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Where is the Maple?

I awoke this last day of 2011 to discover something interesting about syrup and the marketing and advertising of such a simple product. I have always been in the retail game room business and have always had an understanding for marketing and advertising. However, I think we are either getting more gullible, stupid, or just plain lazy when it comes to reading the ingredients and taking the first marketing impression for granted.

I was about to sit down and enjoy my favorite syrup on some pancakes when it occurred to me as I was looking at two bottles of famous brand syrups (my wife’s favorite and mine differ). Both bottles are labeled original but one happened to say “No High Fructose Corn Syrup”. This, of course, just happened to be my wife’s favorite brand so I thought to myself “what is High Fructose Corn Syrup?” and “if my favorite does not advertise this then what does it have?” So I turn the bottle over to the back and start to read the ingredients. I always assumed both of these were of maple syrup. They use fancy names and you would just assume they are maple. As it turns out they are not what they are marketed and advertised as at all. They are both Corn Syrup but I wonder how well they would sell if the distributor or manufacture labeled them prominently with the actual ingredients. Would you buy Pure Corn Syrup or would you rather buy Original Syrup. Neither is advertised as Maple Syrup but yet you would imply or believe they are not simply corn syrup. So I pulled out a couple small bottles from Vermont and Canada both are 100 percent pure maple syrup. I think I am going to make the switch from now on to do my due diligence and read the ingredients and dig deeper into the marketing message of the company or product I consider buying.

This brings me to shuffleboard tables. I would suspect that many consumers believe that the boards are maple because many are advertised as maple. Well, with imports, if your translator is told it is China Maple and he tells you it is Maple then are you justified to come back to America and market and advertise this product as Maple. Many of the Shuffleboard distributors and names you see on the Internet do advertise boards as Maple that are not and the consumer does not know the difference. McClure shuffleboard tables are all handcrafted in Michigan at our own factory. We do not buy boards or tops or cabinet component parts and then assemble them. We manufacture every aspect of our shuffleboard tables with pure Michigan hard maple. We know what quality maple looks like, what it feels like to work the wood in your hands, and how stable a wood it is for making shuffleboard tops. It is upsetting to know that many competitors advertise their products to be something less than what the marketing message appears to be. Just like the syrup, it looks like maple, smells like maple, and they salesman said it was maple so it must be.

I suggest for 2012 we all make a vow to be more diligent in our marketing messages if you are an advertiser. If you are a consumer then I would suggest you do your research. Call the company on the phone several times to see if you get the same information. If they say made in the USA ask them where is the factory and can you visit? We believe in the quality, ingenuity, and craftsmanship of the American worker and we will put our shuffleboard tables up against any built anywhere in the world. As long as you are playing fair that the materials, ingredients, and workmanship have equal quality. If you bottle corn syrup and market it as maple syrup, then do not ask me to compare the quality of an original to a fake imitation shuffleboard.

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