June 8 2018 08:20 AM

What a TV show taught me about great marketing and first impressions.

I watch the TV show Shark Tank, where venture capitalists give entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business plan. The “sharks” or venture capitalists can then decide whether they want to invest in the product or service.

What I have learned from the show is that you have to make a good first impression. No matter how good your product or service is, if the sharks can’t understand its point or value in the first 10 seconds, you aren’t getting a deal.

Shark Tank got me thinking about how gallon and half gallon milk packaging is not getting the point across to consumers.

Milk labels from my local grocery beverage case look something like this:

None of the above labels have any indication of milk’s nutritional value. I think we, people in the dairy industry, often take for granted the fact that we know the value a cup of milk has. A potential buyer or a “shark” needs that information to make an informed purchasing decision.

Labels should say something like this instead:

Drinking three cups of milk quenches your thirst and gives you

100 percent of your daily value of vitamin D!

90 percent of your daily value of calcium!

50 percent of your daily value of protein!

Dairy farmers know the benefits of consuming dairy products, but consumers do not have the same knowledge we do. According to the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, more than 16 million consumers think chocolate milk comes from brown cows, and that was just a survey of adults. I am sure that is a common thought of children, too.

Consumers, in a sense, are like the sharks. When they walk past the beverage case at the grocery store, they are only giving each product a half-second glance. If they don’t see or understand the nutritional value of milk from looking at the package label, they won’t give it a second thought.

Christy Achen

Christy Achen is the 2018 Hoard's Dairyman summer editorial intern. She grew up on a dairy farm in southwest Kansas. Achen is currently a senior at Utah State University studying agricultural communications and journalism.

Join us for next Monday's webinar:

Karl Burgi

Karl Burgi, Dairyland Hoof Care Institute, will present “Supervise hoof health with a ‘No lameness tolerance policy.’” It will be presented on Monday, June 11, at noon (Central time).

Lameness affects nearly one out of every four dairy cows worldwide. It deteriorates welfare and causes significant economic losses. Burgi will address factors causing lameness, such as trimming errors, sole ulcers, white line lesions, and digital dermatitis. The webinar concludes with an action plan.

The webinar is sponsored by Zinpro Performance Minerals.