Rufus Teague made some Sauce . . . and made our Christmas dinner

Rufus Teague made some Sauce . . . and made our Christmas dinner


A strong story, mixed with great design, makes an unforgettable customer experience


I met Rufus Teague at the grocery store. My typical Christmas Eve morning involves last minute shopping, and this year was no exception. To prepare for Christmas Day grub, I needed a really good barbecue sauce for the grilled pork tenderloin.

As I arrived at the barbecue sauce section, I realized this was not going to be easy. I was overwhelmed with countless jars stacked 5 shelves high and 3 feet wide. Chipotle, mesquite, eastern vinegar, western tomato, Heinz, Sauers – the choices were endless. Then I met Rufus. He was on the third shelf, right in the middle, and he stood out in the sea of sauce.

What drew me to Rufus was his story. In the middle of all that sauce, I spotted a bottle with the simple phrase, “Rufus Teague made some sauce.” It grabbed me. I just had to pick up the bottle and read the rest. “He put some in a jar and shared it with the boys. They kept on painin’ him ‘til he fixed up another batch. Next thing he knew he’s makin’ sauce all the time. It’s damn good.”

How could you not buy this sauce? And by sauce, I mean this story. I had never tasted the sauce, but with a story like that, I just knew it was going to be good. And I knew it would make the Christmas meal “damn good.” So on Christmas day, as we were starting to dig in to the pork, I introduced everyone to Rufus and his story. Like he had done with me in the store, Rufus drew everyone in. And everyone raved about that sauce. In fact, most of the guys in the kitchen talked about Rufus all day long like he was right there with us.

I wanted a sauce I knew would be good. And Rufus’s messaging said it would be. But the design of the label — the type, colors, and even the picture of Rufus —assured me by painting the picture of a sauce homemade by Rufus using his age-old recipe. All those other sauces on the shelves may have come from a homemade recipe, and they may have been “damn good” too, but they didn’t tell that story like Rufus did.

The sauce definitely tasted good, but was it the story and design that made it better? I don’t know, but it was the story that made me buy it. And it was the story that took center stage at our Christmas dinner.

What’s your story? What do you do that makes someone want to buy, donate or engage? Does the look of your marketing and communication pieces reinforce the story? Get that right and you can be “damn good” too.

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