Friday, September 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Businesses

Once upon a time there were two business owners, Ace and Fizz.

Both made the same type of product, equally well. Both offered excellent customer service.

And both were planning marketing campaigns.

Ace thought, "Everyone loves a good story. I'll build my campaign for Business A around stories."

Fizz thought, "No one wants to waste time on trivial anecdotes. I'll stick to the bare facts in my campaign for Business B."

Ace thought, "People will be interested in hearing how my product helped other customers--people like themselves," and carefully selected the most humorous and interesting customer testimonials. Ace gave these testimonials a prominent page on Business A's Web site and made sure to include one in every press release.

Fizz thought, "I just need to explain to customers how my product will help them," and filled Business B's every Web page and press release with lengthy, tedious details of exactly how the product worked. Most of Fizz's advertisements were hard to tell from service manuals.

Ace threw in a few appropriate stories on Business A's own misadventures in the process of developing the product. After all, customers like to deal with businesses that sound human.

Fizz was careful never to admit that Business B had ever had a setback. After all, a business has to protect its perfect reputation.

Ace encouraged Business A's employees to build still more public rapport by contributing personal stories and new ideas to the PR materials.

Fizz drilled it into Business B's employees to keep their minds on their real work.

The public read Business A's materials all the way through, smiled and chuckled, and began following Business A's doings to hear more. Many new people decided to try the business's product, and soon the number of regular customers was multiplying exponentially.

The public glanced at Business B's advertisements, yawned, and tossed them in the recycling bin or hit the Delete button. No one bothered to investigate the business further.

And Ace sold happily ever after.

(Fizz, at last report, is back on the 8-to-5 grind.)

No comments:

Post a Comment