This weeks Idea: A turkey is a turkey is a turkey – no more!

with Neil Godin

I’ve been (unintentionally) saving this for you. I say unintentionally because I had tucked it away and just remembered that I want to tell you about it.  “It” being one of the cleverest (is that a word?) examples of creative packaging that I’ve ever encountered. Here. Have a look…

JD Farms’ insulated and branded turkey bag.

JD Farms’ insulated and branded turkey bag.

This is the bag that this year’s Christmas dinner turkey arrived in – from my favorite source, JD Turkey Farms, right here in MyTown (Langley), BC. Here’s why I think it’s so clever:

1.  It de-commoditizes (that is a word) a commodity. A turkey is a turkey is a turkey – no more!

2.  It makes us customers feel a bit special. (Even though their organically-fed, free run turkey is competitively priced, placing it in a silver-insulated black bag, emblazoned with the company logo, turns it into a bit of a luxury item).

3.  It creates buzz. When I brought the turkey to son Vince for his gourmet treatment, the turkey was quickly prepped and placed in a waiting oven – but – the bag was displayed and talked about for hours.

Do the bags help them sell more turkeys?

This kind of hands on marketing is effective. But how effective? To find out I called JD Farms GM, Jason Froese. His reply: “Hard to put a solid number on it – but there’s no doubt that the bags make a difference.”  How does he know? “Because we get such great feedback,” he replied. “Customers treat the bags as a gift, and they hold on to them – they use them as picnic baskets, and coolers for all kinds of things.”

And of course, the more the bags are used, the more they’re seen and remembered – not just by present customers, but by future customers who see the bags in use. So smart. And so affordable. Because the bags save the time and cost of “boxing and icing” turkeys the old way.

Your call to action:

Okay. Over to you (and to me, too). What can we do with our packaging/branding to enhance our image; create buzz; and make our customers feel extra special?  I think I’ll create a super-thin, re-useable wooden bookmark (like one I saw recently at a book store), and enclose one with every copy of my book that I sell. Whaddya think? And. Whaddabout you?

See you next week.


Ps – I’m advised that funding is still available to BC business owners through the government’s Micro business support program (part of its job creation program). If you are interested in having me provide you with coaching in marketing and sales, contact me for details. 100% grants of $1500 each are available to qualifying business owners (in other words there is no cost to you at all). But qualification is limited to people who have “not completed formal (diploma, certificate or university credits) post-secondary education. (I know this sounds strange, but it is the criteria for some reason). And your business must be very small, with fewer than five employees.  All kinds of training is available BTW, so call me even if you’re interested in obtaining training from someone else. You can reach me at 604.888.4570 or 1.800.563.IDEA(4332) or email me at

Pps – If you’re anywhere near the Fraser Valley, don’t miss our next Social Media Challenge gathering – this coming Monday night at Trinity Western University here in Langley. Our event organizer, Jonathan Christian, will be our guest speaker, and will deliver numerous ideas from his current “90-Day Social Media Challenge” blogging marathon. For details and to RSVP (at no charge, as always!) please visit: . And to follow Jonathan’s 90-day social media blogathon, please visit:

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