Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Marketing

I just downed a package of Peanut Butter M&M’s.  My stomach hurts.  Why did I eat those?  I don’t even like Peanut Butter M&M’s.  These are the thoughts running through my head as I sit here with my face skewed and stomach aching.

I walked by a co-worker’s desk and as I normally do, created some casual passing by type of small-talk, when I noticed a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew and not one, but two packages of M&M’s, one peanut and the other peanut butter flavored.  I jokingly say, “Gesh, do you think that’s enough sugar?” His response was fascinating from a business marketing standpoint.  “I bought the peanut ones to get to the peanut butter ones behind it in the vending machine; I love peanut butter M&M’s.” It’s only $0.70 so we’re not talking a huge investment, but the underlying principle here is something I think businesses should strive for.

This guy is so committed to a product that he is willing to buy additional products he doesn’t care for just to get to it.  Can this be said about your company?  We're not talking about just a product, this principle extends to a service.  Does your company provide such a great service that it causes customers to do unnecessary things if necessary to get to you or it? Example from my life: My wife and I are loyal to a local butcher shop. Yes, his meat is a bit more expensive, but the experience and quality makes me happy to fork out that additional green.  They know me by name, ask about my wife, the house, give me ideas about wine pairings, and above all make me feel like I matter.  In the corner of the store there is a board each day that displays which local farm the meat is from and what the animals are fed with.  The meat quality is amazing.  The service and quality make it worth it to me personally, aside from the fact that I am a huge advocate for supporting local businesses (for the most part, but more to come about that soon), to pay extra for their products, something I am not required to do. 

The challenge is perplexing: Does my company offer a product or service that someone would be willing to inconvenience themselves to acquire?  Is the way you treat your customer such that they would go out of their way to get to you?  Inconveniencing the consumer is not the point, they shouldn’t be inconvenienced, but are they willing to be for you or what you offer?  I just finished a pack of candy I don’t enjoy because I saw how dedicated someone was to it.  Wouldn’t it be great to have that kind of reputation and influence in your environment?

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