January 21, 2022 by Terry O'Reilly

Drink This Blog


Terry O'Reilly

Host of CBC Radio's Under the Influence., Co-Founder, The Apostrophe Podcast Company, Speaker. Author


In 1908, breakfasts were evolving.

The electric toaster was introduced that year, and families were now enjoying eggs, toast, and bacon. That was a big change from porridge, which had been the go-to breakfast for decades.

Meanwhile, the California Fruit Growers Exchange was a collective of citrus growers whose main crop was oranges. But the growers were facing a serious problem. Consumption kept dropping, they were selling at a loss, and many were beginning to chop down orange trees to halt the glut.

They didn’t know how to monetize their orange crops. Back then, families weren’t cooking or baking with oranges, the way they did with apples and lemons. If you were to ask your grandparents what they remembered about oranges back then, they would tell you they usually got one in their Christmas stockings.

But you couldn’t build a profitable business around a once-a-year purchase.

So the California Fruit Growers Exchange asked a smart marketing team for help. They did their research and talked to people. They asked questions about orange consumption and listened to the answers.

The Best Marketers Are The Best Listeners

The marketing team came back with two recommendations.

First, they told the growers to change their name to something more memorable. They suggested Sunkist. The unusual spelling meant the name could be trademarked and the fruit could be branded.

Second—and most important—they came back with a powerful marketing idea. It was summed up in just three words:

“Drink an orange.”

It was brilliant solution. Simply show people they could squeeze oranges and drink the juice. Orange juice tasted refreshingly good, and doctors endorsed the health benefits. And it would take three or four oranges to fill a glass.

Sunkist suggested their customers pair orange juice with a plate of eggs, toast, and bacon. Soon, orange juice became a breakfast ritual.

Orange consumption jumped 400%.

Marketing Is Not Always Advertising

That remarkable insight of selling orange juice—not oranges—allowed citrus growers to monetize their vast investment in orange groves. And they did it by leveraging a new use of their existing product.

Which proves marketing is not always about ads and commercials.

Smart marketing is about looking for insights. It’s about turning those insights into strategies to monetize the technology already at your fingertips.

The way to grow your business is to find new ways to engage your customers. The systems that already exist offer a gateway to this business growth. They help you define market segments. They help identify value-added managed services like network security. They help you analyze the valuable stream of data your technology delivers in order to understand how customers are using your products. Or could use your services. Above all, these insights help you pinpoint and package these profitable offerings.

Some service providers have doubled their ARPU just by implementing this monetization strategy.

So the question is this: Are you fully utilizing the benefits and opportunities of the network you’ve already invested in?

Marketing is not always about ads and commercials.

It’s about leveraging insights to drive growth.

Squeeze the juice out of your investment.

It’s there for the picking.

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