What Mark Twain and My Mini Guys Taught Me About Great Marketing

by Leah Komaiko

You may not know that the writer, Mark Twain was also for a while the (ahead of his time) savvy marketing mind behind a publishing company (beforeit went belly up). But it's Twain’s quotes that unintentionally teach me what makes a great marketer. The same thing makes Twain a great genius –his primary interest washumanity emotionally understood.

Like in this quote:  “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

Today, my Mini Cooper repair guys at Minicorsa in North Hollywood, CAgratified me and blew my mind by doing the unexpected:  the right thing..

When your brand strategy and model is to do the opposite of the disdained norm, you can build a nice business. For myself and a world of car owners in L.A. and elsewhere, the assumed expected and accepted of auto repair at a car dealership is you will be way overcharged on what you need today and sold hard on all the other things you don't.  And you have to watchindependent shops like a hawk. So how does Minicorsa do it?

  • First, it’s two relaxed guys with a clean simple garage. You could eat off the floor (but if you prefer there’s a “Denny’s” next door.)
  • They only work on one car—Mini Coopers. They love Minis. They own them. I love my Mini Cooper. We are "one."
  • When I showed up for my appointment they were ready for me.
  • Before they started the work they asked“are you sure you can't still get this part on your warranty?”  And when I couldn’t, they said, “that sucks.”   and they meant it!
  • They checked out all the other vital organs without my having to ask and without next presenting me with a list of additional repairs I had to have "desperately."
  • Instead they said,  "you have 1,000miles left on these brakes before you really need it.  Do you want to come back or get them now?"
  • They said they’d have the brakes in by 2:00 and I’d be out in an hour. They had the part at 2:20 — I was out by 3:00.
  • The total came to $3 over their estimate (and $55 - $70 less than 2 other estimates I had gotten).

As I was leaving I told them, "you guys are the best.” One smiled shyly and said, "Well, we try. Hope to see you next time."

And they will.  Even though I'm considering a move that's 90 miles from here. When humanity emotionally understood isauthenticallydelivered you don't forget how that made you feel.

Does "doing the right thing" sound too ridiculously easy to do to make a marketing difference in you business and profits?  If it was, don't you think everybody would be doing it?

Itdoesn't hurt Minicorsa.  They've got more '5 stars,'  testimonials and business than any other Mini mechanics in L.A.

Want to be a great marketer for your business?   Look first to understand humanity– beginning with your own.   That is your business.  And your brand story.

And that's where I can come in.

Can we talk?