Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kale, Avocados, Acai Berries and Modular Housing

I know that growing up central PA means that I was not at the cutting edge of anything but what I don’t understand is how Kale, Avocados and something called the Acai Berry became so popular.

Let’s be real honest here. Kale tastes like tough spinach that is past its expiration date, avocados almost have to be added to something else so that we don’t gag on them. And what are Acai and why are their berries so important?

Kale, like the acai berry and avocado before it, is the latest food to capture the nation's collective appetite. Touted for its nutritious value, the leafy green seems to be finding its way into all kinds of concoctions – and will likely do so until the next big food trend sweeps through.

The three do have something in common that is missing from the modular housing industry.

They all have marketing boards! 

Those boards’s sole job is to take something that can be grown in dirt that won’t support real fruit and vegetable production and convince us that they are the next great discovery to improved health. Kale farmers are laughing all the way to the bank.


The Subway restaurants recently featured Avocado slices on their sandwiches and people ate them and said how good they tasted all the while trying to hold back their gag reflexes. The Sandwich Artist at my local Subway told me they threw out more than they used because so few people ordered them.

So what does that really have to do with the modular housing industry? Plenty! 

What do you think would happen if all the modular home factories actually got together and start a marketing board? The log home industry has one, the Kale farmers have one. My God, there’s even a National "Save the Ta-Tas" Marketing Council.


So the next time you see a Kale disposal recipe on TV or a bean sprout, turnip green and avocado sandwich on the menu, remember that they have marketing councils but the modular housing industry doesn't. Just thinking out loud.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is one big difference between kale/avocados/acai berries and modular homes: kale/avocados/acai berries are commodities. For the most part, every avocado is the same. The avocado farmers are happy to pay for a marketing effort because they all agree on what an avocado is and they all benefit equally. You can probably differentiate a little (Organic avocado), but the average Subway sandwich eater doesn't know or care.

Not the case for modular homes. Modular manufacturers seek out all kinds of differentiating aspects of their product.Add in the fact that modular homes mean significantly different things to buyers on the east coast than they do in the Midwest or West Coast.

I think that is why group marketing efforts in our business usually don't work.

Liz Burnett, Communications said...

Gary,
Great point! The Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) is working to promote the modular housing industry across the country, and I hope your readers will check out our website. Later this month, we'll be debuting a new, even better website with more information for potential modular home buyers. In order to be a marketing success, the industry members need buy-in from across the country. As they say, "a rising tide lifts all ships," so I invite members to join us!
Cheers & happy New Year!