What Do Corsets & Ducks Have In Common?

06/07/2006

Sunday mornings reading the NYT on my little patio with a great cup of java. It's feels like stolen down-time moments. I even like the news-print on my fingers .. so Diva Retro!

Last week's NYT Business Section included 2 articles, that at first glance, seemed very different. Brendan I. Korner wrote about an entrepreneur who is turning vintage lingerie into lampshades. On page BU9 the chairman and CEO of the duck (quack!) was profiled. That is of course, Daniel P. Amos of Aflac.

Question: What do corsets & ducks have in common?
Answer: Innovation

Nashville artist, Kelly Butler took a risk when she left a secure job to open her Tramp_lamp bordello of unmentionables. She had some success selling her Tramp Lamps but as any small business owner knows yesterday's taste of success does not a business make. Most new entrepreneurs experience second and third and fourth thoughts along the way. Kelly did as well.

The support of friends and relatives play an important emotional role in the success of a start-up. The NYT article describes the time Kelly's burlesque friend (that's what the article said .. burlesque .. do you think that is the NYT PC for exotic dancer or stripper?) gave her bags of corsets and bustiers to turn into trash lamps. Girlfriend, even the name Trash Lamps, underwear that turns itself on, is Diva fun!

Where does the Aflac duck fit in? Aflac begin as a family business called American Life Assurance Company. Seems the public associated the name with Ed McMahon and the American Family Publishers sweepstakes. Why? I have not a clue.

But Daniel Amos wanted to change the name and rebrand it and was given the go ahead. As Mr. Amos said he was "..allowed the opportunity to fail." Being "allowed to fail" is the biggest vote of confidence one can give a person. It says green light ahead go for it all.

Mr. Amos sure did when he 1) changed the name to Aflac and 2) introduced the duck (quack!) as the new mascot. The result of his daring to be different ... name recognitionAflac_duck_1 at 92%.

Question: What do corsets and ducks have in common?
Answer: "It just shows what's possible when you take a bigger risk." D. P. Amos

Sidebar: Should the duck (quack!) blog?  Blog buddy Shel Israel would probably say no .. but then again after the ball of tin ... However, a Trash Lamp blog .. the stories Kelly could tell. I'm thinking .. pre lamp and post lamp  .. even the Divas at MySpace would find that cool!

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Comments

That is great! I love the duck (quack!) and the lamps are awesome...

Being given the chance to fail is awesome... I know from experience. It is so amazingly frightening, but I wouldn't trade it away.

Thanks for this post. Very relevant for me...

Posted by: Tim Jackson on Jun 7, 2006 5:34:41 PM

No matter how we feel about a product (as in Frederick's of Hollywood stuff), somewhere... someone out there loves it. I watched American Inventor (for once, a reality show based on brains... and a few crazy ideas) and the female judge was put off by one of the inventions -- a bow that wrapped around the woman's body that can be unwrapped with one pull. Many were appalled by that -- of course -- but Frederick's will come a-calling. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean hundreds of others will feel the same. Innovative, you bet.

Posted by: Meryl Evans on Jun 9, 2006 10:26:36 PM

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