Marketing Naked

Naked drinkHave you ever had a Naked drink?

I’m talking about those bottled fruit smoothies and protein shakes you find in stores.

While more expensive than a soda, they’re also delicious and far more healthy.

In fact, Naked Juice Company has taken improvised marketing to a new level.

Every commercially sold food product in the U.S. (and many other parts of the developed world)  is required to list ingredients in order from most to least, by volume. Naked certainly complies with that regulation.

But they also include a second list of ingredients. The second list is huge and prominent. In fact, it typically takes up an entire side of the juice bottle. Even on the large sizes.

Because the content and format of this second ingredients list doesn’t have to conform to any regulations, Naked was able to get creative and use it to really highlight how much better their juice is than their competitors.

When you look and see all the natural ingredients, you can’t help but feel that this is healthy stuff. (If you look at the regulated ingredients list, you’ll also note that there aren’t any junk ingredients they “conveniently” left off the bigger, more obvious list. This stuff really is healthy.)

Just about the only thing they didn’t do — and I’m not quite sure why — is simply label it as “a bottle of fruit”. Or “a bottle of goodness”, or “nature in a bottle” or something along those lines.

At any rate, by being proud of their ingredients and the wholesomeness of their product, Naked has upped the ante in the juice wars.

It reminds me of Haagen-Dasz Five. If you didn’t know, Five is a line of Haagen-Dasz ice cream flavors that have only five ingredients each: Milk, Eggs, Cream, Sugar and whatever the flavor of the ice cream is.

They print their ingredients list in huge type on the front of every carton.

The front. It appears there every bit as prominent as the Haagen-Dasz name itself.

If your product is so high quality, so markedly superior to all your competitors, wouldn’t you want to shout it from the rooftops too? And if it isn’t, why not? These companies have proven that there’s a definite market for something that’s better.

Even though they cost a bit more, I care about what I feed my family so I regularly choose both these products over their less-healthy competitors.

This doesn’t only apply to food. Do you buy your kids Lego toys or the cheap look-alikes that don’t fit together quite as well? Did you buy your computer from a reputable company whose name you’ve heard or did you get the dirt cheap Chinese knock-off? Tires, cameras… all kinds of consumer goods fall into this category.

It isn’t only about brand either. Sometimes, there’s little or no difference in quality between a name brand product and its more generic counterpart. For instance, I usually opt for store brand canned vegetables over the national brands. Often, the difference is literally just the label. (After all, the store doesn’t put the veggies in the can. They contract with the big national company to do it for them and just put their label on instead of the national brand’s label.)

Likewise with gasoline. It’s a commodity product whose only real differentiation is price. Electricity, water, phone service… all suffer the same problem of commoditization.

But when quality is a factor, you should strive to have it. Once you do, tout it for all it’s worth!


Click any of the icons below to retweet these passages from the above article.

 Get Naked!Scan this to retweet "Get Naked!"

Retweet this passage Get Naked with these healthy juice guys.

Retweet this passage No  junk ingredients they “conveniently” left off the list.

Retweet this passage This stuff really is healthy.

Retweet this passage Why not just call it  “a bottle of fruit”?

Retweet this passage Nature in a bottle.

Retweet this passage If your product was so high quality, wouldn’t you shout it from the rooftops too?

Retweet this passage These companies have proven that there’s a definite market for something that’s better.

Retweet this passage I care what I feed my family so I choose both these products over their less-healthy competitors.

Retweet this passage All kinds of consumer goods fall into this category.

Retweet this passage When quality is a factor, you should strive to have it. Once you do, tout it for all it’s worth!

Tell me a story

Photo credit: Bruce Fingerhood (Slideshow Bruce, on Flickr)

Any time we try to persuade someone, we are selling to them. Selling them on our idea, selling them on our point of view, selling them on joining our cause… whatever the goal, we are constantly selling other people.

It is well known and widely regarded that stories are an effective way to sell people. Tell me a great story and you’ll likely be able to sell me just about anything.

I’ll give an example of what I mean:

A few years back, I’d driven up to New York City. While there, I got a parking ticket.

Image courtesy of City of Seattle

Obviously, I did not want to pay this parking ticket. Especially since it was over $75. Since I live more than 3 hours away, challenging the ticket in court was not a realistic option.

So what did I do? I’m a writer so I wrote a letter to the court.

Recently, my wife and I drove up from our home in Delaware to spend the day with friends in New York City. Being unfamiliar with the city, we go lost trying to find our friends. We spotted a parking enforcement officer and stopped to ask directions. She told us that she didn’t live in the neighborhood and didn’t know her way around but helpfully suggested a coffee shop just a couple of doors down.

The people inside the coffee shop were able to give us directions. But imagine our surprise when we came out to find that our car was being ticketed by the very same parking officer who had just directed us to the coffee shop for directions!

There was more to the letter but notice how I was careful not to berate anyone. Instead, I stuck to the facts but told them in narrative fashion. I left it up to the judge reading my letter to reach his own conclusions.

The end result?

My entire fine was waived and the ticket was thrown out.

To be able to sell a skeptical judge who’s heard every excuse in the book, and to be able to do it via mail without being there to answer questions or objections in person, that’s the power of storytelling.

Great Customer Service = Great Marketing

Photo credit: Louise Docker "aussiegall, on Flickr"

I got a phone call from my pharmacy recently. The pharmacist noticed that I had recently added a new medication to my account and was calling to check on how it was working.

I’m nowhere near vain enough to think that she singled me out for special treatment so I have to conclude that this is something my pharmacy does regularly. (I’m not a big medicine taker so I wouldn’t really know.)

At any rate, this kind of follow-up is great customer service. It makes me a more satisfied customer. It also makes me feel better about doing business with my pharmacy.

Taken in that light, great customer service equals great marketing.

The whole point of marketing is either to:

Photo credit: Taki Steve "takacsi75, on Flickr"

a) attract new customers, or

b) convince existing customers to buy more frequently or spend more.

Calling individual customers one at a time may seem both time-consuming and expensive as marketing campaigns go, but it’s highly effective. Especially in a very personal industry like health care.

Just think if your auto mechanic did this. A few days after having your transmission serviced, he called to make sure everything was running fine.

To some degree,  companies like Amazon and Netflix already do this but the more personal touch and the smaller scale seems so much more special. That really ramps up the impact.

I challenge you to see if you can find a way to boost your customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing by providing exceptional customer service.

A Trip Down Memory Lane — Cha-ching!

I’m sure you’ve heard of They wanted to be Facebook and LinkedIn before either of those sites existed.

Although I joined Classmates early on, I never paid for the service and always had a really sour opinion of them because of their business model.

Classmates has the proverbial plate glass window. You can join for free and see all those people from your misspent youth that you could connect with… if only you’ll pony up a few bucks for their premium service.

Unless you pay for a premium membership, there is essentially nothing useful you can do on Classmates. Not only has this always hampered their growth and success but it crippled them when Facebook and LinkedIn came along. Both those sites let you connect with the very same people from your misspent youth for free. (Both sites are also quite profitable, I might add.)

But this article isn’t a slam on Quite the opposite. I’m writing to applaud a brilliant move they made recently.

I received an email from them. No big deal, I’ve always gotten lots of emails from them. I think the only saving grace of the whole site is that they’re such savvy marketers.

The email I got the other day was different though. It included a graphic of a two-page spread from my yearbook. Not just a yearbook, but from my yearbook.

Classmates apparently has been going around and collecting up yearbooks from all the graduating classes and all the high schools all over the country. (I have no idea how complete their collection is.) They’ve digitized the ones they’ve got and now you can flip through the online pages of the yearbook for your own graduating class.

Not just that, but you can tag photos, identifying the people in them and linking to their Classmates profiles.

In a rare turn, all of this seems to be free.

So how do they hope to capitalize on and monetize this?

The most obvious thing I’ve seen so far are offers to sell you reprints of your yearbook in case you lost yours. Or just want another copy, I guess.

Now, I’m not one of those people whose glory days were when I was roaming the halls on my way to gym class. Those never were my best years even when I was in them. I remember all the people I knew back then and I’m sure that most of them are terrific people. I might even be friends with many of them if we met up somewhere.

The thing is, I now live something like 2,000 miles away from where I went to school. I haven’t been in touch with any of those people in more than 25 years. There’s only one person from high school I am still in touch with and we’ve been friends since before high school.

Still, for many people, the past was where all their best memories were made. And high school was the best of the best. So for Classmates to offer such a personalized trip down memory lane is simply brilliant.

Strike While the Buying Iron is Hot

Photo credit: Bing Ramos "bingbing, on Flickr"

My family and I went snow tubing recently. Less than a mile from the ski resort, we stopped in at a quaint little family-run convenience store and deli.

The girls there were so nice. To their credit, they were talking up their lunch specials and contrasting the affordability of their deli-made sandwiches with the captive audience pricing at the ski resort. They even offered us a business card and said we could call ahead to place an order and it would be freshly made and ready to pick up when we arrived.

Photo credit: Carl Lender, on Flickr

That was their big mistake.

We were interested in their lunch offerings. Both because they looked delicious and because we knew, without even getting to the ski resort yet, that it would be better and cheaper than anything we’d find on the mountain.

They had us.

And then they let us go.

With nothing but a business card.

We did not go back there for lunch. Although it was only a mile away, leaving the ski area seemed like such a hassle. In all honesty, I actually would have made the trip but for one big concern: we did not have a menu and no one in our family could decide what they wanted without one.

On our way home we did stop in and buy dinner. While we were there, I offered the owner some free marketing advice. (I wasn’t being pushy. I offered to share my insights and she was grateful to hear them.)

  1. Offer delivery. No one wants to leave the resort to save $10 on lunch, even if it is better and healthier. But most would pay a couple of dollars to have it delivered to them. By combining multiple orders into one trip (only offer delivery at preset times — 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, 1:30) delivery could prove profitable.
  2. Don’t hand out a business card, give a take-out menu instead. If I can see what my choices are (or in my case, if my three indecisive teenagers can see what their choices are) it becomes much more likely that we’ll place an order.
  3. Better than either of the above, strike while the iron is hot. The ski resort allows skiers and tubers to bring their own food in. (Not everyone realizes this, especially if they haven’t been there before.) So the women should educate them as part of the sales pitch. The resort also has lockers where clothing and, importantly, food can be stored. In fact, the lockers are in the food court area. For anyone who buys lunch in the morning and takes it with them (like we would have) offer to pay for the cost of the locker ($0.50) with the purchase of lunch for four or more people.

Any one of those items would have spurred us to buy lunch. We probably still would have bought dinner there as well. They could have doubled their sales for the cost of… well, essentially nothing.