Brew a good stout before a chocolate stout

I’ll shout this from the mountaintop: When it comes to your business, dial-in something simple before getting more complex.

An example from the beer brewing world…

I’m not a fan of Coors Light, but I respect the heck out of its brewers.

Why? Because it’s impossible to hide a flaw in that beer.

Coors Light is so darn simple, so clean, and so light that any flaw would stick out like a sore thumb.

Yet, Coors Light tastes exactly the same every time. That’s impressive.

(Side note: As opposed to what many people say, I don’t think beers like Coors Light taste bad. I think they lack flavor. There’s a difference.)

On the other hand, take a much bigger and more complex beer. Say, a 10% alcohol imperial stout with coffee, chocolate, and caramel.

If there is a flaw in that beer? It’d be easy to hide.

That’s why, when I was teaching beer brewing classes, I always gave my students this advice:

“Brew a good stout before you attempt a chocolate stout.”

The idea is to first dial in a simple recipe and prove you can brew that base beer well. Only then should you open your pantry and start tossing in exotic ingredients.

I recommend the same approach in your marketing.

Most marketing efforts start way too complex, meaning all sorts of flaws can creep in and go unnoticed.

Instead, start with a clean, simple, and effective campaign.

Dial in your core message before adding a bunch of bells and whistles. This will be a forcing function to make sure your core marketing message is solid.

Brew a good stout before attempting a chocolate stout.

Billy Broas is a messaging strategist who has been the brains behind top entrepreneurs. He's the creator of The Five Lightbulbs messaging framework.

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