How Shank Public Relations Counselors got hot with the hot sauce


In our business we use all sorts of fancy words – product segmentation, brand differentiation, market identity – all mean essentially the same thing: What can we do to make our prospects and future clients and customers remember us?

That’s what we were looking for when we discovered a small New Orleans hot products company. We could have fun with their products, they were relevant to our brand, everyone (OK, nearly everyone) likes hot sauce, they were cost effective, memorable, you could put the bottles in your coat pocket, purse or brief case, they were memorable (yes, I said that before) and cost effective.

So began our friendship with our private branded hot stuff provider eight or nine years ago. We enjoyed, and our friends, clients and prospects enjoyed, our products ranging from the liquid hot sauce to wasabe’-coated cashews.

And then nothing.  And that nothing was caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Our supplier was literally blown out of NOL.

Flash forward to 2010.  On a cold winter day one of our account managers gets the call: “Hi, I’m Fred, your hot sauce guy and I want to tell you we’re back in business in Texas.”

Sure, it’s little more than an ounce, a really good ounce, of hot sauce. But it’s much more than that.  Each time I dribble a drop of our hot sauce on a taco, or in gazpacho, or on BBQ I think of a company in New Orleans who survived with perseverance, and tenacity and a hot idea.

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