One clear morning in May, my long time business partner and I decided to meet at Panera’s and once again try to figure out who our target audience for Campuppet was and how to market to them.
I struggled through the doors, juggling two foam trays filled with our puppets. There was more than a few confused and amused looks from the morning commuters rushing to work. Each tray was over flowing with twenty or more colorful upright puppet characters. I had brought them all to help inspire our morning business discussion.
With puppets beside us, my partner and I sat down and proceeded to argue at length on demographic profiles, consumer statics, and marketing strategies. The morning coffee and danish crowd gave way to the lunchtime mother and children groups.
After awhile, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tray of puppets slowly sliding off the table. I turned to see a five year old boy quietly sneaking away, as his mortified mother franticly signaling for him to stop. He knew what he wanted, so he just kept going!
Laughing, I turned to my partner and said "TA DA" gesturing towards the little bandit stealing half of our puppets.
Amused, my partner laughed and said "You are saying our target audience are little thiefs like this, who just take what they want?"
I answered, "Exactly!"
Meanwhile the mother was desperately trying to get the tray away from her 5 year old son. I told her not to worry about it, and to have her son find one to take home. She looked relieved and told her son to pick one. His eyes lit up as he started to study the tray to see which puppet he wanted to keep. Ten minutes later… he was still deciding. So, I told him that he could have two puppets, (after all, it was a really tough decision). Another five minutes later... he finally picked the pirate with the pig and Frankenstein! He was a very happy young man.
So the moral of this story is: "Marketing ideas can come to you like a thief in the night."
Ever since the Panera Puppet Thief incident, we've been tempted to change our company motto - "Everyone Has Something To Say - Express Yourself"
"Everyone Has Something To Say - Express Yourself,
Even If You Have To Steal Something To Do It."