Whiskey Bottles, Girl Scouts, and Your Marketing

When I was younger I worked at a historic souvenir store in a tourist town. One day in the damp basement, we called the Dungeon, I found a couple boxes of old, dust-ridden whiskey bottles. Some of these bottles dated back into the early 1900s.

As it turned out, those bottles came to be in the Dungeon because alcoholics would buy them from the liquor store down the street and drink them as the walked back up the street. When the bottle was empty they would toss them into the gutters and alleys. As it so happened, the building our store is now in was about one-bottle-of-whiskey away from the liquor store. As buildings got remodeled and streets were widened, these whiskey bottles somehow ended up falling into our basement where my boss’ father found them.

That’s how I came to find these bottles.

Think of these bottles of whiskey as customers.

There are boxes of customers waiting in the market until someone meets the specific need they have. Those whiskey bottles have to go somewhere. Your customers are looking for your product or service. You have to be there. You need to be one-bottle-of-whiskey away from the liquor store for all your customers.

Last week, I heard a story about a girl scout who was in some trouble because she was selling cookies near a marijuana dispensary. I say she is a genius.

She found a starving audience and made money hand over fist. She could have been selling Walmart brand cookies and she still probably would have made the same amount of money.

Two lessons here:

  1. Find a starving audience – people who really want something you have.
  2. Sell to their wants and needs, don’t sell your products features.

Think for a moment:

What is the girl scout’s better sales message?

“Are you hungry?”


“These cookies help our troop do good things in the community.”

Your customers care what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. You marketing and sales message needs to focus on their benefits for buying from you.

Need writing that sells your products and services like this to your customers? Email me at konradholdenwriting@gmail.com or hit the contact tab above.

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