When I went to order my sandwich, big wreck on white, the guy behind the counter corrected me (politely) and said big wreck on regular. I was a little confused on this, so I asked “that’s white bread right?” He told me that they call it “regular”. So when a customer puts in a sandwich order the normal response from behind the counter is “on wheat or regular?” I asked “why he called it that?” (This is where I became very interested in the word “regular”.) He said he didn’t care, but when his regional manager stopped by on his last visit he asked all the sandwich makers to call the white bread “regular” from then on. I thought this was kind of weird. Honestly, do you really want to your sandwich makers correcting/confusing your customers? Then I thought about it for a bit.
So I went to Google and searched “White Bread” here is what came up: http://www.google.com/search?q=white+bread
The first few search results were normal. (It was really hard not to make a pun out to the word “regular” there.) Then I came to result #7 “White Bread is bad for you”, and then I went to page two and found 4 more links to negative content about white bread. So this lead me to Twitter, I wonder what is being talked about there. I found more white bread haters there. Looks like “white bread” isn’t good for you, or at least that is the main point of a lot of white bread conversations.
Coming back to Potbelly’s, I think I get it now. They are making an actual effort to stop offering “white bread” to customers. Rather they’ve re-branded their white bread as “regular”. So that comes back to the title of this article, is the word really that important when it is the same product? Does calling it a Chevy vs. a Chevrolet really make that big of a deal. Well as a marketer I’d say absolutely it does, based on numbers and case studies and so on. But then again, when I was the customer today… I was just confused. So how important is a word? Enough to change how you see something?
Thanks for listening,