Why Isn’t This Working?

By Patrick McNerthney

A million years ago (2017) I was the “VP of Marketing” for a start-up beverage company. What a nightmare (despite the fancy title). The CEO was an egomaniac, as was the VP of Sales…and the other sales folks…and the intern…and the facilities manager…and the owner of the co-packing facility in California…and the mailroom clerk and the housekeeping service…you get the idea.

But everyone (despite their egos) was super motivated and thought the product was “Avant Garde.” And it ‘twas: a ready-to-drink beverage with caffeine, protein, probiotics, no fat, that was relatively low in carbohydrates. Nothing like it existed in the marketplace. Yet.

But therein lay the problem. We sunk tons and tons of dough into branding, marketing communications, production, distribution, trade show promotions…and we waited, then wondered, “Why isn’t this working? Why isn’t the market responding?”

(“Responding” means paying a business cash money.)

The problem is this: when we ask that question in a complain-y way or whiny way, it usually means what we’re really wondering is, “Why aren’t people noticing me and changing their lives to meet my needs? I’m working hard here, people!!”

And that’s exactly what befuddled this not-to-be-named start-up beverage company. 

As time went by, things only got worse as we dug in our heels, repeating the same behaviors. We basically kept insisting we knew what everyone needed without asking them what they actually WANTED. (And I went to Guadalajara, Singapore, Shanghai, Chicago, and more on a world promotional tour that no one cared about. Okay, awesome travel for me, but it really sucked for the company!)

(My favorite part was the in-flight snacks!)

And therein lies the rub: we wanted to keep repeating the same processes until people changed their behavior to match our goals. BUT, what we SHOULD DO is ask the question, “What do people really want?” out of extreme curiosity, GENUINE curiosity. Then and only then can we listen to the market and change what we’re up to, increasing the chance that our offerings will collide so forcefully with the desired market that they will say, “HEY, I LOVE THIS! THIS IS FOR ME.”

Followed immediately by “glug, glug, glug…,” at least as far as my old employer was concerned. 

Over to you. As you try to help your residents or loved ones connect with their self-worth, confidence, mastery, and sense of optimism, do you listen to them, or do you rely on what you absolutely-for-sure know they need? (Hint: they don’t need a caretaker. They need to believe they matter.) 

Don’t fret. This is a tough question that’s befuddled “VPs of Marketing” for years, and Fine Art Miracles (FAM) can help. FAM champions creative expression as a method of soothing and enriching the minds of the elderly, children with challenges, or anyone needing help with life’s daily tasks through action. Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Art2Go packages, and Multi-Sensory Sessions empower your residents and loved ones by providing them with a path to progress and changing their environment. And once your loved one sees the impact he or she makes, they realize they are seen, heard, and have agency in their own lives. 

And isn’t that a great thing to offer a market? Control of their own destiny? Who doesn’t want that?  (Too bad I didn’t think of this back in 2017.) 

So what are you waiting for? Go; go! Give FAM a call or drop them a note, they’re happy to get you started! 

Whelp, that’s that. Someday I’ll tell you about all my other gigs: barista, maritime courier, video store clerk, Christmas Tree salesperson…they were all valuable experiences. Imagine! Some people have the same job for more than like three years. What’s up with that?



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