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If you can't get out, get in - I'll explain
If you can't get out, get in - I'll explain
Everybody knows the story of Ben & Jerry’s but what you don’t know is what I’m about to share with you.
Last week, when I was speaking in Vermont I had a meeting at their facility – and for an ice cream lover like myself I was looking forward to grabbing some free samples. And boy was I amazed.
What was so impressive? It’s not their gross sales, famous brands or marketing strategy. That story has already been told. It’s something that a few entrepreneurs have and it’s the reason why they steal customers from their competition. It also has to do with their number one MOST popular flavor. Can you guess what it is….
I'll tell you in a moment but what's interesting is that it’s all based on an unusual love for what they do.
At some point in time you have to make a decision. Make the commitment and burn your ships. Get into it. You see, IF YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF IT, YOU MIGHT AS WELL GET INTO IT! Doesn’t matter what it is. As you will soon see.
At Ben & Jerry’s they have a passion for making great ice cream. Guess who invented cookie dough ice cream? That’s right, plus other amazing, unheard of, never before thought of flavors that only Ben & Jerry’s could come up with.
They even have “flavor gurus” on staff with titles like “creamologist” and “Primal Ice Cream Therapist” who are coming up with concoctions such as Wavy Gravy, Mission to Marzipan and Willie Nelson’s Peach Cobbler. They LOVE what they do.
So what’s their number one most popular flavor? If you guessed Cherry Garcia give yourself a prize!
What’s the most popular flavor among other ice cream makers? Vanilla. Plain-old vanilla. No wonder other ice cream makers with titles like Product Engineer are struggling while Ben & Jerry started with a $5 home study ice cream course from Penn State University and went to build a multi-million dollar company known throughout the world.
In fact, Vanilla ranks #10 among most popular flavors at Ben & Jerry’s. Their customers aren’t interested in plain-old Vanilla or Chocolate. They want Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (ranked #2) or Chunky Monkey (#3) or Phish Food (#4). They’ve come to expect something different. Something fun! Something better! And here’s the important thing – they’re will to pay more and get less!
Ben & Jerry's premium flavors sell for $4.75 for a pint – not a half-gallon! You pay nearly twice as much as you would for a half-gallon and you get just one-quarter as much!
They’re not ashamed to charge a premium price because they’ve created something special – something that only came about because of their passion for creating great ice cream.
What are you passionate about? What can you create out of that passion that will make you and your company different from everyone else? Everybody is afraid of putting their personality into their brand. Ooh, I might turn somebody away. C’mon, get over it. Some will like you, some won’t and that’s okay. Take a stand and be a deep expert.
Last week, I met with a client, David Garofalo, who is the #1 cigar retailer in the world and a former DJ. He did very well with his DJ business but hated the drinking and nonsense that went with the parties he was hired to work. So he quit. And he turned his passion for cigars into a worldwide business, which has made all the difference.
He brought a few to my office to share and his knowledge of cigars is unbelievable. Give him a cigar – any cigar – and he can tell you which country it came from, which region and who manufactured it. He’s tasted more than 21,000 cigars! As I’m smoking one he asks me, “Do you taste the pepper? Do you taste the cinnamon?” He’s done more blind taste tests than most cigar aficionados in the world and is considered one of the foremost experts on cigars.
Here’s what really blew me away ... as he opened one of the cigar boxes he pointed to a small dark stain on the wood inside. “You know what that is?” he asked. [INSERT PICTURE] I thought it was a water stain. Nope. The answer will drop your jaw... “It’s a discoloration in the wood," David says, "that occurs when a tree is cut during a full moon.”
Can you believe that? To know that a piece of wood was cut during a full moon simply by looking at a small stain that most people wouldn’t even notice is incredible!
Why is that so important? His passion for cigars – to learn about them, study them, taste them, discover the nuances about the wood they’re packaged in and even create his own brand – has helped him become an authority on the subject. Think you could trust him for advice about a cigar? Absolutely!
Concerns about price go up in smoke. They’re no longer an issue. We see it time and time again. When you deliver a quality product and establish yourself as a trusted expert you create value.
It’s worked for David. As the owner of 3 stores in New Hampshire and a thriving online cigar retailer at www.2guyssmokeshop.com and the #1 cigar retailer in the world, he even has a radio show called the cigar authority.
Wednesday I had lunch with Jerry Edwards of Chef Expressions here in Baltimore who really loves wine. I mean really loves wine. He’s a wine expert who now even hosts fun trips with tours of wineries around the world. Most chefs choose a wine around the meal but Jerry has made a name for himself by doing just the opposite – he creates the meal around the wine! He’s now one of the most successful caterers in the city. And has become the “go to guy.” Are you positioned yet as the go to guy? If not, better get cracking.
What if Newsweek featured you as an expert source and told everyone how to get your product? Think that would help sales? That’s what happened with my friend and client, Yochanan Bulka, owner of NutraLife. He sells a unique product called SamE (pronounced “Sammy”) that is clinically proven to help with mood, joint pain and even liver function.
When Newsweek magazine needed more information about the product they went to him. Other companies also sell the product but he was already a trusted expert because he got deeply into understanding it and making the best product in the world.
His company was listed among several others as a source for the product and sales took off! That one article helped put his company on the map!
How can you share your passion? It’s the one thing that can make you different than anyone else. It allows you to see things others can’t.
The late Steve Jobs had a passion for designing simple forms of technology that anyone can use. Have you noticed that the iPhone, iMac or iPad don’t come with instruction manuals? That’s how simple they are. Jobs had a passion for simplifying technology – and he wanted to share that passion.
I know many entrepreneurs are looking at other businesses right now and thinking the grass is greener.
For most, it’s not. My point is this. Choose. Become deeply passionate about your business or get out of it. Once you’re in, if you can’t get out of it, then get into it. Become the best in the world at what you do. Find your passion in the business you’re in and share it with others. If you establish yourself as a trusted expert you will have more of a “competitive bubble” and you’ll no longer compete on price.
As you get into the business – and get into more deeply like my friend David Garofalo, the cigar guy – you’ll not only find the grass is just as green, you may even find dark spots that no one else can see. And that may make all the difference.
To help you find your passion and begin to make a difference in your business and in your life in ONLY 4 weeks download our FREE Passion Launcher.
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