I tweeted a couple of times today about Bacon, which always gets a ton of response. As I monitor the Twittersphere, the two foods that come up most often are bacon and cupcakes. Not only are there a plethora of chatter about the two foods, there are also multiple #bacon bots that follow you and interact with you as soon as you mention this greasy, yet delicious food. I even received this recipe that incorporates not one, but both foods (via user @baconinja) It seems that, especially on Twitter, there is a ton of conversation about and loyalty to these quirky foods. I am still baffled by whether Twitter users are just more into bacon and cupcakes than the general population, or if my view is just extremely skewed, due to the specifics of both groups (online and offline) that I participate in.
In any case, as a marketer, I always think about what generates buzz and instills loyalty. Bacon and cupcake aficionados are quite staunch fans, and every time I think of them, I can’t help but think about Seth Godin‘s “Purple Cow.” In this book, Seth talks about Otaku, people who are more or less obsessed with a certain product, hobby or topic. Originally, Otaku (of Japanese origin) referred to Anime aficionados, but it has been somewhat adopted outside of that realm. Godin posits that certain foods, such as hot sauce, inspire Otaku-like behavior, while others don’t.
If someone can tell me why bacon and cupcakes inspire such passion (other than being sinfully delicious), I am all ears. I would also love to hear from marketers some success stories on how they built a passionate community around a fairly mundane product or brand.
P.S. I feel that wine, especially wine tasting, also inspires loyalty and a lot of passion. Other than the obvious lifestyle benefits of being a “social lubricant” and enhancing coversations at the dinner table (especially with a really good bottle), people who are good at tasting wines seem to belong to a close-knit group that is rich in its own traditions and even vocabulary. Wine tasting is an art, and the people who are good at it, have committed time and resources to learning how to be good at it, and I think that’s where the passion comes from. For the rest of us, while the fine art of wine tasting is aspirational, enjoying wine is open to all.