What Can We Learn from Ketchup?
At the risk of dating myself, when I think of the word anticipation, my thoughts drift toward the classic Heinz Ketchup commercial. This commercial with a Carly Simon song as a music backdrop, speaks to the anticipation of thick, rich, Heinz Ketchup as it slowly drips from the bottle.
You might be wondering what ketchup has to do with my business rant, but bear with me. There are many brands of ketchup, just as there are many different suppliers and distributors. Some are better than others, and there are varying qualities of ketchup. Low-end brands of ketchup are thin and runny. Heinz Ketchup stands apart which is clearly evident in their commercial … Anticipation.
Most people don’t think about this stuff, but as a branding madman of sorts, I tend to pay more attention to marketing messages. The reality is that Heinz Ketchup is better than others. Heinz also does a good job explaining the Heinz difference and the value of its product. Are we effective doing that?
For years I did education sessions around the country. One of my favorite sessions was “What Can We Learn from Ketchup?” In some seminars, to support the business-building theme of my sessions, I would throw out stress foam hammers and hard hats, in the “What Can We Learn from Ketchup” seminar, to reinforce the message I would hand out small packages of Heinz Ketchup. (The kind you get in restaurants.) The simple message I will share here is worth remembering.
Perhaps some of you have experienced thin, runny, cheap ketchup that was put inside Heinz bottles by some unscrupulous restaurants. You don’t even need to be a ketchup connoisseur to know that it’s not Heinz. Because of this, Heinz changed it’s restaurant packaging. Perhaps you have noticed that Heinz now uses a plastic bottle that is colored “Heinz Ketchup Red” and it can’t be refilled.
This may be more information than you ever wanted to know about ketchup, but here is the kicker. On one of these new restaurant package bottles, I was surprised to see this quote: “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”
Ketchup is a very common thing. And Heinz has done ketchup uncommonly well. Their slogan is a good launching point for a business discussion about doing things well.
Space does not allow me to go too deep into the common things that when done uncommonly well will bring success. The basics however, are building your brand through effective marketing materials and incorporating ways to stand apart from your competitors. This includes the value proposition you bring to your clients, having a strong social media presence and going back to the basics of building personal relationships.
A focus of this rant also speaks to anticipation. Anticipation of what lies ahead as we move forward into 2014, not just the pouring of thick, rich ketchup.
Are you looking forward to the New Year? Are you excited about the business opportunities that lie ahead? Do you have plans to incorporate new and innovative marketing approaches to build your business?
What do you anticipate will happen in the coming year? Will your business grow, shrink or remain the same. A key to success is anticipating these changes and reacting to them. Today our industry faces legislative challenges, changing business models, product safety compliance and more. How will you react to an always changing business environment?
Responding to today’s marketplace, I’m excited about a new sales tool that FreePromotips.com will be offering shortly. You can anticipate this helping you in your business building efforts. Since it’s coming from FreePromoTips, it’s FREE! To be among the first to take advantage of this, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and opt in to receive our twice a month e-newsletter on FreePromotips.com.
What can we learn from ketchup? Plenty. “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.” Let’s be successful and make this coming year great!
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company. The FreePromoTips.com website and e-newsletters he publishes are packed with beneficial information and industry commentary. Don’t miss out on what’s happening! Opt in to receive its e-newsletters! LIKE FreePromoTips on Facebook, follow FreePromoTips on Twitter and connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.