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Nigel Collin
22 years ago the late John Ilham had an idea to sell people mobile phones for $1 while others sold them for about $200. That idea grew into a business now turning over hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

He did it to get public attention and win customers by giving them what they wanted - cheap phones. He also held midnight BBQ's, massive clearance sales and introduced the first 'buy-one-get-one-free' offer. His competitors hated him for it, but the public loved him, as did his accountant and his bottom line.

Deemed 'Crazy' by his competitors in the early days, he changed the name of his business from 'Mobileworld' to 'Crazy Johns'.

When you think about it though his ideas weren't crazy at all - they were very clever because they were about innovative marketing. They were about standing out from the crowd and finding ways to attract and keep clients. They were marketing ideas that no one else was prepared to do.

The beauty was that his ideas is that they were strategic and NOT just for the sake of offering 'cheap' in order to get sales - that only sends you broke!

His ideas were strategic because they attracted customers away from his competition, built customer loyalty, and as a result made him millions by retaining those customers and picking up the profit on their mobile contracts, servicing and accessories.

Profitable ideas aren't always about creating the next product. John Ilham is proof of that. Profitable ideas are ones that drive business growth and boost profits. If an idea gets you standing out from the crowd it can literally be worth $millions to your bottom-line.

So the real question is - what strategy do you have in place to generate profitable marketing ideas?

By the way I was also interested to read in the Financial Review a while back, that in school John Ilham has told by a teacher that he had 'no potential and no hope'. Goes to show that having great ideas has nothing to do with education or your current level of success. 
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