Some lessons in strategic marketing aren’t readily apparent. In some cases, you have to dig deep to find the diamond.

This was the case on a recent trip to the grocery story, where I discovered a very powerful strategic marketing strategy in action. Before I knew it, this unique marketing strategy had wrapped me up and I was buying their product.

But before revealing what this strategic marketing strategy is, I want to ask you a question:

Do you believe in second chances? I do. (And as you’re about to find out, there’s actually a strategic marketing strategy reason behind it)

I also believe in third chances too (but not fourth chances – but that’s a different story)

In fact, I’m such an advocate of second chances, that I recently bought a loaf of bread from an ex-con.

Why did I do it?

In today’s strategic marketing strategy lesson, I give you 3 answers to this question, and also why these answers are vitally important to your business’ strategic marketing plan.

Strategic Marketing Strategy: The Power Of A Fairytale

“I recently bought a loaf of bread from an ex-con.”

This might sound like a strange comment. First of all, why is the simple act of buying a loaf of bread worthy of remark?

And second…why would I buy a loaf of bread from someone who is a multi-felon, with convictions for drug use, drug trafficking, armed robbery, and assault on a police officer?

Well, before we get into that, let me just say that the bread was good. Damn good. And I almost didn’t buy it.

But I did buy it. And here’s the reason why. Actually, here are the THREE reasons why – and also why the real reason I bought this bread – and the strategic marketing strategy lesson behind this reason – is crucially important to your own business.

Reason #1 – It was very healthy

I’ve been on a major health kick lately. Not by choice, mind you – it’s a forced health kick.

My wife has it in her head that for some reason it’s important that I have clean arteries and a nice shiny colon (and now I do have a nice shiny colon, thank you very much!)

So I recently found myself at the local super market, scoping out the pile of health-nut breads (which you’ll find stacked between the rabbit food and the 100% organic soy milk).

Whilst perusing the loaves, I found one that was made with practically every single whole grain on the planet, was chock full of colon-cleansing goodness, and if you eat it, you’re guaranteed to live forever.

But that’s not the loaf of bread that I bought. My loaf was purchased from an ex-con. And yes, it was very healthy. But it wasn’t the healthiest loaf at the store. And as you’ve probably guessed, I’m certainly not going to live forever after eating a slice (or aaaaaamm I?).

So why did I choose to buy bread from the ex-con? Out of all of the healthy breads I could have pulled off the shelf, why did I choose this one? If it wasn’t because it was the healthiest bread on the shelf (which it wasn’t), then what was it?

Well, maybe it was because…

Reason #2 – I’m a sucker for second chances

What can I say – I love giving people second chances.

Heaven knows I’m not perfect. I’ve made my own fair share of mistakes in my life (none severe enough to land me in the slammer…at least that they know about!)

I think that I deserve second chances. You do too. So why wouldn’t Dave? (that’s the ex-con’s name)

I am always ready to cut a guy (or girl) some slack. Including Dave. Sure, he’s made some mistakes. But he wants a second chance. He NEEDS a second chance. And I was ready to give it to him.

But was my desire to cut the guy some slack the real reason why I pulled that loaf of bread off of the shelf?

Sure, it played into it. But it wasn’t the real reason I bought that loaf of bread. Here’s the real reason:

Reason #3 – It was a compelling story

Everyone is a sucker for a good story. This one was just too juicy to pass up.

I mean, come on – an ex-con spends 15 years in prison and has a rap sheet longer than the last “romantic comedy” I had the misfortune of watching with my wife.

But this ex-con cleans himself up, turns his life around, and not only becomes a productive member of society…

…but he actually goes on a quest “To make the world a better place, one loaf of bread at a time” (his stated vision right on his website).

Not only is this innovative small business entrepreneur trying to keep his nose clean, he’s actually trying to make a difference in people’s lives. So he creates a baked masterpiece of goodness that he’s sharing with anyone who will listen to his story.

Seriously, doesn’t this fairytale have Lifetime written all over it?

Dave’s not trying to hide from his past. Instead, he embraces it, and has woven his checkered past into the fairytale he has crafted around his business.

In fact, his small business IS the story (and the sooner you figure that out, the better).

So Dave doesn’t hide from his past. He prints it loudly and proudly on every bag of “Dave’s Killer Bread”. Don’t believe me? Then head on over to “Whole Foods” and see for yourself.

And while you’re at it, grab yourself a loaf. You’ll be glad you did.

So what’s the strategic marketing secret to convincing a conservative father-of-seven (yes, I said S.E.V.E.N.) to buy a full-blown tree-hugging loaf of bread from an ex-con?

Here’s a hint: It’s all about the story.

And this is the real-life, honest-to-goodness reason why I bought a loaf of bread from an ex-con: Because the fairytale was just so gosh darn compelling.

So ask yourself this – what story are you telling to your customers? Because whether or not you know it…you are telling them a story. And it might not be the story you want them to hear.

So as part of your own strategic marketing plan, be sure to take the time to develop your own fairytale. Your customers want to hear it. And if it’s compelling enough, you just might convince them to buy from you again and again,despite all of your warts.

Do you wonder what the possible outcomes are of creating a truly unique strategic marketing plan? One that is so powerful that it creates a completely unfair competitive advantage?