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Newsletter #901: The “Lessons from Food Trucks” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

The food truck trend is official. Websites are devoted to them, Zagat is rating them, and cities everywhere are changing legislation to allow them on their streets.

And, like any great trend, there are marketing lessons to be borrowed from it. Here are a few to get you started:

1. You can sell anything
2. Any brand can embrace a trend
3. Opportunities are everywhere
4. Check it out:

1. You can sell anything

Entrepreneurs know there is a market for just about anything. The trick is finding the market and getting your product to it. The folks at Health Street specialize in DNA testing. It’s the sort of business people associate with slow results. You mail in your stuff, you wait. But with their mobile food-truck-inspired medical clinic, they’re able to give on-the-spot test results. Emblazoned with the question, “Who’s Your Daddy?”, the truck can be found roaming New York and offering tests that start at $299. It’s completely different than any other mobile truck you’ll find, and it’s a reminder that sometimes you already have the right business — you just have the wrong place.

The lesson: Going to your customers will always yield better results than waiting for them to come to you.

Learn more: GOOD

2. Any brand can embrace a trend

If there’s a hot trend — especially one that seems to be changing business like mobile food trucks are — explore joining it. It won’t always make sense to do so, but just because the trend is unrelated to your industry doesn’t automatically mean you should ignore it. Did you know Dos Equis has a fleet of food trucks? It’s part of their “Most Interesting Academy” platform (a nod to their popular “Most Interesting Man” ad campaign). The seven food trucks feature local chefs serving unique dishes like kangaroo, alligator, and jellyfish. The campaign gives Dos Equis a chance to meet fans face-to-face and extend their advertising to real-world experiences.

The lesson: Not every trend is worth jumping on. But then again, the first brands willing to experiment tend to start the most conversations.

Learn more: FIVE-STIR

3. Opportunities are everywhere

Opportunities are everywhere. Even on the side of mountains. That’s where The Roving Mammoths, two food trucks built onto snowcats, find their customers. Serving burritos and calzones, these “trucks” help skiers stay fed and stay on the slopes. People who would have otherwise went hungry just to keep skiing now have an easy pit stop available (and a new reason to pull out their wallets), and people picking between resorts have another reason to choose Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

The lesson: Where there are people, there are potential customers. What do they need? How can you get it to them?

Learn more: Eater

4. Check it out:

This simple site makes it quick and easy to find and copy special characters that can be hard to find (or missing altogether) on your computer.

Check it out:

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