There are too many places to buy, which advertise, to expect that people are going to hunt you down and ask you to sell to them. But learning the value of advertising does not mean that that advertising can accomplish everything; for it cannot.
It is the correct value of advertising that you must realize. Thousands of businessmen have ruined themselves by entertaining and acting upon the mistaken idea that any old thing will sell as long as it is advertised.
You can spend a thousand dollars a month in advertising second-hand shoes in the Ladies’ Home Journal without getting a single customer. But if you have a good thing, don’t hide it under a bushel or lock it up in the all room closet and expect people to come and hunt for it.
Also you must learn the value of a good name. King Solomon said, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” It is not always an easy thing to establish a good name; for people are more apt to distrust a man than to trust him. But when you have once established a name for upright dealing, hang on to it, for once lost it is more difficult to regain it then it was to acquire it in the beginning.
A large milling firm became famous for its brand of flower. It used only the finest grade of wheat in its manufacture and employed only the most skilled labor. People were willing to pay a little extra for the product.
Having established a reputation and gained a great business on the strength of it, the firm began to “cut down expenses” by using inferior grades of flour and employing cheap labor and consequently put on the market a cheap grade of flour at a high price, trusting that their good name would sell the brand as usual.
The people were not fooled; but the firm lost their good name forever and were forced to quit the business.
Advertising can accomplish a lot but it can’t do everything. You need to have a good product because the customers, contrary to popular opinion, are not fools. If you have worked hard by providing good services or products at a fair price, always be aware that this good name can be tarnished if you do not do everything in your power to maintain it.