A Ketchup Conundrum

May  31,  2012 / By Taylor Blog

I love it when legitimate consumer research leads not only to marketing approaches, but to product innovations or inventions. A recent Fast Company article highlighted one of those inventions.

We all know the frustration of trying to get the last blob of ketchup out of the bottle… after all, that’s why there are “techniques” for doing so, like smacking the “57” emblem on the neck of the bottle. So MIT researchers invented a solution to this age-old irritation. Their “super slippery” material coats packaging of all types and makes the substance inside the package glide right out. Like this:

Logically, what a great solution! How much time, effort, and ketchup could we save if we could so easily get the ketchup out of the bottle?

But, let’s be honest: something about this really grosses me out.

So at what point does emotion defy logic for the consumer, and how does that impact whether consumers will purchase? That’s where marketing comes into play. But again, we first need to understand consumers’ underlying beliefs (yes, via research), and then define an approach for overcoming any hesitations.

I can’t wait to see this product innovation come to market… but I hope by the time it reaches shelves, the marketing campaigns attached to it have convinced me it’s not so creepy.

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