by Adam Zack — May 3, 2023
Some of the greatest stories are fish stories. Tales from your grandpa how he hiked up 20,000 feet to a secret lake with just a pole and a bag of jerky to fish in this remote spot where the fish were rumored to be six feet long and could swallow your arm if you got too close. Dadgummit if he didn’t land that beauty, which fed the whole family for two winters. There was a lot of exaggeration, but there was a day when grandpa went fishing (5,000 feet, and he drove there) with his pole (and a six pack) and fished all day and caught some nice sized fish (12-14”), which in fact were tasty and did feed the family (one meal, except for baby Matt, who didn’t like fish yet). The point is not the fish, it’s the story. All of our stores have stories – great stories. All they need to get the customers attention is to be told in a way that is interesting and compelling. Recently I was at a presentation by Jim Donald, former CEO of Starbucks, Haggen (he brought it to life and it was sold to the group that quickly wrecked it), Extended Stay America and others. He is known for his ability to turn failing companies around quickly and significantly. His first rule is “Have a fish story. Something you can tell your customers that they will remember.” To emphasize his point, he put on some gloves and opened this styrofoam cooler and pulled out this big, whole salmon. It made an impact on everyone in the audience. He explained how he had first done this as CEO of Pathmark grocery stores, and used it as explanation how if they did not change their operations and philosophies they would die, like a salmon that spawns upstream and is eaten by bears. You bet that made an impact.
So what’s your story? I know you have dozens of them. Your customers want to hear them. Your employees are dying to hear them. You just need to tell them. We can help.
Filed Under: Company Blog