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Almost every single food manufacturer in the world does the same thing with their product, a way to help provide value and hopefully get the consumer to buy and use more of it.

They include recipes.

Some recipes become famous in their own right; the back of the Nestle chocolate chips package contains a recipe for their Tollhouse cookies. Many become parts of compilations like cookbooks, cooking magazines, and recipe cards distributed with products or as products in their own right.

Here’s the question to ask yourself: how many recipes do you provide with your products or services? None? One or two? How many could you provide if you really thought about it and talked to your customers to see how they’re using your stuff?

At every company I’ve worked with, I’ve created recipes and recipe books as part of what I do. When you take away all the fancy marketing talk like eBooks and white papers and studies, what I’ve been doing is writing recipes so that the product is more useful and is perceived as more valuable.

Here’s an indicator that you have a serious marketing problem: you can’t write a recipe or five right now, off the top of your head, for your product or service. Even if it’s not the most original (Tollhouse cookies are nothing more than chocolate chip cookies), as long as you can write that handful of recipes, then you know how your customers use your product and can quickly instruct new or prospective customers in how to get immediate value out of their purchase.

So, how many recipes do you know for your product or service?

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