What Your Small Business Can Learn from a Cappuccino Flavored Potato Chip


When Lay’s recently announced their flavor finalists for its “Do Us a Flavor” campaign, many were shocked to see “Cappuccino” included. Since the announcement, these wild and strange potato chips have caused quite a buzz on the internet, especially on social media. While we’re not quite sure if they’re going to stick around, they have garnered their fair share of attention. But was this a foolish mistake or creative marketing ploy on Lay’s part?

Industry experts would argue that Lay’s intended the exposure and took the marketing risk purposefully. In any case, the playful product has landed Lay’s on everyone’s lips, being mentioned as this season’s bold brand. Your small business should take a few pointers from the Lay’s playbook and try a bold campaign.

Benefits of Bold

There is a trick to treading lightly when taking on a bold new persona or product. Implementing a marketing change-up will afford your company the opportunity to do four important things:

Get noticed. If you aren’t moving forward, you are standing still and customers will forget you. In a world where we are constantly over stimulated by media and messages, that which is not immediate is often lost and forgotten. Escape the filter and stay relevant by throwing out something different.

If you always do what you have always done, your audience will file your brand in the back of their minds under “seen it” and move on. Inversely, companies who are trying something – even if that something flops – are in the consumer line of sight. Being noticed is step one in all marketing efforts.

Get shared. Whether your attempt at boldness is seen as epic or as an epic fail, it will be passed around. If your campaign or new product is run of the mill, people may still buy in but they won’t be nearly as compelled to shroud their friends’ newsfeeds with screenshots, links, and reviews. People like to feel like they are part of a movement – if you create a movement, the public will step in line. On the other hand, if your product or campaign is safe, you aren’t moving at all.

Retarget. Bold new marketing efforts can completely change who you are reaching, which offers a whole new opportunity for lead generation, conversions, and cash. Consider the Old Spice brand. Everyone knows the Old Spice guy and his confidence and candor, but did you know that before him, Old Spice was, frankly, old? This brand of men’s hygiene products was practically geriatric until someone had an amazing idea.

Sure, it was a risk. Old Spice didn’t want to lose the trusted customers they already had by going young and fresh, but chances are they probably didn’t. The products are still of great quality, but now a younger audience is aware of that. If your small business is in need of a customer base expansion, go bold.

How to use Marketing Moxie

Now that you have a better understanding of what boldness can do for business, you are probably wondering how it’s done. Your small business doesn’t have to invest thousands to change up your marketing plan. Try one of these simple strategies.

Hire a frontman. Progressive insurance, Geico insurance, Wendy’s restaurant chain – you can picture them, and so can everyone else. The jaunty red-lipped Flo, the gecko with an accent, and the new, perky redhead on the block are commanding emblems of commerce. This doesn’t work with every brand, but if yours is cool enough, people will know your commercial, website, banner ad, or email blast from a mile away, which is marketing gold.

Adopt a new voice. Numerous companies are getting more than a little edgy with their messaging on social and blog. These days, every major brand is pushing the envelope with more colloquial, friendly sounding communications. Gone are the days when companies would send out wordy “Dear Sir” communications to engage business. In 2014 and beyond, the companies getting our repeat business are those that say “Hey, check us out, we’ve got stuff, you like stuff, here we go.” Small companies can take notes on this tactic and start by being friendly and approachable with customers.

Tag it. Change up your phrase and get people talking about you forever. Just do it. Think of a great new slogan that will have customers saying, “I’m Lovin’ it.” No seriously, Think outside the bun and come up with something finger lickin’ good. We dare you.

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