My girlfriend just got an internship at Justin’s Nut Butter, a local gourmet nut better company. The company is an awesome success story; a local guy who started making peanut butter for himself, found his roommates stealing his snack and thought he was on to something. He went and proved it at the local farmers market and then due to the organic aspect of it he got into the local Whole Foods. That spread to the regional Whole Foods and now he is nationwide in WF, Target, and many other outlets. They have in essence doubled in revenue every year they have been around and are pushing the industry to be greener with the packaging and manufacturing.
They are most famous for single-serving squeeze packs of their concoctions. I say concoction because they make very delicious mixes of nut butters like honey peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, and maple almond butter among other flavors. They also recently started making peanut butter cups which are like Reeses, but don’t suck.
As usual my mind looks at the company and starts turning with crazy ideas for marketing their product and expanding their product line. I believe that marketing needs to be built into the product and I think Justin’s gets this, their squeeze packs are baked in marketing – just ask anyone that’s taken one on a hike with an apple.
The squeeze packs are a damn near genius idea, but this one comes to me from my uncle who loves peanut butter and apples after he goes on a long bike ride. The problem is that he rides his bike to work and rather than have a large amount of single-serve packs sitting at his desk, he would prefer to have a whole bottle there, squeezable so he doesn’t need a knife, and to keep it green the thing could obviously be recyclable. The tip could be the flat opening tip like you find on mayo so that it could easily be spread on bread without a knife – what’s greener than using no utensils or dishes?
In college I was an economics major but have since honed my marketing skills and make my living doing that. One thing I have no forgotten about my economics classes is the concept of complements. Compliments with an “i” is something you tell a girl to get lucky, complements with an “e” is something that goes well together. In every economics class this is described by using the peanut butter and jelly example. Justin’s Jams is my concept for a line of gourmet jams to complement Justin’s Nut Butter. Jalapeno jams are pretty popular these days and I can’t help but love alliteration, Justin’s Jalapeno Jam. My personal favorite is Raspberry and according to CSU raspberries can be grown in Colorado year round, let’s keep it local!
Justin’s Jams obviously would promote a concert series at Red Rocks providing the perfect opportunity for a pun on the “Jam” part of the name and some experiential marketing, this seems like a great way to get more locals aware of the product and with the squeeze packs giving out samples is next to nothing.
Justin’s Green Gourmet Nut Butter Truck
Food trucks are all the rage these days and for good reason – you can get awesome food, made quickly, for usually pretty cheap (low overhead), and sometimes it is brought right to where you are. They are also nice in that they provide a break from the monotony that is lunch when you eat that the same 4 places that are close to your work. Justin’s has a great product that lends itself to being used in cooking as well as snacks. A food truck that had entrees featuring their nut butters as well as simple snack items would likely bring in profits if not break even and get the marketing message out there. Want people to buy more nut butters? Tell them good ways to use it, use the food truck to distribute recipes and snack ideas. You can keep some recipes secret for the truck to use and give out others – when you retire a dish in the truck, give away the recipe so that the customers can make it after that. Oh and throw some solar panels on that truck – keep it green, always.
This one is a bit of a cheat for me since this is what I am used to doing for a living but even with national distribution in multiple groceries there will still be people who can’t get your product. Sure, there’s Amazon, REI, and other people selling squeeze packs online but what about the rest of your products? What about the people who want to be loyal to a cool small company and not REI? Also, when you sell it yourself online you get to control the experience – from a great online ordering experience to cool packaging with little surprises that will have the customers talking to their friends about your brand – the online sales channel is one that is is ripe for a cool brand like Justin’s. Aside from opening an entirely new channel for sales you can make higher margins without the retailer taking a chunk off the top.