The Third Place

I read a twitter thread on marketing recently that really struck a chord with me. It made me think about how much of the marketing I see focuses on what companies do e.g. ‘we provide holistic financial planning solutions to help people plan for retirement’, rather than how they make their customers feel.

Helping someone realise they can work because they want to, not because they have to, is incredibly empowering. Often, once someone is shown they are financially independent, they begin to enjoy work more than ever, free in the knowledge they can stop whenever they want, on their own terms.

Financial planners are in the incredibly unique and fortunate position to empower clients in this way, by showing people things they didn’t think were possible and liberating them to live the life they truly want. Alas, we spend too much time telling people what we do, rather than how we make them feel.

A great example of this is Starbucks. This company transformed itself from quietly selling coffee beans in the 1970s, to one of the most recognisable brands in the world today. ☕️🌎

Back in the early years, their original mission statement went something like this:

“Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”

After Howard Schultz bought the company in 1987, his team created a vision of Starbucks as the “third place”, the place that exists between work and home.

The idea of the third place created the new mission statement for Starbucks:

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Starbucks creates a personal connection between their customers, their baristas and their brand. They want to let people know how they’re going to feel by visiting them, not simply that they make and sell premium coffee.

So, rather than providing holistic financial planning solutions to help people plan for retirement, why not be the place where people feel inspired to live life on their own terms, one conversation at a time. 💡

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