Is Your Business as Successful as Chia Pet?

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Sometimes we like to imagine what it was like in the initial marketing meeting for the Chia Pet. 

hedgehog chia pet

Marketing Manager: “We’re launching a new product. It’s a terracotta animal that you cover with seeds that then sprout to look like the animal’s fur. Let’s start by coming up with a customer avatar.” 

Marketer #1 slowly raises her hand: “Ummm… maybe avid gardeners who need a pet project… get it?… in the winter when it’s too cold to grow vegetables?” 

Marketer #2 chimes in: “That could work. Or maybe crafty mommy bloggers who are looking for a new creative medium for their art?” 

The marketing manager writes both ideas down. “Both great ideas. I think both of those audiences could really hit the mark with this product.” 

Then Marketer #3 raises his hand. “Actually, I think the ideal customer avatar is literally every single person in the world. I mean, let’s look at our customer avatar worksheet

  • Goals and values? Someone who loves all things beautiful, who wants to see things blossom before their eyes. All chias are beautiful…obviously.
  • Sources of information? Someone who is searching everywhere for a little bright spot in every day, scouring the internet, watching TV, gazing out their window… 
  • Demographic information? Old and young! Male or female! Who wouldn’t love a plant that sprouts out of seemingly barren clay? 
  • Challenges and pain points? In a world where many things dry up and shrivel, something that is bright and magical can solve so many problems. 
  • Objections? Does this unicorn-of-a-plant actually sprout? It does! How could anyone object to that? 

The room goes silent. 

The marketing manager’s eyes light up. 

Everyone starts a slow clap, then they whisk Marketer #3 into the air, cheering loudly as he crowd surfs around the office as people throw glitter and confetti. 

Okay, so that didn’t happen. In fact, rumor has it that the Chia Pet marketing plan was hatched in a bar after a savvy marketer saw the terracotta animals at a trade show. Like Marketer #3, he saw a quirky, eclectic product and instead of pigeon-holing it into a just-to-be-sold-at-tacky-souvenir-stores box, he saw possibilities. Possibilities that resulted in a three-decade run of selling more than 500,000 units per year.  

The lesson here? 

Chia Pets are amazing.  

The end.

Okay, fine. Beyond that, a brilliant marketing plan can launch any product—yes, any product—into a multi-million-dollar enterprise. There are hundreds of examples of this. Think Squatty Potty and Poo-Pourri and HelloFlo Period Packs. In each case, a product with a seemingly limited audience and tough market has blown up into a huge, viral money-maker. 

And if Squatty Potty can sell $33 million in toilet stools a year, imagine what you can do with your product. 

All you have to do is be like Marketer #3 and step outside of “the way we’ve always done it” marketing and come up with a plan that not only addresses your ideal customer, but also how you will reach that customer and how to show them the value in what you are trying to sell them. 

How do you do that? 

Well, you don’t have to go to a bar with your team. (Although you can.)  And you don’t have to embarrass yourself making videos with pooping unicorns or uterus piñatas. (But again, if you want to, you totally can.)   

Instead, you need vision. 

Rainbow unicorn poop vision.   

rainbow ice cream

While we can assure you that the meeting in the bar with the Chia Pet geniuses was one amazing meeting, we can also assure you that it wasn’t a one-off. Ideas started there, but they continued in the weeks to come in the office, in board rooms, and in marketing meetings where smart marketers like Marketer #3 made those ideas come to life… and turned Chia Pets into a must-have, must-by product for pretty much everyone in the entire world. 

At DigitalMarketer, we love marketing. (Surprise, surprise, right?) We wake up in the morning thinking about marketing, fall asleep dreaming about marketing, and talk about marketing over our Caesar salads at lunch.

That’s why we decided to use this love of marketing to create a EPIC Challenge to help businesses overcome any stalls in growth and start to profit during COVID-19. If your ideas rival those of Chia Pet and Squatty Potty and HelloFlo, you can only imagine the level of excitement around our offices. 

Actually, we take that back. You can imagine the level of excitement. It was probably equivalent to yours on the day you found out that there’s a Groot Chia Pet. 

And so, with that, we remind you that we believe in you. 

Think rainbow unicorns. 

Think cherry slush nail polish and festive 1950s style parties. 

Think outside of the expected customer avatars and metrics and be willing to map out a new plan—a plan that will be anything but horse crap. 

Think about a big vision and be willing to execute. 

Just don’t think about Chia Poo.  Someone already thought of that. We’re not sure it was Chia’s best marketing idea. 

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