Enjoy this time-honored recipe, beloved of new business people:
- Take 1 awesome, adjective-rich person. Drop into a bowl of potential customers.
- Fold in a generous dollop of desperation
- Toss in any other ingredients you have on hand.
- Puree until bland and consistent.
Serves 4, but don’t expect ‘em to get excited about it.
On paper, Nourishing Gruel has the broadest appeal of any food: it provides perfectly adequate sustenance. It has no flavors or textures that could offend any palate. It is perfectly un-objectionable.
Which, naturally, is the reason Nourishing Gruel’s got top billing on the menu at your favorite restaurant. Thank you sir, may I have another? Right?
Whaddaya mean, you don’t like flavorless slop of indeterminate texture?
Nourishing Gruel in Action: Nervous Fashion Designer Edition
I ripped the following lines from would-be fashion designers hoping to charm their way into the Garmz marketplace. All four are about dresses, all four desperate to get their fashions manufactured and their dreams fulfilled.
But that’s where the similarity stops.
Can you tell the Nourishing Gruel from the real dish?
Exihibit A: For every stylish girl from 20′s to 30′s who wants to look sophisticated and classy.
Exhibit B: A fresh girly look with a modern edge to it.
Don’t think, just pick with your gut: Which one is the real dish?
Exhibit C: A dress made perfect for summer by airy canvas and light blue gradient lines.
Exhibit D: Perfect dress for various occasions.
Maybe you can’t tell a USP from your own left butt-cheek… but you should be able to tell that Exhibit B and C are very, very different creatures from Exhibit A and D.
They feel different. Not necessarily better. But stronger, more real.
Broad Appeal… or Too Boring to Live?
Nourishing Gruel is mush. You can’t do much with mush. It doesn’t give you anything solid to either grab onto, or push away. It just leaves your fingers all goopy and gross.
Real dishes, on the other hand, have flavors and identifiable ingredients… a texture, and taste, that you’ll either love or hate. Real dishes are packed with meaty nouns and limber adjectives, all the better to sink your teeth into.
Real dishes are detailed enough for you to form an opinion.
Change the Recipe
If you’re afraid your product will appeal to nobody, then, well, it’s only natural to try to broaden its appeal as much as possible to ensure you get somebody. Sadly, this results in Nourishing Gruel.
You think you’re widening the net, but in fact, you’re just enlarging the holes.
You wouldn’t buy it, so don’t try to sell it.
Stick your neck out and offer your customers something real.
Have you been battling the Gruel?
What techniques do you use to avoid it?
Have you seen any great Gruel examples lately? (Or counter-examples?)Tweet