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How do you market a product so superior it should sell itself? Just SAY it’s Better™.

February 6th, 2011 · 2 Comments

OK,  I’m eco-geeking out over a can of tuna. But this is not your average college-dorm-grade can of flaked and processed fish flesh. No sir, it’s Estevan Tuna Co.’s Pacific Albacore Tuna. It has more good-for-you fish oils and WAY less bad-for-you mercury than your average factory-processed tin. It’s green-listed as a “Best Choice” seafood product on Canada’s Sustainable Seafood Guide.  And even if you don’t care that it’s caught by a local BC family-run company, you just have to taste the stuff to know it’s different. That’s because it’s raw-packed and cooked just once in the canning process. (As opposed to big-factory fish that is cooked and drained of oils before packing, then cooked again) Yes, this tuna seems to have it all.  But from a marketing perspective, I think it needs something more.

sustainable tuna

I bought 5 tins from Bruce Devereux at the Vancouver Farmer’s Market. Bruce is the real deal – a fisherman selling fish. The price – $5 a can – is steep, compared to mass-produced fish. With such a staggering list of benefits, I believe that premium could be easily justified, but in a branded world, those advantages need to be front and centre.

While the Estevan Tuna Co. title perhaps has some local history and cachet for Vancouver Islanders, it says little about the product itself. The labels are somewhat busy, and make no mention of the numerous benefits. The website,, has the bulk of the best information, though it could be more tastily presented. Overall, the current name and packaging don’t do this amazing fish justice.

In fact, the whole product is so superior, why not re-brand it as – The Better Tuna™

Overly bold? Perhaps. But with a name like this, the first thing someone will ask is “Why is it better?” Then you have them. Whether that question is answered with a point-form benefits list on the can, with a visit to a freshly designed website or through a face-to-face chat with Bruce Devereux at your local Farmer’s Market, the result will be more word-of-mouth marketing, more PR and more sales.

The Educated Green Consumer market is on the rise. The term ‘supply-chain’ is becoming mainstream. It is proven that people will pay more for ‘green’ products that are better for them and actually deliver on a performance promise.

So if you market a product that really is better, take a look at your category and see if you could be ‘The Better _____™’

In the meantime, if you want some better tuna, talk to Bruce.

Tags: Green Points of View · Sustainable Businesses · Sustainable Products · Uncategorized

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ana Arias // Feb 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Hiya Lorne! What an excellent piece of creative marketing advice you’ve provided to these good folks with Estevan Tuna!

    I loved your idea about “The Better Tuna.” I hope the folks take you up on it. Your arguments are sound and they absolutely help.
    If I were the fisherman dude (aka, Bruce), I’d be running to knock on your door. 🙂

    My only suggestion is whether or not you ought to encourage others to do their version of “The Better (blank, fill in their own brand).”? Won’t that take away from this great advice you’ve just given Bruce’s company? Will that create the potential of others doing similarly therefore diminishing the ‘buzz’ and excellent tip you’re giving one client whose product is superior to most tuna options out there for others to copy?

    If you were giving me that tip, and I went for it, I’m not sure I’d want everyone else and his uncle out there to go and ‘copy’ this great idea because it could dilute it, make it less ‘real’ if those other products aren’t really top cat. Know what I mean, jelly bean? My two cents’ anyway. I’d be interested in your thoughts.


  • 2 Clover Leaf Seriously Misses the Boat With Sustainability Message // Jun 30, 2011 at 2:00 am

    […] If anyone out there wants to taste a real can of sustainable tuna, check out these guys. […]

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