Slidegenius, Inc.

Bird’s the Word: Branding Lessons from Thanksgiving Turkey

November 23, 2015 / Blog branding lessons, branding tips, customer loyalty, Rick Enrico, SlideGenius, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving turkey

The turkey’s branding as the Thanksgiving centerpiece was achieved with a mix of cost-effectiveness and unexpected marketability. If you want to make your own product stand out in the market, take some tips from the Thanksgiving turkey.

Things like value proposition, or the solution you offer to a specific problem in the market, factor in a lot when it comes to attracting customers. At the same time, you have to stay realistic with your budget. The Thanksgiving turkey has done just that.

1. Stuffing the Market

The Thanksgiving turkey is such a staple in most American households that it’s become symbolic of the holiday. That’s why it comes as a surprise that turkey wasn’t on the first Thanksgiving menu. But compared to beef, which was actually there, turkey turned out to be more popular. Like any product in the market, it needed a solid value proposition that could be pitched to potential consumers. The greatest benefit it offered to breeders and buyers alike was its cost-effectiveness.

Although the native turkeys were smaller than the ones we see today, they were still bigger birds that didn’t cost as much to raise. They had plenty of meat to feed large families. Similarly, building a feasible value proposition for your brand is important in reaching out to your prospects. Customers always look for what they can get from you.

Address a specific problem in the market and be clear about the benefits you have to offer. Make your solution as concrete and relevant as possible. It could be in terms of your innovation or effectiveness, as long as it prioritizes customer comfort.

2. Roasting Competition

The turkey’s supremacy over all the other main course meals was cemented by years of consumer loyalty. The widespread attention to turkey was partly due to the promotion of several famous figures of its time. Among these personalities, Charles Dickens established the popularity of turkey as a celebratory meal when he featured it in A Christmas Carol, which was widely popular among American readers.

The key takeaway from this anecdote is the role a strong presence plays in getting a brand out in the market and keeping its prospect’s attention. Aside from traditional marketing strategies, businesses can get the help of influencers to do part of the marketing for them. Influencers are prominent figures in society with a large following who could greatly boost your image.

In the present day, famous bloggers and celebrities are some of the most common influencers businesses court when it comes to building their brand. Their impact on a significant number of people helps word-of-mouth about your product travel faster.

3. Serving the Customer

The turkey-farming business further catered to an evolving market when farmers began raising turkeys like chickens in the 1940’s and 50’s. Until then, wild turkeys were originally gamey and lean. Raised turkeys found a niche in the market and were eventually mass bred into the turkey we know and love. If you look at the trajectory of its evolution, the Thanksgiving turkey maintained its hold on the holiday by adapting to new expectations. In the same way, a modern marketing strategy requires companies to look beyond the first business deal.

Customer engagement means ensuring brand loyalty through repeated transactions. You have to take care of existing clients to keep their favor, even as you anticipate the arrival of new customers. This means addressing people’s changing needs and wants, which includes thinking of innovative ways to expand your business network.

Doing market research helps you determine what direction to take in your new ventures. Don’t just adjust your products or services. Keep your overall vision in line with people’s current needs as well.

Fowl Games

Even before the upsurge of holiday retailing, the Thanksgiving turkey’s image set the bar for holiday marketing. Its cost effectivity endeared it to both sellers and consumers, trumping other celebratory meals with visible exposure from different prominent figures during its time. In its unassuming simplicity, the turkey’s long-standing holiday reputation is something businesses can learn from.

Create a good value proposition that prioritizes your customer’s needs and highlights the benefits they can get from engaging with your brand. Catching the attention of influential people helps introduce your product to their followers. Look up your target market and adjust your brand accordingly to their present preferences.

Appeal to your prospects’ tastes by flavoring your brand with some Thanksgiving turkey marketing wisdom.



Butler, Stephanie. “Turkey Talk: The Story behind Your Thanksgiving Bird.” History. November 15, 2013. Accessed on November 10, 2015.