How Do You Happy? – A Product Label Reflection of Heinz’s Ketchup. – Marketing Simplicity at Its Best.


Sauce's smile on dishThis week, while traveling, I had breakfast at a lovely airport brewery. While prepping my egg white veggie omelet, I noticed the Ketchup bottle. Heinz’s Ketchup, an American brand that is known by most. What caught my eye was the product labeling. Right under the Heinz’s name was the most delightful question, “How do you happy?”. I paused for a moment, smiled, and thought about the creativity and simplicity of the label.

The remainder of this post will discuss the psychographic impact of the message in the label, and perhaps, will give you food or should I say, condiment, for thought about strategies that you can use to engage your customers and create a good feeling.

  1. How do you happy? The message is simple. It is asking customers or whoever is reviewing the label how they do happy. Picking up a ketchup bottle isn't normally a noticeable activity. However, this label caught my attention, and with my attention caught my emotions and memories of “how I do happy”. It made me smile It made me appreciate picking up the bottle, reviewing the statement, thinking about it when putting a dollop of ketchup on my plate, and then changed my entire state of mind throughout my meal.
  2. shutterstock_191123618Psychographic aspects of the message. The simple positioning of the message “How do you happy” not only caught my attention, but it caught my emotions. It made me think about specific ways of how I “do” happy. While eating my breakfast and drinking my coffee, I glanced around the airport brewery and just smiled. I smiled, and thought, “one of the ways I do happy is by simply being in the moment,” and in the moment I was observing people, taking in all of the sounds, and experiencing a sheer magnitude of gratitude toward life. Yes, a simple engaging question on an American legacy Ketchup company bottle got me. Man, I was feeling like I was watching a Dove commercial about Like a Girl or Self-Description of How Women See Oneself versus Other Women.
  3. The genius behind simplicity. This was a simple question. A question that makes the user stop and think. A question that may connect the user to well… I do happy by eating or going to a BBQ or packing a sandwich for my kids. Whatever. It engages the audience in a way that is positive. It doesn’t ask “How do you angry?”. Instead the message shifts the emotional state of the user and ultimately the state of the experience using the product. Now, this isn't to say that users are going to have a clouds parting, the world is awesome moment, but it does change their emotional state of mind and does make the user stop and think about something, and not just go through the motions of dispensing ketchup.
  4. Location of the message. I may have seen the message first thing in the morning grabbing breakfast at an airport brewery, someone else may see it in a grocery store or a c-store grabbing a last minute condiment for a camping trip. Who knows where, but the location and timing of that message will create a moment for the user. Think of it this way, if you’re at a grocery store and you have plenty of options to choose from and you glance to the side and notice Heinz’s Ketchup and the message. You smile. You may not care about the price, but be caught up in the moment of the message. You may want to share that message with people that you care about or have it in your fridge so when a loved one grabs it, they may experience the feeling.
  5. Why this is so cool. It creates a feeling or multiple feelings. As such, a more positive feeling can yield to a greater customer experience. Whether that experience is simply the perception of the experience, like mine being greater than that of using another ketchup. Seriously, I am so shocked to even be writing about Ketchup, and the message the question on the label had on me from a marketing and personal standpoint. It made something mundane, pretty rad. In an essence, for me it created a ripple effect of positive feelings, and maybe, just maybe the marketer that designed that label had the idea of putting some good vibes out there for customers – after all the world needs it.

So what can this do for you? Well it depends on how you interpret this situation. You may see this post as a crazy person reading too far into a label on a ketchup bottle and may not see any value in it. On the other hand, you may see the beauty, creativity, and emotional connection that marketers drive to achieve in products. This may cause you to think about what you can do or ask your customers that could engage and change their emotional state of mind at the time of purchase, use, or simply being around it. This is pretty dynamic, and a thought-provoking opportunity that can challenge you to think about what simple message could be tied to your brand that could create a desired emotional state that increases the positivity associated with the interactions of your brand. Really, how do you do happy?

Thanks for reviewing, and if you have any questions or would like to brainstorm strategies on aligning creativity and simplicity within your brand message, certainly feel free to reach out.

Have a day full of how you do happy.

Copyright Viral Solutions llc © 2015. All Rights Reserved

by Katie Doseck, Ph.D.

Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC

Dr Katie Doseck, MBA, PhD Viral Solutions

Katie Doseck, PhD MBA | Chief Visionary & Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve. I catapulted my experience with extensive education, trainings, and personal coaching; earning a PhD in Organizational Management with a specialization in Human Resource Management, MBA in Organizational Leadership, and BA in Law & Liberal Arts. Subject Matter Expert (SME) areas: Human Resource Management, Employment Law, Organizational Change, Change Management, Resource Planning, Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Selling & Sales Management, Training & Development, Decision Making Models, Project Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Motivation. Dr. Doseck is based out of Logan, Utah.


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