Marketing Truths from The Princess Bride

thruts-and-factsMy absolute favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride (1987). Quotes from this movie are common around our house, and can be used for a variety of situations. They are very handy and funny the majority of the time. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you watch it with your entire family. The Princess Bride is a classic fairly tale with plenty of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles.

While contemplating my next article, I cracked a joke with my son using one of the lines from Princess Bride. Then it hit me, use the "wisdom" from this classic movie to illustrate marketing. The perfect mawage of the two sides of my brain. So here we go.

1. Grandpa: "As you wish’ of course what he really meant was, ‘I love you'" - The main character, Wesley, tells his true love how he feels by replying to her every command with "as you wish". From a marketing stand point our customer need to know how we feel about them. Is there a subtle way you can tell your customers "as you wish"? Without breaking the bank do special things for your customers to show them you appreciate their business. Put a freebee in their bag as they leave. Send a hand written thank you note for no reason. Surprise them with a discount on a purchase. Say "as you wish" more often to your customers.

2. Vizzini: “Inconceivable.” Inigo: " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - Vizzini one of the hired villians has a problem believing his eyes. Often. Inigo notices his frustration but also his vocabulary. When you publish an ad, newsletter, or webpage. Are you using the same words your customer uses? Are you speaking their vernacular? Do you talk over their heads and employ jargon they are unaware of? When talking with your perfect customer speak directly to them in the language they use everyday. Address their needs and pain points.

3. Clergyman: "Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder too-day. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, dat dweam wifin a dweam…" - The clergyman that performs the wedding later in the movie has an obvious speech impediment. When we communicate with our perfect customer, do we sound articulate or are we hard to understand? Do we speak the same language? Is our attempt seen as comical? Make sure that your message rings with perfect clarity to your customers. Make sure that you are not only saying the right words but say them where they can understand them and through a vehicle they will be receptive to.

4. Miracle Max: "It just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." - After Wesley is killed, the boys take him to Miracle Max to see what can be done. Turns out, Wesley is only mostly dead. I didn't know there were degrees of dead either. Is your marketing mostly dead or all dead? When was the last time your pumped some life into it? Is your message tired? Are your graphics fading fast? There is only one thing you can do, (besides going through his pockets for loose change) Breathe some life into your marketing. Commit some time to your marketing every week. Even if its just one hour a week, it will be worth the investment. Your business is a noble cause, it deserves some attention.

5. Miracle Max: "Don’t rush me sonny. You rush a miracle man , you get rotten miracles." - Still at Miracle Max's place Inigo is in a bit of a hurry. We tend to do that too. We start marketing our business and get impatient for the miracle pill to start working. When you rush marketing you get rotten miracles too. Marketing is a process. It requires commitment, consistency, and determination. Never stop marketing, even if your first attempt wasn't the success you hoped for. Learn something and adapt to your new found knowledge. If we hurry to see the results, we tend to skip steps that would help us see mistakes that would cost us more in the long run.

6. Buttercup: "That’s the fire swamp! We’ll never survive!" Wesley: "Nonsense! You only say never because no one ever has." - Remembering the legend of the dreaded Fire Swamp Buttercup is scared to enter in an effort to escape Prince Humperdink. A lot of us look at marketing and see this huge, dangerous, costly and quite scary thing full of mystery and legend. We are scared to even attempt marketing for ourselves because of one word, "never". We "never" have done marketing. We "never" know what to say. We "never" see any of our competitors doing it. But, like in the movie, Buttercup and Wesley take it slow, learn the dangers together and come through the Fire Swamp wiser, more confident, and the better for it. Don't let the "never" scare you out of trying something new, you might be surprised how lovely the trees are.

7. Prince Humperdink: "Surrender!" Wesley: "You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept." - After surviving the Fire Swamp, Wesley displays his confidence and devotion to his true love. Undaunted by overwhelming odds he stands defiant. To be good at marketing your business, we need to be confident in our offer, and our skills. After all if we don't believe in what we are promoting, how will our customers believe? If you look at any success story, invariably there is a drive for that success. There is always one person that never surrenders. Look around. Who is that person in your company? If you can't find one, you are that person.

8. Inigo: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die."– Finally saying the words he has practiced since he was a boy, Inigo finds the man who killed his Father, and he has but one thing to say to him. Throughout out the movie, Inigo never waivers from his message, and he never strays from his perfect customer. He spends his whole life trying to find that one person and tell them his message. We can all see Inigo's message. It's obvious. Is your message that obvious? If you only got thirteen words, what is the one thing you want to say to your customer?

An article published on behalf of By Mark Combs from

There are so many "quoteables" from The Princess bride I may have to write a second part to this article. If you get a chance watch the movie, I am sure you will enjoy it, but if you listen you may learn something about marketing from it too. If you ever need a movie line or help with your marketing, be sure to send me an email.-[email protected]

If you have any questions, please ask below!