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A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich

I consider myself to be a pretty savvy marketer (I mean, I guess I should be, anyway). I've walked right into a fantastic little marketing trick at Subway several times now - and tonight, one of their employees was "considerate" enough to point it out.

I'm pretty much a sucker for "what's new" marketing. New shaving cream, new sandwiches, new car models, new varieties of products I use. I'm almost certainly guaranteed to buy a new type of toothpaste - especially if the package looks inviting.

So it was no wonder that I went to Subway to order the Barbecue Steak Sandwich the day after I saw it on TV for the first time. I's this brand new sandwich staring me in the face. And there's a Subway in my neighborhood.

I found it curious, when I ordered it, that the dude just made a steak and cheese sandwich - then asked me what kind of sauce I wanted on it. Uhhhh...Barbecue? I just pointed to the picture. But it didn't click in my mind yet.

Tonight, my lovely wife and I stopped by to split a sub, and we see a sign: "NEW! COMING SOON! Subway's Chicken Parmesan Sandwich." Wow! I pointed it out to my wife - and her eyes lit up. "We're gonna have to come back for that," she said.

The girl behind the counter explained it would be available at the end of the month.

Cool. Now I'm marking it on my mental calendar...Something new PLUS anticipation.

I know this seems ridiculous - but dinner is such a monotonous task for us, that I relish new inventions at the few places we buy our food from.

Then the girl blows it. I mean she ruined the entire thing for me. She says, "You know, I guess I could make one of those for you right's just a chicken sub with sauce on it."

What? That's not what I wanted to hear - or believe.

"Yeah...that's what Subway does - each month they think up a new sub - using the stuff we already have - then charge extra for it. But you could already order that sub if you were creative enough to come up with it on your own...and you would save a buck." (That explains my steak and cheese with bbq sauce.

My goodness...

Now, clearly, she wasn't doing Subway any favors. But that's their problem.

But she removed something from the experience for me. And that's my problem.

But the point that must be illustrated here is the amazing power of "what's new" marketing. It causes even stubborn people (like me) to pay attention - and even buy - just for the sake of checking out "what's new." If you ask my friends, they'll tell you: I'm a very cautious and careful consumer. But the extra .50 or $1 never even occurred to me.

Price was a non-issue, And good for Subway for being able to sink an extra 50 cents because they took the time to combine steak with bbq or chicken with marinara. I mean...I could have thought of that...but I'm busy. The injected flavor, change, and interest into my monotonous chore (hunting for dinner each night) and for that I was more than willing to pay a little extra - in fact, I wasn't even conscious of the price difference.

Man. That's powerful.

What can you do in your business to help your past or potential customers find greater interest in what you offer? How can you add some extra zing or zap to what you do? And if it's decent enough, you could even charge more for it.

Now there's something worth considering.