Sushi Surprise

For true marketing inspiration, head for your product's home turf.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

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

More from Entrepreneur

Learn to be a better leader and develop successful marketing and branding strategies with Dr. Patti Fletcher's help.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.