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
  • News Bikes 1.jpg Re-Cycle: Get back in the saddle for an outdoor spin

    Beautiful, sunny days have been visiting the Mountain State with more frequency the past few weeks and with this we think of getting outside and pursuing various activities. (Videos in story)

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • crowcookbook Kitchen comfort

    For Janet Crow of Quinwood, this Easter marks a deeply personal miracle — that of countless prayers for her physical restoration whispered by people who cared more than she could’ve ever imagined.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Scholarship for girls in a health science field established at BAF

    In every community there is work to be done and each community member has something to contribute.

    April 20, 2014

  • Concord University mounting production of ‘Spoon River’

    Concord University’s Theatre Department will perform “Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters in the H.C. Paul Theatre April 23-26 at 8 p.m. nightly.

    April 20, 2014

  • Society seeking items for Vietnam War exhibit

    The Greenbrier Historical Society is seeking photographs, artifacts and local history to include in an upcoming exhibit about remembering the Vietnam War.

    April 20, 2014

  • Rock violinist, stand-up comic to perform in free events at Lewisburg

    The Greenbrier Valley Campus of New River Community and Technical College will celebrate Student Appreciation Week April 21-25 with a number of events including two special performances that are open to the public free of charge.

    April 20, 2014

  • Dance workshop, show planned

    The stars will shine brightly over the pyramids this month — only these pyramids will be in Beckley. And these stars will both twinkle and dance.

    April 20, 2014

  • Live transmission of The Met’s ‘Così fan tutte’ at GVT

    In partnership with The MET: Live in HD series, Greenbrier Valley Theatre presents a live transmission of Mozart’s joyful and heart-rendering masterpiece, “Così fan tutte,” Saturday at 12:55 p.m.

    April 20, 2014

  • Stories give us kinship with strangers

    Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published April 10, 2010.
    My dad was a coal miner. By the time I came along, he was working above ground as a tipple foreman.

    April 19, 2014

  • 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