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November 6, 2013

Marketing 101: Using experts to add value to a product

Most of the stuff we buy is pretty ordinary. Soap, apples, that sort of thing. So to add value to a product, that is, to make more money on it, you have to make it stand out from the competition. But consumers have gotten wise to a lot of the tricks that have been used in the past, such as expert testimonials, etc. And simply saying "the other product stinks, or will harm you, etc., will open you up not only to ridicule, but liability.

The trick, which has been working for some time now, is to have an unnamed expert make a claim about the competition. This is a pretty slippery trick, and it works well. This is how you do it:

Find someone, like me, who is an expert on dachshunds. Having him say, "I only feed by wiener dog "Super-Dooper Dog Food!" is pretty old-fashioned. Instead, have him say, "I would never feed my wiener dog anything made in California!" Or, you choose something, maybe the latest acronym, like ABC (I made that up). "I would never give my dog anything with ABC in it! It has been linked to wiener dogs sniffing around excessively!"

Eventually, the FDA catches up with this stuff, but it can take a while. My personal favorite is a tuna company in the 1920s who destroyed the competition who made pink tuna. Their tuna was white, and the label said, "Guaranteed Not To Turn Pink!" Yeah, saying that kind'a stuff is illegal now.

Marketing can be a dirty game. The more you find out, the less you post stuff like "Ten Foods that Experts Would Never Eat". And I'm sure they're guaranteed not to turn pink, too!

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