I’ve enjoyed watching the sparring and camaraderie that occurred between a couple of bloggers recently. Both are moms who lead with humor.
Kelly McKenzie resides in Canada and publishes the blog Just Typikel. She’s hysterical and worth reading. Go subscribe for a regular dose of smiles, nods and laughter.
Katy resides in the United States and publishes the Experienced Bad Mom blog. I’m less familiar with her writing, but happy to have been introduced to it.
The pair created an interview exchange with ridiculous questions that prompted some laughable (and laudable) replies. You can find the two posts here – Katy’s initial and Kelly’s reply.
Canadian bacon was mentioned in this interplay.
There’s something about living in the country that provides knowledge in the “you don’t know what you don’t know” category. Of course, there’s commonly that “who cares” factor, but sometimes you find yourself intrigued by minutia. Hogs did it for me.
A proud fellow Potter (Podunk) resident raised pigs. I bought one (not live) and many more after that. I came to enjoy deliveries and the associated gems of wisdom shared (although learned to clear my schedule for these visits – lifelong country residents don’t seem to view time as linear).
John taught me much about is how portions of the pig can be divided for different cuts, treatment and packaging. I wound up smoking the shoulders (fatty but great for soup) and opting for fresh hams (not smoked), counter to most customer orders. That yucky liquid-infused pink stuff you buy in the supermarket – so not ham.
I learned about Canadian bacon the year I decided to make it part of my package. When it arrived, I asked “where’d the pork chops go?” Now I know. It’s cut from the tenderloin – and a whole lot of pork chops are lost in the process. It’s smoked, then sliced.
Honestly, I can’t say if Canadian bacon was borne from Canucks, but concluded my penchant for playing with food meant no Canadian bacon for me with future orders.
Small business marketing smarts from a proud farmer
What does this have to do with marketing? Maybe more than you think.
John introduced me (and others who sampled my find) to a pork experience beyond imagination. He was eating what he was selling, so took great care to ensure what he fed (or administered) produced healthy and tasty results.
He loved his pigs. While that may sound silly for someone ultimately sending them to slaughter, it was true. He was dedicated to giving them a wonderful life under his care and a kind experience when processing time arrived.
While this is his business, it’s also his passion – and art. I doubt I could be so close to these animals then be able to let go when they weighed up to commodity status, but it worked for him (and his clients).
Country living tends to give you a practical perspective on life and death. There’s something about being connected to an animal from start to end that allows for a caring and kindness that isn’t the reality headlines portray of cruel living conditions and industrial slaughter houses. Wouldn’t you like to know where your Canadian bacon comes from?
John’s pigs are fabulous (other home-grown commodities fed what’s cheap and easily available are not the same). He brings breeding, raising, feeding and care to an art. He’s proud of the pigs he raises and delivers – and rightfully so.
John spends tons of time talking with customers ensuring they understand, well, everything. He personally delivers each order. He shares his passion and makes others want to learn with his enthusiasm. This builds trust and more appreciation for his end-product.
He could sell for much more (there are no equals), but sets his (live) pound charge at market rate. He doesn’t markup processing or smoking fees and indicates on the bill exactly how each cost is allocated. There’s a waiting list if you want the privilege of being his client. Once you taste what he achieves with his care, passion, art and science, you’ll campaign to be one.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a product or service so much in demand you have years’ worth of prospects begging to become clients? I’ve been there, and can tell you, it is.
The key is to create something better than what’s offered by anyone else in your niche, be proud to share your knowledge as a value-added, price it fairly and get personally connected with your clients (and prospects). It’s not that hard if you’re passionate and clear about your mission. There’s a wonderful feeling that comes with being able to selectively choose the clients you support. For most of my career that’s been small business marketing, copy writing and promotion, but the way I got there wasn’t much different than John with his pigs. Customers can taste the difference.
How about you? Have you ever had a customer experience you relished so much you felt honored to be selected as a client? Please share in the comments below (and with your social media connections with the easy to use bar at the left if you liked this article). Thanks!
8 responses to “Where’s the Canadian bacon? A pig farmer’s smart small business marketing.”
This is such a lovely surprise. Thanks for the shout out Nanette. I am glad our Experienced Bad Mom and Just TypiKel diplomatic, and oh so serious, questionnaires resonated with you!
John sounds like a gem. I’m reminded of the 6 steer my parents raised on their hobby farm. All escaped one day and spent 6 weeks roaming the greener pastures. Farmers finally took pity on my dad (a pediatrician) and rounded them up. The meat was somewhat tough that year …
Such a wealth of good info here Nanette. Am sharing.
Thanks so much, Kelly, for the inspiration. The banter between you and Katy was hysterical. I don’t imagine video was readily available for that cow round up (not trying to call your age), but imagine it would have been a comical capture. Had a housemate who’s pigs escaped one year (they were on my property) and got a call from a neighbor they were rooting through her planted treasures. Had a hell of a time rounding up these untouched critters – so get the greenhorn challenge with such things. Fortunately it didn’t take 6 weeks :-).
Nanette, love the story and the connection to one’s own clients/customers and being able to provide value to your niche.
Thanks for checking out the blog and taking the time to comment, Regina. It’s amazing how you can find great lessons in the strangest places, isn’t it?
Nanette, what a pleasure to have been mentioned along with Kelly! Thank you. I enjoyed bantering with Kelly about Canada so much that I hope she and I can banter about other things soon. She “gets” me, much as I suspect you and your clients “get” each other, and that makes it a pleasure to work with her.
I appreciate this education on hog farming and am suddenly hungry! But not for any old ham, but a quality product for sure.
Great to see you checking in here Katy. You’re now on my radar too, thanks to Kelly. I enjoyed your banter too. I understand that connecting thing. it’s special. Now, go eat – but right, don’t by that pink slime ;-).
Loved your post Nanette! Wow, what would it be like to have a waiting list for my Artist’s Way classes and the retreats I lead? I am going to put that vision out there. Thanks for sharing!
Nancy, thanks so much for taking the time to stop in, read and comment. Don’t sell yourself short.
When you provide something excellent, truly understand your client (prospects) needs & perspectives and get that “where have you been all my life” reaction, referrals will have you scrambling for support (or, better yet, allow you to be very selective about the clients you choose).
The latter was my tactic but I backed it up with a referral list to providers much better in areas I was weak (spent a lot of time determining who was outstanding and aligned with my integrity standards testing vendors while I was growing the business).
That goodwill comes back to you exponentially over time (not from the vendors necessarily – but those prospects you referred to another that served them well will remember you and appreciate you for decades to come).