Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The story of eggs

While discussing The Omnivore's Dilemma at my book group a friend noted that fresh eggs were available at the farmers market in Copley Square (Boston) this year. Another recalled getting fresh eggs from a semi-crazed farmer near her summer home and the buttery flavor that the fresh eggs contained. And yet another recalled how the taste was unparalleled to that of commercial eggs. After digesting this information I left with a mission – to get my hands on some fresh eggs.

After three weeks of visiting the farmers market and being told “sorry, we sold out an hour after opening,” my lucky day arrived (the beauty of scarcity, three weeks later and I was still excited about eggs). There was a refrigerator full of fresh eggs awaiting me. I paid my $4 for 6 eggs and was on my way. The next morning I toasted and buttered some bread, cooked the eggs ‘over easy’ and sat down at the table with pure anticipation, only to become completely under whelmed. The eggs tasted just like the eggs I routinely buy at the grocery store (and only pay $1.59 per dozen for).

The story I was told about fresh eggs was that of taste and quality, incomparable to commercial eggs. The eggs I bought at the farmers market didn’t live up to that story. And the farmers market offered no alternative version. The story I should have been told was that of sustainability, local support and famers’ pride. Essentially, by spending the extra money on fresh eggs at the farmers market I can make a difference in my community and receive a product produced with care.

The moral of this story – when marketing your product, make sure you offer a story that’s believable and lives up to the experience. Otherwise you under whelm and your brand under performs.

Image by cobalt123

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