Hot and Fun Authenticity: Lessons from Hot Sauce Marketing 

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“Everything we do kinda sounds the same. What’s something we can do that comes off different?” 

Business owners and marketers ask those kinds of questions often. It can happen no matter how successful a company is. After all, even an established brand with a clear voice and tone is always looking for ways to reinvent, to do something new. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, you may find it in an unexpected place: hot sauce marketing. 

There’s an important lesson in this about authenticity and how to forge a greater connection to your customer base. That’s true whether you’re doing personal injury lawyer SEO or anything else. 

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The Power of an Exaggeration that Connects 

 

This lovely article from “Food & Wine” about hot sauces was genuinely educational. 

The entire article is worth your time. The thrust more or less is that while some of the hottest hot sauces can have very aggressive, masculine-coded marketing, the people behind the company are “sweet.”

To quote from the article: “Looking at so many mega-hot sauces together was revealing. Their branding doesn’t trouble itself with questions of what’s tastiest. Products are described less in terms of flavor profiles than heat profiles – where the sauce’s heat hits on your tongue, how long you can expect your eyes to well and your pores to sweat. These sauces taunt and jeer, daring an intrepid adventurer to try and eat them… Overall, a person could be forgiven for assuming that (hot sauce names)are not the names of humble condiments, but rather rare poisons designed to inflict agony on one’s enemies.” 

Later, the article goes on to say that “pain and masochism inform hot sauce’s branding.” As the founder of “Heatonist,” a “hub for all things hot sauce,” says: “I think it comes in part from a sense of playfulness that’s inherent to hot sauce.” 

The takeaway from this, for me, is not that you have to market how dangerous your product/service is, nor how it can potentially harm your customers. 

But, there is a shared sense of community and humor here. 

When someone sees a hot sauce bottle with a picture of explosions, fire, weaponry on it and the like, it’s a joke. It’s an exaggeration, but, crucially, the kind of exaggeration that is going to connect to a certain kind of customer. 

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Using This in Your Marketing 

 

Utilizing exaggerated marketing to better connect to an audience isn’t exclusively for hot sauce. 

There’s surely something you can do that taps into a shared sense of humor about your particular industry/service/products. 

It doesn’t have to be “edgy” in the slightest bit. Additionally, it certainly does not have to, in any way, make your products, services, or anything else about your company or industry the “butt” of the joke. Rather, it may benefit from being a bit exaggerated. 

An example might be: if you’re a maritime company that sells boats, personal flotation devices, or anything related to the water, a picture or post about how “when you get ready to go out on the water for a party and it rains.” 

That’s an “in joke,” specific to your industry. You can then use that to promote your products, explain what to do when it rains in the middle of your party, and so much more. 

That’s not to say that you do this for every post, but rather, for some of them. It can be a great thing to do when you’re out of ideas. You don’t have to look far for ideas, either. Just ask: “what do our customers joke about with our industry?” That can show the human side of a company while better connecting to your customers. 

You don’t have to use humor in everything. For example, it might not be the best plan in all personal injury lawyer SEO. But, using it judiciously and in the right way can help you to better connect to your audience. 

For help with this and so much more, you can reach us at (888) 477-9540. 

 

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