A week or so back, I sent a tongue-in-cheek email about Bud Light being on my list, but refused to open my email about Woodstock ‘99 in which I shared the timeless lesson about how not knowing your audience can cause literal riots.
Of course, this was in jest. Bud Light isn’t actually on my list, at least to my knowledge. But I didn’t wanna let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Well, this email is the complete opposite of that:
Not only is today’s story true, but it’s also an example of knowing your customers so well that it should be illegal—and in this case, it was illegal.
Here’s the story:
Back in my music technology days, I lived up in Columbus, Ohio, which is also where Ohio State calls home.
Well, there was one company in particular (who I won’t name, to protect the guilty) who were the complete opposite of Bud Light and Woodstock ‘99.
Well, it was a beer and tobacco delivery company. You could call a number, order a 30 rack of Natty Ice for only like $12 bucks, and they’d deliver your beer to you as if they were in that 30 Minutes or Less minutes.
You got your beer fast, and cheap.
It was the perfect business model for college students.
And here was the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) part:
They didn’t ID when they delivered your beer.
Y’see, when I lived in Columbus, I was 19 and 20. I couldn’t just walk into a liquor store or a bar and order alcohol.
But I could call this number, hand over $12 for 30 beers, and not have to worry about being ID’d.
Hence why I said they know their customers so well it’s illegal.
Now, I’m not condoning underage drinking (or smoking, as Ohio has since raised its tobacco age to 21), but ethical and moral implications aside, this is a powerful lesson:
This company knew college kids don’t have much money. That a vast majority of them are underage. And so, they created a company that served that audience to a T.
Bud Light should take note. The ironic part is that, yes, at least when I lived in Columbus, this company also sold Bud Light (but we never bought it because the Natty Ice was so much cheaper).
Moral of the story?
Well, I don’t recommend doing illegal things.
But knowing your audience as well as this company is a cheat code that will have your competitors thinking you’re, in fact, doing something illegal even if you aren’t.
Need help uncovering deep audience insights that are hidden in your subconscious?
Well, other than my email copy skills, I’ve also figured out a set of interview questions I ask to all new clients that can extract these insights for both of our benefit.
Not only does it help you avoid making Bud Light-sized blunders, but it also helps me write copy that’s so infectious and persuasive that your audience will have almost no choice but to buy each and every product you offer.
Wanna see how this works?