Chances are fairly high that you may have heard of the Paleo Diet. It is a new craze among the health-conscious. I, myself, am not so health-conscious and have heard of it – so I assume that a lot of other people have as well.
When something takes off like this I get intrigued – strictly from a marketing standpoint. How did it happen? What makes this concept stand out from all the rest?
I decided to look into it a bit more and break it down. And I’ve concluded that a concept is very easy to sell, even if there are logical fallacies, if it has a few ingredients.
Note: I must warn you, if you are a follower of the Paleo Diet you may not like some of what I have to say. I’m not a huge fan of “diets.” But the marketing takeaways are pretty great .
Here they are:
1. An Existing Audience (with a problem)
I probably don’t have to explain how huge the health, weight loss and dieting market is. It’s enormous – especially in the U.S. which happens to be fairly overweight as a nation.
The good news for marketers in this industry is that we are a society of consumers – always willing to buy (especially if we have a problem we need to solve).
The Paleo Diet addresses people with an issue, and promises our 2nd ingredient…
2. A Solution
Here is where the Paleo Diet has seen a lot of success in my opinion.
The Paleo Diet doesn’t just offer a solution to one problem. It appeals to a pretty large scope of people…
Have a weight problem? Follow the Paleo Diet and loose those extra pounds!
Not overweight but just want to be healthy? The Paleo Diet is designed to work with your genetics so that you can live a long and health life!
3. Perceived Uniqueness
Let’s be perfectly honest. Paleo Diet followers might get pretty angry with me for saying this (as I’ve seen arguments about this online), but the Paleo Diet is essentially a low-carb diet.
There may be slight variations to what people might traditionally think of as a “low-carb” diet, but not enough to warrant a whole new name.
I know this because I have access to registered dietitians who have told me so. They have reinforced my idea that the whole thing is essentially a marketing ploy.
So, it turns out that to make something unique all you have to do is give it a new and catchy name. (Tweet This)
4. A Theory
Here is the bonus ingredient that can totally change the face of your marketing. You need a theory. And if you can get “experts” in your field to support that theory, you are golden.
In this case, experts can be scientists, dietitians or really anyone in the medical profession. You have a single person’s support, and you can quote them ’til your face turns blue.
In fact, in order to sell you don’t even need a theory that is fully accurate, it just needs to sound accurate (Tweet This).
Let’s take a look at a prime example with the Paleo Diet. The theory is that we should stick to the same diet that our cavemen ancestors had because genetically we are basically the same.
Robb Wolf provides a simple table of what is, and isn’t, allowed in your mouth if you partake in the Paleo Diet. According to his list, vegetables are OK to eat.
But should they be?
According to scientists, the vegetables we have today are nothing like the ones that are cavemen ancestors had to choose from. So should it really be OK to eat them?
And why should we assume that this will make us healthier anyway? People are living longer than ever and most do not follow the Paleo Diet.
And if we are still practically the same as our cavemen ancestors, why aren’t we still living in caves and fighting mountain lions? Perhaps we should stop using modern medicine too. Cavemen didn’t have it. Maybe we’ll all live longer .
The conclusion here is that people don’t look for theories to validate something as being accurate or effective. They look for theories that play to their emotional needs.
People need something novel; something new. They want the latest and greatest. They want a solution to the problem.
And psychologically, it’s easy to believe that the problem still exists because the solution hadn’t. But now it does. So people buy.
Now time to go eat some bacon and drink some beer .