Repeated Consumption (Issue 1038)

In which we are reminded to identify and promote our distinctive qualities so that clients remember us and purchase again and again.

Each year, toward the beginning of December, one of our favorite food stores offers a chocolate-covered, star-shaped shortbread cookie. At some point, it became a holiday custom to serve twenty or so of the cookies in an open dish on the kitchen counter, available for snacking. I love the crunch of the shortbread and the mix of salt and sweet in the chocolate and I’ve been known, during a long conversation or a TV program, to clear the dish. 20 cookies.

The slogan, “Betcha can’t eat just one”, crafted in 1963 to promote Lays potato chips, perfectly describes my relationship with these cookies.

On any given day, once I experience the taste of the first cookie, I want more. To break the cycle, I have to physically remove the cookies from sight and brush my teeth to remove the taste from my mouth.

When the cookies are out of season, I can imagine both their smell and taste; my mouth reacts as if I were standing next to the cookie dish, freshly loaded. During the early-Fall to mid-Fall each year, the cravings begin as I look forward to the date on which the store will once again offer the cookies for sale. In other words, they are both tasty and memorable: It’s an all-year thing with me.

This isn’t random, you know. Yes, you can point at me with a “character flaw” finger and tut-tut my weakness and poor personal discipline. I wouldn’t disagree. However, this isn’t random. “Betcha can’t eat just one” is the result of careful food engineering and marketing by producers who want us to eat more of their foods! It turns out (wonderful article on the subject here) that the combination of texture, fat, sweetness, and salt triggers all sorts of biological processes that lead to my repeated consumption.

Earning or stimulating our clients’ repeated consumption is a worthy objective. We can certainly use cookies… and (no shame here) I have. (Why not????)

The big question is: How do we purposefully engineer and promote our own “Betcha can’t eat just one” so that our clients crave more of us after their first taste and so that, in season or out, they remember us and look forward to our next experience?

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at .

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