What my childhood dog Sam taught me about business and marketing

Posted by Jeff Scult on

It took me half a century to fully embrace my single most powerful marketing lesson - and I learned it in the Second Grade from my dog and dad.

Sam, my childhood four-legged best friend, had worms. We needed to give him medicine by way of a pill.

Never missing a teaching moment, my incredible father says, "Son, how do you think you give a dog a pill?"

I excitedly suggested we hide it in Sam's dog food.

My dad smiled-nodded no, "Dogs are smart. They will feel the pill, and spit it out."

My father came back with a jar of Peanut Butter. Slathering peanut butter where the pill was now unseen, he conveyed the greatest marketing lesson to impart new human behavior muscle memories:

 "To give a dog a pill, wrap it in something sweet. Then they will swallow it."



The planet has one hell of a pill to swallow. And the pill produces burn-out. Climate change. Fashion pollution. And down the line.

To talk about what's ill, we are focusing on the pill. The problem. Shrouded within this approach is blame and shame, and a paralysis to act because it's just too overwhelming. It is low vibration as there is no dopamine reward release in the brain and hence produces fatigue.

What happens when we flip the script? To simply present the sweetness of the alternative? People buy products and services that make them look and feel as good as they wish to feel inside. And then the do-good elements are what cements the relationship as it align with values. 

The single most important marketing reminder to create easy on-ramps for broader enroll, is to speak to the sweet spot of the brain. More can join. Beneath and within is the medicine, the solution, the impact. We expand the collective, and move from less than to yes and.

The world is ready for the sweet pill. And here's the meta-thought: We are both the dog, and we are also the pill. We are the medicine. 

I've chosen to dedicate my life to creating this rememory, the sweetest of wrappings, one golden thread.

Our brand was invisible when we talked about the being a fully "sustainable" clothing brand. That is the default. The new given. When we spoke to "second skin" delicious essence, of loving touch which is what we all crave in this new abnormal, eyes opened.

Sam's tail is wagging in Doggy heaven right now, in full peanut-butter-licking agree-ance. 

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Jeff Scult
Chief Believer, OGT

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