Outcome defining metaphors


Marketing is about telling stories, engaging people with them, which builds awareness, affinity, preference, and with luck, persistence, and good management, can lead to a transaction, or two.

Metaphors, when well used can make a complicated point in a memorable and understandable way.

Couple of weeks ago in a talk to a small group of SME owners about the rugged terrain of modern marketing, I used an old metaphor, a throwaway, in the midst of the conversation. I was surprised firstly that nobody had heard it before, and secondly at the sudden clarity it delivered to a complex message.

“When you go to the hardware to buy a 10mm drill” I said, “you do not really want a 10mm drill, what you want is a 10mm hole”.

An oldie but a goodie.

This morning on the copyblogger site I saw another one  I really like.  It goes something like: “To make a restaurant successful, you don’t really need the best location, best service, lowest prices, fascinating menus, and all the rest, you just need a starving crowd”.

Obviously, all the good features you will see touted around as people flog bum-spots in restaurants in a crowded market all helps. They are part of the means to the end, the way you deliver the service, but to be outrageously successful, what you really need is a starving crowd.

A good metaphor, like a good picture, clarifies, simplifies, amplifies, and makes memorable, the outcome of a complex conversation.

About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
This entry was posted in Communication, Small business and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Outcome defining metaphors

  1. strategyaudit says:

    Good marketing is all about stories that amplify the customers point of view. Metaphors are a great tool to focus stories, and are in themselves stories.

  2. Alex Jones says:

    Good way of looking at a challenge from the point of view of the customer rather than the provider of the product or service.

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