Will Your Customers Do Absolutely Anything To Consume Your Product?

From the ‘ideas from strange places’ department. Reading about poisonous beans in Beans: A History by ken Albala and have to say, I’m amazed at what lengths we will go through to consume something we really need or want.  In other words, want it bad enough, and some human will figure out a combination of soaking, crushing, boiling, and washing until it is ready enough to eat.  Same goes true with new or unique products.  Sometimes the need for something new is so attractive that consumers will put up with almost anything to take part. Sometimes as marketers all we can do is outline the correct soak, crush and boil procedure so that customers get what they want. However, as a market matures your customers become less willing to accept such flaws.  Enter the lesson of the humble bean. Seems that several types of toxic beans also happen to be the … Continue reading

The Bean Scale

I’ve been reading Beans: A History by Ken Albala. Not really a book one would expect to gain marketing insights from, but, read on. In times of great disparity between the haves and have-nots (most of history) – as soon as you had enough cash to trade your diet of beans for meat – you switched and didn’t look back. Until of course eating beans meant your were connecting with your roots.   The biggest disparity appears to occur right at the line of ‘almost could’ vs. ‘barely can’ afford meat.  If you had just moved up a rung, then it seemed important not to be confused with the poor folks lower down the ladder according to Albala.  Become super rich and you could eat what you want – sometimes mixing inexpensive beans with expensive imported ingredients to show you connected…but no peasant ever served this! Albala writes that the … Continue reading