I’ve just returned from a retail conference/trade show. These events are always fruitful in terms of seeing new products and learning about new fresh initiatives.
One of the new products that caught my eye was a beautiful new melon. On the outside, it looks more like a vegetable. It has a rough-ish, marrow like outer skin with the deeper, darker colouring of a vegetable.
Yet inside, it is not a vegetable at all. It has sweet, delicate, honeydew like flesh. It is light and beautiful to eat.
From a marketing point of view, it’s one of those products you want to get your hands on. It has that little bit of uniqueness and the contradiction of looking like a vegetable but tasting like a fruit gives plenty of scope for marketing.
However, it also gives plenty of scope for confusion.
Stand In Your Customers’ Shoes
First, the fruit looks like a vegetable. So some form of communication is needed to inform the shopper it is a fruit.
Second, without communication, you set the shopper up for either a disappointing or unexpected experience by not telling them it is a fruit when they are buying it and expecting a vegetable.
Third, if merchandised in with the melons, you run the risk of minimising sales of the melon simply because shoppers will think it looks out of place…and like a vegetable!
So what are the options to overcome these barriers to purchase?
Promotions Have Limited Effectiveness – You Need Other Means To Drive Sales
As one of the salesman said to me, “You have to promote it. You have to do demos and the like.” Demos are all well and good, but not effective to drive volume sales. Demos are expensive, they are only there for a limited time and they are a promotion tool, not a sales driver.
However, there is one tool that is effective for communication, sits on the product 24/7 and can communicate a message of value. That tool, of course, is the sticker on the fruit.
I know it’s small. However, rather than just stating the variety (which means nothing to the shopper), use it to tell shoppers about the taste.
Even something like, “Looks like a veg, tastes like a fruit” would be better than just stating the variety.
This is a perfect example of why stating a variety name contributes to customer confusion.
Packaging that sits near the fruit, whether a sticker, an overwrap or the message on a punnet – is a SALES TOOL. Use it to communicate more than just the variety. Use it to provide information of value to the shopper.