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Is Your Show Cool?

Learning from a Grey Goose

I have a confession. I’m addicted to audio books. I drive A LOT! I find it’s the best way to take advantage of all the driving time to and from shows.

I just finished listening to Chasing Cool, an audio book by Noah Kerner & Gene Pressman, while driving home from San Diego (same area as I found the Ostrich Egg).

They have figured out ways of making your product or service to be “COOL” (ie. Ipod, Nike, etc..). They tell a fascinating story about Grey Goose Vodka and how the creator, a guy named Sidney Frank, created the vodka and made it the most PREMIUM and SOUGHT AFTER VODKA, period… in less than 7 years.

Now pay close attention, because his strategies can be used by YOU to sell your shows.The Variety Artist - Cool

Let’s think about this. In general, his task was to convince the public that his tasteless, colorless, non-descript alcoholic beverage was better and made you feel more important than drinking the other guy’s tasteless, colorless, non-descript alcoholic beverage.

How’d he do dat?

First, Sidney knew that to become the “it” vodka, he would have to appeal to the high end drinker and also the less financially fortunate vodka guzzler.

Ok. First, the high end drinker (the connoisseur)

1.) The vodka is produced in the fancy schmancy “Vodka region of France”. Who knew that there was a vodka region of France? Does that really make it taste better? No. But it is “imported”. That’s one of the most high end words you can use. Also, France is where we perceive all the great food and beverage to come from.

2.) He imported the bottles in wooden crates like fine wine is imported. More expensive than the conventional cardboard, but adds perceived value.

3.) Charged $30.00 a bottle, double the price of the most expense brand of vodka at the time (Absolute). Gave additional perceived value.

4.) The Beverage Tasting Institute named Grey Goose “World’s Best Tasting Vodka” . Sidney used this as his USP (Unique Selling Position) and created an entire campaign around it.

Ok, how about the low end guzzlers?

1.) He got 8Ball and MJG to put it in their rap Almost Famous. Upon the release of Almost Famous, Grey Goose sales went up 600%.

2.) Other rap artists copied them and for a while, every drink in every rap song or video was “The Goose”.

Add a cool frosty design on the bottle and voila! You’ve got the drink that is perceived as the highest, most premium brand of vodka around.

Here’s the funny part and THE BIG LESSON…

Although the perception is that premium Vodkas taste better than low end vodkas, the truth is that they almost all taste exactly the same. In fact, most folks drink vodka with a mixer (O.J., cranberry, Red Bull) that masks the vodka taste completely.

Here’s proof. In a taste test put on by the New York Times, premium and ultra premium vodkas tested no better than the lower priced ones. In fact, Smirnoff, arguably a low end vodka because of the labeling and reputation, won the taste test HANDS DOWN!

So now the question for YOU is this: How is your show different than the others in your market? If it isn’t that different, than how can you convince your market that it is BETTER… MORE HIGH END… WORTH MORE… MORE FUN.. MORE EDUCATIONAL…. whatever! This is YOUR TASK.

There are gigantic lessons throughout this blog on how to do it. If you didn’t get them, read it again while thinking about it.

Work on it and figure it out and you’ll have a huge advantage over your competition!

About the author, John

Creator and host of The Variety Artist podcast. Making a living entertaining since 1998.

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