How To Hate Bird Seed For Fun And Profit
The birds keep thrashing through it and throwing it away.
The bigger birds especially. Like the giant jays. They fly up, jump on the little feeding tray, and start flinging great masses of seed everywhere with a maniacal abandon, interrupting their frenzy only when they peck at a morsel that seems to meet their discriminating pallet.
The smaller birds are more covert about it.
The finches don’t fling as freely. You can see that they’re doing it. But they do it with this delicate, “Who, me?”, behind-the-napkin demeanor that seems so of another time, when we didn’t require Miss Manners to be endlessly pointing out our flaws of social ettiquette.
Anyway, all this bustle of activity and flinging at the feeder. What are these birds doing?
Is this the avian equivalent of opening the Whitman’s Sampler and flipping over each chocolate, poking a hole in the bottom of each until you find the one that meets your fancy?
In a word: Yes.
As Mr. Canary could tell me, I’ve bought cheap seed and it contains filler. While I’ve not done a laboratory test to determine the nature of said filler, I have it on good authority (some interwebs expert known to me for a minute or so) that we’re talking about things like cracked corn.
Give my birds cracked corn and they don’t care, the crap they fling away!
But, watching the birds at work is fun. Never before has this feeder seen so much activity.
Ya know what else is fun?
That huge pile of seed that collects beneath the bird feeder.
That’s because it attracts the ducks from the pond across the way.
All those mallards waddle over and pick up that mountain of cracked corn and other detritus.
Even more fun is when the neighbor decides to walk his dog.
He comes around the corner by the feeder, and the mallards go into a panic, flying off in a frenzy of flapping wings that sound like furious applause from a crazed audience all wearing down mittens.
Now that I know why the birds are flinging their feed with abandon, will I replace it with something better?
I could. But the better seed costs twice as much.
And it’s guaranteed to not generate as much crazed activity.
Spending more will diminish the entertainment value.
And herein lies a potential sales message using a little known tactic called “exploitable weakness.”
We’re not talking computer terminology, where a bad actor finds a flaw in a software system and uses that vulnerability to commence an attack. (I’m not clear on how they attack. Maybe the peck around, flinging zeroes and ones into piles until they find the digits they desire.)
In sales, sometimes you’re tasked with selling a product that might seem flawed.
But that apparent flaw might have a benefit that can make the item desirable. It just requires a sales perspective that spotlights the benefit in the flaw.
“Hours of entertainment from the cheapest, biggest bag of birdseed! Crazy big activity from all kinds of birds! Finches, jays, mallards and more! Why spend double the price when you can have all kinds of fun for pennies on the dollar!”
I wrote that line while standing in front of the birdseed selection at Home Depot.
And I sold myself on staying with the cheapest seed.
Birds know what they want. And so do I.
What’s your favorite exploitable weakness?
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.