Blackberries aren't black to start with. Or sweet for that matter.
In fact, blackberries start out quite green. And quite sour. Then they turn reddish. And then black.
And that's when the birds start to eat the blackberries.
Which brings us to the most interesting part of consumption.
And how a blackberry can teach you just how to keep customers coming back.
You see the blackberry bush keeps the birds coming back.
And it does so, by staggering the ripening of the blackberries on the bush.
So first, a few bunches ripen.
Then after a few days, a few more ripen.
And so it goes on. The ripening (and consequent attraction), unfolds in a cycle of sorts.
This is to ensure that the birds keep coming back time and time again, instead of stripping the entire bush all at one go.
That's not the case with buffets…or your business for that matter.
Your business tends to be like a buffet. So it doesn't really matter if you're selling products, or services, or are a trainer. You're going to want to run a buffet.
You're going to want to dump all your information; all your skills; all your blah-blah Powerpoint slides on your customer at one go.
And like a buffet the customer is going to eat hungrily. Then go from hunger to greed.
From greed to indigestion.
Forty five burps later, your customer is now sick of your ‘buffet'.
This wasn't the plan, was it?
You wanted the customer to keep coming back.
But instead of creating a situation where you staggered the consumption, you actually created over-consumption.
When in fact, staggered consumption could have been sooooooooo much better!
So how do you create staggered consumption?
Staggering involves giving out products, services and training in steps.
Of course, esto es un problema grande, eh?
It's all very fine for a blackberry bush to do staggered ripening, but how do you create staggered consumption?
If you're selling a book, you can't very well give out a few pages at a time, can you? If you're doing a training program, you can't give out just a few bits and pieces can you?
No you can't. Because it would be unethical.
But the blackberry isn't doing anything unethical. It's treating each bunch of berries as a package. And asking you to do the same.
So when we get customers to buy a book, for example, the Brain Audit, we then make sure they get the ‘rest of the package' later.
We do this by staggering consumption.
Which means that the customer gets the book with all the pages, but then we send out additional packages; additional goodies.
So when you buy a Brain Audit book, it gets followed up with some goodies.
These goodies are in audio or notes. These goodies point out something you may have missed in the book.
They point out something to advertising and marketing out there, and show you how to identify concepts of the Brain Audit in radio ads, for instance.
These packages ‘ripen' as the days, and weeks pass.
iTunes does this by sending me a free download ever so often (and then I buy some iTunes anyway). istockphoto.com gives me a free image ever so often (and then I buy some pictures from them anyway).
You see, I've already bought into the product. I've already signed up for the service. I've already done the training.
But smart marketers know two things…
1) They know that customers take time to work things out.
That customers need time to wrap their head around a new product, or new service, or new information given at a workshop.
They know that staggering consumption is the way to go. That customers can be encouraged to use their product or service long after the product/service has been purchased.
2) They also know that consumption leads to increased consumption.
That if I keep going back to iTunes, I'll find something I like. That if I keep going back to istockphoto, I'll find a photo I like.
That when we help you put the Brain Audit to use with more examples, you'll create new business that will encourage you to buy more products.
Smart marketers aren't dopes. They know you have to give to receive. And to keep giving. And giving whole-heartedly–without strings attached.
And blackberries don't attach strings either…
Their sweet berries are eaten by birds, who then…um…poop out the berry seeds in where it can find soil to grow anew.
The birds keep pooping. And they keep coming back to eat some more.
That's staggered consumption.
And it's what you can do to ensure that customers keep coming back time after time, after time.