Smoky and the Bandit is one of the best movies ever. It is amazing on so many levels. Don’t ask me to explain why it works it just works; I think a lot of it has to do with Reynolds mustache. If you haven’t seen it the quick and dirty version is that the “Snowman” (Jerry Reed) is running a semi full of Coors beer across the Mississippi while “The Bandit” (Burt Reynolds) driving a black Trans Am keeps the Law; Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) off the scent of the illegal cargo.
In the 1970’s Coors Beer was only available in 11 states near its Colorado home. This limited availability created a mystique for the brand simply due to its limited availability. People traveling to the region would make special trips to purchase 6 packs to bring back to their home state. Residence who could get Coors regularly felt like members of a special club. That feeling of exclusivity helped with sales and brand loyalty. Out of town guests would almost exclusively drink Coors beer while they were in a state that offered it because once they returned home they could no longer get their hands on it. The brand became even more popular after the release of Smoky and the Bandit in 1977.
Coors did not do this on purpose. They were the benefactor of a unique set of circumstances that altered how people viewed and valued their brand but in a very positive way.
Coors could not be nationally distributed because it was not pasteurized. It had to travel in refrigerated trucks and contains which drove the price of shipping way up, making it not economically viable for the company to ship outside of its 11 state region.
Then the worst possible thing happened to the company; they began shipping nationally.
In an effort to expand their reach, increase sales and drive revenue they did not pay attention to one key aspect that built their brand, exclusivity.
When Coors was finally able to ship coast to coast they were now just like any other beer in the US the difference now is that they were judged not by their mystique or exclusivity but on taste alone. Sadly the taste department was not their greatest strength. National distribution also placed the company in direct competition with the giants of the beer industry causing Coors to fade into the second tier.
Looking at yourself square in the mirror and being honest about what makes you great and what doesn’t is a tough thing for anybody to do. As trainers and fitness professionals it is even more challenging. We love the “Jack of all trades” badge and are always on the look for new certifications and expertise to add to our repertoire. We have areas we want to excel in or on paper should do well in but in the end it takes the courage to look inward and assess what are true strengths are.
What do you do insanely well?
What set of circumstances have been set up for you to reap benefits from?
Recognize them, learn them and leverage them. If Coors would have eaten their humble pie they would have seen there was something good going for them. Maybe they would have realized they were not the best tasting beer in the US they might have had a very different future.
Be honest about your strengths and learn to embrace and leverage the special situations that are available to you.