Do You Have the Sauce?

Sam Rapaport / 2023


If you know anything about me, you know I am a sucker for good packaging. My girlfriend doesn't even want to drag me into Sephora anymore because she knows I'll start rating the makeup packaging (in the next article I'll share tips on how to get out of doing the dishes, too).

So it's no surprise, then, that the first time I tried Truff was 100% because of the packaging. It also now happens to be one of my favorite hot sauces. But this post isn't about sauce. Well, not exactly.

The other day I was in the local grocery store and remembered that it was time to stock back up on Truff (I use way too much of this stuff). I went into the aisle to grab a bottle and this time was struck with how Truff's products stand out on the shelf.

Sauces tend to fall into one of two camps: large old legacy brands with equity in a particular package shape and label, and independent companies using stock packaging options.

The end result is that, while the branding may be different, the form factor is indistinguishable from another. Lots of new and unqiue sauce brands all blending together in the same jars and bottles.

There is endless value in differentiating. When it comes to sauce, Truff takes the win. It's what sold me and I'm sure tens of thousands of others based on the brand's explosion from boutique grocers to the largest chains.

The same goes for your digital branding and online presence. When it comes to websites, businesses are usually in one of two camps: outdated, slow, ugly websites and newer websites built on modern templates. The problem with the former is obvious, but are you seeing parallels between the latter in both the sauce and website categories?

A new website is better than an old one, but when you stack up most "newer" websites, there's nothing distinguishing them. You see the same few templates over and over, across nearly every industry. If this is you, think about the business you're losing just from decision fatigue. If a potential client or customer is shopping around for your product or service, what do you think will stand out to them? The boring jar in a sea of sauces, or the one that went the extra mile to shine above the rest?