I bet your Donut can't do this!

Jul 30, 2020 11:26 pm


Hello Content Creators!

This is something I've thought for many years: If you were a retailer, why wouldn't you have something completely unusual to lure people in?

Restaurants have it easy (never thought you'd hear that, right?).

Just create a menu item so outrageous that people simply have to come in to try it. Or at least see it.

Entire TV shows are built around this!


Stick with me. You don't have to be a restaurant to use this content marketing concept, but lemme take you there with a few more examples.

That's my son up above. And a 28" pizza from Benny Marconi's in Roanoke. If he had eaten it in 28 minutes, without throwing up, he'd have won $280. Naturally, being a 15 year old, he had to try. And then five people ate the remaining 3/4 he couldn't finish.

Roanoke, VA, has no shortage of amazing restaurants. Probably 50 of them in the greater downtown area, and it's not that big of a downtown.

I'm betting you have a lot of competition in your industry, too. Do you have a 28" pizza on your menu?

What about a Pie Stuffed Donut?


Maybe you don't need a single-item schtick.

Maybe you can keep people coming back by offering something unique on a regular basis. Wake 'n' Bake Donuts keeps it fresh with ridiculous limited-time donuts. Like a stuffing a Pop Tart in one. Or an entire piece of pie.


Would I normally pay $3+ for a single donut? No.

Did my receipt say $32 that morning? Yes. Yes it did.

For me, that's a small price to pay for an experience. A talking point. An Instagram photo.

For your brand, that's a fun way to generate repeat business, word of mouth, social shares, and ongoing interest.

But beware of disappointing people.

Now, here's the big, fat, super-important caveat. DON'T trick people.

Ever driven through Texas and seen miles of billboards for The Big Texan's 72oz Steak Challenge? It's $72, but eat it in an hour and it's free. You get into their hall of fame, and they livestream your attempt.

I'd been wanting to go here for more than a decade (they've been doing this since 1960). Driven past it countless times. Finally, on a road trip with two friends, we decided to stop. Buuuuut....

Once you get there, if you want to share that 72oz steak and skip the promotion, it costs $216.77. They don't mention that on the billboards. They only reveal the regular price when you try to order.

I was crushed. I hate being duped. It gives me a vomitous feeling deep in my stomach. We got up, left, and went for burritos. I'll never go back there.

Whatever unique, special, fun promotion, item or gimmick you're promoting, make it legit. Don't bait and switch. Don't trick people. You'll lose them for good, and they'll tell their friends that you suck.

Hungry yet?

Just to box this up to go, here's the takeout takeaway: Think about how you can add something unique and special to your product or service mix. Consider:

  • Limited edition colors, patterns or flavors
  • Premium versions
  • Over-the-top services that are really only there to get attention
  • Ridiculous (but legit!!!) contests and promotions
  • VIP treatments

It's OK to get outlandish. If you're selling an umbrella, why not offer a VIP exclusive experience where the customer is flown to the factory, selects the fabrics, helps assemble it, chooses the wood grain for the handle, then tries it in your test lab? What if you priced that at $8,499?

Would it even matter if someone took you up on that? No. In fact you'd make a killing if they did. But more realistically you'd get a lot of people talking about it, gain media coverage, position yourself as unique and premium, and probably sell more of your regular umbrellas as a result. Get creative...and crazy.

A recent content project


This one's a work in progress, so I'll keep it short. Recently, three of us rode to the beach from Greensboro. Three days, 240 miles, one absolutely terrible hotel.

I got three brands to "sponsor" the trip, and we used it to test several other pieces of equipment. In this case, I designed the trip and sought out brand partners that made sense.

But YOU, as a brand, should be thinking about how YOU want your product story told. What scenarios would show off your features and benefits in ways that would positively influence purchase decisions?

Could YOU create those scenarios by pitching them directly to media and influencers? Do YOU reach out to media and influencers with specific original ideas? Or do you wait for them to come to you? I suggest being proactive and seeking out those who reach your target audience and start pitching. The worst that can happen is we say no. But don't worry, we usually don't say no to paid promotions.

(Did you get this email from a friend? Click here to get your own!)

This was a long one, so I'll bring back my "Cool Stuff I've Found" section next week.

Make it interesting,


Tyler Benedict

PS - Can you forward this to a couple friends that might find it useful? Thanks!

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