56 Servings of Grits? Someone in Marketing is Not Paying Attention to Basics.

Bear with me on this slightly sarcastic post – it actually does lead somewhere in regard to business!Quaker Grits Serving sizes - for what army?

Whether you realize it or not… customer service is part of marketing for your business, so here is my example of a vendor’s marketing department not paying attention to important basics.

My beef is with the Quaker Oats package recipe instructions.

Note in the image above the serving sizes for Stove Top style cooking – 1, 4, 28, 56!

Not exactly the logical progression I sought. Remember, the serving sizes posted are for side servings. My fam likes a BOWL of grits. And my ever-growing 16 yo son, 6’1″, 195 lbs, likes a BIG bowl. So somewhere between 4 and 28 servings is what I was looking for.

SO why am I posting about Quaker Oats Grits Recipe serving sizes?

  • It’s about knowing your customer.
  • Knowing who you are marketing to.
  • Considering the use of your product.
  • Providing said use in a consumer friendly manner.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I don’t do math – school was over a long time ago! And especially at 6:30 in the morning, my brain is waiting for the coffee and carbs to kick in, not ready to calculate how much I need to cook for 3 cereal bowls-full of grits. I don’t mind some leftovers, but seriously?

So, Quaker Oats, unless your consumer is the Church volunteer breakfast cook or the local Homeless Shelter, WHO EVEN OWNS A FOUR GALLON POT to make 56 servings of grits! And just how old is this recipe chart?

This is about:

  • knowing your customer,
  • understanding your customer’s needs, and YES, the user-friendliness of a product is part of marketing!
  • and marketing to the right customer – make up your mind, Quaker Oats, is this product for singles, families, or the ARMY?

And it’s not just Quaker...How many times have you had to search all over a pasta box to find the instructions to just cook the noodles!@%(*&$! No, they have to fill the packaging with suggested recipes and somewhere in a tiny little hidden spot are size 8 font instructions for how long to just cook the noodles!

That’s my rant of the day… ;)

P.S. Yes, I can tell it’s pretty much a 4:1 ratio – but again, I don’t want to have to do the math! And the Southern way is to substitute 1 part water with milk – creamier…better tasting… mmm. But I digress :)

Merry Christmas! – It is Christmas Day and So I’ll Say It!

Somehow “Happy Holidays” has never cut it for me. I do use that expression during December when I know that I have a mixed audience.

But December 25th is Christmas Day. Period.  So when I see tweets and posts that avoid using “Merry Christmas,” I just wonder why? It IS Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!


Being an Entrepreneur Means You Only Sleep When the “Baby” Sleeps

Parent watching baby sleep

I went to LinkedIn early this morning looking for inspiration for my next post. …Early morning is my favorite time for LinkedIn because that’s when you catch the entrepreneurs.

Oddly, I flashed back to my son’s birth while I was noticing these motivated and energetic LinkedIn users contributing their thoughts and sharing their expertise.

I began to think about why successful entrepreneurs usually appear most on social media during early coffee time. I believe it’s because they use their coffee time to catch up on the world. You don’t see them during the day on Social Media because after that coffee, they switch to 100% focus on their business  (unless their business IS social media!).

So that somehow had me remembering how during those first few weeks after my son’s birth, my husband and I thought we might never see the luxury of a full night’s sleep again for a very long time. We were pretty much right! We also coveted the ability to shower as needed, eat a full meal, and yes, even use the restroom when nature actually called and not when it was convenient for our infant son.

I remember telling people how the first 2 weeks with a newborn was a bit like taking the hardest 80 hour work weeks you ever had and multiplying by 3, and sometimes 4. At least on those 16 hour days at work, you got to just “die” on your bed until the next morning! Not with an infant… If the baby is awake, so are you – even if you haven’t  slept. If they are hungry, it doesn’t matter if your own meal isn’t cooked, the baby must eat now… and so on.

But you don’t care. It is physically hard, but emotionally? No. The joy that child brings far outweighs any of the losses of a previous lifestyle. All your previous priorities take a major back seat to the wonder of this new life.

I now know that having a baby was fantastic training for entrepreneurship. The joy from the prospect of success doing what you enjoy as your own business far outweighs the long days and nights, the un-showered mornings, the lost days, even some lost friends who have no patience with your latest obsession.

Your best idea can’t wait until the next morning. Your inspiration for your next article or artwork might be gone after you go out to the movies with friends. The words flowing through your fingertips onto the keyboard won’t let you stop to go reheat your coffee or eat.

But when you’re done, it’s exhilarating! And you can’t wait to get started on the next project or challenge!

Entrepreneurs, just like new parents, can only sleep when their “baby” sleeps.