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Ever notice that kitchen device makers of any kind – food processors, blenders, microwaves, etc. – seem to market their device as the be-all, end-all for every possible kitchen task? I have a blender that makes the claim that it can do everything: smoothies, peanut butter, ice cream, bread dough, soup (without additional heating), fresh juice, and cappuccino. My other devices make equally outlandish claims, too.

Pasta Dinner

The reality is a bit more disappointing. The blender, unsurprisingly, blends things really well. It doesn’t do the other stuff half as well as the marketing might indicate – a kitchen stand mixer does a heck of a lot better at making bread dough, for example. An espresso machine makes a much better cappuccino than a blender.

Can the blender do these things? Sort of, but the result is typically lackluster. In the hands of a really talented chef, I’m sure it would be barely noticeable. They would know how to compensate for the weaknesses of the tool with their superior skills, but in my hands as a rank amateur without those skills, using a less effective tool for the job drastically affects the outcome for the worse.

So here’s the insight: be very wary of any marketing tool or technology that claims to do it all, that claims to solve your problems. If you are a master marketer, then yes, you can probably make a Swiss Army marketing solution deliver results as good as best of breed individual tools. If you are not a master marketer, or you have mastery in only a couple of specializations, then chances are the one-size-fits-all solution isn’t going to solve as many problems as you want it to.

When you’re evaluating any kind of marketing tool, forget about what the brand reps are saying about it. Look at what it does really well, what its strengths are, what repeatable, quantifiable results it can generate for the average marketer. Look at the results it can generate for someone who is a subpar marketer, because a tool that can help generate good results in the hands of a mediocre professional is likely to be a tool that generates amazing results in the hands of a superior practitioner like you.

Oh, and if you like really soggy, bland, too-soft “ice cream”, have I got a blender recipe for you…

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2 responses to “Kitchen device marketing”

  1. Now that’s great bass!

  2. My new Ninja blender makes surprisingly good ice cream and sorbet, but I definitely wouldn’t trust it with espresso.

    I notice this with my clients (owners of digital marketing agencies) — many agencies want all-in-one software to handle client communications, project management, time-tracking, invoicing, and general accounting. There are a few programs that do it all, but (like the kitchen gadgets) none do it all *well*.

    It’s better to accept that you need a few programs, rather than to keep fruitlessly searching for that mythical all-in-one tool.

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