Today we will discuss the power of the Breakfast Club story and how to add Breakfast Club moments to your business.
The movie came out in 1985 and is about five high school kids who have to spend a Saturday in detention together.
On the surface, the kids each fit a certain stereotype and seem very different from each other: a criminal, athlete, princess, basket case and brain.
The movie made such a powerful impact on us Gen Xers at the time because the movie understood us. It perfectly portrayed what high school life was like.
If you’ve never seen the movie, click here to watch a trailer.
It’s almost impossible to discuss the movie without asking, “Which Breakfast Club character were you in high school?”
For the record, I was a mix of Anthony Michael Hall (brain/dork) and Ally Sheedy (basket case) in high school.
In addition to making us feel understood, the movie helped us understand others.
There are many moments throughout the movie where the characters let down their guard and talk about the pain beneath their facades. One even felt empathy toward Bender, the loser/criminal character, when he showed everyone the cigar burn on his arm from his father.
The movie also me feel empathy toward the bullies I knew in high school.
At the end of the movie, the brain character writes an essay in which he says that all five of them realized, at the end of the detention, that all of them are a combination of the princess, criminal, brain, athlete and basket case. They are all more alike than they ever would have guessed.
Or as the Emilio Estevez character said, “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.”
So what does this have to do with your online business?
The relationship the Breakfast Club characters were able to develop with each other on that day never could have been planned.
Like all such experiences, it happened spontaneously.
Obviously you can’t get your clients and prospects together in a detention hall and spend a day listening to them.
But when your clients and prospects spontaneously contact you through email and social media, they will sometimes reveal things to you that you never would have thought to ask yourself.
Quite often what they will say to you has nothing to do with you or your product and sometimes it will be negative.
Instead of dismissing what they say, you should treat it like a Breakfast Club moment. The more you show you understand them and have empathy, the more effective your marketing campaigns and product development will be.
For more about that I suggest you read my other posts about listening.
Finally, when writing email copy, include occasional Breakfast Club moments of your own, where you are transparent and tell a story about yourself and connect with your prospects on a human level.
No one wants to read one sales pitch after another and constant chest-thumping. How-to information is useful but too much of it is just makes people feel overwhelmed, especially if it’s not immediately applicable to them.
Like Claire in the Breakfast club, who overcame her embarrassment and showed them all her unique way of putting on lipstick, let them see a different side of you sometimes.
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