Making Lemonade

By Sara Rider   |   July 1, 2015

Sometimes what our companies want to sell is not something people want to buy.  That presents a problem.  So what do you do if part of your product mix isn’t considered a hot item by the buying public?  You can discontinue the product or service—but if you’ve invested in developing the product, that can be hard to swallow.  In some situations, the best course may be to reposition the product or service—find another way to make it attractive to your audience.

According to a recent New York Times blog, French supermarket chain Intermarché has done just that with a new campaign for “ugly” fruits and vegetable, called “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables.”  (It probably sounds better in French.)  Like most supermarkets, and many restaurants, Intermarché was faced with lots of produce that picky consumers wouldn’t buy.  The less-than-perfect apple, the unphotogenic potato, the bulgy carrot.  The answer?  Price the less-than-perfect produce differently.

The result?  Increased sales and less food waste.

According to the United Nations, about one-third of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted.  And in the U.S., this wasted food is the second highest component of landfills, which in turn are the largest source of methane emissions.

So Intermarché is not only helping its bottom line, but helping in the battle against global warming.

In your own company, you may not be able to strike a blow both for a stronger business and a better world.  But it can make you think.  How can you reposition products or services that are no longer as successful as they once were?  What other incentives can you offer your customers or clients?

Every company or business has its lemons.  The challenge is to figure out how to make lemonade.

by Sara Rider



Sara Rider

About the Author

Sara Rider, Vice President at DeLaune & Associates, has written extensively for the healthcare, financial, non-profit, and technology industries for more than 30 years.

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