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Consider the Titanium Spork — It’s a matter of Specialization

31 May, 2019 Melissa Dallof Expert

Some years ago, I bought a titanium spork (yes, that KFC spoon-fork combo rendered in one of the strongest, lightest metals on the known planet) to take to a Christmas White Elephant gift exchange. This particular party was known for out-there, often handmade and sometimes rather rude gifts. One of the best that my husband and I brought home one year was a framed piece of burnt toast carefully etched with an impressively detailed picture of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by a glutinous halo of toasty wheat rays. But the party was closing in and I had no time to make anything like the miraculous toast, or the rude and crude tree ornaments, or even the box of Lucky Charms containing nothing but marshmallows.

So when I saw “titanium spork” come up while I was searching for other gifts for family members, I decided that was one of the stupidest things I had ever heard of and dropped one in my cart. When it arrived in the mail, I paired it up with a Franklin Mint Daddy Warbucks commemorative plate that had somehow found a home in my supply closet and headed off to the party. It was a good night, the spork was politely laughed at, and I came home with a complete set of ice-cream truck advertising magnets and a flash drive of unsettling ice-cream truck music.

So imagine my surprise when a few months later, my husband came home from one of his REI runs and proudly announced he had purchased a titanium spork. “And it has a carabiner on the end, so I can clip it to stuff!” he enthused.

“What? Why? Are you going to put it on a lanyard around your neck so everybody can see how cool you are?” I ribbed. “Take it to work?”

“No.”

“What, then?”

He looked at me (correctly) like I was an idiot. “For backpacking.”

For backpacking. Of course. What could be more useful for backpacking than a multi-purpose utensil you could hook onto anything, made from one of the strongest, lightest metals on the known planet? What had seemed so stupid to me, a non-backpacker, was highly desirable to someone looking for something light, durable and useful for stabbing and scooping reconstituted noodles and sauce out of the bottom of bag.

So what does any of this have to do with advertising and design? Plenty, actually. The titanium spork is a gold standard (titanium standard?) of specialization. It doesn’t have a wide scope of appeal, but to its intended target audience, it’s a perfect tool. The titanium spork is an example of someone taking an existing concept (eating utensils), considering a target audience (backpackers) and maximizing the qualities they would be looking for.

As Fluid developed our Untamed branch, we have also taken the path of the titanium spork. As we specialize, we deepen our knowledge and utility for a specific target audience. The tools, the language, the desires and the needs of the outdoor community differ from those of the general populace. When you work with Fluid Untamed, you are working with a group of people who share your passions and can see your audience through your eyes.

We understand how important it is to introduce your product or service with the audience that will appreciate the unique qualities of what you offer. We can help you target specific audiences with our Digital Marketing Team; develop branding and advertising that will speak to your target demographic with our Design Department;  create attractive, functional websites that leave a lasting impression with our Development Team; and all along the way, you have a reliable guide in our Account and Project Managers.

So keep the titanium spork in mind. It’s a great reminder of the value of specializing and knowing your audience. Not to mention, it makes that freeze-dried stroganoff taste all the better.

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