Look for the Nuggets

by Meryl K Evans | Category: Blogging, Marketing, Meryl's Notes Blog, Writing 1 comment
state fair big tex Look for the Nuggets

OK, so you can barely see us... but gotta have the traditional photo with Big Tex

The State Fair of Texas organizers have announced the winner of Big Tex Choice Awards — aka fried food wars. (Yes, the one with fried bubble gum, fried Coke, fried butter, etc.) It’s not a fried food contest, but rather a new and unique food competition for the fair’s concessionaires. One of the finalists is the Walking Taco, not a fried food item. However, that’s the only one I can recall in the history of the awards.

The Fried Food Nugget

Fair organizers knew that food was one of the top reasons fairgoers came to the fair. According to the State Fair website, Fletcher Corny Dogs debuted at the State Fair of Texas. “1942: Neil and Carl Fletcher come up with a new fast food product – corny dogs – which they offer to the public for the first time during the summer midway operation.”

In 2005, the fair organizers came up with a brilliant marketing idea to take its food theme to another level when it started the Big Tex Choice Awards. Thus, the fried food games was born. Eventually, the organizers added the slogan of “Fried Food Capital of Texas” leading people to associate the fair with fried food. The website even includes a map showing the location of the concessions for each fried food finalist and winner. (Some past food winners like fried cookie dough are available at the fair.)

No focus on the giant Ferris wheel, auto show, animals, shows or other attractions. It’s all about the fried food. The smart marketers found something that intrigued people and exploited it. Fried food became the magic nugget.

Using Nuggets to Write Stories

I write about many brands and models of cars for one client. At last count, I’ve written over 70. How many ways can you describe how fast a car goes from 0 to 60? Besides, when will you ever need to hit 60 mph in an instant? (I’d like to think most of you wouldn’t have a need to run away from cops.) In reality, this kind of info grips some buyers.

Nonetheless, I need more than just the magic number for hitting 60. The trick to writing a story about a car comes in finding the little nugget and creating a story around it. I study the car’s marketing materials ignoring luxury, comfort, sporty, safety references. Eventually, I find one word or phrase that stands out and capitalize on it.

This works great for coming up with articles and blog posts. You can look at past articles and find an idea or nugget that deserves its own article. How many articles have you seen touting the benefits of Twitter? Yet, they continue to come out daily with a different focus. Just look at the previous posts on Twitter. (8 Steps to Start Strong in Twitter and 5 Clues Affecting Twitter Follow back.)

Have you made the most out of a little nugget? How did you turn the nugget into a pot of gold?

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1 comment

  • Posted by Charlotte Rains Dixon on October 13th, 2011, 9:28 AM

    I love me some state fair food. And I think that nearly all of my writing ideas come from little nuggets that need to be developed. It is a mysterious and wonderful process how one nugget lodges in my brain and connects with others into a full-fledged idea for a book, story or article. Thanks for a great post.

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