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Men Don’t Eat Salad

Johnny Molson


If you buy the story, and the story is your story, you buy the product.

When identifying who your customer is, you must also know who your customer isn’t. It’s a painful, seemingly impossible, process. Why would any sensible business person ever suggest there are people that they don’t want to be a customer?

Because it’s the only way to claim your segment of a market. Focus, by its definition, demands that you eliminate other things.

Southwest Airlines has a good understanding of who their customers are, and who they are not. If you are a budget, no frills, kind of flyer; Southwest is your airline. If, however, you want fluffy first-class seats, priority treatment, and a bathroom that those “other” people on the plane can’t use…Southwest Airlines has nothing for you. They’ll let you fly, of course. But you fly with all the other riff-raff.

Yesterday at the store, I picked up one of those packages of salad. An astoundingly lazy product, but I probably wouldn’t eat salad if they didn’t exist. My only choice was from a company called “Organic Girl.”

I could already hear the faux internet outrage boiling up in tweets and appalled emails:

“Oh sure, how would you like it if I made a product called ‘Organic Guy?’”

“You’re going to go out of business doing stuff like that.”

“What… I can’t buy this salad because I’m not the right sex?”

…and the ubiquitous “This is how Hitler got started, ya know. It’s in all the history books.”

So, what kind of advantage would a company get by calling itself “Organic Girl?” Wouldn’t that put off all the men out there?

Nah. The adage that “women do most of the shopping” is rooted in some truth, especially when it comes to food. The “gatherer” in her biology is etched deeply, while men just grunt “MEAT” and go hunt. But, there’s something even more savvy going on with this package of salad called “Organic Girl.”

A skinny, handwritten font. Bright, fresh colors. The “i” is dotted with a tomato. The choice of the noun “girl” in the name. It all smacks of youth and health, and “youth and health” is what we all want. Male or female. Organic Girl knows exactly who their customers are. They fit into a psychographic of people who want to be healthy. The name doesn’t cause them to “lose” male customers any more than it lures in “girl” customers.

It’s a story. If you buy the story, and the story is your story, you buy the product.

Organic Girl’s website tells us they are “a small group of women and men in California’s fertile Salinas Valley who strive to offer you the very best organic produce.” They are, in fact, a company of almost 700 employees. Still “small” by the standards of the U.S. Small Business Administration, but not quite the same image as “a small group of women and men.”

Oh, and it’s a subsidiary of a corporation called NewStar Fresh Foods, LLC, whose top level execs are all dudes.

It’s a story. If you buy the story, and the story is your story, you buy the product.

Tell me a story.

Johnny Molson

Coming August 22 to St. Louis, Martinis and Marketing! A joint project with Wizard of Ads pros Johnny Molson and Chris Maddock. Share with your favorite St. Louis biz!



Or get the full Wizard of Ads treatment at the Magic Dozen coming to Seattle in September. Use discount code JMOL250 to save today!

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