This week marketers everywhere are celebrating the genius of their peers with the awarding of Gold Lions at Cannes. I thought I’d awknowledge another bit of marketing brillance, turning a humble berry into a tourism mania! Whoever in the Montana Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea to rename the humble blueberry a huckleberry and plaster it on every sign and restaurant menu in the state, has my unabashed admiration.
At its heart, marketing is about solving problems. Sometimes they are problems people fully recognize (like after 4 weeks showering in campground bathrooms, I know I need a long soak in a tub with really good soap!) But frequently the most brilliant marketing unearths needs we were not even aware we have. Here is where the humble huckleberry excels.
It all started with the syrup. Despite having a perfectly good bottle of maple syrup in my very tiny camper pantry and an indulgent jar of blueberry jam and even fresh blueberries in my micro camper refrigerator, how could I pass up the “wild” huckleberry syrup displayed loving in the KOA general store. What was this new fruit I was seeing everywhere? (Marketing triumph #1 ubiquitous distribution and signage)
From there it was on to huckleberry ice cream almost every night. After all I needed to see whose was best. The guy at the ice cream store near West Glacier told me despite having 20+ flavors, almost 50% of his sales are huckleberry. If that’s not marketing power I don’t know what is!
I have had huckleberries in my salad, in the marinade for my BBQ ribs, in my margarita. I know this is basically a rebranded blueberry but I can’t seem to stop myself.
And of course I need to share this new found obsession with my friends back home! Huckleberry honey, preserves or taffy anyone?
So here’s to you Montana marketing genius, whoever you are. I toast you with my delicious glass of huckleberry lemonade!