$75 for a 6-pack - A Lesson in Storytelling

Last week I paid $75 for a six pack of beer. Keep in mind, I’m a complete cheapskate. So, what could possibly convince someone like me to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something like this? Well, It’s all in the story.

People will absolutely open up their wallets and purses for a good story. My $75 beer comes with a good one. Apparently, this particular beer is brewed by monks in Belgium. It’s considered to be one of the finest beers in the world. Normally it’s only available for sale in the abbey. But, when the monks need a little extra cash to fix up the monastery they make an extra batch and put it up for auction. Apparently, this doesn’t happen very often. Lucky for me, a local distributor made a successful bid to sell it within Alberta. It was made available for pre-order in a small handful of specialty beer shops.

Now, the first thing that stood out to me was the audacity of charging $75 for a six pack. It perked my interest. Immediately I needed to know how someone could get away with that. What makes it worth it!?! That’s when I read the story about “The rarest beer in the world.” The story put me over the top. I couldn’t let something like this pass me by. I’d regret it if I didn’t try it out.

Here’s the best part. After I made my purchase I tweeted about how much I just spent on it and included a link to the story. Within an hour three different people took the same journey as I did. First, they made fun of me for wasting my money. 10 minutes afterwards they shamefully declared that they ended up buying as well.

That really does show a fantastic blueprint for advertising doesn’t it?

  1. Shock – In this case, clearly stating $75 for a 6 pack of beer.
  2. Intrigue – Describe it as the “rarest beer in the world.”
  3. Educate – Tell a compelling story that justifies the shocking statement.

Story telling is one of the most powerful tools available to you. People love to be surprised, amazed, and shocked. Spellbind your listeners with something truly new and interesting and you’ll keep them in the palm of your hand. You’ll be able to entice them into doing things they’d never ordinarily consider. It doesn’t have to take the exact steps I laid out here. It just has to be fascinating.

I had a really strange revelation about my costly six-pack. I don’t think I would have purchased it if it only cost $15. Pricing it at $75 added validity to the story. In the end, to my uneducated palate I’m sure it will taste just like any other Belgian beer. That’s ok. That’s not why I bought them. I’m paying for the story. I’m paying for the right to bring it up in conversation in the future. I’m paying for the privilege to drink something that few others will ever get the chance to try. So, it doesn’t really matter if it’s good. That’s the power of excellent story telling.