Not too far from my house is a little specialty grocery store called the Hills Market. It sits right next to a massive subdivision, called Worthington Hills. The Hills Market is very cool. Local. Fresh. Organic. Homemade. And 7-times more expensive than it should be. But for the folks in Worthington Hills, it’s THEIR market.

On Saturdays, my little girls love to hit up The Hills Market for some weekend treats. Often we’ll run into a small business owner… sampling their specialty product… lets call her “Susie’s Succulent Strawberry Shortcake Supreme”.

And I often wondered, why is good ole Susie giving up a Saturday at such a small place? She’ll be lucky to see 37 taste-testers on this here Saturday. If she would have set herself up over at the good ole Food Metropolis… she probably would have seen 370.

But it didn’t take me long to realize why. When someone comes into the Hills Market on said Saturday… they always visit Miss Susie. And not just to take a Strawberry and run. But to meet her. Get to know her. And HEAR HER STORY. For Susie, it’s invaluable intimacy and a bond that allows her to create Champions for her scrumptious strawberries. Those loyal folks will forever remember Susie and her Strawberries, and forever tell their friends about Susie (as long as Susie’s “strawberry story” hadn’t gotten rotten that is).

Over at Food Metropolis… sure, she would have handed out a lot more strawberries. Maybe a little more short-term success. But folks grab the strawberries on the run. Grab a handful for their kids. Ask for the coupons. And then scram. All transactional. NO INTIMACY. No forever champions.

That’s the short essence of how we do marketing better, smarter, and in a way that can’t fail. Sure… we reach the most people possible with our marketing. We ain’t dumb. We just don’t do it at the expense of losing intimacy.
Strategically… we buy mediums, formats, stations, shows, opportunities, and day-parts like The Hills Market. Where we know we have an intimate following that we can make Champions.

More valuable impressions. At a more efficient cost. With long lasting effects.
Creatively… well… we got another page on that.

We need a break from typing to take in one of these Strawberry Shortcakes anyways.


Craig Bennington