New business, the grocery store and buying organic

September 30, 2011

Public relations

New biz is important, but don't forget to shop organic as well. (Image credit:


Let me ask you a question. Say you wake up on a Saturday morning and your spouse asks you to go pick some things up at the grocery store. He/she makes a long list of all the things you need and then sends you on your way.

When you get to the store, you head for the dairy aisle. Milk, shredded cheese, yogurt. Check, check, check. Then the meat counter. Ground beef, chicken, steak. Got all three. And the fruit and vegetable aisles. Bananas, carrots, salad. Cross those off the list.

After a few more trips down a few more aisles, you head to the checkout line. You’re so ready to get home at this point. But unfortunately, your choices of lines look like either 20 kids hanging off the sides of 20 carts like monkeys on a jungle gym or the woman who packed one of everything in the store into her cart just to see if it would all fit.

More than half an hour later, you emerge from the store with a cart full of plastic bags and a smile on your face. Your mind is shifting from “Don’t have to do that again for at least another week” to “Wow, can’t wait for meatloaf, mac and cheese and fish sticks tonight.” Ok, maybe that second one is just me.

You pack the groceries into the back of the car and there are so many that the trunk will barely shut. Then it’s hop into the driver’s seat, start the car, flip on your favorite radio station and head home with that sense of accomplishment we all get when you can cross something off your to-do list.

Well, you can almost cross it off your list. Not until you bring in the grocery bags from the car. Put the milk in the fridge. The ground beef in the freezer. And the bananas on the counter. You put the last grocery bag away and all you’re thinking about is the couch, the TV and the amazing meal you’ll be able to make with all that food. But before you can sit down, your spouse calls you back into the kitchen.

“Honey, do you mind going to the store again? I made a new list.” You do your best to hide the WTF look that’s creeping across your face: “But I just went to the store. We haven’t even made anything out of the food we just got.” Your spouse offer s a shrug: “I know, but we’re going to need more food eventually. And the food I really want now is on this new list I created.”

Now to that question I wanted to ask you. How would you react in that situation if you were the one who just went to the store? Would you feel perturbed, annoyed, unappreciated? Maybe like you weren’t going to get the most out of the food you just purchased?

To finally bring a long analogy to its point…Companies do this all the time in the business world. We set our sights on the new subscribers. Focus on the new business. Heap praise for the new customers. And I’m all good with that. Your brand will eventually need that new business, or new food as it were. It’s never bad to have it.

But organic clients, the food we already have, are just as, if not more, important than any new food we’ve yet to get. And it’s often easier to get the most opportunities out of the business we already have, because there’s already a connection and trusted relationship there. We don’t really form relationships with food, but we do end up wasting the possibility of what it could become if we just head back to the store right after our last trip.

There’s another reason the food analogy plays well here. Because if you listen to the health experts out there, what do they tell you to keep in mind the next time you head to the grocery store? Buy organic, right?

Keep that organic advice in mind the next time you head to the “new business store.”

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