Once upon a time I used to love baking. I was 17 and completing my business major in D.C. when my first moment of pride struck: a functional—and quite delicious—cupcake recipe. I perfected it to a point where I could whip out a batch of cupcakes with my eyes closed. I knew exactly where to find the best ingredients: french vanilla, organic flour, premium butter, and fresh eggs. I had a perfectly calibrated oven with precise digital Fahrenheit controls.
Forget anything you’ve tasted before. This was heaven.
My cupcakes became legendary. One summer I went back to visit my family in Barranquilla, Colombia. I couldn’t wait to bake and show off my incredibly tasty cupcakes. To my horror, my inaugural batch of cupcakes fell flat like a pancake (and I’ve seen fluffier pancakes).
This made me think. Hard. By the third day of researching I had become some sort of neurotic chemist. As it turns out, baking at sea level is completely different for reasons that are beyond the scope of this book.
Brand stories, like cupcakes, are baked in different contexts. What pops right up at 5,000 feet falls flat at sea level. Brand personality can sound like glory for the cosmopolitan crowd and irritate those in a small town. The brand promise can taste sweet for a given age group and sour for another. Refining your story to suit your buyer personas’ needs and desires, and hence resonate with them, is the smartest way to make sure that we won’t fail this taste test.
Make sure you test ...