Brew a good stout before a chocolate stout

I’ll shout this from the mountaintop: When it comes to your business, dial-in something simple before getting more complex.

An example from the beer brewing world…

I’m not a fan of Coors Light, but I respect the heck out of its brewers.

Why? Because it’s impossible to hide a flaw in that beer.

Coors Light is so darn simple, so clean, and so light that any flaw would stick out like a sore thumb.

Yet, Coors Light tastes exactly the same every time. That’s impressive.

(Side note: As opposed to what many people say, I don’t think beers like Coors Light taste bad. I think they lack flavor. There’s a difference.)

On the other hand, take a much bigger and more complex beer. Say, a 10% alcohol imperial stout with coffee, chocolate, and caramel.

If there is a flaw in that beer? It’d be easy to hide.

That’s why, when I was teaching beer brewing classes, I always gave my students this advice:

“Brew a good stout before you attempt a chocolate stout.”

The idea is to first dial in a simple recipe and prove you can brew that base beer well. Only then should you open your pantry and start tossing in exotic ingredients.

I recommend the same approach in your marketing.

Most marketing efforts start way too complex, meaning all sorts of flaws can creep in and go unnoticed.

Instead, start with a clean, simple, and effective campaign.

Dial in your core message before adding a bunch of bells and whistles. This will be a forcing function to make sure your core marketing message is solid.

Brew a good stout before attempting a chocolate stout.

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About the Author

Billy Broas

Billy is the founder of The Five Lightbulbs®.

He got into marketing his late 20's, when he left his career at an engineering company to run his online business. He’s consulted on messaging to top entrepreneurs, including Tiago Forte, Ryan Deiss, and Leila Gharani.

Billy lives in San Diego with his wife, their two children, and an abundance of tasty Mexican food.