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This is the story of two independent bookstores located on the same street, separated by a walkway and three cafes.

The bigger store has a more spacious feel.

They display most of their books face out in clearly labeled categories.

New releases are showcased in easily accessible, neat piles on tables.

The whole place has a curated, orderly feel.

The second store is smaller and more disheveled.

You get a sense that the books could be used even though they are new.

Only one or two copies of a title are stocked.

The books are cataloged haphazardly and displayed spine facing out.

The experience of finding the right book is like going on a treasure hunt.

It is obvious that each store is serving customers with different world-views.

The bigger store gets more foot traffic. More people are likely to drop in during the last ten minutes of their lunch break to browse and while away some time.

It is easy to assume that the bigger store is more successful because it looks like they have more customers.

But that does not necessarily mean they sell more books.

Two important takeaways:

  • Different customers respond to different stories. If you want your story to resonate you need to be really clear upon which ears and in whose hearts your story will land.
  • And it is possible for a business to be sustained and thrive with a small number of loyal customers who love it.

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