Learn from bacon: How to shape customer opinion of a product

Some of the best marketing campaigns are practically invisible. One major example, recently spotlighted by Businessweek, is the massive transformation in the public's perception of bacon in recent years. Once, it was just another pork product, but these days, bacon is an inescapable additive found in an astounding variety of items.

How did this happen? After all, the 1980's saw health food trends make pork, and bacon specifically, much less desirable. In response, the Pork Board made a conscious decision to promote bacon as a "flavor enhancer" rather than a standalone product, reshaping the way it was perceived in pop culture (the famous slogan "Pork: the Other White Meat" was a precursor to this campaign). These days, bacon is practically shorthand for everything cheap and inherently delicious about the commercial food industry in America.

The National Marketing Manager of the Pork Board, Paul Perfilio, told the source that adding bacon to sandwiches became a staple for restaurants across the country.

"Portions got bigger in everything," he said. "Fast-food chains saw they could offer a number of different sandwiches with not only bacon as a topper, but all kinds of other things. Around 2000 is when bacon became the third condiment behind salt and pepper."

Today, the bacon industry makes billions every year, and even though its popularity has grown, bacon-flavored items still turn heads. Kraft recently released a Philadelphia cream cheese with bacon flavor, capitalizing on the fact that both are breakfast staples.

This was a massively successful turn around, but also a gradual one that took time and careful planning. Businesses should start early when thinking about this by adding signs from custom screen printing services.