Why it’s best not to mention “pineapples” before your customer is ready

by | Sep 17, 2020

I was describing my new hair care routine to Frank:

“In the shower I co-wash and I squish to condish, then I plop my hair for about 30 minutes. Once it’s dry, I scrunch out the crunch, and tonight, I’ll pineapple it before I go to bed.”

Frank was amused.

Especially when I said “plop.” It was then I found out that in Ireland, “plop” indicates the thing dogs do on long walks…and why their owners should come supplied with small plastic bags.

Before starting this new hair care routine, I never used any of these words or phrases.

Well, except for “pineapple”—but only to mean the fruit, never in relation to my hair.

But that all changed when I became a new initiate of the “Curly Girl Method,” which, if you haven’t heard of it, is an elaborate hair care routine meant to help tame the frizz and bring out the definition of wavy or curly hair.

I was recounting this routine to Frank so I could use all my newfound vocabulary at once. I knew he’d be amused by how extensive and borderline absurd it was.

I learned all this terminology by reading a few blog posts and watching several YouTube tutorials about the Curly Girl Method.

It was overwhelming.

At first, I didn’t know the difference between “squish to condish” and “scrunch to crunch,” and I couldn’t get my head around the bajillion steps involved to precisely follow the method.

Some of the women (I’ve heard it’s not just women who use the method, but all the tutorials I’ve found are by women) recommended about 4 different products to get started, while others used about 18.

Add to that, a lot of them would open with the sentence “I don’t follow the Curly Girl Method to a T,” and I was completely confused about what I should be doing.

I kept at it, kept trying to get a grasp on what I needed to do, only because the perceived outcome—beautiful, manageable curls—would be worth all the effort.

Eventually, I cracked the Curly Girl “inner culture,” learned the lingo, and came away with a plan. But that was after days and days of research.

And that got me thinking about the importance of inviting your dream customer into your brand’s inner culture.

Maybe it won’t be as extreme as teaching your dream customer a whole new vocabulary, but what are the things unique to your brand that are worth explaining to your dream customer, to help them see the value in your offer?

Once you’ve identified those things, then it’s time to think about at what point in the dream customer’s “getting to know you process” (more commonly called “buyer’s journey”) are they ready to learn about and appreciate each of those things.

The first time I read a Curly Girl Method blog post that talked about pineappling hair, but didn’t explain what it meant, I nearly gave up altogether with my research.

The blog post was for people already well-versed in Curly Girl’s inner culture, not for someone like me only getting started.

Frank and I saw something similar happen with one of our clients.

We promoted a blog post of theirs to a cold audience on Facebook that people unfamiliar with the brand weren’t ready for.

The post dealt with a controversial topic, and it resulted in comments that were heated and unhelpful.

So Frank revised the strategy.

Instead of showing this post to a cold audience, he pushed it further down the line and started showing it to a warm audience—or, people who had already seen introductory-level content that gave them a softer invitation into the brand’s “inner culture.”

Just by changing the timeline of when people saw the more controversial blog post, the negative responses dried up. Because now the people seeing it were more familiar with the brand and more open to learning about its values.

You have to make initiation into your brand’s inner culture easy for your dream customers.

In most cases, your dream customer won’t take it upon themselves to learn about your brand values and to research why your offering would be valuable to them.

That’s why it’s so important to develop a content strategy that gives them the information relevant to them when they’re ready for it…so they don’t have to go looking for it themselves.

If that’s something you’d like help with, get in touch with us. It’s the sort of thing we love chatting about.

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