The dandelion while considered to be a nuisance to lawn manicuring maestros, is actually a beautiful wonder of nature. I personally marvel at the design of the seed bearing part of the plant and am totally amazed at how this round ball of fluffy seeds atop a tall but delicate stem makes it one of the most visibly prolific plant in nature.
These little marvels have memorized and entertained children with countless hours of nature's own bubble blowing like fun and have provided adults a bit of a romantic make a wish and blow out the candle type of moments without the fire, smoke and wax burns. 🙂
Not only are they neat to look at and play with but the pretty little yellow flower, leaves, and roots are all edible. The leaves can be added to, or made into a salad, they can also be wilted with some olive oil and garlic salt for delicious greens. The leaves can be dried and stored or blanched and frozen for year round enjoyment. The flowers can be made into juice, or added to different recipes and the root used as a coffee substitute. Wow! Fun, romance and nutrition. The Dandelion really is the plant that never stops giving. But how can we learn promoting lessons from a flowery, edible plant? I'm glad you asked.
As a precursor to my dissertation (we'll maybe rant) on Dandelions and Marketing, I'd like to share a brief explanation of the WAYSEED logo and concept. WAYSEED – Plant a Seed, Make a Way – was born out of the idea of crowdfunding. Give a little cash to someone (plant a seed) help them with their cause (make a way). However, why reinvent the wheel. There are already, many very good, crowdfunding sites so I decided the I would “plant a seed” (help people to be successful in business) “making a way” (for them to prosper). In turn, prosperous people are most generous and will likely give to causes themselves, to benefit others and charities that they choose. In other words, I can make a bigger difference this way then the first. The WAYSEED logo is a seed from the Dandelion and I plan to leverage the winds of social, search engine, email and blog marketing and teach others to do the same. Sorry for the side trip, now back to the point. Here's how I believe we can learn marketing from what I've observed of the Dandelion.
1. The Dandelion is pretty to look at and sparks curiosity.
It's yellow flower against a green background stands out, and the white fluffy ball standing tall atop its stem attracts irresistible attention. It beckons the curiosity in us to walk over, pluck it low on the stem, look through it with a light source behind it and finally to blow on it, releasing it's seeds in a micro-explosion of hundreds of tiny parasailing umbrellas.
Taking this into mind, we can mimic the Dandelion by creating eye appealing, curiosity generating, promotional collateral. These items will work together on delivering your brand message and should take the form of engaging & compelling headlines, email subject lines, beautiful, unique and eye-popping graphics, using colors that stand out and contrast. Color contrasts that demand attention and draw the eye. You get the idea, right?
2. The Dandelion is edible, palatable, nutritious. (Did you know, 1 cup of Dandelion greens has 20 mg of Vitamin C?)
One year my lovely wife and I bought tickets to a really high-end dinner for a New Year's Eve celebration. It was a fixed menu (only choice of antelope or fish), with a salad starter and tart desert, so we both choose antelope and were excited to try something new. This was in the early 90's and at the time we owned the first of our four restaurants so, we had an idea about cuisine and servings, etc. So imagine our surprise when we we're served our salad and it looked like it had been picked (free produce) in the field next to the hotel we were at. Yes, Dandelions were included. At the time we thought is was funny that we paid a couple hundred bucks for field fodder, not to mention the paper thin slices of pygmy size antelope on a tablespoon size, bed of cauliflower puree and mint sprig on top, literally 3 bites start to finish. This experience left us a hungry and amused at the whole affair. If I remember right we stopped off for a burger on the way home. The point is I'll never forget it.
So, you can see from this, that it is important to cook up your marketing, making it desirable and memorable. Staying with the cooking metaphor, strive to make your marketing copy, design, etc. smell good, taste delicious, providing portions that are gratifying and filling. Too much of good is never enough! Who doesn't love a doggy bag, and who doesn't tell others about a place that they loved to eat at? Making your marketing (brand, product, service) a well seasoned, visually unique, perfectly cooked, consistently delicious meal of goodness will exponentially grow your customer base and propel your market reach organically.
3. The fluffy white ball of seeds. (the Dandelion has between 54 and 172 seeds per head, and can produce over 2000 seeds per plant)
The seed head of the Dandelion, when it's complete, just begs us to come pluck it and blow its seeds into the air. It's an entertaining pleasure for us, but what we did for the Dandelion is ensure it's propagation, possibly, hundreds of times over. I sense a “light bulb” above the head moment.
Guess which Dandelion's get ignored, the ones that have 1 or 2 seeds left on them. Imagine if that's all that was ever on a Dandelion. They wouldn't appeal to our curiosity and they certainly wouldn't be as prolific.
Like the Dandelion we should strive to create a complete, “well rounded”, attractive offering and build our marketing around that. That doesn't mean that you have to have 100's of products, what it means is that if you have 1 product or service, then the well rounded offering are the features and benefits of that 1 product or service. Create your curious “white fluffy ball of marketing” of irresistible, MUST SHARE marketing collateral around the features by elaborating on them, tying them to your brand and seasoning them with one or more of the following making your copy & graphics: humorous, informative, eye-catching, and compelling.
Looks like there's a whole bunch we can learn about marketing from the Dandelion. Now it's time to get there and execute.