This past Monday, marketing guru Seth Godin posted a tale of two lemonade stands.
In essence, there are two lemonade stands; one your typical two-kid operation selling ordinary lemonade for an ordinary price, $1 a glass. The service is quick, and you get exactly what you pay for. You feel good because you helped two kids with their summer business.
The other stand is run by a single child. Her lemonade is free, but sitting in plain sight is a large tip jar. She has a methodically entrancing selling style; she takes her time making the lemonade and explaining her process to you. It takes a long time for your cup of lemonade, but instinctively you feel that this lemonade is worth more. You leave, feeling not only satisfied, but having had a real connection with another human; a child who might be the best lemonade salesperson you’ve ever met.
Read a little more closely into his post, and you’ll come away with this:
Was there a difference between the actual taste of the lemonade? Probably not.
Was there a difference in the presentation of the lemonade? You bet.
Would you tell others about the stand with the two kids or the stand with the entrancing lemonade girl? I’m betting the latter.
There are a few well known business who have already taken this to heart. For example: even though any sommelier will tell you that the vessel from which you drink wine makes no difference, hundreds of thousands of people will tell you that wine from a Riedel glass tastes better. It does because they believe it does. In their minds, the worth of the wine-drinking experience from a Riedel glass far exceeds the purchase price. They’re paying for the experience.
As photographers, our services are not unique; there are tens of thousands of us. In that way, we’re just like the thousands of lemonade stands that appear every summer. What makes you different from the other lemonade stands? Is your lemonade better? In today’s world, it’s easy to follow directions and make an competent glass of lemonade. Which lemonade stand are you? Why is your lemonade worth more than the other stand down the street that churns it out ten times faster? What story do you tell your customers that will leave them changed forever?
Many thanks to Seth Godin for his continued brilliance and inspiration for this post.