Coldest Milk and Positioning and Slogans and Winning

by DABK
19 replies
I heard an interview with a store owner in an area where there are a lot of dollar stores.

He sells food. The dollar-type store sells food, albeit not as good, not as much variety. But for $1.

The day one of those opened close by he lost 40% of business, he said. So, he got worried and put his thinking head on.

His first step: go pretend -shop there.

He noticed those people sold Campbell soup for $1, though it was the same type and size can that cost him $1 to buy.

So, he called Campbell and asked them WTF. And WTF was: since the dollar store chain places so many orders, they get special treatment,i.e., prices so low they can still turn a profit at $1/can.

So, he went back to pretend-shop the dollar store.

And he noticed that the fridge where they kept the milk was set 1 degree higher than his fridge.

So, he put up ads with "Coldest milk" and he got back the business he had lost.

He professed to be amazed and not know why 'coldest milk' worked.

Me, I think it has to do with parents thinking coldest milk means not spoiled, no chance of the little ones getting sick.

They probably took the 'seal of safety' the coldest milk got and applied it to all the food items.

Reason I'm posting this?

I meet business owners who don't have such things, who, when asked to come up with something say: "I do things like everyone else." Or, worse: "I'm the cheapest." Or equally bad: "I've got better customer service" or "We are the fastest."

The difference between this guy and them: this guy actually studied his competition with a view to find a winning difference. And he did.

And it does not matter one bit that milk kept in a 39 degree fridge is just as safe as milk kept in a 38 degree fridge.
#coldest #compettitive advantage #milk #positioning #slogans #usp #winning
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  • Profile picture of the author Viral Thing
    no objection and to win their confidence . ... IF we may paraphrase the slogan of the Maxwell House ... and the actual temperature of the coldest milk
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  • Profile picture of the author 1Bryan
    A couple of things seem off to me. "Cold Milk" is common signage in grocery. And "coldest milk" has been done before. It doesn't have much impact.

    Also -- A small grocery doesn't buy direct from Campbells. They buy from a distributor. It's actually really common for small grocery to buy from Walmart and Sams for Campbells. Walmart and Sams will often be priced lower than their distributor and have no minimum order size.

    Here's what most likely happened -- Consumers had a short "fling" with the new dollar store. At grand opening, they are clean, organized, and overstaffed.

    After a short while, they are understaffed, disorganized, and they get dirty.

    And the grocery owner probably let his complacency drop away.

    That probably is more responsible for the bounce back ... which almost always happens ...

    I don't think "coldest milk" had anything to do with it.

    Context: I worked at a Walmart outside NYC. Small grocery owners from Manhattan and The Bronx came into buy things like cereal, juice, soup, and health/beauty items in bulk. It was cheaper than their distributor.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      What intetested me in his story was not the details (I get it that people buy from a distributor. It does not bother me if they call their distributor by the name of the company whose item they are talking about.

      I know a bunch of people with small kids for whom coldest milk means safe food and stores that closed shortly aftet a chain opened close by.

      I know a food store chain that went bankrupt when a chain from another part of the country moved into its territory. Still, your interpretation is quite possible. ).

      What interested me in this interview is that the guy went into the Dollar store several times and each time he came out with an idea to counter the client-losing trend that he did something with.



      Originally Posted by 1Bryan View Post

      A couple of things seem off to me. "Cold Milk" is common signage in grocery. And "coldest milk" has been done before. It doesn't have much impact.

      Also -- A small grocery doesn't buy direct from Campbells. They buy from a distributor. It's actually really common for small grocery to buy from Walmart and Sams for Campbells. Walmart and Sams will often be priced lower than their distributor and have no minimum order size.

      Here's what most likely happened -- Consumers had a short "fling" with the new dollar store. At grand opening, they are clean, organized, and overstaffed.

      After a short while, they are understaffed, disorganized, and they get dirty.

      And the grocery owner probably let his complacency drop away.

      That probably is more responsible for the bounce back ... which almost always happens ...

      I don't think "coldest milk" had anything to do with it.

      Context: I worked at a Walmart outside NYC. Small grocery owners from Manhattan and The Bronx came into buy things like cereal, juice, soup, and health/beauty items in bulk. It was cheaper than their distributor.
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      • Profile picture of the author 1Bryan
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        What intetested me in his story was not the details (I get it that people buy from a distributor. It does not bother me if they call their distributor by the name of the company whose item they are talking about.

        I know a bunch of people with small kids for whom coldest milk means safe food and stores that clised shortly aftet a chain opened close by.

        I know a food store chain that went bankrupt when a chain from another part of the country moved into its territory. Still, your interpretation is quite possible. ).

        What interested me in this interview is that the guy went into the Dollar store several times and each time he came out with an idea to counter the client-losing trend that he did something with.
        Fair enough. But I'll poke one more hole in that story. True dollar stores -- where every item is $1 ...

        The only sizes of milk they can sell at that price is 8 oz, 12 oz, and 16 oz. And even 16 oz is becoming a stretch. As the price of milk has risen in the last 10 years.

        Learning a lesson from a story with more holes than swiss cheese? I don't see how that's possible.

        The title tag is about positioning. And that's just not what happened.

        True dollar stores are extremely limited in what they can stock because it has to be $1. That's not a grocer's competition.

        Scouting competition is only good if you can make sense of it. And that store owner didn't.

        If he thinks a dollar store is his competition in the grocery space -- he doesn't know the grocery space.

        So my point is that the lesson learned? Isn't a lesson learned.

        Plus coldest milk is kinda like wettest water. It just is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by DABK View Post


    The difference between this guy and them: this guy actually studied his competition with a view to find a winning difference. And he did.
    I often wonder why reps/business owners/salespeople don't shop the competition. It's about the best market research you can do.

    When I decided to sell a course on retail advertising (maybe 15 years ago), I bought three of the best courses I could find, and studied all their sales letters, e-mails, and the courses themselves. I paid for the courses, and didn't send them back. It saved me months of trying to figure out what to include, in what order, and the formatting and binding.

    It's even a clever claim to talk about a process you have (or feature) even if it's in all models/editions. The first one to mention it, as a competitive advantage wins.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      I never understood them. I suggested that to some people. They told me it would be pointless: they and the competitors are doing the same. Something like: We do the install roofs; they install roofs. There's no difference.


      And I explain that before, during, and after they rip the old layer and put the new one, they communicate with the client and there could be a difference there.

      Or in how you ask for payment. Or in how you deal with them before they are clients.

      And some still do not see. And some agree there could be difference but the clients only care about getting a good roof and not paying too much. Not that many get it.

      Roofers is just an example, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, real estate agents, dog puffers,etc., they all do it.

      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I often wonder why reps/business owners/salespeople don't shop the competition. It's about the best market research you can do.

      When I decided to sell a course on retail advertising (maybe 15 years ago), I bought three of the best courses I could find, and studied all their sales letters, e-mails, and the courses themselves. I paid for the courses, and didn't send them back. It saved me months of trying to figure out what to include, in what order, and the formatting and binding.

      It's even a clever claim to talk about a process you have (or feature) even if it's in all models/editions. The first one to mention it, as a competitive advantage wins.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        I never understood them. I suggested that to some people. They told me it would be pointless: they and the competitors are doing the same. Something like: We do the install roofs; they install roofs. There's no difference.


        And I explain that before, during, and after they rip the old layer and put the new one, they communicate with the client and there could be a difference there.

        Or in how you ask for payment. Or in how you deal with them before they are clients.

        I had a funeral home director talk to me about marketing. after I asked several questions, I found out that he had a staff that was all women.

        I immediately told him to advertise that fact, and he would draw clients from across the state. Men don't want other men seeing their wife (who has just passed away) naked.

        He also said he got a lot of veterans. I told him to have two websites and marketing funnels. One for men's wives (or mothers, daughters) and one for veterans. He worried that people would know about the two specialties. I told him that he can be an expert in multiple niches, without any of them knowing that the others exist.

        No idea if he implemented.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Selling by offering the lowest price is seldom a long-term strategy - even for commodities like milk, groceries, or training courses. Customer loyalty is obtained by providing perceived differentiation, value, convenience, trust, etc.

    Notice how just by adding "new", "easy", "organic", "non-GMO", "gluten-free", "natural", etc often justifies the consumer mind to pay jacked-up prices even though these labels often don't really mean a thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      The one that always comes to my mind is the cold brewed beer.

      Meaningless, irrelevant to facts and taste but awesome to marketing. Here is the link to a fun and usefilul article about that:
      https://slate-com.cdn.ampproject.org...your-beer.html (not my site, not an affiliate, waah, waah, sniffle, sniffle).

      QUOTE=myob;11583795]Selling by offering the lowest price is seldom a long-term strategy - even for commodities like milk, groceries, or training courses. Customer loyalty is obtained by providing perceived differentiation, value, convenience, trust, etc.

      Notice how just by adding "new", "easy", "organic", "non-GMO", "gluten-free", "natural", etc often justifies the consumer mind to pay jacked-up prices even though these labels often don't really mean a thing.[/QUOTE]
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      The one that always comes to my mind is the cold brewed beer.

      Meaningless, irrelevant to facts and taste but awesome to narketing. Here is the link to a fun and usefilul article about that:
      https://slate-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/slate.com/culture/2014/01/frost-brewed-and-cold-filtered-mean-nothing-whether-its-bud-miller-or-coors-only-refrigeration-can-cool-your-beer.amp (not my site, not an affiliate).

      QUOTE=myob;11583795]Selling by offering the lowest price is seldom a long-term strategy - even for commodities like milk, groceries, or training courses. Customer loyalty is obtained by providing perceived differentiation, value, convenience, trust, etc.

      Notice how just by adding "new", "easy", "organic", "non-GMO", "gluten-free", "natural", etc often justifies the consumer mind to pay jacked-up prices even though these labels often don't really mean a thing.[/QUOTE]
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Re: Coldest Milk and Positioning and Slogans and Winning
    Good reminder. Thanks DABK.

    Never underestimate the power of differentiation.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Thanks for your post DABK - this is an interesting subject.

    The first thing that came to mind was the Schlitz Beer ad Claude Hopkins did that took Schlitz Beer from number 5 to neck to neck with the number 1 beer seller in just a few months.

    Speaking of milk though, and maybe a little off subject ... in the small town I live in here in Ohio (42,000), you can't find milk or bread in any store. The Covid-19 pandemic is scaring people into buying everything essential. I can understand the concerns because the world is facing a big problem and I hope we get it under control soon.

    Anyways, here is the story about Schlitz Beer if someone is unfamiliar with it:

    https://copyblogger.com/discover-you...kable-benefit/
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Actually, this can be an extremely powerful and quite a formidable technique when used judiciously and with strategic intent.

    Adding perceived value is as simple as using an enhanced or customized narrative when communicating with targeted audiences.

    In terms of engagement, however, the differences between hype, rhetoric, and marketing trigger words are as thin as a razor's edge.

    Vague differentiation in emotionally evocative terms often pushes the envelope towards unsubstantiated claims, but either extreme of nonsense will almost always get significantly highers levels of attention in a noisy market.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    A couple things...

    having worked on several marketing campaigns over the years - Coke, Maserati, Dyson, Avon, Tesla - to name a few...

    one thing I want to remind you of. And a couple things I've learned.

    You can try and sell the technology, you can try and sell the features, you can try and sell the benefits...

    but none of that matters if you don't sell an emotional connection with buyers.

    Benefits don't sell products. Features don't sell products.

    Emotions sell products.

    How do you feel? How is your life going? What do you worry about? Are you ok?
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      You can try and sell the technology, you can try and sell the features, you can try and sell the benefits...

      but none of that matters if you don't sell an emotional connection with buyers.

      Benefits don't sell products. Features don't sell products.

      Emotions sell products.
      Enters Coors They literally broke EVERY rule you are suggesting to be true. They started with Cold Water, Cold filtered, and deliver in refrigerated trucks, THIS alone limited the distance they could provide to consumers.

      Once that hurdle was handled they brought out Coors Light and added technology of the container and the blue mountains... As a BRAND they owned the USP of "Cold Beer" unlike any other brand EVER - and did it as a feature, a benefit, and with the use of technology.

      Look at their advertising over the many years... Never have they wavered from Cold fresh water from the Rockies - The technology itself ( Blue Mountains ) repeats the un wavering message of COLD.

      Look at a company such as Tesla... and you can say features and benefits and technology don't sell the product... but lets get on the flip side of that... Its the features and Benefits of the product that actually are holding people like me from buying. Let me explain real fast... a 300 mile drive distance is not appealing - nor practical FOR ME or the aspects of my business that require a truck fleet.

      My "daily driver" truck has a 42 gallon tank. I can literally drive cross country on 2 fill-ups vs 8 stops to charge for 10 hours each stop? The only thing stopping me from buying a Tesla is the technology and comparison of features and benefits - Emotion has nothing to do with it.

      Lets step this into my selling product - Ecomm is interesting in the fact that often times ( more than often ) are selling items that the "Emotion" of the sale is pre determined and out of my hands. I don't have to sell emotion - I have to sell the features. I don't care about WHY someone wants Nike shoes.. I just have to have the models and sizes etc to meet the demand of WHAT that is ultimately based on the WHY.

      THIS is the part that Marketers and "Sellers" struggle with, what side of WHY they are on - and how exactly to position the text that produces a sale. Which brings us full circle to the OP... "Coldest Milk" - I can honestly say that I have never seen a sign that stated "Coldest Milk" "Coldest Beer" yes...

      The WHY you buy milk - or specifically what BRAND of milk you buy is already done - it then comes to the WHERE - You can buy the coldest... or you can buy the freshest, or the cheapest, or a specific brand... none of this is emotion.. it is ALL about implementing a feature that is in line with the emotional implications.

      My $.02 anyways.
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Enters Coors They literally broke EVERY rule you are suggesting to be true.
        Coors literally followed every rule I suggested.

        They use an emotional aspect to sell every feature they have...as does every other company you mentioned.
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        • Profile picture of the author StevenTylerPjs
          Max5ty,

          Could you explain or give examples of the emotions Coors uses? Or possibly Coke or Dyson?

          I see Coors as Savidge does and would like to see it from your perspective as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post


        Look at their advertising over the many years... Never have they wavered from Cold fresh water from the Rockies - The technology itself ( Blue Mountains ) repeats the un wavering message of COLD.
        You guys already know this.

        It's not exactly emotion or logic that's selling here. It the story. The picture that the words paint in our minds.

        "Cold fresh water from the Rockies" paints a picture and story of beautiful winter scenes of cold babbling clear brooks, cascading water falls. Pure outdoor clean. You know....outdoorsy manliness. Hell, I don't even drink beer, and now I want one.

        Remember the way they would say "Buschhhhhh" as though the last part of the word was a fresh can of cold beer being opened? That's selling.
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          It (s) the story. The picture that the words paint in our minds.

          "Cold fresh water from the Rockies" paints a picture and story of beautiful winter scenes of cold babbling clear brooks, cascading water falls. Pure outdoor clean. You know....outdoorsy manliness. Hell, I don't even drink beer, and now I want one.

          Remember the way they would say "Buschhhhhh" as though the last part of the word was a fresh can of cold beer being opened? That's selling.
          In the case of Coors... we have to keep in mind the "painting" was painted in 1873. The true "Cold Process" ( non pasturized ) started in 1959.. and Coors Light came out in 1978...

          I understand the " Pure outdoor clean.... outdoorsy manliness. " Much like the King of Beers and Clydesdale Horses. We see this TODAY as something other than what it was THEN. History is indeed a story - but the location of a brewery in 1873 was dictated apon the availability of water. And the use of Big horses much like old images of Fire wagons was out of necessity based on the weight of load. Throw Yuengling in the mix, and we can add "Oldest".

          I suggest these to be "Fact" before anything else.. and can they be shared emotionally - I guess... But I personally do not read them that way.
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