Marketing Rule 16A: Crap sells, as long as it’s really expensive Crap.
The recent recall in the pet food industry has caused a lot of people to think about what goes into those cans. Menu Foods – the company responsible for the faulty product – works as a sub-contractor for many of the industry’s pet food giants. While scrolling through the list of recalled varieties, a lot of people were shocked to learn that the expensive brands are made in the same factories – and perhaps with similar specifications – as the bargain basement brands. Which means their designer labradoodles, feasting on high-priced Iams and Eukanuba, are eating essentially the same Crap as the junkyard dog up the street. They’re just paying a lot more for it.
Rule 16A has a converse, Rule 16B: Don’t discount, or it looks like Crap. For example, Anheuser-Busch launched Budweiser Select as a top-shelf premium beer. Made from a recipe of “two row barley, impeccably roasted specialty malts, and a hand-picked blend of the finest American and Bavarian hops,” Bud Select has been supported by a monster ad campaign, featuring Jay-Z and Danica Patrick, on the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. They figure everyone will “trade up” for a promise of higher quality. The trouble is, the marketing geniuses at A-B gave Select the same price point as regular Bud. So hoity-toity consumers have seen Budweiser Select for what it is: Crap. Sales are in the crapper.
Yep, a Cadillac is way better than a Chevy. Martha Stewart makes a real nice can of paint. And L’Oreal costs more, but heck, you’re worth it.
All of which got us thinking. We’ve decided that from now on, we’ll be charging $5.99 for each week’s installment of the quick Sliver. We think you’ll like it better that way. And you’ll tell your colleagues, “Those guys at quickSilver write some REALLY interesting Crap.”