarred my memory and kicked me in the seat at the same time. You see, when you told me that you felt that I didn’t have enough experience with branding large organizations, something in my brain went, ‘Uh, actually, I DO have experience branding large non-profits. I branded Big Sisters of King County, and in my younger days, I designed the annual report for the ACLU. Additionally, I have had phenomenal success with branding and marketing corporations of all sizes, on local, national, and international levels.’ But, sitting there with you, the thoughts just did not rise to the top and out the mouth with a frothy dollop of whipped cream.

I then spent a day in my office reeling from the rejection and knocking large holes through my walls with my head, until I hit a nail sticking out of a stud, which went into my brain and knocked loose the memories of said experience, thrusting them out onto my own personal stage. I guess they were suffering from stage fright.

I have now before me a comprehensive brochure which highlights my company’s experience, along with our approach to brand development. As well, I have a new marketing initiative in place that should ensure that my clients are always aware of our full capabilities.

So, thank you for the rejection that sparked a thought that rekindled a memory that fueled a renaissance that improved our brand and set ablaze our own marketing machine.

Sometimes a kick in the noggin with a hardened, stale, marshmallow-tipped boot is what we really need. I am usually quite adept at practicing what I preach, but sometimes it takes a proverbial slap upside the head, or ego for short, to realize that while we have been creating client marketing pieces aplenty, I have let our own marketing slide.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

1 comment Write a comment

  1. Kelly – ain’t that the truth. You gave a great example of taking responsibility for the prospective client not “getting it” about why you really would have been a great choice for them.

    Most people would have just done the rejection wallow and perhaps the head banging but often not the realization of how to turn that experience into fuel for a bigger future.

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