The Critical Intersection

You walk into a new hair salon and ask them why you should get a haircut there instead of down the street. They say “we deliver the best haircuts, we have the best hair stylists, and they’re trained to do a great job in thirty minutes or less.”

You say great but you walk down the street to the other one and ask them the same. 

They say “from the moment you walk through the door, to the moment you leave, our goal is to make you feel special. You’ll be cared for, given a drink, a friendly stylist, receive a five-minute massage, and then we’ll talk about your hair before cutting it. All of it for the same price as the place across the street. And by the way we have hundreds of reviews of our haircuts and service with an average 4.8 out of 5 rating because people know we genuinely care about them and the craft of cutting hair.” 

The next week you’re trying to find a financial advisor. You ask the first why you should invest with them. They say “we have the best funds for different types of investors with particular goals, we hire the smartest fund managers, and we have the sophisticated tools to generate above-average returns.”

In your next meeting, different advisor, you hear “our firm is so great because we’ve discovered the key to great investing is less about alpha and more about investor psychology and fundamentally sound, low-cost investing. Which means, we don’t just invest our customer’s money, we educate them on proven ways to grow their hard-earned money, why their emotions sometimes get in the way, and how a dedication to our philosophy will help them accomplish their particular goals like retiring well, providing for their family, and being ready for emergencies.” 

Two of those stories talked about the company. The other two zeroed in on where the company and the customer’s stories meet. Those are always the best stories, because a brand is always about a relationship. Anything else is just setup to the real thing. Let’s write more of the second story.