“The imagination is the very eye of faith!”
Henry Ward Beecher • American Clergyman (1813 to 1887)
25. Hoist a Cold One to Results!
Claude Hopkins was one of the greatest advertising copywriters of all time. In the early 1900s, his words and ideas transformed products and services with weak sales histories into cash cows. Why? Because Hopkins knew how to capitalize upon the powerful, yet often overlooked, obvious or commonplace aspects of a product or service.
Here’s how Hopkins used the power of a unique selling proposition and preemptive advantage with one of his advertising clients, Schlitz.
Schlitz was a major midwestern brewery, frustratingly entrenched in fifth place among beer manufacturers. Part of the problem was that Schlitz, like all the brewers at that time, was exclaiming that its beer was “pure.” While this was true, the word “pure” meant nothing to beer drinkers because every manufacturer made the same claim.
Hopkins knew he could only create a vast distinction for Schlitz if he could discover something unique, out-of-the ordinary, or even commonplace about Schlitz—but something the beer drinking world didn’t yet know!
Research Plus Creativity Equals Results
Hopkins began to ask questions. Lots of them. He snooped around. He was like a detective in search of the missing clue. Hopkins’ research uncovered that, at least in the early 1900s, brewers all pretty much made beer the same way. That’s why they could all proudly boast that their product was “pure.” However, what they didn’t tell you, was how their beer became “pure.”
Hopkins jumped on that oversight. And he turned it, into a powerful, profitable and preemptive advantage. Hopkins began telling the beer-drinking world about:
- How Schlitz was brewed through great filters, filled with white-wood pulp.
- How the pumps and pipes were cleaned twice daily to avoid contamination.
- How elaborate machinery cleaned every bottle four times.
- How the Schlitz artesian wells were dug 4,000 feet deep into the earth’s surface to discover pure water.
- How the beer was aged in vats for six months.
- How the unique flavor of Schlitz was developed from a mother yeast cell that was the result of 1,200 experiments.
While other brewers continued to yell that their beer was pure, Hopkins simply told beer drinkers in exacting detail, how Schlitz became pure.
Within two months, Schlitz ascended from fifth place to within dollars of first place. All because Hopkins knew how to describe the common, in an uncommon way. And most important, he did it first!
Remember, what you currently perceive about your business as being ho-hum or ordinary might present a preemptive advantage that the world will marvel at, respond to and invest in. The key is that you take advantage of the advantage, first, before your competitors.
© Blackman & Associates, LLC
Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the revised 4th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults