A Case Study In Chips

May 22, 2017 , 3 minutes


Look at that word and pause for a second to reflect. We all love chips…either from a fish and chip shop, Macca’s chips or oven-cooked at home. So read that word again, and tell me how much you’d pay for them. Hard, isn’t it?

Hot chips

Right, now we’re talking. The hot was probably a given in the first instance, but now we’ve reinforced their chip-ness and they sound delicious.

Freshly Cooked Hot Chips

Capital letters everywhere. But now it’s easier to read with the capital letters at the start of every word, and we’ve reinforced the ‘hot’ by adding the words ‘freshly cooked’. Aren’t all chips freshly cooked? Most are, but now it’s gone from becoming a standard to a feature.

Thick Cut Hot Chips

Now, we all know a fat chip is somehow better than a thin chip. We get more for our money. Despite the fact that we might only get 10 of them, we’ve moved from two similar descriptors to two independent ones – how they’re cooked, and how they’re cut. And now they sound even better.

Texas Thick Cut Hot Chips

I want a Texas Thick Cut Hot Chip in my mouth, now. What does Texas Thick Cut actually mean? Who cares? I don’t. We all know Texas does things big, like cars, guns and steaks. So it must do the awesomest chips. We could have picked any American state or city that exhibits some coolness and we’d probably sell more chips. Miami Chips? Sure, why the hell not?

Texas Thick Cut Hot Chips & Ketchup

OMG OMG OMG I get free ketchup too? Ketchup is a given, isn’t it? But somehow again, we’ve added something in that would be considered an ordinary part of a serve and made it into a feature. All these little additions we add to the description cumulate in a better marketing proposition.

Texas Thick Cut Hot Chips with Spicy Aioli

I’m sold. We’ve moved from standard tomato ketchup to aioli, and not just ANY aioli, but a spicy one. We didn’t use the word mayonnaise because that’s just boring…and even the ‘with’ seems to add another dimension to the product. I’ve just ordered a large bowl of these.

The lowdown:

So what’s the point of this exercise? Well, the point is that the product that could have been served in the first instance as ‘chips’ could be exactly the same product that is served as ‘Texas Thick Cut Hot Chips with Spicy Aioli’. It’s hard to charge $9 for a bowl for chips, but a lot easier to charge $9 when the product has such a detailed title. The difference isn’t in the delivery or price, it’s in the words that we use to describe the product. 

If you want to see this sort of thing in action, then look at Jamie Oliver. A roast chicken with a lemon shoved inside it becomes The Mothership Sunday Roast Chicken. What’s a mothership? Who cares? It makes Jamie a fortune.