Spam’s Greatest Marketing Challenge

By Phineas Upham

What happens when the name of your company’s most popular product is used to describe junk mail? Hormel, makers of the lunchmeat Spam, were faced with that very problem. In the mid 90’s, when internet spam surfaced in chat rooms and inboxes all over the place, Hormel tried to figure out how to save its name from being synonymous with something so annoying.

In the article, “How Spam Survived ‘Spam,’” writer Karl Taro Greenfeld reveals the entire story, which happens to be a success. Among the many reasons, the brand survived because the company decided to celebrate the joke instead of fight it. According to the article, the moment the company truly embraced the joke was in 2005 when they joined in the marketing of the musical Spamalot. The company is so successful today that it has developed nine new types of its lunchmeat.

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Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.