Monday, August 31, 2009

New and Improved!

New and Improved! What a simple concept when you think about it. You take something that you have always used or have had and improve on it. You make it better. But what happens if you can't make it any better, what do you do then?

Marketers have had this problem for years now. I have lived a pretty long time by many standards, in dog years I should be over 350 years old now, and I have noticed something that is remarkable about New and Improved products. Tide Detergent should make you clothes disappear when you wash them in the product! Why? Because almost every year Tide comes out with a new Tide. They tout that Tide will make your clothes brighter! Does that mean that they will glow in the dark now? Or they will say things like "New Tide, in a more concentrated formula", great, do I have to use less detergent or do I get to wash less? How about making Tide do the laundry for me?

Then the approach to some products is that you can't make the product any better, because it is at its zenith of perfection, what do you do then? You change the packaging. Take for example bleach. What do you do with bleach? You make it easier to use in a new "easy to pour bottle". Let's face it you need this because you are such a klutz, you may want to stop using bleach products. However, sales go up because it is new and improved.

How about the bottle of grape juice that you buy for the family. You take a look at the bottle and it says something like, "Now with more grape flavor!", really? How do you make grape juice taste more like grape juice? Do you put more grapes in it?

Several years ago Arby's rolled out their "new" french fries and I promise you their campaign was "now with more potato flavor". Huh? How do you pull that off? But when they made this statement their sales of fries went up.

What am I rambling on about today New and Improved!? You see Madison Avenue advertisers have figured it out to make people want their products even if the products haven't changed any is to make it New and Improved!. They will make the packaging look newer or better. Such was the idea behind changing the Morton Salt box. It's salt for heaven's sake but in a new package; let's all go buy some now.

The church universal needs to take notice of this. We have the very best thing to offer and that is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins, a new life, peace that passes understanding, a hope and a future, becoming a child of God. So we will NEVER be able to improve on that product. However we can and should take a look at our packaging.

As people change in our culture we can change in the way we deliver our product. Let's face it we all like New and Improved things in our lives. I seldom hear of anyone telling the pharmacist that they would like to have a bottle of aspirin and 2 leeches because they have bad blood and a headache. No they want all the best pain killers that are available to them.

I am not saying that we water down the gospel, NEVER. I am saying that we can deliver the message in a New and Improved way for this generation of people. The gospel always works! I just want to deliver it in such a way that it changes lives forever so that that person can be New and Improved!

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