New York is a tough town. It’s hard enough to get by in life, but in our city, the competition is staggering. The only way to set oneself apart from the crowd, is with savvy brand management.
I’ve seem Jimmy every day for years at his same spot near the subway entrance. Lately, I noticed he looked more dapper than usual. In place of plaintive scribble on crumbled cardboard, the likes of which can be seen on every block, Jimmy was holding a snazzy new sign. It caught my eye, as any good marketing piece must, due to the pop of white trim bordering neatly cut carboard bearing his simple message (clearly created by the hand of a professional calligrapher). What drew me closer was the clever detail of a custom-cut corner making it possible for Jimmy to hold his sign and his cane simultaneously. I said hello, as usual, but lingered, intrigued by this ingenuity of design. As I contributed to his wallet before taking his photo, we chatted about his spanking new sign which, in fact, was created by a “graphic designer friend.” With a twinkle in his eye, Jimmy told me his birthday was the next day, and he planned to attach a ballon to the sign. I bet it will be good for business.