Warning: What You Focus on Expands

Recently, I met a lady at a Chamber of Commerce event, and we hit it off.

A while later, I saw her again, and she mentioned that she saw my banner on a fence at a local high school near her house. I asked her if she drives by the school often, and she let me know that she passes it every day, multiple times. She was shocked when I told her that the banner she mentioned had been there for almost a year before she had seen it.

You may think that the lady lacked observation skills, and while that may be true, I bet we’ve all had similar experiences in our life if we really think about it.

Recognizing Your Brand

Think back to a time your printing company sponsored an event of some kind. When you went to look at the list of sponsors, it probably went something like this:

  • You immediately saw your company first.
  • Then, you glanced at all of the other companies you recognized.
  • Lastly, there were the logos you didn’t recognize and didn’t even give them a second glance.

Shallow? Not Likely.

Does that order of brand recognition happen because we’re all shallow and don’t care?

I guess that’s possible, but more likely, it’s your brain.

We have an area in our brain called the reticular activating system that makes us aware of what it thinks is important to us, and it determines that by what we focus on. Think of it this way: if you continuously tell yourself that you’re not skinny enough, your reticular activating system will show you all the reasons that you are right, even if you’re not.

If you still think this is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, see if this one resonates with you: Have you ever bought a new car, and then all of a sudden, started seeing them everywhere? That’s your reticular activating system working. The cars were always there; they didn’t just appear from nowhere all of a sudden. But, before you started focusing on that particular automobile model or year, your brain didn’t think it was necessary, so it had it on a list of things that you didn’t need to worry about.

Your Reticular Activating System at Work

Now that you’re armed with some basic facts about how the brain works, it’s time to start implementing it into your print business.

Point out the things your customers and prospects need to start paying attention to. For example, you can help your commercial printing customers with their branding by showing them how to position their logo in a way that people not only become aware of it, but they start thinking that it’s important!


Written by

Derek Brooks

Owner, Brandywine Printing

Derek owns and operates Brandywine Printing Inc., a family-owned business founded in the early 80s. Brandywine Printing helps businesses succeed by providing printed materials that improve their image and make them more efficient. Derek and his wife Kathy have been married for 23 years and have one daughter, Shiloh, who is pursuing a degree in music education. They are enjoying the empty nest life!