An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village. A small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellow fin tuna.
The American said “Nice fish. How long did it take to catch them?”. “Only a little while” replied the Mexican. So the American said “why didn’t you stay out longer to catch more fish?”. “I have enough to support my family’s needs” replied the Mexican.
The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your life?”
The Mexican said “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life”.
The American scoffed, “I’m a Harvard MBA and could help you. You could spend more time fishing. Then buy a bigger boat. Then several more boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you could sell directly to the processor. You could open your own factory”.
He continued, “You’d leave this village and move to Mexico City. Then at the right time you’d announce an IPO and you’d make millions”.
The Mexican said “Millions, senor? Then what?”
The American said “Then you would retire. Move to a small fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evening to sip wine and play guitar with your amigos”.
Why are we telling this story? Well, in our industry things often start simple. The product starts simple. The proposition starts simple. The pack starts simple. The messaging starts simple.
But then we add. We add to the product. We add to the proposition. We add to the pack design. We add to the messaging. So, what starts out simple ends up complicated.
We wrote about this four weeks ago when we introduced the “Insight Traction Lions” – our Awards. We have been sharing these on Linked In. Hopefully you will have seen them.
They are an alternative set of awards. Awards that are anchored in the real world. The world that shoppers live in.
The awards honour simple, clear and effective shopper communication.
Simple. Communication that is instantly recognisable. Messaging that says less. That uses few words. Short words. Everyday language.
Clear. Communication that is really easy to process. That tells shoppers what a product is. What it does. Why it’s good.
Effective. Communication that frames choices effectively. That makes a brand the most obvious choice for shoppers to buy.
Here is a link to the full set of Insight Traction Lions winners.
We think there is a lot to learn from the winners. For instance…
We can learn from Red Bull or Cadbury’s on delivering communication that is instantly recognisable.
We can learn from Bonne Maman about design consistency across categories.
We can learn from The Jolly Hog on how to bring your story to life on Shelf Ready Packaging.
We can learn from The Curators “All Bull. No S**t” or Innocent “Packed full of good stuff” on how to communicate impactfully.
We can learn how to direct shopper behaviour from Colgate “replace your toothbrush every 3 months” or Cif “reuse your spray bottle” or Twinings Infuse “find us in the tea aisle”.
Maybe you can join us in fighting the good fight.
The fight for simplicity. The fight for clarity. The fight for effectiveness.
We need a few more Mexican fisherman amongst all the American MBAs.
Feel free to forward. We're taking a festive break from blog writing but will be back in the New Year. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas.