Lessons from Ice Cream Marketing
I hope we aren’t about to be treated to the same end run in marketing as ice cream companies across the country have developed.
For a very long time, one would go to the super market and buy a quantity called a half gallon. I mean from the time I was as young as five or six years old. About eight years ago, when I was in my late 40’s, Breyers made a hardly noticeable shift … I was working as a night stocker as a second job to help cover college costs for my older son, so I did notice. I shop by cost of weight, liquid measurements, and such, not sticker price. Sneaky little devils started selling 1.75 quarts for the same price as the 2 quarts. Folks seemed quite ok with it, until I mentioned it to two of my co-workers. Soon, everyone was up in arms that the store was charging the same price for something that was … though it didn’t look like much less … the packaging was still as tall, still as wide … just a bit slimmer, so few noticed … really quite a bit smaller.
Well, uproar didn’t matter to whomever. Folks kept buying Breyers. Soon, all the ice cream companies were selling 1.75 quarts.
So, it sort of eliminated the uproar, because comparisons we less obvious. Folks just accepted the smaller portions …. At the same or higher prices.
Now, the size has slipped to 1.5 quarts … and few notice. I do. I know I am getting less for the apparent same. The box is still almost as tall, almost was long, just not as wide…a little slipped off again. Just .25 of a quart. Or now, .5 of a quart off the old standard.
For those of you that know what a .25 of a quart or a .50 of a quart is … you know that is a significant amount of change. Sneaky little devils.
You’ve just seen the Red Sox pare back.
To many, it seems a good thing.
Instead of working through problems that adults should be able to work through, fans, players and coaches all failed to accomplish the desired end. So we cut. Not a little but a lot. Some think it’s worth it.
Some have bought into the notion that less is more, instead of more is more, just work it out ….
Now we are saying, well, we know it will take time to rebuild, but we are ready to be patient.
We, who were not willing to be patient to see problems solved with highly capable professionals who had an array of issues, one of the most significant was our lack of support in the tough times – no matter what they were. Some were personal, some were injury related, some were communication issues, but ALL had the capacity to perform if we had all been willing to be patient and wait for – gee – human issues to get better.
Now, we are patient.
Now, we have bitten into the hype of grousers and whiners and the impatient … fans and players alike … and we say, “This tastes better.”
We are sure that the team will rebuild.
Even though we know Henry doesn’t like long term contracts. And likely won't be hoodwinked into any more.
Even though we know there is an insane jealousy by some fans over the uber rich players and will cut them down no matter what. The toxic atmosphere may be in the clubhouse, but it is clearly in the stands, or on line …
Even though we will jump on failure … castigate and castrate at the merest twitch or statement from a player who, even though he may be performing at career levels, may say one wrong thing in our wise overview of baseball and its proper forums.
Even though we are ready to flush out our heroes when we begin to think they are going down hill. The vigor of the anti-Papi forum was ridiculous when he was recovering from injury. We had I Hate Youk culprits even as he developed into the core player and all star he was. Others began calling for him being traded because they were tired of his intense displays of anger when he made an out. Dirt dog? Nah, whiner. The whisperings about Pedey now are absurd.
We will get better you say. Mayhap we will.
But I wonder if the marketers will say, these dipsticks are so happy with their success at becoming backwater wizards, we may just as well give it to them. Don’t count on the continued willingness of the ownership group to give us the full 2 quarts … we seem all too happy right now with 1.5 …