Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ginsu Knives, Ninjas, Lamb and a Good Rotisserie Chicken

Actual (emailed) conversation held at work today:

Context: Deciding if we lead off our ad campaign with "routine uses" or "exotic uses" of our product.
Editor's Note: Name of our product has been substituted with Product, because the last thing I need is people googling our product name and finding this blog.

Me: I think everyone has a product already that does the routine procedures. And if we sell ourselves as just another way to be routine, we’ll never get anywhere. Setting ourselves apart as the product that does the routine AND goes above and beyond and does cool stuff- that gets us noticed. I’m thinking of those great infomercials on TV. Ginsu knives. We all have knives. Why do we want more? Because just in case I ever need to cut through a diet coke can, and then cut a tomato, I need to have a Ginsu knife. My regular routine knife only cuts through a tomato. And it only does it relatively well. A Ginsu knife must cut tomatoes better because it can also cut a can.

All vets have (edited for content) "things". Why do they want the Product? Because just in case they ever do need to figure out how to get a wedding ring out of a Kimodo Dragon, they need a Product. Product do paws, but it must do it better because it also gets amazing angles on Kimodo Dragons.

Ricardo: I agree as long as it comes back to the benefits of the Product and if a practitioner can relate it to their own practice. I can relate to how a knife that can cut through a coke can and then through a tomato can benefit me. I can’t see how the Ron Popeal rotisserie would benefit me. Both are gee wiz but I can see immediate application in my kitchen with killer knives.

Me: The Rotisserie benefits you because you could just make chicken in the oven. But now you can use your oven for pies. Your rotisserie improves your life by making what you already have even better. And your rotisserie will make even better chicken, and makes hot dogs and lamb too. But it’s no Ginsu knife. Or Product for that matter.

Ricardo: True. But I don’t like rotisserie chicken. I like fried chicken. Buttermilk dipped to be specific. Now I can use my killer serrated ninja knives to cut up my chicken prior to frying. Knives have much broader appeal even if presented in a dynamic bubble gum pop culture sort of way.

(sidenote: our boss and another co-worker were CC:d on this entire exchange. I had just dared Ricardo to find a way to incorporate bubble gum into this conversation, for no other reason than we enjoy daring each other to say certain things in odd contexts.)

Me: I would like to point out that you have now proven my point. Ginsu knives, which do the same thing as all other knives, are only popular and purchased because they do cool extra things. If their ads only talked about tomatoes you wouldn’t buy it. But cool ninja serrated knives that don’t have cords or wires and are battery-powered and go everywhere you do (except through airport security and high schools), those are worth buying!

Ricardo: Ah… but you are wrong. Ginsu knives do NOT do anything more than regular knives. They cut. It is the routine done better that is the draw… Not gee wiz for gee wiz sake but interesting application to improve the usual and routine.
The rotisserie *does* however do more than a usual toaster oven. Because of the *extras*, it becomes niche and unusable to me. It shrinks the potential market of the product.
P.S. Lamb sucks.

Me: So close, but oh so far away, my friend.
You don’t like your table knife. You like the serrated ninja knife. Is it still just a knife? Yes. But you bought it because it does routine cutting AND ninja stuff. I think we should rename the Product the Product Ninja. Cause everybody likes a ninja.
You are right about the rotisserie though. It just isn’t worth it because it is too specialized. But if an oven had a rotisserie adaptor, so you could rotis (um, it’s a word now!) things in your regular oven, you would buy it. Because items that do routine things AND do the unusual, you’d buy that. I think I will invent that oven. And call it the Ninja Oven.

PS- Lamb Curry is good.

Cabana Boy (who was also cc:d on the entire exchange but remained silent until this point): For clarification, not everybody likes ninjas. Ninjas and pirates are natural enemies.
PS: Lamb is greasy.

Would any of my marketing guru friends like to help continue this debate?
(PS- Lamb is really good rotisserie style!)

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