Yes, eggs that come with their own newsletter.
I'll give you what I see as the big takeaway first:
You might think that eggs is eggs. But, as we're told, some eggs are better than others - free range is better than battery, organic better than chemical. But with so many claims (many misleading) about eggs (what does "farm fresh" mean?), how do you make your eggs stand out? One way is by sending out a newsletter with each box of eggs to a) tell the story of the eggs and their producer, and b) build an unshakable bond with your customers.
The Country Hen claims to produce the best eggs in the United States. Here's what Kathy Moran from the sales department told me. (I'm telling the entire story, because it's important.)
Finally, since the first egg carton, George also wanted his customers to feel a strong connection to The Country Hen Farm. For this reason, he produced newsletters for every 6-pack of eggs. The newsletters are printed every 4-6 weeks and have included many topics including: nutritional information regarding the eggs, funny farm stories, backgrounds of Country Hen employees, hot button farm topics in the news (ie. recently ethanol), farm poetry, customer letters, etc... [Here are some links to the Country Hen's newsletter content.]
Now, if you had a story like that, wouldn't you want to tell the world? Wouldn't that make your product different from every other product? Wouldn't it make customers warm towards you and develop a bond with your product?
Kathy told me that customers complain if their eggs arrive without the newsletter:
I haven't heard from the company whether they are able to quantify the value of the newsletter in terms of extra sales. But you can bet it contributes thousands of dollars to the bottom line.
[Kathy emailed me later with this information: We often do a cost/benefit analysis of our marketing programs to evaluate whether they should be continued. Even though the newsletters are fairly substantial in cost, in twenty years, the discontinuation of the newsletters was never a consideration because of its obvious success and appeal with our customers.... When starting at The Country Hen, I would say that the success of this program was obvious in less than three weeks time. That is how many emails, letters, and calls we receive regarding the newsletter.]
When I say that every company needs a newsletter (including funeral homes), this is what I mean. In a world of battery hens and commodity-crappy products, a great, personal story - well told - is going to win out. Don't you think?