I was at a grocery store yesterday and noticed the canned ham shown in this picture. If you look closely, you can see the price $10.99 beneath this curious ham in all its premium cooked canned glory.
Both then and now, I'm asking myself, who buys this stuff?
Well, today I had a breakthrough and came up with two instructive answers to this question.
Answer one is that nobody buys this stuff and the company responsible for selling it has overshot their perception of this product's value and are asking way too much for an item that nobody will pay $10.99 for.
If this is the case, then this is an instructive example example for any creative sharing or selling their work: don't overshoot your perceptions of what you are sharing with or selling to people. Your work might seem to be a gourmet honey glazed ham, but it actually might be a canned when once it's out in the world.
So if at all possible, call what's canned ham, canned ham, and what's honey glazed ham, honey glazed ham. Be honest with yourself, because even if it stings your ego, you won't be crushed when the truth finally comes out that it's canned ham—and it always does sooner or later.
Answer two is that somebody buys this stuff and the company responsible for selling it has an accurate perception of their product's value as it relates to the views and tastes of a particular group of people.
Which is to say, this company has identified a subculture of people in our larger culture who enjoy this product enough to pay $10.99 for it, and this clever company is turning a solid profit on their eleven dollar canned ham that probably didn't cost a whole lot to manufacture.
Me? I'd use the eleven dollars for a real, better, tastier, ham, but I'm likewise aware of the possibility that there are others in our culture who would happily spend their money on this ham and would enjoy eating it.
Neither group or individual in it would be right or wrong, however, because taste is an entirely subjective thing. The trick for the marketer, company, or organization, then, is to discover the unique tastes of a particular subculture and engage with them in a unique way.
My final answer is that I'm not sure who buys this stuff. But what I am sure of is that I've been challenged by this auspicious canned good to a) reassess how I perceive the value of my creative works and b) consider the degree to which I am reaching unreached subcultures.