What Did KFC’s Founder Colonel Sanders
And Romanian Publisher Petre Ispirescu
Had In Common?
It’s the twelfth spice!
Let me tell you their two stories, first.
I suppose almost all of you might know who Colonel Sanders was, while for the rest who don’t, although I believe you could easily google for it, I’ll let you know here some quick facts:
- Harland David Sanders lived 90 years, from 1890 till 1980;
(I bet he was either restraining himself from his own ‘recipe’, or the actual one is not as original as what he was using, otherwise we should hurry to KFC to eat daily and live longer…)
- He developed his 11 spices recipe for cooking chicken at his service station in Corbin, also using a state-of-the-art pressure fryer, instead of the commonly used pan-frying of those days;
(I bet again this was another trick of his, that people didn’t talk too much about)
- He was given the honorary title ‘Kentucky Colonel’ at the age of 45, by the Governor
(You know, he – and his recipe – had become quite popular by then)
- At the age of 65, Sanders took to franchising KFC restaurants, forced by the dramatically reduced traffic to his restaurant, due to the construction of Intersate 75 at that time.
What would you do if your Internet traffic would be drastically reduced by some new technology?
Well, maybe you’re in your thirties, as that seems to be the average age – between 34 and 35 – of successful Internet Marketers these days. But remember, he was old enough to be at least your dad, probably, so it must have been very tough!)
SOMETHING HAPPENED HERE ! ….Sorry… THEN !
- Eventually, Colonel Sanders managed to sell the American side of KFC, at the age of 74, for a couple of million dollars, while still keeping his Canadian operations for himself enabling him to continue collecting the franchise fees.
Now, about the Romanian publicist and printer Petre Ispirescu .
He lived 57 years from 1830 till 1887.
Even though I found his life inspiring, probably his work is more important to this article now. He is most known for his printed collections of Romanian folk stories. (Even not being a writer himself we still have to hail him on the titaneous work of collecting and putting them together)
Some of his most known and prominent works are:
- "Romanian Legends and Tales" – 1874 (Legende sau basmele romanilor)
- "Popular Anecdotes and Stories" – 1879 (Snoave si Povesti populare)
- "Stories of a talkative old man" – 1879 (Povestele unchiasului sfatos)
- "Examples and riddles" – 1880 (Pilde si ghicitori)
- "Tales, Anecdotes, and Jests" – 1883 (Basme, snoave si glume)
Between them, there is one story that every kid is told at the proper age, so everybody shares this knowledge, thus becoming common knowledge and popular wisdom, as well as popular everyday saying:
Like salt in your food (Ca sarea-n bucate)
Okay, that is something to keep in mind, ‘c ause Colonel Sanders tried hard to sell his franchise without too much success, until he found a bar owner (the legend goes as this one was his 1001′st try – can you believe that?) who was willing to give it a try, if only Sanders agreed upon adding more salt to his recipe (the guy was selling drinks, right?). Well, Colonel Sanders did that and the story goes on as you already know it.
Back to Ispirescu, the other story is like this (very, very briefly exposed here):
Once upon a time, there was a King who had three daughters. He loved them very much, but was wondering which one of them loved him back mostly, in order to choose her to be married first and leave his kingdom to her.
(The guy was in a hurry, having no male heirs of his own, see?…)
So, he decided to run a split-test … sorry… contest to find out.
He simply asked them one (open) question " How do you love me, my daughter?"
Aha…, I knew it! You’re beginning to see the pattern here, right? We’re marketers ourselves, after all. The old guy simply tried to sell something. Guess what that was?
Hmmm… not salt, that’s for sure!
Okay, so he summons the oldest of the three:
" I love you most, my father!
I love you like honey!" she said.
" Mmmm" – the King was satisfied.
Then he summons the second oldest of the three.
Guess what? He’s asking her the same question. He must be thouroughly comparing the answers he’s getting.
"I LOVE YOU BETTER!" his next daughter claims.
"I love you like sugar!"
" Mmmm" – once again.
(It pays to be the King, isn’t it?)
Side thought here: I believe I’ve heard Colonel Sanders’ chicken recipe tasted sweet before franchising, at least so they say.
This is WRONG people: SWEET IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH! Be warned!
"You both sound very pleasant to my ears" , the King said,
"but let’s hear what the youngest one has to say" .
"My Sire, I love you like no one else" she said misteriously.
"I love you like salt in the food"
Here, I should point out that the King didn’t seem to be a heavy drinker of sorts, as he didn’t recognize the value in his youngest daughter’s ‘offer’.
"What? Salt? When your sisters are so sweet you dare say that to me?
Off you go! You are not my daughter anymore. Go away!" he raged.
And so, her voyage began and the tale goes on and on… Long story short, she arrives at a neighbour King’s palace, manages to get hired as a cook and prepares the best dishes for the court using her skills, without letting them know her secret ingredient: salt. (yeah, I bet you knew by now…)
The Prince falls in love with her and eventually manages to convince his father to let him marry her.
She agrees, but without revealing her heritage, insists upon inviting the neighbouring King and his daughters to attend the wedding.
Looks like Romanians invented soap opera a long time ago, isn’t it?
Back to the story, her father – the King – and her sisters came to the wedding and by miracle didn’t recognize her in the beginning.
Same Romanians forseen facial surgery, maybe? Weird, indeed!
Now, here she does something really interesting, that forces her father to acknowledge the fact that salt was a greater measure for love than sweeties.
And does she get both Kingdoms in the end, or an Inn? What would you think?
Please, feel free to comment and make suppositions on the end of the story, but mostly try to guess the method she used to convince her father of the better value of salt.
This would surely be a great exercise for marketing something common, very valuable, but set aside, nevertheless, by the more blatant hyped sweetened ‘products’ out there.
I’ll let you know Ispirescu’s end in my next post.