Years ago, legendary American advertising executive James Webb Young started “Old Jim Young’s Mountain Grown Apples,” which sold fruit by mail.
In the book How I Learned The Secrets Of Success In Advertising by Guy Lynn Sumner, a story was told about an apple-growing season that nearly ruined him.
Violent hailstorms bombarded his apple trees with ice pellets, marking the fruit with small blemishes.
And Young felt he was in between a rock and a hard place.
If he shipped the bruised apples to his mail-order buyers, he was afraid he’d experience a massive amount of complaints and returned fruit.
But if he didn’t ship the apples, he’d have to refund his customers’ money, and his business would be destroyed.
The apples only suffered minor cosmetic damage. Although the hail had discolored the skin, it didn’t affect the flavor or freshness of the fruit.
Suddenly, Young had a brilliant idea.
He went ahead, filled his orders, and in each box enclosed a preprinted card that explained their appearance:
“Note the hail marks which appear as minor skin blemishes on some of these apples. These are proof of their growth at a high mountain altitude, where the sudden chills from mountain hail storms ‒ which these apples receive while growing ‒ help firm their flesh and develop the fruit sugars which give them their fine flavor.”
According to Young, not a single order was returned.
And the following year, many customers requested “hail-marked apples.”
This story is a great example of what can happen when you’re truthful about your weaknesses and flaws.
If you do it right, you can increase loyalty, sales, and customer satisfaction with your buyers.
You need some creativity to think like this. But it’s possible.
And dare I say… required.
If you want your business to stand head and shoulders above your competition and make bushels of money.
The “low-hanging fruit” may be gone but it doesn’t mean there isn’t more fruit to be had.
My schedule just opened up slightly to accommodate one new client.
Looking to harvest a bigger crop of fresh revenue this year?
Contact me and we’ll see if I can help you plan… and plant the right seeds for success.
A creative ‘apple’ a day keeps the bankers away…