Serve Polenta Ditch the Mush

polentaThere’s something to be said about what’s in a name when you’re marketing products.

There’s a lot to it especially if you’re discussing boiled cornmeal.

When I was little boy growing up in a loving family, but during financially struggling times, my mother (who is an awesome cook) would make fried Mush (served with Maple syrup). Mush came in a form, much like what you see in this first picture.  It was cheap, easy to prepare and filled you up.

The name to me wasn’t very appetizing, it didn’t taste all that great and even to this day it reminds me of tough financial times.  Net – I hated it then and I hate it now. And, believe me, with this crazy economy, I don’t need a bland food to remind me of tough times.

Well, about 25 years ago when I met my lovely Italian wife, her mother (who is also an amazing cook) served me what she called Polenta! My wife today nearly genuflects at the name! I tried it, thought it tasted familiar and hated it!

polenta_salsiccia_manzoUgh! Mush! What kind of woman is this?  What am I getting myself into? Who are these people?

Mush disguised with a rogue name such as Polenta to make it sound more appetizing and delicious. What treachery!

Not for me thank you. It was the same ugly guy – MUSH – in a different suit!

It’s amazing what we marketers can do.

Mush was basically a peasant food – which I was in the 60’s – but now it’s a premium entree in restaurants – utterly amazing how times have changed!

What I also find amazing is how many brands – small, medium and large alike – don’t pay enough attention to naming products, services and offerings.

Pay more attention to what you name things – products, services, offerings, job positions, your kids etc.,

Trust me. Serve Polenta…ditch the Mush. You’ll sell more!

P.S.: Yes, my mother-in-law and I are on speaking terms. Just kidding, she’s a terrific, wonderful woman 99% of the time.  The other 1%? That’s when she forgets my past history and mistakenly offers me Polenta! Yuck!

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