Project Unicorn

England footballers in the pool the day after winning their first 2018 World Cup group game in a unicorn race


I once contemplated writing a pamphlet entitled something like 100 words that sell.

Way back then, I’d just begun blogging.

Having an “ebook” was all the rage.

Indeed many considered it the equivalent of the budding popstar’s mp3. (It was a myspace thing…!)

I even wrote one myself.

Then thought on penning others.

Hence the ‘100 words you cannot miss using to make that sale’ theme.

I even recalled one of my first ever external training courses. It featured 57 guaranteed direct marketing hooks.

Copywriters flooded cyberspace along similar lines. Tweaked to their angle of unmissable headlines that gain clicks, eyeballs, traction. I sought a more personal clinch. Words that won through in face to face conversations.

And so I was reminded of this when hearing someone attack a plan.

They used the delightfully dismissive label; Project Unicorn.

I instantly loved this.

Good old FUD (Fear Uncertain Doubt). Danger deftly dressed up inside a Disney princess pursuit.

I remembered how one of my 100 was destined to be ‘Project’.

An instruction to always let your prospects give your bid a name.

The more skilful their (your) choice of whatever followed the prefix Project, the more likely you were to own the deal.

Fill in the blank to win; Project _______.

In the case of our Unicorn example here, two warnings.

First, it could get confused in a certain tech setting with the billion-dollar startup label.

Second, in the context I heard it, there was little doubt it held negative connotation. Yet to a particular type of audience, citing a unicorn could rather be attaching to a desire of beauty. Unicorns, rainbows, pots of gold, princesses roaming free.

In this Game of Thrones era, you may even be able to evoke other appealing mythology?

Anyway, there is a valid Sales takeaway to end with.

Think of when everyone is excited. Your meeting’s gone great. Everybody says they love you. The stint in Vegas seems a cert. What must we do now, mister prospect, so that this doesn’t become a never happened Project Unicorn, but a real-life Project _______?


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