• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Idaho potatoes: Yes, a state can have meaning

Can a state be a brand? Of course it can. Anything can be a brand if it has coveted meaning.

Consider Idaho potatoes. For whatever reason, we associate that state with the best potatoes in the land, even though Maine produces just as many. Maybe it has to do with the state’s license plate, which reads: “Famous Potatoes.”

Therefore, as Idahoan Foods rolls out its first national TV campaign this month, it already has a brand that will largely make the campaign a success. If you have a brand to back up your messages, you get noticed.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 10.16.51 AMI’m not so confident about the TV spot itself, though. The focus is on fresh, a farm-to-table strategy that says these potatoes come from “real” farmers. That doesn’t seem to distinguish it all that much from potatoes grown elsewhere. Aren’t those potatoes grown by farmers too?

What would be better is if the ad focused on what Idaho means, rather than on the product itself. Fresh and real are table stakes in the food industry. All players claim to be fresh and real. (It also doesn’t help that what we’re talking about here is the mashed potato mix.)

A little stronger emotional intensity, something around what Idaho means that no other state brand can claim, would give this campaign the punch it needs.

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