This tale begins as all marketing adventures do, with a problem and a question. Join us for this adventure in marketing, you just may learn something.
Once upon a time, there was a lonely woodman who lived in a remote part of the Carmick Forest. This woodman was also a gifted woodworker, who made beautiful furniture from the wood that he cut. He did, however, have a problem.
The woodman’s house was full of the furniture that he made. The three sheds that he had built himself were full of his furniture. There was so much of his furniture in his home that his pet beaver, Ralph, had taken to chewing up the furniture, just so he could have a place to sleep.
The woodman wanted to sell his furniture, but he lived miles from the nearest town, and he had little contact with the outside world. He did not have a way to get his furniture to market, and he had no idea how to get the townspeople to come into the forest to buy his furniture. He was forlorn.
One day, when the woodman was out chopping wood in the forest, he stopped to rest. He was sitting on a stump, with his head hung down. All of a sudden, in a cloud of white smoke, there appeared a fairy godmother. She asked the woodman, “Why the long face?”
The woodman replied, “I have buildings full of beautiful furniture that I have made, and no one to buy it. And now Ralph has taken to chewing it up, just so he can have a place to sleep. I am forlorn!”
The fairy godmother said, “You look like a fine, upstanding young man. I have nine sisters who can help ‘pine-trepreneurs’ such as yourself. You will be visited by each one of them in turn. They will give you the pieces to this puzzle that is perplexing you. Their names are: Mary, Alice, Rita, Karen, Edith, Tina, Irene, Nancy, and Grace. You will be visited by Mary Godmother at this very place, at this same time, tomorrow. Be here, and heed their words, and you and Ralph will never be the same.” With that, in another cloud of white smoke, the fairy godmother (whose name the woodman had failed to get) disappeared.
The woodman, now warm and very much surprised, not unlike the Elephant’s Child by the banks of the Great, Gray-Green Greasy Limpopo River All Set About with Fever-trees (in Kipling’s “Just So Stories”) made his way back to his home in the forest. He fed Ralph a stick of sassafras wood, lit a pipe full of chicory, and reflected on the day’s events.