This week our Foodie Friday Fun revolves around home. In particular around Mom’s home cooking. Some moms aren’t great cooks. Some moms (like the one who taught me how to cook – not my own, mind you) could open a restaurant and it would be packed every night. It really doesn’t matter how good their food is. What matters is that whatever they produce comes from your home and that experience is imprinted on your senses.
I bring this up because of the thought that was triggered last night while I was watching “The Taste.” Chef Marcus Samuelsson said “Food can give you a sense of home” and it really resonated. It immediately brought to mind a couple of dishes that bring me back home no matter where I encounter them. A great pot of Sunday Gravy, filled with meatballs, sausage, and braciole. Beef flanken nestled in a dense broth. They, among others, transport me to a place filled with happy memories. If the dish is spectacular, so much the better. Even if it’s just OK I give it extra points. It’s the memory of comfort that’s important.
I read a quote once that every cuisine has a soul food or a food that makes the people of that ethnic group’s soul sing. I believe that. I also believe that it a great thought for any business. We need to ask ourselves if there is a way to tap into the collective sense of home that our consumers have. How do we make their souls sing? How do we elicit happy memories even though our product is new or innovative? The second level of Maslow’s hierarchy is safety. How do we bring that feeling to our customers?
It can be done. There is a humorous ad campaign out now from Ally Bank that taps into this. Every spot revolves around the typical sort of fears we face each day in the modern world and how you can depend on Ally no matter what. The spots are generally pretty funny and I think they tap into that notion of the safety home brings.
We need to work on bringing that sense of home to our brands. Up for the challenge?