Roadwiches and Enthusiastic Fans


The sandwich I snagged from a higher-end convenience store is average, though the components are wonderful. Fresh turkey. Fresh lettuce. Fresh bread. Everything SHOULD be excellent. But there’s one thing that’s keeping me from grinning like a mad-person while devouring it.

That thing is the mayo.

I’ve got nothing against mayo. Sometimes it really works, but for some reason the pre-packaged sandwich makers seem to think that slathering the thing in condiments is a good way to get return customers.

And it probably works in some cases. People like mayo. It was a smart marketing move. Just not for ME.

For me, it would be great if they had a few ‘roadwiches’ without mayo. Sure, it would take a bit more effort – expanding their product line a bit, and upping the man-hours to make the special orders a reality – but it would endear the product to me and I would actively search for any brand that made a special exception for ME.

This is definitely not possible (or probable) in many industries, but what about yours? Is there something you can be doing for a small portion of your audience that would elevate them from casual consumers into enthusiastic fans?

I’ve been thinking on this for Exile Lifestyle, and I’d love to hear what I could be doing for you.


  1. I think that's a good point, but on the other hand, you can't be everything to everybody. If you try to please everybody then you can end up pleasing no one.

  2. Hehe I also like Mayo but I like your idea. I once read/watched something from somewhere – I think it was from tipping point talking about innovators/early adopters/mass market. I think this kind of thinkis is very important in the early stages of the business. Then you have to apply the 80/20 rule. In the case of mayo on sandwitches, you are probably on the wrong part of this scale but you wouldnt know until you had tried and tested the market.

  3. What I've learned about successful marketing is that your intended audience should not be everybody, nor can it realistically be.

    So those roadwiches? I'd probably have to pass. They may be awesome for others but it doesn't keep me enthusiastically coming back for more. What will? Hm, how about some fresh sushi and sashimi paired with a nice bottle of sake? Yeah, that sounds about right. :P

  4. Yeah, I definitely understand segmenting so that you aren't just kind of serving everyone half-heartedly, but I still think there are small things that can be done in certain industries to better serve parts of your audience without decreasing the value you give to the rest.

    And damn, I love sushi, but I question the wisdom of roadstop sake :)

  5. Yeah, I figure most businesses have SOMETHING they could be doing, even if the sandwich thing wouldn't pan out financially. The experience got me thinking about it for my business, and that's why I decided to share it in that context.

  6. Definitely true, but I think – without giving up what makes your business solid – there are ways you can slowly upgrade your relationships with existing and new customers with little risk to your main consumer-base.

    This is how major corporations do it – spinning off new kinds of soft drink and flavors of Doritos – and though you needn't be that extreme, I think experimentation within safe boundaries couldn't hurt!

  7. Good point, keeping true to your core is key.

    The easiest way to grow any business is to add more value to your existing customer (or reader) base. We know that it is much cheaper and easier to maximize your current base than acquiring new ones.

  8. For the record I hate mayo. I think it's horrible. AND it's on everything. I can't tell you how many times Wendy's, Jimi Johns, Mcdonald's, and sit down restaurants have put mayonnaise on my food while working in a robotic like manner slathering that horrible white substance while on auto pilot. Ha, I really feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with mayo. I once went to a fast food restaurant. I said no mayo. I received a grilled chicken sandwich that had more mayonnaise than chicken. When I said that I asked for “NO mayo”, they thought I said, “MO mayo”. Oh Mayonnaise….

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