A chicken egg is a chicken egg and all chicken eggs of the world are the same, right? If that’s true, then how do you go about marketing YOUR eggs as being better or different than those other guys’ eggs?
For one thing, there is some differentiation between factory eggs, organic eggs, free range eggs, pasture-raised eggs and more. Personally, I like the pasture-raised eggs. It means the chickens get to roam outside like they’re supposed to, unlike “free range” which just means they’re free to walk around inside an overcrowded building full of chickens.
In my grocery store I have several options for pasture-raised eggs, and yet I always choose the same brand without even considering the rest. Is it because these eggs are cheaper? Nope. Is the egg carton better looking? Maybe, but that’s not why…
Marketers, this is where you might want to pay close attention…
The one and only reason I choose this particular brand of pasture-raised eggs over all the others is because in each carton they enclose a tiny 2 page newsletter. This is a single piece of paper approximately 4.25” x 3” or 10.5cm x 8cm. This miniature newsletter is called the “Vital Times” complete with Volume # and Issue #.
The headline on the issue I’m looking at right now reads, “Girls on Grass – and Gratitude.” The article is about ‘the girls’, with girls being chickens, and how they get to spend their day. Here are excerpts…
For Vital Farms hens, this year has been awesome. Sunshine? Check. Pastures? Check. Dust bathing with friends? Check, check, check. Our girls wake up ready to explore… What are we thankful for in this crazy, crazy year? It’s pretty simple. You.
You wrote thank yous – more than 5,000! – to celebrate the work of farmers and crew. You invested in our company and our vision. You inspired our front line to keep working through the long days and nights…
The newsletter goes on to praise their customers for the many things they are doing during the pandemic and then brings it back to how the customers make it possible for the ‘girls’ (chickens) to enjoy the simple pleasures.
Finally, it closes with a brief message of home and gratitude along with a photo of several chickens against a blue sky with green grass and the words “thank you”.
On the opposite side of the newsletter are…
• A chicken cartoon in which one chicken is painting the barn wall and a second chicken asks, “Is that beige?” To which the first chicken replies, “Don’t be silly, it’s eggshell.”
The lesson here is humor doesn’t have to be stellar to still be appreciated, since finding almost any chicken cartoon in your carton of eggs is better than finding none.
• A bird of the month complete with photo and caption. This month showcases “Tiffany,” a beautiful red chicken with the caption, “Talented Tiffany dances in the shade, making the most of a beautiful day.”
• 100 words on why gratitude is healthy and how to start a gratitude practice. This is bringing honest to goodness real value to the customer.
• The company’s mission statement is in a box with the first words in red all caps, “OUR MISSION is to bring ethically produced food to the table by coordinating a collection of family farms to operate with a well-defined set of agricultural practices that accentuates the humane treatment of farm animals as the central tenet.”
Too long perhaps, but it does give the customer a real sense of what this company stands for. Customers believing you share the same values they share can earn you a customer for life.
Just be sure to never do anything to go against these values, because these are also the customers who will tear you limb from limb on social media if you let them down.
Think of someone who just learned their mate is cheating on them – customers who love your brand will want a swift divorce if you’re ‘cheating’ on them by going against what you stand for.
• And finally there is an invitation to show off your egg cooking skills while tagging the company on social media. This is an extremely ‘non-pushy’ way to bring people to social media and get some good mentions.
Now in case you’ve forgotten why I brought up this tiny little egg newsletter in the first place, it’s for these 3 marketing lessons:
1. People love marketing they can touch. When you see something online, it’s there and then it’s gone and usually forgotten in less than a minute.
But something they can hold in their hand? It’s right there in their home or office. It’s real. In this case it’s sitting on their kitchen counter while they make breakfast, carried to the table with the coffee and read while eating. Or at least that’s how it works for me.
2. People love things that are out of the ordinary. Is any other egg producer putting newsletters in their egg cartons? I don’t think so.
3. People love companies that align with their values. When you read the mission statement above, you either agreed with it or you didn’t. If you didn’t agree, then it might not matter to you how your eggs are produced, in which case you’re likely not the right fit for a company that goes out of their way to be humane to their animals.
And if you did agree with the mission statement, you’re much more likely to reach for that same egg brand when you go back to the store because it aligns with your beliefs and values. It says something about who you are, who you want to be and the legacy you want to leave behind for this planet.
Not bad for a tiny little newsletter. Does this inspire any ideas for your own business?