News – “To accept the challenge of eating local food, stay flexible” – Within the last 30 days I’ve received emails challenging me to commit to my yoga practice at a discounted rate, donate to support new programming on NPR so my contribution could be matched by a bigger donor, buy more salads at Panera to get a free cookie, increase my letter count on Words with Friends with rapid-fire solo games, and master the tricky business of making fruit cheese.

From a marketing perspective, “challenge” campaigns work because they engage new customers at all the right points in the buying decision. They create initial interest in a product, provide information about it, stimulate demand, differentiate it from similar products, and strengthen the brand and its place in the market. At least for a certain time, that is.

As I pull on my yoga pants, listen to NPR, avoid the cookie sitting on my counter, nudge my gaming letter count up just enough to beat my baby brother, and fail for the third time at making fruit cheese, it seems like selling all sorts of things comes as a challenge these days.

This is a lot of fancy ass talk way above my pay grade but I figure it’s gotta be useful for one of you grubbers out there.

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