Great spin

August 1, 2009

You have a natural food product contained inside a fairly thick skin. The buying public has learnt to expect it to be free of blemishes. However, much of the product DOES have skin blemishes as a result of being out in the sun, wind and rain and rubbing up against its neighbors as it grows. You can only sell the blemish-free product for a fair price and much of your perfectly good — but with spots — product has to go to waste. You can’t even sell it cheap to smaller purchasers like independent supermarkets and fresh food markets. The public is so used to the blemish-free product that they won’t buy the stuff with marks on it.

What to do? What to do?

You spin it! You hire a marketing guru who comes up with a plan to make the product with skin blemishes seem really attractive. You even give it a new name, and promote its uses other than as a piece of fruit to put into a lunch box.

Here’s what our local banana industry did:

Hello, as you know we grow bananas in Carnarvon and are part of the Sweeter Banana Co-Operative. Our co-op is owned and operated by 25 family-run farms. We are launching a new product in Coles [Australia-wide supermarket chain] today, “Smoothies Bananas”. These are great eating bananas, perfect creamy and sweet inside, spray free and grown right here in Carnarvon but with light markings on the skin. These markings are caused by our sea breezes and the way we grow our bananas close together to maintain humidity in our dry climate. …

Coles have been great working with us to bring this new banana product to WA customers. …

By the way, one of the secrets to making great banana smoothies is: Buy some Carnarvon lunchbox or Sweeter Bananas and wait until the little brown dots appear on the skin (these are the carbohydrates turning to sugar). The bananas are now really sweet, peel them and freeze them in a bag. Once frozen chop them up and whiz them up with some milk in a blender. Serve to your kids – they will think there is ice-cream in the smoothie. A healthy, quick and easy snack.

So there you have it — a bit of marketing spin and you get:

  • a new organization (Sweeter Banana Co-operative)
  • a new product (Smoothies Bananas)
  • a new slogan and ‘character’ that should attract kids as well as adults (Happy bananas — tickled by nature!) [see the picture of the bag below]
  • a way to sell slightly blemished but still great-tasting bananas!
  • a way to dispose of bananas that would normally have been tossed aside as no good for the domestic or export market.

Gotta love it! A very clever campaign. And great spin.

Smoothies: Happy bananas tickled by nature

Smoothies: Happy bananas — tickled by nature!

And here are a couple of press releases and media reports of this ‘new’ product:

[Links last checked June 2009]

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