Desi Jagger's Blog

My P&G Story #1: When I Blindfolded the Boots Buyers

Years ago, when I first started working on Olay, I felt the brand was stuck in a rut. We churned out the same old powerpoint slides, proclaiming benefits that sounded too much like the previous ones. Where was the human touch, the charm of ‘love the skin you’re in’?

Our biggest customer, Boots, had ever-growing expectations and negotiated hard. Paradoxically, they were also our biggest competitor and I sometimes wondered whether we were doomed to fail by design.

It was as if we were stuck in a mold that no longer fit our beautiful brand.

 

We were launching a night cream. On the drive up to our customer meeting, I had an idea: “How about we blindfold the buyers and tell them a good-night story?”

 

Silence.

 

More silence.

 

“Over my dead body. This is utterly unprofessional,” said my manager. “You’ll come across as crazy. They won’t ago along with it,” warned the account manager.

 

I challenged, explained, appealed.

 

“For the record, I didn’t say ‘yes’” – my manager finally gave in and the nervousness in the car was palpable.

 

During the meeting, I scrapped the powerpoint presentation. I asked the buyers to put on blindfolds. I told them a bedtime story. When the story finished, there was a gap and I knew that I had either rocked their world or made a laughing stock out of myself. There was going to be no in-between.

 

They stood up and clapped. It was sensational. We had broken the ice.

 

Get unstuck by doing the opposite of what you usually do. You’re not going to break the mold by sitting inside your comfort zone.

Need some creative inspiration? Coaching can help you explore possibilities and venture outside your comfort zone. Take the first step now by booking your free consultation.

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