Best solutions come from unlikely places

Many years ago, a cosmetics manufacturer (of hair and beauty fame) invited their sales and marketing teams to an off site meeting in Switzerland. No costs spared for these people!

Their aim was to come up with a snazzy new marketing campaign and a strap line for a problem they were grappling with – their products were more expensive than their competitors, and why would a costumer be willing to pay extra for the same product when they could buy exactly the same for less?

Three days later, the teams had brainstormed, thought ‘outside the box’ and do whatever such teams do at such an off site, but all to no avail. The conference came to an end and the leaders left looking demoralised having not come up with any answer to their problem.

The woman on the reception saw that they were downbeat and asked one of the leaders what was wrong.

‘We’ve just spent three days trying to come up with a marketing campaign that will persuade our customer to spend extra on our products. And we’re at a loss – why should our customers bother?’

Apparently, the receptionist shrugged and offered ‘Because you’re worth it?’

A slogan was born and a global campaign launched. I love this story and I’m not entirely sure of its 100% factual content but they message is that sometimes the best solutions come from the most unlikely of places, so it’s imperative that as managers we get everyone involved and listen to them.

Extract – Leadership – The Multiplier Effect, Andy Cope.

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