I Heart Butt Drugs

Did the name of this post make you stop and click?

There’s a reason for that, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s talk more about, “I Heart Butt Drugs” first.

That’s a direct quote from a billboard I came across as my family drove from Louisville, KY into Indiana.

The beautifully crafted copy was framed by ice cream cones.

Butt Drugs and ice cream cones?

My curiosity was peaked. Google was being searched within seconds. It turns out that Butt Drugs is a real pharmacy.

The store has been charming people with its unique name for three generations. William (Blackie) Butt, R.Ph. established the family pharmacy in 1952. The company operated as a standard pharmacy until 2001 when Katie Butt took over. It was Katie’s marketing chops that took the Butt dynasty to the next level.

She embraced the name that makes them stand out from national chains. Katie launched merch, an online store, and ad campaigns all about Butt Drugs.

Katie understands that their name is a pattern interrupt. You can’t read, “I Heart Butt Drugs” and not be curious. It’s the reason you clicked on this link and are reading my post right now.

This pattern interrupt alone won’t make them successful, BUTT it’s enough to give them a shot with customers who would otherwise drive down the street to Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid.

Don’t be afraid to be different. A little shock might do your brand some good.

The job of great marketing is to make the right people stop and take notice. Figure out the patterns of the people you’re trying to reach and how you can interrupt those patterns with a relevant message they want and need to hear.

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Commit To A Customer

Our customer is…

This is the first question in our brand script process. Three simple words that can bring the most confident entrepreneurs and marketers to their knees. Almost every client struggles with the idea of possibly alienating people that don’t fit their defined ideal customer.

I understand. I’ve owned businesses for the last 15 years and struggled with this question myself. Even though I know it’s crucial to commit to a specific customer, it’s still agonizing to put yourself inside a box. The demons in my head start asking,

“Am I shooting myself in the foot and leaving business on the table?” 

I have to remind myself of why it’s important to focus on a customer. It’s better to be ‘the’ option for a few than ‘an’ option for everyone. Customers with a serious need are willing to pay for a specialist. Putting yourself inside a box allows you to find the right customers, not just any customer.

Mutually beneficial relationships are born from this dynamic. Your customers get the results they want, and you get fairly compensated for your expertise. On the flip side, companies that chase the broader market are commodities. The lack of an ability to differentiate creates a race to the bottom.

Nobody wins a race to the bottom. 

Commit to a customer and become ‘the’ option. Once you exhaust a small niche you can always pivot to a broader market. Apple, Prana, Facebook, and countless other Fortune 500 companies have followed this precise recipe.

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Does Your Brand Have Bad Habits?

Man Smoking Showing Brand Habits

I can go out and ride my bike for an hour, or I can go to the bar and drink two beers.

What vote will I cast today?

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” 

– James Clear, Atomic Habits

This idea from James Clear applies to the brand you’re building as well.

You can apologize to a customer when they’re unhappy and offer a refund, or you can refuse the refund and keep their money.

You can buy the cheapest materials to put behind the walls where your customer will never see, or you can demand quality in all aspects of construction.

You can offer a genuine please and thank you to every customer, or you can just get on with the next transaction.

Your decision is casting a vote for the type of brand you wish to become. No single customer transaction will transform your brand, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your brand identity.

Core values, mission statements, and manifestos are pointless if you don’t back them up with habits and cast votes every day.

The first step is deciding what type of brand you want to become.


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How To Win The Hearts & Wallets Of Customers

Walmart. Save money.

Nike. Just Do It.

Disney. Most magical place on earth.

Great brands focus on conveying one story. Relentless execution of a clear story is what made them remarkable brands in the first place.

I’m not talking about taglines, although a tagline may be an important part of conveying your story. Walmart has changed taglines without changing their story. They simply found a tagline that helps better tell their story.

Compelling stories are simple, clear, and emotional. Walmart, Nike, and Disney all use these ingredients.

The often missed Special Sauce in all of these examples is empathy. These brands don’t tell the story from their perspective. They don’t try to jam benefits and features down our throat.

Walmart, Nike, and Disney have all mastered the art of understanding what their customer wants, needs, and desires. They take that understanding and spin it into a story where their customers see themselves.

Nike Find Your Greatness Campaign Example

Few campaigns exemplify this better than the Find Your Greatness campaign by Nike.

We can all learn something from these brands. Every business has the opportunity to write their own story.

Stop thinking about what you offer for a moment, and start thinking about what your customers want, need, and desire.

Once you nail the story, relentlessly execute like Walmart, Nike, and Disney.

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How To Craft A Brand Script That Tells Your Company Story

Does everyone on your team know what you do?

I’ll bet you’d be surprised by some of the answers employees or coworkers give to the question,

“What does your company do?”

Do you ramble incoherently when you’re asked?

You’re not alone. This is the most common problem I come across when I start working with a company.

I’m going to share the brand script framework I use for clients (and myself) in this post. Follow this structure and you’ll clarify every piece of communication that comes out of your company. This precise script has helped teams of all sizes convey a consistent brand position.

But first a little story…

I recently went to a neighbor’s house for a party where I only knew a couple of people. The scene transpired as you’d expect. We stood around, ate food, had a few drinks, and rattled through the standard conversation.

I stepped onto the porch to grab another beer and ended up chatting with a nice (and talkative guy). I could tell he was amped up to tell me about his work, so I let him lead the way.

He was passionate about their company and spent five or six minutes explaining what they do. Five minutes is a long time for a dinner party pitch. I’m fairly certain he would have referenced a slide deck if he had one on his phone. I started regretting my third high gravity IPA as I struggled to follow their founding story, key technologies, office location, funding to date, and a list of every single product they offer.

When he finished, he finally asked me what I do. I simply answered,

“I help people like you that are passionate about their business simplify everything you just told me into a sentence.”

The only difference between me and my talkative new friend is that I have a script to follow. My script keeps me from rambling on about every aspect of my business that nobody else cares to hear.

Scripts Tell A Story

Here’s how you avoid becoming that guy. Follow these prompts and you’ll have a nice foundation for your website, marketing, presentations, and company culture. This script naturally progresses you through the creation of a story. You identify your main character (customer), the conflict (customer pain or desire), and the resolution (how you solve their problem). Add in some author credibility (differentiator) and you provide a compelling reason for people to read your story.

Go ahead and complete the following script.

Our Customer Is…

They Desire…

We Help Them By…

The One Thing That Makes Us Different Is…

Keep your answers short. Every company should be able to answer these questions without a paragraph for each point. If you can’t repeat your script by heart, keep simplifying until you can rattle these points off without reading.

Here’s what the Special Sauce company script looks like.

Our Customer Is…
Companies with quality products or services that deliver on their promise.

They Desire…
Clarity on who their customer is, how to reach them, and how to make them buy.

We Help Them By…
Saying the right thing, to the right customers, in the right places to drive sustainable growth.

The One Thing That Makes Us Different Is…
We provide clarity for your business, not just pretty designs or fragmented tactics.

Now we just need to simplify this down to a single sentence everyone on our team can remember.

Whip Out The One-Liner

The final step is simplifying this script down to what I call a Bio One-Liner. Working with companies to create their bio one-liner is a fun part of my job. It’s great to see people’s faces light up when it all comes together and they know they’ve nailed their brand message.

All you have to do is fill in the blanks.

We help ________ do ________ .

Go back to my party response and you’ll see that I provided a variation of my Bio One-Liner based on the situation. Here’s what my standard one-liner looks like:

“We help companies with quality products grow by saying the right thing to the right customers.”

This little one-liner is a powerful piece of communication. You can use this in your social media profiles, at parties, in a sales pitch, and on your website.

The beauty of making it one simple sentence is that you’ve distilled your full brand script into a statement your team can remember (even if they have a sweet buzz at a party).

Everyone from your receptionist to CEO will be consistently repeating the same message with the same language.

Consistency builds recognition. Recognition builds a brand.

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