The marketing lesson that took me 5 YEARS to learn

It’s not often you spot a stroke of marketing genius by your local petrol station, but when you do…

… you notice it.

In my case, it’s taken me about five years to clock it, but I got there… eventually.

As a magician, one of my main costs, after playing cards and back alley antidepressants, was petrol.

Over the years, and thousands of miles, I’ve learned the cheapest places to fill up my diesel guzzler if I didn’t want to break the bank.

(I also learned the places where you should NEVER use the lavvy!)

I’m always on the lookout for a cheap place to fill up, but, living in the Cheshire countryside, you quickly discover that “cheap” is a relative term.

“How much????”

So, you can imagine how amazed I was one day when I discovered that a local station, one well off the beaten track, had been declared as the cheapest petrol station in the UK.

“Thou hath surely made an erroneous statement”, I might have said.

(… or I have may have gone with a more colloquial version)

Turns out, it was true. During a time when petrol costs were rising higher than my cholesterol count at an “all you can eat” buffet…

… a national paper had picked out one of my local stations as the cheapest in the UK.

There was even a quote from the owner.

(something along the lines of “I don’t see why drivers should have to pay more for petrol…”)

It was chaos for days, as locals packed to the station to fill their tanks.

Here’s the “genius” part.

That was 2015.

Yesterday, I needed some fuel, so I asked myself the question:

“Where should I go to fill up?”

Which place, news story and quote do you think came to mind?

Which place, news story and quote do you think ALWAYS comes to mind?

Exactly.

5 years ago, for just ONE day, one of my local stations was the cheapest in the UK.

… and here I am, still carrying around the image of the news story and quote round in my head.

Like the good Pavlovian human I am, I’m in the car, heading over there without even checking to see if it’s still true.

For all I know, BP might be bloody giving away forty quids worth of fuel to everyone who buys a Ginsters pasty and a pack of sushi.

Doesn’t matter. All it took was one single moment of someone being exceptional for me to become a fan for life.

Two lessons:

  • 1. You don’t need to be exceptional at everything, all the time. (though you probably should try), and 
  • 2. Customers and clients remember the awesome things you do. You don’t have to keep banging on about it.

Have a good ‘un!

John