Opinions: Everybody’s Got One….

by | Nov 6, 2014 | 2 comments

Last week we started a little contest to name our Pork Garlic Sausage. Social Media people will tell you that audience participation is pure gold in terms of successful marketing on this type of platform. We do it because we really enjoy our customers’ contributions to our projects. Some of our biggest successes have come from suggestions from YOU! And this “contest” was no exception. We got a lot of input and considered a few of them seriously until THE EMAIL arrived. I will get to that in a minute, but a historical digression is in order here. . .

If you don’t know our motto by now, thanks for dropping by New Friend!  “Life’s Too Short To Eat Crappy Meat” has been our motto since we poured the slab to build our original Chop Shop on at the farm. Just before I wrote it with my finger across the 16 foot slab, I got it approved by both my wife and mother, and it has been a part of our fabric ever since. Some people don’t like it. In fact, my mentor, financial adviser and biggest non-family supporter hates it.

No official study has been done, but I would guess it offends about one in 200. I’m OK with that. The fact is that even if you are the one in 200, you’re not going to forget it. That’s kinda my plan. “Don’t Squeeze the Charmin!”, ” A Little Dab’ll Do Ya”, “Where’s The Beef?”. All of those have two things in common: they haven’t been used in decades, and every one of us knows the product they refer to. I’m not sure we have that level of recognition (OK, I’m sure we don’t), but it’s what we strive for.

The point is, our whole company culture is a bit snarky. The motto is snarky. The tone of this blog is usually on the edge. I never want to intentionally offend anyone, but I like snarky. It has been said that sarcasm is the laziest form of comedy. Snarky isn’t lazy, but it is definitely relaxed. I like to think of it as saying what’s really on my mind with minimal filtration.

OK, now that we have some background for our new friends, here is the result of the sausage naming contest.

We got a lot of well thought out suggestions. There were alliterative suggestions like Pungent Porker. We tried to do something clever with the suggestion Vampire Killer, but couldn’t get there. It was a struggle because there were a lot of good ideas, but nothing came together just so. I had mentioned in announcing the contest that Diana coined it “The Stinky Pig”. It was definitely in my realm, but I knew it would face some criticism. We did the contest to see what else was out there. Then we got THE EMAIL.

Here it is verbatim:

Subject Line: “What is wrong with you???”

Text: “Stinky pig is a very unsavory name and likely to hurt more than help sales. You know better, right? Actually, you named it when you described it. Pure logic, pure food; this isn’t beer and I hope you’re not drunk, or are you?”

That is not an excerpt, that is “John’s” entire email. No greeting, no signature. Just. . . that. I was uncharacteristically flummoxed. I seem to be in that state more often these days, so maybe it is not uncharacteristic anymore. On one hand, that reaction is the reason we had the contest; we knew that “The Stinky Pig” was not the most politically correct choice. On the other hand .. .

“John’s” email was perfectly obnoxious. I mean, sure he is a complete tool for speaking to me like I’m his kid. And yes, the suggestion that I had to be drunk to even consider the name makes it seem like he’s incapable of offering an opinion without degrading the subject to bottom feeder level first. But at the end of the day, I thank him for his contribution!

Congrats “John” , you are the winner of the sausage naming contest. While you offered nothing creatively, no real thought at all, and didn’t even bother to be funny about it, you still win. My pork/garlic sausage will forever be known as “The Stinky Pig”. That’s who I am and we are as a company. I have an old saying (holy crap, I’m old enough to have an “old saying”) “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space”. I like the edge. I like to make people react, think, respond. Nothing is more depressing to me that publishing a newsletter or blog post and getting no response. So. . . I’m snarky and so is this sausage. Come and get it!

I almost forgot about “John”. I’m sure by now he has read ahead to learn of his prize. You get nothing, sir! Diana gets the free packages of sausage. I’m sure this turn of events will send you scurrying to your Yelp account post unfavorable reviews of us, but that is OK by me. You see, “John”, those who know us understand that while we may ride the edge from time to time, and occasionally fall off, we mean well and it’s always done with good intentions.

Those, like you, who are offended by our choices or occasional course language are not anyone I want to associate with anyway. This is not because you have a different opinion, or because we disagree about how my business should be run. I have plenty of wonderful customers who fall into that category from time to time. I don’t want to associate with the likes of you because there is no substance behind your comments. No creativity, no thoughtfulness, and no manners. Now that’s just lazy!