The Can and the Contents

I love good beer. Not the stuff our parents grew up drinking. No, I enjoy a well-crafted local beer, full of flavor and richness. I have never liked the watered-down, pale yellow American brew of the last quarter-century. Yet those companies are the ones who fill our televisions with commercials every day. I noticed something last night: they spend most of their time advertising the improvements they’ve made to the cans. Yes, the cans. Labels that change color. Air flow vents. Painted coatings. If you want technology in a beer can, these companies are all over that.

But they aren’t changing the product inside. It’s the same yellow water you’ve always hated, but in a new container. Even more sad than that, though, is that some people fall for it.

If you run a business, you have a container and you have contents. The container is for show, but the contents are what people fall in love with. Are you known for your flash and bang and wow, or do people follow and respect you because you create amazing work and offer incredible value?

What’s your focus: the can or the contents?