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Marketing tip: Leave the gummy bears off your caesar salad!

Written by David Wildman

Feb 13, 2020

February 13, 2020

Recently I attended a networking event/luncheon. It was a friendly gathering of fantastic business leaders, entrepreneurs, and non-profits organizations.
Halfway through the event, lunch was served. It was a delicious Caesar salad with a grilled piece of salmon on top. At the table was a jar of dressing one could apply to the salad, and it was the perfect blend of seasonings, and it matched the entree perfectly.

The hobby cook that I am I started to reflect on the chef and how he followed a recipe for this dressing that will appeal to the taste buds of the attendees. The weird, comedic mind of mine chimed in and asked itself the question:

“What if the chef would have just followed his taste preferences instead of the recipe?” “What if he had a craving for his favorite candy – gummy bears – that day and would have put that ingredient into the sauce?

The business mind of mine chimed in next.
Here is what it spit out:

1.) Your personal tastes rarely match those of your clients

We all have personal preferences, and that is fine for our own lives – but when it comes to our businesses and the way we communicate to people, we have to make a shift. Whether it’s the way our website reads, the slogans we use, the colors, and imagery in our logo – we have to do designs those things with the customer in mind first. What problems are they facing and how can we match our marketing to meet them at the core of their problems? Those tools aren’t there to make you happy every day. You are not the client – they are. You are supposed to lead them, but they will only do that if they understand you and build trust in your ability to help them solve their problem. Then they start to feel appreciated.

Takeaway 1:

spend time listening to your customers and do what it takes to explore their taste buds (pain points), so you can craft meals (marketing messages) that will appeal to them and add to their life.

2.) Trust the recipes

Recipes exist for a reason, and more often than not, it gets dangerous when you decide to break them. As I mentioned, I love to cook. I’m not a good baker. I learned the hard way that in crafting a cake, you could not mess with the recipe – or the cake will be flat, not sweet, and taste horrible.
Marketing is the same way: there are marketing recipes that work – and they work for a reason because they build on the way humans have functioned for thousands of years. Our brains are wired a certain way to help us survive and thrive. Trying to be cute, clever, always out of the box, might make you happy for a minute, but you will find that your messages fall flat and turn into a big waste of money.

Takeaway 2:

Rely on proven marketing approaches and do a quick check on all your marketing collateral. Do they help your customers first, or do they just make you feel good about yourself? Be brutally honest with yourself on that step! Even better – pull somebody else into the conversation and ask them if your marketing makes sense to them.

3.) Delight your customers by serving them well

Nothing makes me happier than to see the smiles on the faces of my family and friends after I served them a great meal. It outweighs all the work and struggle that might have gone on in the kitchen. It was worth the sweat and tears and the calories I burned, so they can focus on enjoying the meal.
Your customers will LOVE you if you place effort into the way you serve them. They will respond quickly to a clear message. They will engage with your well-crafted logo. They will feel heard and understood and will start to trust you and your ability to solve their problem.

Takeaway 3:

After you have taken inventory of your current state of marketing, you might find yourself back at square one. Maybe it’s time to throw out the failed cake or at least turn that soup around by adding some balancing flavors into it? Whatever the situation may be – don’t lose hope. There is only one thing worse than starting over: serving your customers a terrible dish that won’t delight them.


One resource that helped me with my mindset was the book by Donald Miller, “Building a Story Brand.” It’s a seven-part marketing framework that forces you to rethink the way you communicate with your customers. It will position you correctly so you can help your customers win the day. I would love to send you this book free of charge so fill out the form, and I will send you this book free of charge right away.

If you need help, schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation. As a certified StoryBrand guide, I can get you the resources you need to craft perfectly balanced marketing messages for your clients.

Don’t spend another day wondering if your marketing actually works. Learn to set aside your personal taste for the sake of the people you desire to serve. Your customers will thank you for it and not spit out the salad dressing that includes the mystery ingredient you think is so great.


1 Comment

  1. Tracie Zahn

    I would like your free book.
    Thank you!


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