Marketing teaspoon

I don’t know where this story should be attributed. But ever since I heard it several years ago, I’ve always remembered it….

There was a businessman who was having lunch with an older collegue. The businessman was telling his friend how much he was working and what important things he was doing for his company.
When the older friend heard this, he picked up a teaspoon from the table and started stirring a glass of water. He said that the businessman was the teaspoon and the water was the company and water’s motion was all the impact that the young businessman was having on the company.
And then he took the spoon out of the glass.
And the water quickly stopped its motion.
The older friend said that’s also what would happen when the man left the company.

While this little business analogy is probably meant to showcase the importance of work-life balance, I also see it in the light of businesses that I have marketed in the past. Actually, I’m seeing it happen right before my eyes.

I invested years of my time and energy to build a brand…and then when my “marketing teaspoon” left…all the brand equity I built was squandered in a few short months.

It’s like owning a car for several years and caring for it. You never squealed the tires. You changed the oil regularly. But then you get a better car and sell the old one to a young kid who just got their license…and they wreck it.

There’s not much the marketer can do.

But there is something the company can do. When you pull a marketing teaspoon out of the glass, make sure to put another one back in.

tags:: marketingphilosophybusiness analogiesdeep thoughts

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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