In "The Graduate," A family friend utters one word, "Plastics," to Dustin Hoffman at his graduation party. Let’s fast forward some thirty–plus years later and understand that Benjamin Braddock, Dustin’s character, is now a Baby Boomer, and let’s make a healthy substitute for the word “plastic” and update that conversation to: “I just want to say one word to you ... just one word." says Mr. McGuire "Yes, sir."--Ben "Are you listening?"--Mr.McGuire "Yes, sir. I am."--Ben "Sugar-free."--Mr. McGuire Let me explain the reasoning for the change. In the exhibit area at the last annual conference of the Association for Accounting Marketing in San Diego, I stopped by a booth to talk to a representative of a business development company that has and continues to impress me. I had met the individual before, so we struck up an easy-going conversation of how the conference was going for each of us. As I left, he reached to give me a tin of mints with the company’s name printed on it. I refused it I told him the tin, unlike an offer of a piece of candy, was a great idea, as every time you take the tin out of your pocket for a mint, you are reminded about the company. He beamed as I spoke and explained that he came up with the idea of imprinted tins, and then convinced his CEO to approve the expenditure even though it cost considerably more than simply having out a bowl of sour balls. I suggested that his company’s next order should include tins of sugar-free mints, explaining that his company’s target was primarily the managing partners of firms (those that would approve using his company), and like me are probably Baby-Boomers, many of whom aren’t supposed to eat sugar as they are diabetic or pre-diabetic. If you want to see my theory in action, come to Atlantic City with me the next time I go. The busiest casinos are those that have a substantial sugar-free dessert section at their buffets and offer many sugar-free dessert choices at their restaurants, thereby appealing to and drawing those with the most disposable income and wealth, the same Baby Boomers. Column dedication: To GH.
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