The digital age has eased communication between consumers and their preferred brands. By this I do not mean something as passive and pathetic as ‘liking’ Coca-Cola or Lululemon on Facebook. Companies are to be lauded for embracing the Internet and social media to encourage conversation even if their motives are self-serving and viewed internally as an inexpensive source of promotion. The inadvertent result of course is providing consumers with a simpler, much broader and much more public avenue to criticize and complain. In 21st century marketing and advertising the elusive philosopher’s stone is how to elegantly spin negativity rather than just hitting ‘delete.’
Our fridge, like yours, is the keeper of our condiments. There are six types of mustard and five different hot sauces. The problem lays at the bottom of our jar of Bick’s Gourmet Zesty Onion Relish. There’s enough left to dress only one cheeseburger or bratwurst. There are two of us in the house. It’s rather primitive to compete against one’s partner over food even if it’s just a spoonful.
Out and about on the weekend we visited three grocery stores seeking more. We learned that the product no longer existed. And more die of heartbreak on the eve of Canada’s national holiday and in the prime of barbecue season. Bick’s Gourmet Zesty Onion Relish was not a WTF!? consumer commodity like New Coke (Why?), Kraft Burger Slices (Processed cheese with radius corners!), Campbell’s Soup and Sandwich (Look for it in the frozen food counter!) or Dad’s Root Beer Flavoured Milk (Nuff said.).
So I found three free minutes in my insanely hectic life to flip Bick’s a note, a gentle admonishment, jaunty in tone. I included the human readable bar code numbers from the Bick’s Gourmet Zesty Onion Relish label. I even mentioned our fondness for Bick’s Gourmet Tangy Dill Relish and instructed the company not to mess with that. I did everything right.
I received a prompt and courteous reply from the Consumer Relations Department stating apologetically that essentially nobody else can stand the stuff. I was further advised to visit the Bick’s web site with other questions or concerns even though I had obviously already done so. While there, perhaps I could find an acceptable alternative condiment.