To share is to Banoush.
I love the scene in a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza is grazing at a buffet table under the beady and as yet unnoticed eye of another party guest. Upon popping a chip loaded with dip into his mouth the guest squares up to tell him that he has just “double-dipped” – a term George was unfamiliar with. The guest explained, in an exacerbated and pious tone, that by dipping his chip, taking a bite and then dipping again, it was like “putting your whole mouth” into the dip. “Just take one bite and end it” was the guest’s final parting shot. George, nonplussed by this breach in etiquette, continued his double-dipping faux pas, a melee started, and the scene moved on. Very funny indeed!
I played that clip to a client in Zurich who was looking to launch a range of Middle Eastern food products into the Swiss market. It captured a major concern that the client had raised, namely that the Swiss are not used to the idea of sitting down to a meal with a table covered in multiple dishes that are intended to be shared. Leaning over each other, tearing off a chunk of pitta to scoop up a dollop of hummus or baba ganoush is commonplace on the tables of the Middle East but a world away from the more formal place setting of “you eat what you order”. If we were going to launch this new style food range, we had to help the Swiss know how to eat it!
We came to the idea that the essence of the brand – called Banoush – was all about sharing.
Both a small and profoundly big idea because sharing is fundamental to life. We share culture, faith, tastes, languages, responsibility, time, pain, joy, skills, loves, life, and most importantly for the client, we share food. You could say that without it, we wouldn’t have society – and perish the thought of a society without hummus!
Armed with that insight – Banoush is about sharing – we were able to explore how we could take the idea of sharing and build it into the narrative of the brand story, to educate diners about the joy of sharing this new cuisine with one another. We simply treated the brand name as a verb to arrive at “to share is to Banoush”. It appeared on the packaging designs and the idea of the brand as a guide was reflected in the pack copy which was light in tone but gave clear instructions how to enjoy the product and what it could be paired with. For example:
There’s a lot of stretching with Banoush. You see, our delicious dips, salads and finger foods are made for sharing, so put them in the center of the table and use pitta bread, crisps or crunchy vegetables to scoop up and enjoy. Make sure though you do it with friends because to share is to Banoush.
The sharing proposition also opened up a world of possibilities for the client, as the brand could share with customers food ranges like tapas from Spain or street food from India that would be true to its role and would expand the client’s horizons from a focus on Middle Eastern food to a focus on bringing “sharing” food from around the world to the tables of Swiss diners.
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I founded the specialist brand strategy practice The Brand Arrow® in 2009 and have delivered over 120 assignments in Europe and North America in a variety of sectors across B2B and B2C.
I regularly speak at conferences, business schools and facilitate workshops. As well as that, I’m an accredited Vistage CEO network speaker and a Course Director for the Chartered Institute of Marketing.