Chasing the Bushpig out of the Kitchen – get your clients chasing your for your business

December 11, 2009 at 9:53 am (Sales and Business)

Paul Harrison
show details Jul 15
Most of us from Africa will have entertaining stories of “run-ins” with the local wildlife. Be it, finding a puff-adder in the school sandpit, a baboon who stole your lunch (or homework) or the tokoloshe (Google it) that terrorized the local cattle.

None of these stories really compare, especially in Marketing terms (as per the reason for this group!) to the little known Legend of “The Boy,the Bushpig and the Kitchen”.

For those of you are not familiar with this Legendary story, YOUR IN LUCK!! I will dispart this story to you and will no doubt make you a better Marketer with it.

Historians of this legend date it back to circa 1988, summer time it was. The location is whispered to be rural area of Empangeni, an area in the province of Kwa-zulu Natal, on the East Coast of South Africa.

Legend has it that a young lad, “luaP nosirraH” was his name, had been out with his uncle on the daily “fence check” of the local game ranch that his uncle managed. This was a regular occurence to ensure that poachers had not damaged the fences or set snares for the wildlife.

As the sun set and it turned to dusk, the weary pair made their way back to the ranch house to prepare the evening fire. As their approached the house, they noted that the kitchen door was slightly ajar – a slight cause for alarm considering the state of mind of luaP and his uncle and that every other member of the family had headed into town!

luaP’s uncle looked at luaP and said to him “luaP, you stay here – I am going to have a closer look!!”

As his uncle approached the kitchen door, he peered in and his eyes met with a sight that filled him with shock and concern!!! A BUSHPIG had somehow got in through the backdoor of the kitchen and was snuffling through the rubbish, no doubt looking for some edible left-over from the past few days!!

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with African Wildlife, or bushpigs in particular, let me put you in the loop : Bushpigs are not the cute and cuddly animals depicted by Timone’s loyal sidekick “Pumba” in the Lion King! Bushpigs can be very aggressive and have been known to chase off wild dogs and even leopards in the wild. Not only are they incredibly aggressive but their tusks and low body positions make their attack comparable to that of being attacked by a large lawn mower pushed by a deranged neighbour!! (more about that in the next story!!) . They are certainly NOT to be toyed with.

After making this discovery, luaP’s uncle crept back to where our young hero was standing. luaP’s heart began to pound as he noted the look of concern on his uncle’s face. “luaP”, said the uncle, “we have a VERY serious situation here. We have a BUSHPIG in the kitchen!!” luaP’s heart began to beat faster as the severity of the situation became clear to the young 11-year-old . “Whhaa – whaatt are we going to do, uncle?” came the stammer from the juvenile in khaki trousers. “We are going to have to get him out of there” came the less than re-assuring response. which was closely followed by “I have a plan” .

The words ” I have a plan” did slightly reassure me – oppps – I mean luaP for pretty much no other reason that being a fan of “The A Team”‘s Hannibal – as long as this plan DID “come together”.

“The plan”, was laid out in front of young luaP : “Okay boy, here’s the plan!!” Uncles eyes burned deep into the spirit of luaP. “Its time for you to face fear and become a man!”

“luaP, I need you to be very brave. Very strong now!! You are the only one who can do this special mission and save the day (or at least the next 20 mins of so!) ” Are you up for your mission?!”

Now, saying “are you up for your mission?!” to a young lad who had grown up on a strict TV fueled diet of “Airwolf”, “The A-Team”, “Masters of the Universe” and to a lesser extend, “Lassie” and was approaching “that age” where boys become MEN – enjoying all the hormonal changes that emphasises the FIGHT more than flight in the “Fight or flight” syndrome is a bit like asking the Pope if he is sure that takes communion.

Our young hero nodded voraciously. This was his time to face a wild beast and BECOME A MAN!! Somewhere in the distance, a Lion roared and The Rocky Theme tune, “Eye of the Tiger” could be heard!

“This is the plan, boy!” continued Luaps Uncle. “You sneak around the side of the kitchen and climb into the sitting room window” (which was next to the kitchen) “Once in there, look under the sofa, you will find a short axe handle!” There must have been a look of “WTF have you got an axe handle under the sofa” on his face as luaP’s uncle said “I will explain later!!”

“When you find the axehandle, sneak up to the door that leads into the kitchen. Take a DEEEPPPP breath and then SMASH THE AXEHANDLE AGAINST THE DOOR 3 times before opening the door and come charging out, waving the axehandle like He-man waves his sword!!!! The pig will hate the loud banging and then be so startled when he sees you coming out of the door way, he will run towards the back door – which I will open for him to run out!!!!” “After that I will allow you to have some of that special brandy we make – the good stuff, not the stuff that made those mountain people go blind last year”

To be continued …..
Watch out for Part 2 entitled : “Where reality and theory don’t mix”!!!!
Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this so far 🙂
——————————————————————————————————————–
So we’re back!!
 
Our young hero luaP is preparing to “Become a man” through facing a wild beast, armed only with a axehandle and the promise of some “special Brandy”, the powers of which had been rumoured to enable luaP’s uncle to speak in a foreign tongue. The children were not sure exactly WHAT language it was but it was accompanied by drowsy looking eyes, much finger pointing and a very slow and deliberate pace. A bit of spit from sentence to sentence was not uncommon either.
 
Anyway, so luaP set off in the direction of the sitting room, careful to be very quite and not be noticed by the Bushpig through the slightly opened door. Getting spotted by the scavenging beast, in the open, would have spelt great danger for our intrepid young hero. With nothing to defend himself with, young luaP would have to “run for it” or at least “climb a tree” – neither was an area of strength for the future U15B rugby frontranker star who was build certainly “more for comfort than for speed!!!”
 
Quietly (or as quietly as this “generously build” adolescent could be) , luaP crept past the ajar door and got past the line of vision from the kitchen. Quickly he spotted the open window, leading into the sitting room. Luap checked through the window to ensure that the door leading to the kitchen was indeed closed before scaling into the low window. The dismount from the window to the floor was not something that would be regarded as “graceful” but was certainly effective as gravity was his aid and the couch was his cushion!!! Gathering himself quickly, young luaP looked to the couch that his uncle had described. Getting into a push-up position (very military approach that – and because he had scraped him knee on entry) young luaP peered under the couch. There, he spotted a tirade of strange shaped objects. Mustering his courage once again, our hero braved the relevant darkness under the couch and plunged his hand towards a sturdy looking object. On quick retraction (as you NEVER know what is under there, do you!?) he found that he had indeed retrieved the TV remote that had “Gone missing” a few days back – and was the source of a few harsh inter-family words when blame was being allocated. For a brief moment, luaP felt a sense of heroism of being able to “mend old wounds” over the lost TV remote but then his mind moved back to more pressing issues – THE BUSHPIG IN THE KITCHEN!!! Luap thrust his hand under the couch again towards the next object he could vaguely make out. This “smash and grab” attempt returned with a “life-preserving bounty” – the AXEHANDLE luaP’s uncle had spoken of.

LuaP took a moment to survey the object in his hand. An instrument ( I resisted the use of the word “TOOL” here for some of you with R rated minds!!) that was designed for one reason and one reason only – to chase bushpigs out of kitchens! Well, at that moment, it seemed that way! This mighty “liberator of the kitchen” was a sturdy item indeed. It gleamed with the high quality finish that only South African DIY shops could provide. There was the reassuring SABS (SA bureau of standards) stamp on it – if it was good enough to pass SABS stringent testing conditions then it was good enough for luaP. 
 
LuaP wrapped his fingers around the axehandel – ensuring the solid grip. Slowly he tip-toed toward the kitchen door. A solid oak door built in an old fashioned way that is certainly no longer the method. As he pressed his ear to the door, luaP could hear the snuffling of the bushpig in the kitchen next door. There was not just snuffling but a little what sounded like “growling” too – he must have found some particularly enjoyable morsel.
 
LuaP’s heart started to beat even faster and he moved closer to the door. His breathing became more erratic and his heart felt like it was going to smash through his chest and run away itself. Luap recalled what his uncle had said to him. He took a DEEEPPPPPP breath – once, twice, three times. THIS WAS HIS TIME. His moment to face his fear, reclaim the kitchen for mankind, take the massive leap into BECOMING A MAN – and potentially getting whammed on cheap homebrew…!! Ooohhh!! The incentives!!
 
LuaP fastened his grip on the only thing that stood between his safety and being mauled by a “foul-smelling herbivore lawnmower” equivalent – the AXEHANDLE. Raising it above his head he slammed the handle into the heavy wooden door ONCE – BANG!!! TWICE – THUD!!! THREE TIMES – CRASH!!!! Grabbing the door handle then wrenched it open, throwing open the passage towards his biggest challenge that he has ever face.
 
The following second seemed like a life time, as the door bust open, luaP caught sight of his foe. Snout down and rummaging through the turned over dustbin. The bushpig looked at him. For a nerve wrenching split second, beast and boy locked eyes. The wild-ness of the bushpig, with the battle wounds of surviving past attacks from poachers, leopard and hyena, locking eyes with the boy who had survived school lunches, falling off his BMX and Sunday school. LuaP felt that fear building as he got an understanding of life in the bush – close up and personal….
 
“to be continued”….
 
Keep your eyes open for the next installment – “face your fear and do it anyway”       
 
 That “split second of eternity” of boy and beast locking eyes was bought to a sudden halt as luaP’s uncle threw open the back door to create the preferred escape for the bushpig. At the same instant, luaP’s uncle screamed at luaP “luaP!!!! HIT THE B@STARD!!!!  CHASE THE B@STARD!!!! “Of course!!” Thought luaP, “I have forgotten the “swing this thing like He-man!!!”
 
With that, the rotund juvenile (in khaki’s!!) raised the mighty axe handle above his head and screamed : “AAGGHHHHH!! AGGGHHHHH!!!!! (which was fully intended to sound like “By the power of Gray Skull!!!” but then adrenaline does mess up ones speech from time to time!) and brought the axe handle down on the cranium of an astonished bushpig. Well, I say “on the cranium”, it was more like missed the pig all together and slammed it into the linoleum on the floor. Not deterred, the saviour of the kitchen took another swing for the “swine of the wild” and this time made slight contact, by luck more than design, with the snout of pumba’s distant cousin. This, along with the noise, commotion, and probably that the pig had eaten his fill from the dustbin, turned the retched beast towards the kitchen door and had him high tailing it back out to the wild from whence he came.
 
Needless to say, luaPs uncle then re-emerged from the safety of hiding behind the kitchen door to brandish the young hero in praise for his gallant efforts. The youngster was still shaking with fear and adrenaline but was happy to receive the accolades he felt he so richly deserved.
 
“Well done boy, you certainly showed that pig who was boss…! Real proud of you!!” “Now, don’t mention a WORD of this to your mother. What you just did there was MANS WORK. Your mother and Aunt don’t understand MANS WORK and think its dangerous.” luaP agreed to “keep schtum” about the whole incident and was congratulated with a swig of the good ‘ol “home-brew” and they all lived happily ever after – or so the legend goes
 
NOW: This is the business end of the story. It sets the foundation for a marketing technique that is regarded as “Chasing the pig out the kitchen”
 
*******************************************PLEASE NOTE **** DISCLAIMER*********************************************************
 
 This strategy is to be used with integrity and discretion. It’s a VERY powerful technique that can have clients BEGGING for your products but if used without discretion or integrity then ultimately the user will be found out and lets face it, reputation, in any industry is very important. You’ve been warned.
 
For this strategy, we are going to, in effect, create a vacuum that is going to draw your potential clients in the direction you want them to go. We are going to create a consumer demand that is literally going to have the retailers for your product choosing to stock YOU product over any of your rivals. For this example, we are going to consider that we are wholesalers or producers of a product. We therefore sell to THE RETAILER
 
Let us consider the retailer. What are the retailers “hot buttons”? How does the retailer operate? Whats their structure? What makes them take action? I would like to address those questions now:
 
THE RETAILER: Sells things directly to the end consumer. Generally speaking, the retailer wants to sell as much volume of the product at the highest margin possible. The retailer needs to have the products in store that the consumer is looking to buy. No “aha moments” there.
 
THE RETAILER generally has a shop (we will leave e-business out of this for the time being) with a store manager and then some retail assistance who walk around asking you if they can help you. 
 
The CLIENT (Us) We have a product to sell. Either we are buying it and selling it on or we are producing it and then selling it, which we will use as this example.
 
So we have our product and now what we want to do is sell the product into retail stores. We have our production costs and have worked out our wholesale cost – the price at which we will sell it to the retailer.
 
So, we now contact the retailers and try to set up a meeting to present our product. Depending on our presenting skills, we will get a range of responses from “It doesn’t match our target market / We don’t like it / not in this economic environment (see my other group about the secret to overcoming the recession!!) to “It’s nice but there are so many other products like it / your prices are not competitive and we don’t see the value in it /…. Best case scenario, generally speaking, is “We like it but need TO THINK ABOUT IT, we will get back to you” Now, for a new product producer with little “market cred” with the retailers and limited capital, this is almost like “thanks but no thanks”, just not as direct. The buyers are generally NOT going to go into a room and heartily discuss the pro’s and cons of your product…. Not unless you have really excited them.
 
So, how do we go about getting the retail buyers to “BUY” your product? What do we need to do in order to get ACTION from the buyer….?? Tricky huh? Perhaps we go back to them and offer to cut our prices? Allow them to get a more favourable payment term?? Those strategies will allow them to WIN and us to LOSE…..
 
So what do we do?
 
Lets go back to what inspires the retailer. The retailer SELLS to the customer. Those people who walk around asking customers if they would like some help – they are there to HELP THE CUSTOMER BUY. 
 
What would happen if a client would come in and ask for your product and they didn’t stock it? Any retailer worth their salt hands out strict instructions to their sales assistants that “if there are customers asking for things that we don’t stock, you let the buyers know.”
 
Pretty simple eh? If their customers are asking for your product that the retailer is not stocking but the buyer is “thinking about it”, do you think that will make a difference to whether or not the buyer will buy your product? YOU BET IT WILL.
 
Chasing the bushpig out of the kitchen was a novel way of illustrating “creating movement” by the main decision makers. In order to get action, you need to be able to provide a route that you want them to move to (the back door luaP’s uncle opened). Then, you need to create and incentive for the buyer to move in that direction (in this case, a generously built youngster with an Axe handle) . If that incentive is great enough, it will cause a vacuum and get the buyer to move as desired.
 
There is obviously a prerequisite that you have a good product that people will want to buy but what you find is that it becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the buyer believes that the demand is sufficient, then they will start throwing things in like “in store promotions”, best shelving positions as “eye level, is buy level” (I learnt that once stacking Tuna Shelves at Tesco’s many moons ago – didn’t last long though!) . When there is promotion around a product, generally clients will want to buy it and hence the producer is happy, the retailer is happy and the customer is getting your product so they are OVER THE MOON!!!
 
Folks, that is my thoughts on how Old South African Legends relate to Modern day consumer and buyer behaviour, which never ceases to amaze me and something I will continue to research on a daily basis.
 
Please don’t, and I know you won’t, take the correlation between the Bushpig and The Buyer. It was purely an example and I couldn’t have made the story about an elephant as you can’t get one of them into a house!!
 
I hope this has added some insight and humour to your day. The above is very much “The Bones” of an approach and there are certain other things you need to tie in to ensure it works well. I have used this approach before with four different products and can’t tell you how beneficial it is to all parties concerned, AS LONG AS ITS DONE WITH INTEGRITY.
 
Any questions, please post them.
 
Thanks for reading.
 
P

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: