Sure the Ketchup is Fancy, But Check Out the Label!

HeinzWant to learn about the future of product marketing? Check out Heinz is offering personalized labels for their ketchup bottles. While the price is a little steep, (6 bucks a bottle) it is a brilliant idea.  Why would someone want this? Why not? As someone who has worked in a restaurant, I can tell you they are always looking for interesting things to put on the table. How about marketing messages about the restaurant on every ketchup bottle? Trust me, they don’t use Heinz to refill those bottles at most restaurants, so the 6 dollar bottle would get more mileage than you would think. This might also bring some fun into your next cookout, party, or dinner. Nothing says party like “Fancy Ketchup!” except of course Natural Light – the beer with the taste for food. If you have ever read Free Prize Inside, this is the classic example of a free prize. Although they did not make the ketchup taste any different, they might convince you to pay more for it with creative & effective marketing. So make sure to look at the label the next time you are preparing to devour that pile of french fries. There may be a little something extra there for you.

Heinz Talking Labels

3 Responses to “Sure the Ketchup is Fancy, But Check Out the Label!”

  1. 1 Frank Piller August 9, 2006 at 10:58 am

    Well, nice idea, but pretty old … several Soda & cosmetic companies did this before. I would prefer to be able to customize my ketchup to get real mass customization (I wouldn’t call this Heinz project mass customization, but personalization — even if this is only important from an academic sense). And it demands great trust in the brand to believe that customers are so crazy about this brand to spend this premium.

    Customizing Ketchup does not mean that they have to prduce it 1:1 for each customer, they just match you to an existing variant.

    Look at custom My M&M’s. Much better execution of a similar idea … and they also do not customize the chocolate itself — but deliver real value.

  2. 2 David Esrati August 9, 2006 at 11:28 am

    It’s not just the customization- they’ve been selling ketchup with labels like “on ore ida’s speed dial” etc- for a while- proving that if you have a real brand identity (the bottle, the label shape) you can put anything on the label and people still know it’s your stuff.
    This is the “hand test” from “The Brand Gap” – a great book on branding (and on our booklist- which shows how well managed brands have a look and feel that’s distinctive and adds value.
    Some ad agencies get this- a lot don’t.
    Clients are even more terrified to step outside what is “safe”- just look at the buzz Heinz has gotten out of this little trick.

  3. 3 david August 9, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    I think it is great Heinz has enough faith to relinquish some of the control of the brand to the consumer. While others like Jones Soda have been doing this for a long time, Heinz is an American Icon. It is great to see major brands engaging with the consumer. The M&M’s campaign is another great example.

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