I was asked by the chairman of a company I was working for why I chose to join his firm. I said it had a lot to do with the raw material I’d be working with; this wasn’t the only reason but it was one of the most important reasons.
He looked at me quizzically and I explained that I’d been fortunate enough to work in 2 other first class FMCG companies which had great products and I recognised that his company also produced a range of products which intrinsically outperformed their peer group products time after time. This being the case, it should – all things being equal – make my job of marketing and selling his brands much easier.
He smiled and agreed, maybe not surprisingly.
Of course this over-simplifies the position – all things are never equal. But the fact remains, when you are working with outstandingly good raw material then your task should be that much more simple.
How can you spot outstanding raw material?
Well take a sideways-look at how easy (or indeed difficult) it is to switch a user of a competitor product or brand across to your brand. Does it take hours, days, months of trial before they will switch?
Or do you have a one-shot converter?
Some products are so good that they are genuine one-shot converters… The consumer just has to trial your brand and they are instantly converted. Brands that spring to mind include – for me at any rate – Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Hendricks Gin , Deuchars IPA and Porsche sports cars (not the light trucks they also build). You can debate this list and you can probably add to it.
But I hope you will agree that if you have a one shot converter then you have great raw material and your job should be that much easier.
Now, if you are working with great raw material, what percentage of your brand budget is directed towards building consumer trial?