How green are your bananas?


I love a green banana. When they turn that lovely chartreuse, they become the perfect blend of tart and sweet. It really should come as no surprise that a book preaching the importance of green bananas would catch my eye. The Green Banana Papers: Marketing Secrets for Technology Entrepreneurs by Chris Coleman offers advice that goes beyond technology companies, making some great points on how to explain the purpose of marketing to executives who may spend money on it, but don’t understand why.

The principle driving the book can be summed up in one phrase: “Good marketers have enough patience to buy green bananas.” At any given time, approximately 10% of your target market is ready to buy. But if you have no brand recognition in that market, it’s too late to win the P.O.

What about the other 90%? That’s where the green bananas come in. Establishing awareness and credibility with those who aren’t necessarily ready to buy today is key if you want to have a seat at the table when they are. That way, when the banana starts to ripen, you have a relevant stake in the game.

Did you know it takes seven to nine impressions before your company name even registers with a buyer? While you have the opportunity, match your message to the buyer’s mindset.

1.      Attention: Recognition doesn’t form until a single, simple message has been repeated, literally hundreds of times.

2.      Credibility: Reputation, references and track record – focus on success stories and PR.

3.      Value: According to Coleman,  it takes 6.6 personal sales calls to complete a sale.

4.      Decision: Make it easier on the prospect with a well-prepared proposal that includes customer endorsements and specific pricing strategy.

The Green Banana PapersWhen you invest in green banana marketing, make sure your messages are consistent, clear and frequent because any marketing you do now will influence all buying decisions–whether it’s now or 50 years from now. Marketing is what makes your company visible, credible and memorable, and until that’s established, nothing can happen.


Sarah Z. • November 2, 2011

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