Psychological Tater Warfare


Last night my buddy Ted and I grabbed a bite at our favorite brew pub before heading to the Blues-Oilers hockey game.

I ordered the sausage and kraut with a pint of Grolsch. All good. Nothing to rave about.

But the German potato salad on the side?

😋 Holy tater-tots, Batman, those spuds were special. 🤤

Mama always said, “Eat your greens.” But I’m more of a brown and beige guy. I’ll trade my spinach and broccoli any day for a a pound of potatoes.

Funny thing about potatoes, though: They used to be livestock feed only. Unsuitable for human consumption, as they say.

That was until the King Frederick II of Prussia reinvented the potato market.

Prussia was suffering from widespread famine in 1794 when Frederick encouraged farmers to plant potatoes.

The farmers defied the king because no one wanted to eat “livestock feed.”

But then Frederick employed some psychological warfare that transformed taters from pig slop to treasure.

He declared the lowly tater a “royal vegetable.”

He placed guards around the royal potato field.

He banned the local population from eating the precious crop.

And (here’s the good part)…

…he secretly instructed his guards to look the other way.

The farmers couldn’t resist.

They began to sneak into the royal potato field and “capture” some of the plants.

They secretly began growing their own potatoes.

An underground potato market developed.

Then gracious King Frederick bestowed on his subjects the privilege to plant potatoes.

Potato farming flourished.

Famine finished.

What does this have to do with you and your business?

We humans base buying decisions on how a product or service makes us feel. We act emotionally, not rationally.

Did Frederick make potatoes taste better? Nope

Did he improve their nutrition or shelf-life? Nada.

But Frederick proclaimed:

Taters are fit for a king.

In fact, he said they’re exclusively for the king.

So, one day all those Prussians felt like lowly livestock if they ate taters. The next day eating taters made them feel like Kings.

Human beings shop for status.

They also value scarcity.

When King Frederick asked farmers to plant potatoes, they thought they were making a sacrifice. Nothing special about potatoes.

But when Frederick planted his tater field and deployed soldiers to guard it, potatoes gained the aura of scarcity.

Now potatoes were hard to get. People aspired to get them. People risked their lives to steal them. People thought it was a privilege when the King said you can plant them.

That’s smart.

Marketing fit for a king.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

Want to get great content like this...

...delivered straight to your inbox?

Join our email list...

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Post Categories

Previous Post

Next Post

Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.