Tag Archives: relevance

Tomatoes ain’t ketchup

Does this sound familiar to you?

Kid: I don’t like tomatoes.
You: Well, you like ketchup, don’t you?
Kid: Yeah…
You: Well, ketchup is made from tomatoes. They’re good for you.
Kid: <groan>

How about this one?

Husband: I don’t like buttermilk.
Wife: Well, you like ranch dressing, don’t you?
Husband: Yeah…
Wife: Well, buttermilk is used to make ranch dressing. It’s good for you.
Husband: <groan>

Ever think that as food marketers we try to do the same thing? At home, we’re trying to get our loved ones to do something that’s healthy for them. In the marketplace, though, the old push strategy is quickly being supplanted by radical consumer choice. It’s all about what they want, when they want it.

On-demand is about more than movies on cable and satellite television. People want messages about the products we’re selling available for access. And those messages have to be relevant.

If traditional marketing methods are “tomatoes” and on-demand messaging is “ketchup,” stop wasting time and money “buying tomatoes” they won’t “eat.”

Essentially, what they’re telling us is:

“Of course, I like ketchup. That’s because ketchup is a pleasantly-proportioned blend of tomatoes, corn syrup, salt and vinegar pureed and prepared into a delectable dipping sauce and spread for my favorite ketchup-delivery vehicles, such as burgers, fries and chicken strips.”

What consumers have a tougher time articulating is this:

“I don’t like tomatoes because they’re a cold, waxy, semi-bitter, watery eating experience with those gelatinous seed wads that make them even more unappealing. You can’t even compare that to ketchup. Please!”

But instead of telling us, they just ignore us or walk away. It’s simple. Give them what they want when they want it.


One secret to success is knowing when to break the rules

The Spoon sat down recently with an operations guy for a major restaurant chain.

Much of the insight we gleaned from our conversation is reserved for paying clients, but we did want to share one important idea: The power of the blended value proposition.

We talk a lot about “The One Thing.” We wrestle with the consumer’s motivations and our own product’s features and benefits to find the magic fit between the two.

But it is often more complex than one singular, salient headline. Duality can be powerful.

Quality, by itself, is usually not a value proposition. But a blend of quality AND convenience can be a unique selling tool.

This is not to say that we should water things down. Your brand shouldn’t have more salient benefits than Peyton Manning has endorsement deals.

If we are a “healthy” food brand, we should focus unwaveringly on that part of our value proposition.

But in a category where everyone is ballyhooing health, e.g. yogurt, making a healthy product kid-friendly or introducing squeezable grown-up yogurt might be the ticket to differentiation and category creation. Think about these formidable duos:

  • Healthy and convenient
  • Healthy and tasty
  • Healthy and fun
  • Healthy and affordable

There are more where those came from. Unlock the power of duality today and see where it takes your brands.

My kids love GoGurt!

My kids love GoGurt!