A Different Light
Have you ever thought about how your neighbourhood’s appearance changes depending on the time of day?
Mine looks very different early in the morning than it does in the middle of the day, and has a different vibe again at night.
The time of day you interact with a place will inform how you see and understand it. The people who line up on Tuesday morning for coffee at the cafe across the road from my building are not the same crowd as the people who line up Friday night for entry to the nightclub two doors down. They’re there at different times, with different intents and their experience of that stretch of road will be…different.
How someone responds when we try to sell them an idea or some sort of change will depend on how it looks to them at the time.
The story you tell about selling a shot of coffee at 10.00pm needs to be different to how you would sell the same thing at 8.00am. A lot of people make coffee a regular part of their morning routine but steer away from it at night. You could put that espresso in a martini or a decadent dessert and by reframing the context it might appeal to someone who wouldn’t buy a latte at that hour.
Or you could avoid those people who avoid caffeine after 6pm. Market your “24 hour blend” to those who sip coffee all day and night.
Sometimes you’ve got something great to share (world’s best coffee blend) and the right customer profile (coffee connoisseur), but the timing just isn’t right. The moment you try to tell her about your Tanzanian Peaberry beans is when she’s running late for a crucial job interview. In that case even a great product/customer match won’t be any use (unless you can offer her a celebratory cold brew on her way back past).
Whether you’re selling a product, a new idea, a new show or some other sort of change, it’s important to think about the stories you tell and whether they are what your audience wants to hear at this time and in this place.
Consider where and when they might be most receptive to your message and experiment with different means of sharing it. It’s naive to think you’ll magically get it right first time, or even to believe that there’s one perfect solution.
There are a lot of people selling coffee to a vast range of customers – at different times of the day, in different locations (supermarkets, 7 Eleven, Starbucks, hipster coffee joints) at vastly different prices. Each coffee drinker responds to different “coffee opportunities” uniquely, dependent on the story they’re told AND the story they tell themselves about what sort of coffee drinker they are.
Who do you want to sell your idea or change to and how many different ways can you think about getting your message to that audience?