Kevin Bell

Marketing Lessons From Donuts

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I’ll preface this by saying that this is both a marketing lesson AND a psychology lesson.

Every Sunday my daughters and I go to a donut shop down the street. This is our Sunday treat. We don’t do donuts any other day, so when Sunday rolls around, it’s super special.

Here’s how we do it;

I pick a few of my favorites and then I let them decide together which one they want.

When we get back home, they’ll also get bites of the ones I picked, but then they have a special one THEY picked all to themselves. It’s a win for everyone.

But here’s the catch. They don’t ever eat the one they pick. They just eat the ones I pick. So then why do they pick it??

Because it’s the brightest, pinkest, sprinkl-est donut in the shop. They pick the pink glazed with sprinkles EVERY TIME.

We get to the shop and start telling the owner what we want; “tiger tail, Apple fritter, maple bar, blueberry glazed… ok girls, what do you think? Which one do you want?”

“pink with sprinkles!” They say together. Every. Dang. Time.

I even try to point out that they always eat the other ones, so maybe get another one of those…

Nope, nice try dad.

And like clock work, we get home to dig in and we’re left with almost an entire pink with sprinkles by the time the crumbs settle.

Should I be surprised? I guess not, but the power of the VISUAL appeal of that donut amazes me.

I understand they’re little girls and right now pink is really big for them, but let’s be honest, this same concept applies to us all. We might be grown up and pick the logical BETTER TASTING donuts, but there are still other things in life where we fall victim to this same visual appeal phenomenon.

To name a few:

And those are just low hanging fruit examples. We say to not judge a book by its cover… but we definitely do. Even literal books and book covers.

The point that I’m trying to make here is that the same thing that happens to my daughters and picking the brightest, pinkest donut EVEN THOUGH they prefer the taste of the other donuts, is NOT isolated to just kids or donuts. It happens to us all.

And the more aware of it we are, the more we can check ourselves before we make a visual appeal purchase. Furthermore, in the creative and entrepreneurial space, we can use that knowledge as we write copy, design ads and build content.

In any given scenario, just think to yourself, “what’s the pink sprinkle donut here”.

#donuts #entrepreneur