478 Pete

"More case studies," they say. Okay, here’s one:

Pete was in a business that’s a real commodity. Moving and storage. Mostly local. Anyone with a truck and some strong men can get in. It’s about price, mostly, plus service and ethics, I guess.

The thing is, most people don’t hire a mover very often. And when they do, they do it with fear and loathing, not excitement. The only thing that can happen is something bad.

So what did Pete do? He built a Purple Cow, one with a real story.

Pete works for Metro North. He sold tickets at the train station in my town. Which means (pre credit card machine) that every single commuter knew him.

Pete got a phone number with a local exchange (478). Only people in town can get that exchange. They’re coveted.

And then he hired some nice guys. Not guys who had to be trained to be nice, but nice guys.

So, you see the trucks. The paint job is neat and clean. The firm’s name (478 PETE) is the phone number is the story is the guarantee. Of course Pete’s not going to rip you off. He’d have to quit his great job at Metro-North to hide from you. Of course he’s local, he’s even got the exchange!

Bingo. Pete’s set for life.

Now, what usually happens at this point is that people say one of two things, "Sure, that was obvious," and "sure, it worked for him… but what about my particular unique one-and-only situation…"

Well, it’s not that obvious. And yes, if Pete can make local moving and storage into a goldmine, odds are you can reinvent your gig as well. None of it would have worked if he had run a standard moving company… the product (the men and the man) is the marketing.