Now and then I take consumer surveys to earn a little bit of spare cash. Usually they don’t take more than a few minutes and there’s always the chance of winning a hefty Amazon voucher or some other incentive. Perhaps my chances of winning these are very miniscule, but I figure it’s a tiny bit of my time that might be worth it, even just to earn a few extra quid. The additional upside to this is that it allows me to get a firsthand glimpse into what some businesses want to know about their products – and by virtue it also leads to the frequent meeting of my head to my desk.
“Imagine for a moment that a brand of fruit juices/ fruit flavoured still drinks came alive as a person in front of you. Below are some statements that describe the ‘personality’ of these brands.” - Survey
I understand that there’s a psychology to sales and marketing. I also understand that businesses are so desperate to compete and get their product sold, that they’re willing to pay people who have the audacity to call themselves “gurus” and “yogis” (putting aside the incredibly problematic culturally insensitive nature of those nouns when used to describe people who aren’t part of those cultures) to give them the equivalent of marketing snake oil. When people are so desperate to sell, sometimes it seems like common sense go out of the door.
That case in point is exemplified by the above blockquote, one of many silly questions I was asked about fruit juice in a marketing survey. In addition to telling whoever brand was responsible what the personality of a real life juice person would be like, they also wanted me to connect juice drinking with a number of ridiculous confusing statements. Apparently, I’m supposed to relate a juice brand with how fulfilling I find life, whether I want to be perceived as included in society, and whether I want people to run the best. I was also apparently expected to have deep philosophical thoughts about each individual juice brand I could possibly consume and a different deep philosophical thought for each time I consumed this juice.
Accept the Limitations of Your Brand: Sometimes Its Just Juice
Sometimes a duck is just a duck. And sometimes I just want to drink juice because it’s cold, I find water a bit boring, and juice is just a nice thing to have with toast in the morning. It has nothing to do with how fulfilling my life is or how included I am in my peer group. I don’t buy juice because it comes in a sexy package or because I associate the brand with positive life experiences. I associate the brand with juice and drinking juice. Unfortunately for juice brands, the capacity they can impact my life on a measurable, deep, and philosophical scale is considerably limited.
Which brings me to my overall point: Accept the limitations of your brand. It makes me wonder who was paid to sit down and think of all of these ridiculous philosophical points about juice. Who was paid to construct a survey by which people are supposed delineate the reasons they choose to drink a certain type of juice and at what time? And who thinks that this is something that people are going to fill out honestly? And more importantly, what on earth types of real life concrete decisions can you make about marketing, packaging, or advertising based on the fact that people who drink Brand A of juice want to have a fulfilling life.
Everyone likes a fan. It’s flattering to have people who are excited about you and by extension, flattering to have people excited about what product you sell. But don’t act like you’re selling the elixir of life if what you’re really selling is a simple drink made out of fruit and water. There’s a line between big ambitions and big delusions and that line is the person who asks me whether or not I associate drinking a certain brand of juice after a sporting activity with warm memories of my friends and family. It’s just juice.
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