Pastel de Nata & Paellas

Or why positioning matters

"Hello. I quiero four pastel de nata, por favor.", the tourist says in yet-another pastry shop in downtown Lisbon.

The clerk hands over a box full of this delicious Portuguese delicacy. The tourist smiles in delight, already expecting the sugar high from the pastries. And then she asks herself:

"It must be amazing for the Portuguese, eating this everyday!"

Alas, that where you're wrong. They don't eat it everyday and I can prove it, having been born in this beautiful rectangle by the Atlantic. However, this does speak a lot about positioning.

Let's take Spain as an example. One of the very few things they did right throughout their hundreds of years as a country (can you tell I'm Portuguese?) was the paella. This dish is basically a staple of Spanish cuisine, and a must for anyone visiting the land. It's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Spanish cuisine. And it shares the same faith of the Pastel de Nata, as in it is a result of the tendency to narrow positioning down.

Chances are your country has lots of traditional dishes, and you know about them. However, when we go abroad, we focus on just a few dishes of the countries and assume that's it for their national cuisine. Mind you, these are often not even the best dishes the country has to offer.

Think Italy and pasta, pizza, and lasagna.

Or France and baguettes, croissants, and eclair..

Or even Germany with sausages, beer, and pretzels.

However, these places all have an extensive culinary tradition, as I can prove from the hundreds of Portuguese dishes. But newcomers - tourists - think of one, three, or at most five dishes.

This, naturally, applies to Marketing. Because those tourists are like new people getting to know your brand.

From the limited attention they'll pay to what you have to say, they'll only remember a few key points. Overload your communication and they'll tune out.

Over time you'll be able to introduce them to new dishes - different parts of your brand - but it requires time. Remember, they're here for a weekend trip thanks to the 10€ Ryanair flights.

Give them a taste of everything over time. Take it slowly. Presenting your brand is like a five-course meal in a restaurant next to the beach taken while enjoying the summer sun - not a sandwich munched-down in-between work breaks.

💡 Exercise for you: have you mapped and prepared the different introductions of your audience to your brand?