The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


June 8, 2013

Overlooking obvious can rob the world of unique treasures

Keeping the Faith

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Sept. 24, 2002. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

Advertising sales representatives are taught to focus on the USP  — the unique selling point of a product.

Several years ago, a young sales rep was given the task of coming up with a new slogan for Tide laundry detergent.

After hours of perspiration, irritation and agitation spent in searching for a new angle, the young man poured some of the product out on the table and looked at it carefully.

He noticed numerous tiny blue crystals and asked a supervisor what they were. “Those are the cleaning agents that provide bleach without fading the fabric,” she told him.

The next day, a proud young employee laid his new slogan on the boss’s desk, and it became an instant success. It read, “Get whiter clothes with Tide — now with new, blue crystals.”

He helped a company run a successful ad campaign by simply focusing on something that was already in the product.


We often do that with our most valuable product. It may be a gift, talent or special ability that’s already there, and we’re so accustomed to having it around, we overlook it or take it for granted.

Every day we overlook the obvious — in ourselves and others — and I believe we miss countless blessings because of our blindness.

Take your spouse, for instance. How often do you point out qualities and gifts you admire? Have you come to a point where you see more negative things than positive?

Maybe there are some “new, blue crystals” you’ve been looking at every day but haven’t seen them or pointed them out. Today might be a good time to take a closer look.

How about your kids? They’re growing up really fast, aren’t they? Have you been so busy with work, chores around the house, transporting them to sports, music and dance practice that you haven’t really looked at them lately? Each of your children has a unique selling point. If you discover it, point it out to them and keep reinforcing it; that little blue crystal could be a powerful shaping tool in that child’s life.

Do you have a co-worker or friend who’s never discovered — or has lost sight of  — some unique feature about them? Have you tried to become the catalyst for helping them find it and use it?

For some odd reason, our tendency is to either focus on the negative or not focus at all.

The ad rep’s story provides a good reminder that we should all work harder at looking for the “new, blue crystals” within our selves and in those around us.

Let’s look more for the USP and avoid OTO — overlooking the obvious. The discoveries could be priceless.


Text Only
  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • living will 1 Decision day

    Pastor Roger Pauley and his wife Marcia were — like so many other baby boomers — charged with the responsibility of making decisions for their aging parents. For the pastor’s father, death was sudden.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BAF approves community grants

    Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

    April 13, 2014

  • Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg unveils upcoming events

    Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has a variety of events planned for the spring and summer.

    April 13, 2014

  • Singer named an Outstanding Young American

    President Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton and General Chuck Yeager have one thing in common, they are all past recipients of the United States Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award. For over 75 years, the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) has recognized the 10 young men and women – under the age of 40 – who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation. The U.S. Jaycees is pleased to name West Virginia’s own Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans who will be honored at the 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony – to be held June 28, 2014, at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

    April 13, 2014

  • alderson americorps Alderson Main Street welcomes its new Americorps member

    The members and friends of Alderson Main Street welcomed their new Americorps member, Lynda Howe, at its recent monthly meeting.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor pull event coming to State Fairgrounds in May

    The West Virginia Grand Nationals N.T.P.A. Championship pulling event debuts at the State Fair Event Center in Lewisburg Memorial Day weekend.

    April 13, 2014

  • Djembes Drumming workshop to be held

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education is sponsoring a Djembes Drumming workshop on Tuesdays for six weeks beginning April 29.

    April 13, 2014

  • Learn basic sewing at NRCTC

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will offer a basic sewing class in Lewisburg in May.

    April 13, 2014

  • floral painting GVT to showcase work of Genevieve Sowards Gillen

    Greenbrier Valley Theatre is exhibiting the art and photography of Genevieve Sowards Gillen during April. Her pieces are on display in the theatre foyer: three pastel, four acrylic, and a number of photographs on stretch canvas.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo