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Here's this week's Marketing
On Chopped, a cooking competition show on Food Network, a
chef was taken aback when a judge said she should have
salted her dish more. "I'm so used to
food," she said. From the judges' comments and votes,
healthfulness clearly played no role at all in their
In the same round, the judges eliminated a chef whose
dish looked elegant and magazine-worthy in favor of one
whose offering had the best medley of flavors yet a poor
presentation. How the food tasted was their top
This got me wondering about why, with a $10,000 prize at
stake, contestants didn't watch past shows to learn what
judges cared about most and gear their efforts accordingly.
Customers always take you on their terms, not yours: They
prefer a low price with moderate quality or world-class
quality at any price, for example. For a set audience, like
the Chopped judges, try to discover their priorities. For
the open market, make sure there are enough customers who
prefer your advantages to enable you to satisfy your
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