You guys remember that whole Domino’s Pizza deal?
Like, when the CEO got on TV and openly admitted their food sucked?
And when they showed non-flattering customer pictures of their pizzas being delivered with the cheese stuck to the cardboard instead of the actual pizza?
If you don’t, here’s a refresher:
(Disclaimer: I’m no real fan of Domino’s. I can’t even tell you the last time I ate their food… but it’s definitely been a few years because I no longer consume cheese. I’m just impressed with their turn-around and there’s valuable lessons here whether you’re into their product or not.)
The premise of it was this:
Domino’s did some customer research, and realized that had the shittiest of shitty reputation as a fast food pizza restaurant.
That everyone thought they were a special kind of cardboard-flavored 👎 .
Maybe they decided to do this research because they noticed their sales were dropping.
Or maybe they got tired of social media complaints.
Or maybe they were just being good, ambitious business people.
But the fact is, they uncovered something they did not want to find.
Because who really wants to find out that the very people you’re trying to sell to think your product is shit?
I know I’d be mortified to uncover that fact.
So mortified I’d probably give up, hide under my covers for a solid week and cry myself into oblivion.
Then I’d realize that I suck ass as a human, so I’d accept my fate as an idiot sucker and just get some shitty, low-paying hourly job and reframe my mind to just be happy that I’m getting by.
That’s what I’d do, most likely.
But Dominos didn’t do that.
They might have taken an initial emotional blow and fell down for a second, but they literally got up and brushed the dirt off their shoulders as if they were Jay-Z and bad ass enough to get married to and knock up Beyonce with twins.
Like, with that level of confidence that they could win the public over again… and they did.
And do you remember what they did?
Instead of coming out of the gate and acting like a total badass and trying to shame their “haters” for thinking otherwise, they openly and actively showed their shit side.
They admitted they knew their pizza tasted bad.
They admitted they knew their store staff and delivery guys gave no shits about the condition of your pizza.
But most importantly, they admitted they knew that wasn’t okay anymore.
And I’ll be damned if that didn’t work an absolute MIRACLE for them.
And you know what?
I think that’s SUCH a valuable lesson.
Because after they did that, they won our hearts back, didn’t they America?
Yeah, we still knew not to expect a gourmet meal out of them even after they improved their recipes, but we gave them our recognition and our respect nonetheless, right?
Whether you personally did or not… their sales numbers said that we did, and that we did in BIG ways.
Because as human beings, we appreciate authenticity.
And even more than that, we appreciate the BALLS and the CONFIDENCE it takes to have that authenticity.
But don’t wait until you majorly fuck up in your business before you start being authentic with your audience.
Go ahead and admit something about yourself.
Admit something you tried that was a total failure.
Tell that story of the time you just knew your workshop material was going to kill it, only to have students raising their hands every two seconds to ask you questions because they didn’t “get it.”
Tell them what that level of embarrassment and humility felt like for you.
Tell your story.
Let them in. Let them feel like they could talk to your as if you’re a friend… because you are.
Don’t be afraid to admit the things that make you human.
It’s those things, and it’s THAT story your target audience won’t be able to ignore.
Because to a human brain, a story—especially the real, raw, vulnerable and authentic kind—is like a six-pack sitting in front of a functioning alcoholic.
We can’t put it down and strop drinking in the goodness until we’ve finished it to the end… to the very last drop.
So go ahead and tell it, sweets. They’ll LOVE you for it.
And if you get any haters, just send ‘em my way. 😉