On my first day in my new office, one of my R2Integrated colleagues brought in a freshly baked batch of phenomenal cake pops. When I asked her how she managed to poise such a quaintly designed, icing covered ping pong ball sized piece of moist cake on the end of a stick, she proceeded to give me detailed multi-step process which I instantly knew I’d never have the patience or skills to execute.
Undaunted, I remained fascinated by the incredible portability and convenience of the dessert-on-a-stick concept, and set out to execute something decidedly simpler to conquer at a recent dinner party. I began with the most child-friendly of recipes, a Rice Krispies treat, and melted a bunch of chocolate chips. Inserting the sticks into chunks of the treats, I coated them in thick layer of chocolate one at a time. It maybe took half the number of steps as those yummy cake pops, but they looked pretty darn good.
Standing at attention on the serving plate before my guests, the Rice Krispies lollipops screamed both neat and gooey all at the same time. It was then I realized that the essence of that original ball of red velvet cake on a paper stick lived on, at least in a small way through how I re-packaged the value I got from the initial idea. Someone else who was more of a cake fan than me might have immediately thought of other interesting ways to serve cake after seeing a cake pop and extended the idea further (perhaps cake in a cone?); I only thought of what else I could serve on a stick that’d be less effort than that cake recipe seemed to be?
Great ideas, re-packaged, are still great ideas. The idea, re-presented, still has merit but it is amplified by its extension. In putting my own spin on the novelty and utility of the dessert poised on a stick, I added the simplicity of the new recipe, as well as the nostalgia of a favorite childhood treat, and broadened the opportunity to pass it on. In advancing what was important to me, I syndicated those features which my own capabilities could carry forward.
New media marketers need to recognize that re-packaging is a natural part of sharing. When ideas are syndicated, they don't always get re-transmitted in their original form or with the same emphasis. What's perceived as the most important meta-message by a marketer may not be the "thing" that the audience hears and carries with them.