Lightly Flavored? Water?

It jumped right out at me, that ad in one of those decidedly upscale consumer magazines. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t fit its reader profile. Wouldn’t want to. The magazine was actually a free sample, something I’d sent for. I’ll try anything that’s free. Well, almost. But this particular ad just jumped out and bit me in the nose.

The headline said something read “Lightly Flavored Water!” That’s what grabbed my attention. I hadn’t heard that term before. Lightly flavored water? “OK,” I said, “I gotta read more about this taste sensation” the ad was touting. I’d obviously missed one of life’s most captivating taste delights.

As I continued to reading, I couldn’t help but laugh. The ad took me back a bunch of years to a time when my wife and I – along with several other couples our age – were starting our families. Money for us and our circle of friends back then was a lot tighter than in became as the years passed.

One couple in that group included my cousin and her husband, a nice guy who was in the process of building up a business he’d bought by borrowing against everything he had. But, hey, many of us were bitten by that bug back then. We all wanted to own our own businesses. Some of us made it, some didn’t. Kinda like today’s world.

But what made me chuckle as I continued reading about “Lightly Flavored Water” in this yuppie magazine was how the world seems to have come almost full circle without my realizing it.

My cousin, bless her, had developed a reputation back then for being frugal. “Cheap” was actually the word we used. But only when she wasn’t within earshot. “Frugal” wasn’t a word we knew the meaning of. But we certainly knew from “cheap.” And cheap and cousin Sherry were synonymous – all because of “Lightly Flavored Water.”

Nothing by that name existed back then. In fact, people weren’t yet aware that they would someday willingly pay big bucks for water in bottles. Water was free. It came out of the faucet by the kitchen sink. Now, of course, no one can leave home without clutching a bottle of water – 16 ounces for just $1.29. On sale. Every ask yourself why you didn’t think of that gimmick?

“Lightly Flavored Water” is an even better gimmick. And it was invented by my cousin Sherry years ago. Though she didn’t realize it at the time. And she hasn’t made even one thin dime off the idea since. But “Lightly Flavored Water” is what earned her the name, Cheap Sherry. And we weren’t talking about wine, either.

Every time we’d visit Sherry and her husband, their drink du jour was Kool-Aid®. But not just any old Kool-Aid. Sherry had a way for turning 10-cent packet of Kook-Aid into a endless sea of Kool-Aid.

While it might have started out as a pitcher of fruit flavored water, when it got down to that last glass of Kool-Aid in that pitcher, Cindy would head back to her kitchen and refill that pitcher with more water.

What started out as a ruby red, fruit flavored drink soon became pink. And by the time the evening was over that pink liquid became paler and lighter until it was almost as clear as the water she kept adding to the pitcher.

By the end of the evening what we were drinking was… You guessed it. “Lightly Flavored Water.” And it certainly didn’t cost $2.00 a pint. Heck, with a dime envelope of Kool-Aid, Sherry could serve a crowd of thirsty friends for an entire evening. Endlessly.

Bless you cousin, inventive genius that you were, though perhaps a little ahead of the curve when it came to “Lightly Flavored Water.” If only we’d known, we could all have been rich.

Artificial Flavoring

Products and services don’t have to be indefinitely artificially flavored, they could one day become the ‘Real McCoy.’

One of the greatest phenomenon in modern-day science and the food technology industry is artificial flavoring. Artificial flavor is an ingredient that is synthesized to create a sensory impression that imitates the natural product which might not be available.

The experience of an artificial product or service bears the taste or feature of the original goods or services that we can’t readily have. Therefore, we can only imagine what the product or service would feel like or do for us if we had the exact thing. Often, the product we desire is expensive or out of reach while on the other hand the substitute is affordable or at least less expensive.

This concept, when we think about it, is very scary and brings us to the next concern: What are we missing out on! What happens is that we escape the true realities of life when we use substitutes instead of genuine products and miss out on the benefits that would be derived from that original ingredient in the mix.

Let’s take ginger for example: There are multiple health and other benefits from the use of the plant namely, the prevention of cancer, assisting in the body’s metabolism and relieving of motion sickness. However, when you purchase a soft drink that has the artificial flavor of ginger, one would only be satisfying the taste buds but not getting the benefits that can be derived from the authentic flavor.

When you bring this into context with the level of service some businesses offer, you will see how the true experiences have only been short-lived. One example of this is the elaborate physical structure, vast array of commodities and attractive front line staff of some businesses in our corporate society. These are replicas of modern business models across Europe, USA and other developed countries of the world.

Nevertheless, let us call a spade a spade: Are we experiencing artificial flavoring from these enterprises? Well, we often come across unprofessional and poor customer service from some staff, that does not fit the profile of the company.

We are all preparing and proposing to be ready for the first world standard by 2030. This means we have to pull out all stops to achieve quality ratings by 2020. The question is asked just like the favorite TV sitcom, “Are we there yet?”

Nothing is wrong with being creative and resourceful if we don’t have the right ingredient for the final product but, one thing that we must bear in mind always: There will be marginal utilities or wearing out of our frustrated taste buds.

Therefore, as marketers we must listen to the market, know what our consumers need instead of assuming their wants and respond to the changes in our market trends. We must, “walk the walk and talk the talk.” Most importantly, we must put QUALITY SERVICE at the fore front of our businesses as it is the source of our profitability.

Products and service don’t have to be indefinitely artificially flavored, they CAN one day become the ‘Real McCoy’.

Start With Your Mobile Coffee Van Cart and Bring Flavorful Coffee Cups Everywhere

People nowadays are always on the go and are working very hard to keep up with their busy schedules. Drinking coffee allows a great number of people to keep up with their hectic lifestyles and deal with everyday tasks with a clear mind. Cafes are very popular among professionals and people who love the drink. The coffee business, though affected by the most recent recession, continues to appeal to a significant number of people and today, people are looking for beans that offers the same blend and aroma, but at a cheaper price. A mobile coffee van cart is becoming an in demand business in every business district. These moving cafes can bring coffee anywhere and in every familiar cup of black, cappuccino, mocha, macchiato, latte and doppio in sizes that can fully satisfy every customer’s need for caffeine.

If you are planning to start a business, then you might consider having your own mobile coffee van cart. Unlike business establishments that require a specific location and a fully furnished shop, a moving cafe only requires the cart and the necessary products, plus a few personnel trained with the art of coffee making. To begin with your new business, it is very important that you do a profound research on this kind of beverage business. Even though coffee is very popular, starting a quality business and gathering loyal customers still require a great deal of work.

Once you are fully knowledgeable about this business, you can start drafting your business plan. You may consult about your business plan from business professionals and let them give you a few insights. Be imaginative and creative in designing and naming your mobile cafe. Keep in mind that your mobile cafe is an advertisement on its own, so making a good name and trademark will surely keep your business remembered. Then, you need to start making your menu. If you want to start by simply offering good coffee, you can stick to blends and flavors that most avid drinkers are familiar with. If you want to offer a unique experience, you have to ensure that your new flavors will bring satisfaction to your customers.

Look for durable and fine quality espresso machines that are reliable and efficient for your daily coffee blending tasks. Having expensive espresso machines with proven efficiency and durability can be worthwhile investments for your business. You can also check the difficulty of your coffee making tasks to give you hints on the kind of machines you need to buy. Put up a good source of electricity for your mobile cafe. Make sure that you can supply electricity for the entire day of serving customers. Train your personnel in coffee making and ensure that your blends are consistent. Making good coffee is of primary importance so make sure that you spend a good amount of time teaching your staff to do it the right way.

Starting your mobile coffee van cart is a lot of work but simple relative to established coffee shops. Always make sure that you offer high quality and flavorful coffee cups enhanced with good customer service to gain your loyal customers.