Think for a minute about Rice Krispies. They’ve been around since 1927. Many of us grew up with the “snap, crackle, pop” advertising campaign that created a fun, colorful image of this popular breakfast cereal, which in reality is nothing more than thin hollowed out puffs of crisped rice, sugar, salt, engineered vitamin ingredients and preservatives.
If you separate the product from the box and ignore the marketing, you’ve got a bland, monotone food product that’s been around forever and doesn’t excite anybody. Hmm, kind of like some people view concrete.
The brilliance of the Kellogg Company is how they positioned Rice Krispies to be something that millions of kids begged their mom to buy during trips to the grocery store. They already had a winner when Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day, working at the Kellogg’s Home Economic Department, added a new twist in 1939. By deploying a couple of admixtures – molasses and corn syrup – melted and mixed into a bowl of Rice Krispies, the two invented one of the most iconic confections of all time – Rice Krispies Treats. Though molasses and corn syrup have been eclipsed by butter and marshmallows in most modern recipes, this mix design has been endlessly replicated and adapted in millions of homes in the last eight decades. And the Kellogg Company reaped billions of dollars in sales as a result.
There’s a lesson here for the precast concrete industry. If we’re selling our boxes and slabs as though they were bland concrete structures, we’re selling a pile of hollowed out rice puffs. But if we’re adding some snap, crackle and pop, and value-adding components that turn our structures into customizable “systems,” then we’re now selling Rice Krispies Treats – and that’s something that everybody loves.
When you think about your sales and marketing materials, your website and your company culture, think about Rice Krispies. And see how many ways you can sweeten the deal for your customers.