Did you know that eels are disappearing as a cult food in the Netherlands? Don’t like eels? Don’t care? Well, even so, we can learn a lot from the North Atlantic eeling industry. You see, the eel market there is disappearing due to this desired delicacy having been overfished in that country. In fact,the NY Times reports that only 17 eel fishermen are still actively eeling today instead of 200 a generation ago. As a result, one Dutch company has developed a new product which crosses two types of catfish into a hybrid which the company is branding as Claresse, a substitute for both smoked and fresh eel. “Claresse is positioned as eel though not in presentation or flavor; the reaction from retailers has beeen very favorable”, says the company’s marketing director. Now I haven’t seen how this is being executed in advertising but the very approach is a huge endorsement of the opportunity imaginative positioning of a new product can provide and therefore an important lesson to all of us in marketing. For the Dutch, without doing so, they may not have “eel” to eat or a business from which to make a living!
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About WilderFormerly the CEO of two advertising agencies working with national marketers, I apply the learning of my 40- year career to entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to speed their sales and profit growth. As both a former CEO, and as a current entrepreneur, I bring a unique understanding of my clients' mindsets to my work. Additionally, I like to help execute the plans and activities we develop during our planning together.