skip to main content

A Simple Resort Marketing Story About Doughnuts, Coffee, and Really Rich People

divider image for this post

Once upon a time there were two small towns on either side of the railroad tracks.

The Normals lived in Normalville on the West side of the tracks. They lived normal lives, lived in normal houses, and drove normal cars.

The Luxes lived Luxuryville on the East side of the tracks. They lived luxurious lives, lived in luxurious houses, and bought luxurious cars.

One Lux was named Joe.

When the weather was good, Joe would take long Sunday morning walks.

One such morning as Joe left for another such walk, he spotted a food truck on the corner near his home in Luxuryville. This food truck sold just two things: doughnuts and coffee.

But they weren’t just any doughnuts, and it wasn’t just any coffee. The doughnuts were made from the finest ingredients available and the coffee came from the best beans money could buy.

Perhaps that’s why coffee was $25 and a doughnut was $10.

Joe, intrigued by such a luxurious treat, stopped by and bought a cup of coffee and a doughnut. Sure enough, they were incredible. The best he’d ever tasted. He would surely be back.

Not surprisingly, a news station pulled up to interview the owner about these amazing $10 doughnuts just as Joe was leaving.

The next Sunday Joe woke up to the sound of rain on his window. There would be no walk today.

But as he looked through the falling rain, he noticed something curious: Normals. Lots of Normals. And, even more curious, they were all leaving the food truck with doughnuts.

“What are they doing in Luxuryville,” Joe wondered, “and how can they afford those doughnuts?”

The next week blue skies returned and Joe took his Sunday walk. After buying another cup of coffee and a doughnut, he asked the owner of the truck about the Normals.

“Ahh,” the owner smiled, “they weren’t buying doughnuts, they were just picking them up. They purchased those doughnuts the week before for a dollar. That’s why we were here in the rain. Most of our doughnuts were already sold.”

“A dollar?” Joe exclaimed. “That’s incredible.”

“Yep,” the owned replied, “the news crew asked me who would buy a doughnut for $10 and I told them that you didn’t have to pay $10 if you didn’t want to. If you bought next week’s doughnuts today they’d be a dollar like any other doughnut shop.”

“So, what if I buy next week’s doughnut now?” Joe asked. “Would mine be a dollar too?”

“You betcha,” the owner replied.

So Joe pulled another dollar out of his wallet, paid for next week’s doughnut, and left.

Next Sunday the rain had returned. Seeing the receipt for his doughnut on the table, Joe grabbed his umbrella, hurried to the food truck, bought his cup of coffee, and picked up his doughnut.

“I have to ask you another question,” Joe said as he pulled out his wallet. “Clearly I can afford to pay $10 for a doughnut. Why be willing to sell it to everyone, including me, for just a dollar?”

The owner once again smiled and replied, “Because you buy $25 cups of coffee…and even though it’s raining, here you are.”

Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Comments are old-school, click here to grab a slot on Gregg's calendar and let's chat.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.