By telling an interesting story, you can cleverly convey your message to people by tapping into their emotions. Take the first Dutch National Potato Harvesting Day. At the Boerkok Experience Farm in Lelystad, families were received enthusiastically and had the opportunity to eat potatoes in all shapes, sizes and a wide spectrum of dishes. This is to emphasise how beautiful and diverse the potato is and how well local products fit in honest cuisine. The families then walked in a group to the harvest field where they could dig up golden-yellow potatoes themselves from a small part of the potato ridge. In a lovely black bag with the logo of the day, they could take their harvest home. The children then excitedly told their beaming fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers about their adventures in the field. A great story to tell at school on the following Monday. And so the potato suddenly finds itself in a completely different light than through a pile of leaflets handed out in the classroom.
You could also copy this method onto the B2B market. There, telling a story is just as effective a way of informing (potential) customers. I saw an example of this in Poland, where drought and heat conditions make growing potatoes a major challenge. By letting a grower tell his story and showing his approach in his own field, you can touch people in their potato hearts and inspire them to take the story home. This approach could be applied to many more important issues. Take the sometimes careless handling of soil fertility. Both the Farm of the Future research project and the seed potato grower Jochum Mansholt emphasise that healthy soil is the basis for successful potato growing. I wonder what other stories we’ll be presented with in the coming period, in a world where we’re allowed to travel again.
The content of this blog is the foreword from the Editor in Chief, published in PotatoWorld magazine 2021/02.
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