Friday, February 12, 2016

Buying Brazil

An old joke goes, "The CEO asked for coffee. The company bought Brazil."

In middle managers' eyes, decisions by CEOs—even bad ones—are unassailable.

That might-makes-right is why your B2B messaging should mirror CEOs' aspirations.

Even when wrong-headed, those aspirations matter—more than anything.

J. Bruce Ismay decided to cut the number of lifeboats on Titanic by 66% to fit more luxury cafés, White Star Line "bought Brazil." Why? Ismay aspired to attract super-wealthy customers.

Gregg Steinhafel decided to fast-track the opening of 124 stores in Canada, Target "bought Brazil." Why? Steinhafel aspired to outgrow Walmart.

No, you don't want to abet disasters (you'll never get testimonials). But you do want to abet CEOs' aspirations—because they're what matter to buyers.

Buyers don’t want to save money.
They don't want free trials. They don't want comprehensive solutions.

Buyers want to fulfill the CEO's vision.

They want to buy Brazil.
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