I spend much of this blog – some would say too much – lamenting the hot new ‘IPO Unicorns.’
These are newly-public companies floating on the stock market for $billions…even though many are haemorrhaging cash faster than some governments.
Call me cynical, but I often wonder if it’s an exit strategy for these companies’ founders and early investors. ‘Slap some lipstick on this pig and take it to market. Let Main Street’s suckers take the hit.’
But there is one such ‘Unicorn’ I’ve been following with great interest.
‘Beyond Meat’ roared upwards some 500% after going public. As I write this now (20/06.19) it’s around $170/share. But my heart was warmed to see them following one of marketing’s age-old mantras:
“Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle.”
What is ‘the sizzle’?
“It’s the tang in the cheese, the whiff in the coffee,” said Elmer ‘the sizzle’ Wheeler who coined the term. “It’s the sizzle in the steak.”
For Beyond Meat, it’s the methane in the cow farts.
This has been a big concern for environmentalists. It’s said to be a significant contributor to global warming.
First, you find the sizzle.
Then you telegraph it to your audience.
You’re not trying to come up with fancy words. You’re transmitting an emotion from your page into your reader’s psyche. Beyond Meat do it like so:
‘Meet the New Meatier Beyond Meat Burger, with marbling that melts and tenderizes like beef. People everywhere are eating healthier and protecting the planet.’
This is fabulous copy.
You don’t see that often amongst big companies, you really don’t. And Beyond Meat haven’t stopped there…
…They also demonstrate, but demonstrate to sell.
It’s another key lesson from that Wheeler lesson above.
Let’s face it: the historic problem with veggie burgers is they suck. At BBQs, you always feel a pang of pity for the poor vegetarian eating his soy blob. It’s horribly depressing.
So Beyond Meat pitch their burgers head-to-head against real beef. Actually, I think theirs even looks slightly more appetising.
This comparison is so important.
Environmentalists and animal activists are already long sold. Beyond Meat know they have to get more interest from carnivores if they’re to make it into the black.
Well, I’m one carnivore who’s certainly sold.
And I didn’t mean to be facetious about the farting cows. The planet does need help. I’ll give these burgers a try.
As for the company’s shares?
Not on your life. With exception to marijuana I have never bought shares in a company that’s unprofitable.
But I certainly hope they succeed.
They deserve to.