for bok choy
It was like Christmas. I lifted the cardboard box — stiff and clean for its first use of the season — delicately out of my trunk, like it held a nest of Fabergé eggs.
I placed it onto my kitchen table and lifted the top, instantly greeted by the sweet scent of just-picked strawberries and ripe tomatoes. I pulled out green onions, asparagus, one of the largest cucumbers I had ever seen, bunches of spinach, kale and more. I continued sorting through the contents of my produce box until I saw it. At the bottom, buried beneath the sugar snap peas and arugula, was a large, leafy head of bok choy. What on earth, I thought, am I going to do with you?
This spring, my husband and I became members of the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative. Once a week during the summer, we pick up a box of produce grown by local farmers. Unlike a supermarket where you choose what to carry home with you, whatever is seasonal and available is what you get. We knew that each week our box would probably contain something new — and that some things we would like and some we would not.
Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is certainly not exotic (you can find it in almost any grocery store), yet somehow I had never managed to add it to my repertoire of ingredients and once it was there on my table I was stumped. Trying new things, it seems, is much easier in theory than in practice.
We’ve all done it: No matter how good your intentions may be, grocery day comes and you come home week after week with broccoli, carrots and green beans. Not that there’s anything wrong with broccoli, carrots and green beans, but there is so much more out there. Sometimes you have to force yourself to try something new, no matter how well your current routine is working.
It’s easy to fall into a broccoli and carrots rut with your marketing strategy too, so at Mottis we encourage our clients to leave room in their advertising plan to try something new, whether it is a new list of addresses for an email blast, a new design or headline, maybe even a completely new medium or message. Never completely abandon the successful for the latest trend, but always leave room to let the next best thing find its way in.
Yes, I understand “Change is good” is easy to say and hard to do. When the time comes to allocate specific portions of your budget, be it for groceries or marketing, the resources are always finite and spending some of it on the unknown is scary. There will certainly be things that don’t work, things that you don’t like, but you must work through those to discover the successes. So far during my Farm to Table experiment, I’ve discovered turnips are a solid no, but that mysterious bok choy has become a new favorite. Turnips then were not a waste because, in their own way, they led me to bok choy.
If it is your goal to stay where you are forever, then stick with broccoli and carrots. However, most organizations have goals for growth and change. To grow you must explore and as a result exploration deserves its own line item in your marketing plan. Make it a goal to try something new. You might get a few turnips, but you will eventually end up with bok choy — or something even better.