Know your brands or risk looking like a Muppet

I was at a networking event last week.

Well, when I say ‘networking’ I have to admit it started out as networking, but it was in Edinburgh… starting at 5.00pm… on a Friday evening… during festival time… just 100 metres from the Spiegeltent… which has a bar.

You see where I’m going with this?

Anyway, I was talking with a mate who was also ‘networking’…

It has to be said that when my friend asks his wife if he can go ‘down the pub’ on a Friday night with his mates, the answer is usually pithy, to the point and in the negative.  So, he’s made a change: now he simply asks if he can go networking and the answer, so far, has always been ‘yes’.

Back to the story…

My mate clearly thought his networking was likely to continue (quite correctly, as it turned out) after the formal networking event had finished… I knew this because he was wearing his very best Super Dry shirt, his most fashionable jeans and ‘going out’ shoes.

But all this dolling up backfired on him a little bit, which was a shame because he was very proud of the shirt.

So, to continue the story…

I was talking with my mate when up sidled a late middle aged gentleman, hovering just inside our radar hoping to be invited in to the conversation.  Now, I know how hard these networking events can be so I asked him to join us, which he did gladly.

He turned to my friend and said (in best networking fashion), ‘So what do you do?  Something to do with dry cleaning if I’m reading the motif on you shirt correctly.’

It wasn’t the fact that the gentleman had mistaken the brand of ‘Super Dry’ for a dry cleaning company which suddenly made me cough very loudly in order to cover up the laughter.  It was the look of sheer effrontery on my friends face.  He was gutted.

Never mind.

Interestingly, later at the same event my mate was approached by an elderly lady who ran creative writing classes.  She was breaking all the networking rules by handing out loads of flyers and generally not taking any interest in anyone else.

When she learned my friend was a graphic designer she immediately grabbed his arm, walked him over to the table where her amateurish looking leaflets were and asked him what he thought of her designs.

I’m pretty sure I heard him mutter: ‘They’re perfect.  Wouldn’t change them at all!’

Not a successful event for him… but I’m sure he’ll be back ‘networking’ next month!

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