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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Natural marketing

Now that my 20-something daughters are home for the holidays, I can pose the following question with greater accuracy: Which of the ingredients in this list do not appear on the back of shampoo bottles in my house? *Answer below.

  1. horsetail
  2. cottonseed
  3. silk protein
  4. lemon
  5. lavender
  6. eucalyptus
  7. oat flour
  8. macademia oil
  9. wheat gluten
  10. aloe
  11. tapioca
  12. sunflower

Each brand seems to have one or two "natural" ingredients, usually prominently featured on the front but buried in a pharmacopeia of chemicals on the back. I'd list those too, but I doubt you want to know what the billions of us are putting on our heads in the name of cleanliness. But I can say that "gl" compounds - glucose, glycerine, glutamate, glycol - appear in almost every case, and although they sound terrible, they are mostly organic, to the point that even Tom's of Maine includes glycerine in its list of ingredients. Of course, Tom does not have a shampoo product - there are some lengths to which Nature cannot go.

Companies might get more creative, however, in using the natural goodness of Maine products. Tom, for example, doesn't appear to use any uniquely Maine item in spite of his company's name. May I suggest you consider producing the flavors listed to the left? Any or all of them will greatly enhance the appeal of the products to the right.

Moose bladder                                      Tea Party tea
Extract of fog                                         Moxie Lite
Lupine root                                            Poland Spring Forever
Whisper of pine                                     Moosehead Freedom Ale
Toe jam of eagle                                    Fried clams a la pourpre
Blueberry blush                                      Whoopie pie soup
Lobster water                                        Anything at Moody's

After all, your company is not called Tom's of New Jersey.

*Trick question: all of them appear.

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