More Shelves or Less Stuff?

Overloaded carSchools are inundated with paper and instructional materials at this time of year. Those of us who build education products and create marketing collateral should be cognizant of is how wasteful so much of this is.

In our personal lives many of us go through the “more shelves or less stuff” debate all the time, and all too often we end up at Ikea with another Sbrorg shelving unit strapped to the top of the car.

Please stop.

If you think you need to ship that much crap into schools to compete you need to look at your business model. They don’t want it, don’t need it, and won’t use it. Somewhere someone in your organization has not made some choices about what to create. They punted and tossed it all in.

I recently had lunch in a restaurant that bragged that virtually everything they used was recycled or composted. The only things that go into the trash are coffee cup lids, salad dressing packets, and tea bags (metal staples). This is a fast food BURGER joint. Their prices were in line and as a consumer I appreciated that they had put that much thought into their processes. I’ll be back – and not just because the burgers were great.

The thought and care you add to your products will come back to you, but sometimes it means taking a little more time to think things through and a couple of hard decisions about what is truly essential in your products/materials. You will have to push hard and hold firm for this to happen – the pressure and temptation to put more in will always be there.

“I did not have time to write you a short letter so I wrote you a long one instead.” Mark Twain

Resolve to cut 20% out of all your marketing materials and something amazing will happen. You will save money and your message will be crisper.

In the end less stuff is the only sane way forward.