We humans are an odd lot. Most of us love and appreciate other people and things that stand out from the crowd. Yet, most of us also are creatures of habit who are uncomfortable to venture beyond the mainstream where the wild things live.
Mix that human quirk with a mature industry like foodservice and, well, you get a lot of vanilla marketing.
So, it’s good to shake ourselves out of the sameness. TED Talks offer some excellent wake-up calls.
Below are three of my favorites for food marketers. And what makes them doubly interesting is most go back a few years — yet still pass the test of time before social media and mobile connectivity changed the marketing landscape.
- What’s your eggroll? Amy 8. Lee explores the strange trip of how Chinese cuisine developed in the U.S. Lessons learned: 1) many foods have a great story left untold (which might be their ultimate differentiator); 2) look around and you may miss a big cultural trend that never shows up in research; and 3) copying great ideas could be more effective than any social media around.
- A fly in the spaghetti sauce research. Malcolm Gladwell reminds us that there is no such thing as the perfect product. No universal truths exist for chicken nuggets, chocolate pie or pancakes. Yet, food marketers and R&D often seek out the ultimate new product as the answer to sagging sales. In short… the mind knows not what the tongue wants.
- Lunch ladies and other heroes. All around us in foodservice are unsung heroes. Jarrett Krosoczka talks about one group — our school cafeteria ladies (and men). But it’s also a great reminder about dishwashers, prep cooks, delivery drivers, wait staff and many others who make this industry thrive every day.
There’s no podcast this week. These three videos say it all. Gather your team and enjoy a working lunch listening to these brilliant folks.