By Becca Jaye Sharples on 26th January 2018

The Coffee Throwing Theory

Imagine making a new buddy and they invite you for coffee…

Who doesn’t like meeting new friends?

You arrive, are greeted and seated and you look round their well-assembled abode. Fairly functional, right?

They bring in coffee and biscuits (YUM).

You take one sip and no sooner does your mug join back with the table than your new buddy flips the table along with the coffee and biscuits upside down.

Almost cinematically (matrix style) coffee sloshes into the air slow-mo, custard cream biscuits crushed like a Godzilla under the mugs impact…


…they scream, alarmingly close to your face.

You alight your seat, and make a swift exit. This encounter leave a bad taste in your mouth and likely crumbs in the carpet for weeks.

This is not how we interact with people, and this should not be how we grab attention.

Shouting the loudest and making huge impact, is not always the most suitable way to engage new audiences.

My first encounter with a social media trainer was when I was a mere young intern at a university. He said to me…

“We need to throw out the idea of a USP as we know it – why would we need a UNIQUE selling point when we can have a USEFUL selling point? Think of a horse muck flavoured cupcake. It’s pretty unique, eh? But who would buy that?”

There are many areas of marketing in B2C where industry players apply things like ‘being unique’ and ‘making a lasting impression’ in completely inappropriate ways.

For real success in reaching audiences we need to look far deeper into the buying patterns, backgrounds and behaviours of our audiences.

Marketeers often begin with a brief and have an immediate idea, then squash research later to make it fit into their ‘lightbulb moment’.

THIS is the first of your very dangerous mistakes – looking ahead, before digging deeper behind the needs of the consumer.

Making a campaign that your consumer cannot ignore does not mean they will purchase.

My second big lesson as an intern became a tool I developed into a key part of my marketing, selling and product development.

It is also a great teaching tool…

Enter, my ‘V & A’ triangles for ‘Very Accurate’ marketing… (trade marking that guys…)

The idea is simple.

Think of these two letters as funnels.

At the top of the first funnel (the widest part of ‘V’) sits everyone that is a potential customer or content viewer. As we progress to the base, the potential customer size becomes lower and more targeted.

The second upturned funnel ‘A’ shows a different sliding scale – here we’re seeing the amount of information available and being consumed becomes higher.

The basic premise is as consumers are exposed to more of a brand, they make decisions on whether to stick with it or bail altogether.

So why does this happen? And why do we see a decrease in interest, the more they are exposed to?

Simply, they discover more and more elements about the brand that determine whether they wish to eventually purchase.

Let’s break down our diagram into two halves.


Not everyone who KNOWS your product will LIKE it
Not everyone who LIKES your product will TRUST it
Not everyone who TRUSTS your product will BUY it


hearing audio or seeing initial visuals or adverts

recognising the voice used and being comfortable with it

knowing you have been proven to provide outstanding service

how much your products or services cost and how simple they are to access

These are the four key elements consumers are exposed to, and lead people to KNOWLIKETRUST and finally BUY a product or service.

Surely it can’t be that simple?

Second very dangerous mistake unearthed – UNDERESTIMATING THE EASE.

Well thankfully it is that simple, and it works not just when creating a new brand but also to assess any issues with long standing ones.

Example time – enter Barry Scott.

Not know this character?

He’s known for his very loud, very annoying UK adverts for cleaning product Cillit Bang. (check it out if you’ve not seen it – worth a watch).

As a homeowner and domestic goddess (of sorts), I know what this product is.

BUT, because of the very loud very retro adverts featuring Mr Barry Scott – I do not like the product.

It’s branding has meant that no matter how much I trust it will do it’s job, or how much I think it’s price point is reasonable, I do not like the advert tone and therefore I am dissuaded from buying.

Brands can take this theory and conduct market research to see which part of their branding is failing them and patch it up.

Ask your potential consumers the following questions:

Do they know who you are?
Do they like your branding?
Do they trust your product?
Do they think the price is reasonable?

If the answer to one or more of these is no, then you need to go back into your development stages of marketing and improve on these elements.

The key to success is collecting insights from the VA system and listening to feedback.

Do this regularly and act upon the findings for a successful growth and development of brand.

This creates a thoughtful strategy based on INSIGHT, rather than one that just makes an IMPACT for zero reason.

Remember, you don’t need to tip the coffee table over to get consumer attention.

Till next time!

  • ApplePryor

    Love this blog! This was such good reading! Thank you Becca! Great insights on helping me understand marketing and market better for the audiences at hand!❤️❤️❤️

    • Becca Jaye Sharples

      Hey there Apple! I love marketing posts, they’re my favourite to write so I’m so happy they’re useful to you!

      • ApplePryor

        Thank you so much Becca! Have a great week and weekend!😄

  • doctorzest

    Simply brilliant. I went into my lab. (my brain’s experiences, research and conclusions). Why will I NEVER buy Oxy-Clean? I could not stand that guy forcing it down my throat basically telling me I was an absolute idiot for not buying it. So the key violations here? Assaulting and Insulting. <==Immediate deal killer for me. What do I buy? Wholeheartedly, I trust my mentor, Vick, and his 1) concern for, and confidence in, my success; and, 2) his no-questions-asked refund policy. What are the winning factors here? Assurance and Insurance. <===the deal-makers for me. The VA model is a real keeper, you Viddyoze You! 😉

    • Becca Jaye Sharples

      Assurance and Insurance – great way to look at it! I’m glad you enjoyed, this is how i look at EVERY brand when they need help!

  • Charles Davis

    WOW..I just read this somewhere but it only covered the V. Now, I have the A, like it says when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Right on time..I am involved with a business launch and we will be at the top of the V in April.

    • Becca Jaye Sharples

      So this is the missing piece to your puzzle Charles! Great to see your videos on the FB group too – keep on being amazing!

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