Sushi Surprise

For true marketing inspiration, head for your product's home turf.
  • ---Shares
This story appears in the August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In the age-old quest to get good products the attention they deserve, sometimes you have to turn to your market instead of racking your brain.

Denver-based Brand Management Inc., a food branding consultancy, recently got the nod to help a local supermarket chain improve consumer awareness of its prepared sushi offerings. The main objective of the project was to convince potential customers that the supermarket's take-home sushi is as good as restaurant sushi.

Brand management's president, Shultz Hartgrove, and team started the way they often do: conducting focus groups and branding strategy sessions in an attempt to come up with a new name and "presence" for the product. Result: a lot of heat but no light. What did they do? Break for lunch. Recalls Hartgrove, "My partner and I stopped at a local sushi bar, and every few minutes we'd hear a sushi chef shout out, 'Sushi ready!' to alert waitresses their order was ready." The partners had a mutual lightbulb moment: "That's it-Sushi-Redi!" Then they spied the sushi menu board. Why not hang one like it at the supermarkets for authenticity? Not a bad branding session for $15 plus tip.

Brand management had one last task-ad support. Their idea: Plop Sushi-Redi ads in the restaurant sections of local papers with the headline, "No reservations? No problem," further implanting the idea that the sushi is restaurant-quality. The result? The grocery chain's sushi business improved by one-third in the first six months. The lesson? Get out of the conference room and into the marketplace.

Jerry Fisher, a freelance advertising copywriter, is also the author of Creating Successful Small Business Advertising.

Contact Source

Edition: July 2017

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.