I love Starbucks.

Yes, the coffee is great and yes, I love the brand that they work hard at portraying.

Here’s the real reason: they don’t advertise on TV. I love the fact that Starbucks is considered one of the current, most recognized brands in the world (along with Coke, McDonald’s and Apple) and they do it without having commercials on TV. Of course I know that they advertise in all different ways (social media etc.), but I’ve always been someone who notices brands that advertise on TV. 

Can’t convince me!

I’m not sure what it is — there is something innate in me that despises a “sales job.” I can smell a salesperson a mile away, and when I get any sense of something being sold to me — I immediately become convinced that I will not purchase that product—even if it makes great sense to do so (great deal etc.).   

Maybe this disposition was due to my upbringing. My parents raised me during the 70’s and they were deep into the “hippy” stage. Thus, there was a whole lot of “stick it to the man,” anti-institution, non-establishment happening in our home growing up.

Or maybe it is a result of my stubborn nature to allow anyone and any brand to “define” me or shape how or what I would buy, wear, eat, etc.

I would love to say that it’s a result of my faith, and that my only identity is in Christ and that I don’t buy into anything that world offers me or tries to sell me…and certainly there’s something to this…but honestly…I’m not really sure where this actually comes from.

Selling short?

Ironically, I find myself living the life of a salesperson most of the time. I am constantly “selling” the vision of the school to people. I find myself “selling” change to co-workers. I find myself “selling” new and different ways to achieve a better way. I am often asking/telling/selling someone to complete a new task in a short time frame. And I find myself constantly needing to “sell” to my own kids that listening to their parents is a wise decision, or that not being allowed to have a mobile phone like everyone else is really best for them.

In reality — we are all salespeople. Our lives are full of convincing and coercing, helping others see a better way and solving problems, providing solutions and opening new pathways. We are constantly seeking out ways to become better at what we do, accomplish more in a shorter period of time and do more with less.

And then when these things happen — we want others to know about it. We might event want others to “buy in” or “follow;” it’s a natural part of living in community.

Seth Godin, of Purple Cow lore (among other marketing books), says that we don’t need to be salespeople if we have something unique and remarkable that others seek hard after. We don’t have to spend thousands on marketing, if people are drawn to something that doesn’t need a marketing plan.

As a matter of fact, if they’re like me, they are more drawn to the brand with the absence of an overt marketing plan. 

Spreading the Word

In the context of school…well…we don’t have TV commercials, but Abbotsford Christian School is catching on. We’re bursting at the seams with enrolment at the elementary campus and the middle school campus has been drawing a record number of new families in the past three years.

Our innovative Project Based Learning approach is getting the attention of others in the education world and beyond. It’s clear that education has changed, and our This Square Inch campaign that is geared to changing our learning spaces to accommodate 21st Century learning is beginning to take hold. 

Not sure what coffee you enjoy and why…but I’ll have a tall Americano, no room for cream.