The “Un-Fruit Basket”

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We met with our friend Elise this morning to talk about how we might update the words we use to describe what we do at Manhattan Fruitier. The issue always comes up when someone asks us what we do. We answer, “We own a company that makes fruit baskets and fine food gifts.” Then we stumble all over ourselves with caveats that describe what we are not as opposed to what we are, such as: “But they are really beautiful!”; “No cellophane! No sytrofoam! No towers!”; “Not your Grandmother’s fruit basket!”; “You won’t see gifts with soup and nuts and the kitchen sink thrown in!”

We feel compelled to find a way to communicate that our gifts are not what you first think of when you hear the words “fruit basket” or “gift basket.” Similar to how 7-Up positioned itself as the “un-cola” (if anyone remembers the TV commercial for 7-Up back in the 70s), we need to communicate our “un-fruit basket-ness,” if you will, to separate ourselves from an old and tired image.

We are working on it. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

– Lauren & Jehv, Owners

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When I joined Jehv to help him run Manhattan Fruitier, I was so inspired by spending the day surrounded by the color and vibrancy of fresh fruits, leaves and flowers. I still am. Every day I make sure to meander through the production area so that I can watch our gift baskets being made. Although it would certainly be easier to make a product that wasn’t so fragile and perishable, it makes me very happy to be a part of creating something so beautiful.
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  1. Their are a few very easy things you can do to help re-brand yourself in this capacity.
    1) Don’t reference a 40 year old ad campaign when asking how to look and sound more vibrant.
    2) All those things you say you are not has a positive reflection. Rather than say we do not have clutter, the kitchen sink, etc, say “we focus on quality of over quantity”, that “what is in your basket is carefully chosen with the distinct goal of escalating the emotion of that specific basket.” Your baskets are more than just sending someone “stuff” its sending them a sentiment, a celebration, an out-stretched hand, or a hug. The “stuff” may be what is inside your baskets but its really all about why it was sent in the first place.
    3)Make sure everything reflects the high quality and reasoning for every item. Just like it is important for those receiving the gift to feel why it was gifted, it is important for your customers to feel that giving one of your baskets is truly something unique and special.
    4)Finally keep it brief, just like your baskets are not overloaded with “stuff” your words should be short and too the point but stylized to capture your essence. In the world of FB and Twitter no one wants to read a book about Fruit Baskets.

    • It sounds as though you really get us, Josh, and are clearly knowledgeable about branding. You are right on about brevity. This is our current challenge — to find the right words (in as few as possible) to communicate the message. Thank you for your substantive comments.

  2. Hi Lauren! What a great website! I truly enjoyed going through it! Such healthy, bountiful baskets, with pure ingredients and no additives. That is the way to go. While recently attempting to convert to a healthier, vegan diet, I have been able to appreciate the health benefits of a plant-based diet. It is commendable that you and Jehv continue to create these unique baskets that are not only beautiful to look at, but healthy to eat! Regards, Maryann

    • Maryann — Great to hear from you! Thank you for taking the time to write to us and for your support. We have always made healthy gifts, but recently developed the HealthWise line in order to address some very specific dietary needs, such as those of vegans. I didn’t know you were transitioning to a vegan diet! It’s been years since I was a vegetarian even though both Jehv and I found it quite easy to maintain. About a year ago we ate a strictly vegan diet as an experiment for a month while our daughter was home from college. Although it required more thought than eating vegetarian, we were surprised at how well we adapted. Not sure I would be willing to give up cheese and eggs for an extended period of time, but I’d love to talk to you more about how a vegan diet is working for you.
      – Lauren

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