A lesson in differentiation, with TUMS


I had what I felt to be a stroke of genius yesterday. I was lingering about on Twitter, because that’s what I do here, and found the trending hashtag #rejectedcandyhearts.


For obvious reasons, I can’t share any of those here. Some were funny, some were vulgar, even @DiGiornoPizza got in on the game.

Then, totally by coincidence, Tums was in my Twitter feed. Tums, the chalky antacid that we all know and love. My brain added it up before I could. The answer was in front of me and formulating before I could say the words. It all seemed so clear.

Candy Hearts + Tums = Opportunity, lots of opportunity.

Here’s why this works: Tums is competing in a commoditized market.

commodity define   Google Search

What’s a commodity? Items that flood that market, are easily attainable, and have almost no difference between competitors. Some examples: apples, coffee, toilet paper, tissues, hosiery, and antacids.

Bananas are commodities too. Name a brand of bananas. You probably just thought of Chiquita. Why? What is on every Chiquita Banana? A sticker. An iconic sticker that separates your banana from the rest of the bunch. This sticker differentiates the banana. Without it you wouldn’t know a Chiquita from a Dole, but it doesn’t even matter because it’s just a banana! Antacids are the same.

I can give you a Rolaids tablet or a Tums or a Pepto, and they all have the same function. Sure one is white, one is colorful, and one is pink, but that isn’t going far enough. The opportunity here is for Tums to hop on board the candy heart train and ride it into profitability station.

Picture this: right around the first of February Tums releases a new line of antacids. These antacids are the exact same make-up and have the exact same efficacy of their other antacids, but these are heart-shaped. And not only that, but they have little sayings printed on them. Cute puns about heartburn, tummy aches, and love.

“Love Sick…to my stomach”

“My Heart Burns…for you”

Now you, the consumer, have a whole new reason to buy Tums. Instead of buying the other antacid on the shelf, there is more incentive for you to buy the Valentine’s Day special Tums. These antacids will shine above the competition on the shelf, and they would surely score plenty of earned media. Like I said before:

Candy Hearts + Tums = Opportunity, lots of opportunity.


That’s where our little 400 word blog on differentiation ends. For your reading pleasure I have supplied the stream of thought tweets I sent out yesterday during this Eureka moment (click on it for full view).

Twitter   Jeffdude  I d like to see  TUMStweets …

Hey Tums, this one’s on the house. Next time you want to chat about differentiation, give me a shout. -@Jeffdude