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The Regulars

People needing people

By The Food GuyPublished about a year ago 4 min read
The Regulars
Photo by Kevin Curtis on Unsplash

No business has ever survived without its customers. Setting up the enterprise to make a profit requires engaging with the fundamental part of the business ecosystem, and that is to sell to whoever is willing to buy. What can be seen as exchanging goods for cash is naturally a process of interactions, connections and trade-offs. Upon a close look at this ecosystem, the pattern of influential centres of purchase and influence emerges - the regulars.

I have observed the regulars becoming more than participants in the ecosystem of trade firsthand. I am a trader, I see people come and go. Some, linger. Over time they become “returning customers”, excuse my lingo. With time we learn something about each other and trade information for pleasure. Our relationship becomes unique to just us.

Goods and businesses

The consumer goods industry has long figured out that selling emotions, dreams and feelings is more important than the product. Consumers don't buy logic and numbers, they buy experiences and ideas. One of the most influential examples is Apple with their 90’s commercials about being different, revolutionary, and paving a way forward to a never-been-seen-before technological breakthrough. Look at the Apple now.

Everyone knows who Steve Jobs is and everyone knows Apple products. People used to queue at their shops overnight. They don't think a new phone is better than the last one, they know it.

Sell feelings. People never know what feelings they feel - a good tagline will help.

My favourite recent example is that a toilet roll gives you comfort and confidence. If a piece of paper for your bum can do this, the world is yours to take.

The toilet paper and Apple’s new phone sell what you want to feel and imagine. They are practical items with many benefits to your life but it's really hard to imagine and compare what 3 ply 120 pieces look and feel like compared to the roll with a breakthrough 3D wiping technology attached to it, and how 6 inch 1200x800 pixel screen compares to 6.2 inch 1320x1080 one. I see you get nervous just skimming through those numbers. Use tissue to wipe that sweat off your forehead, that will make you feel relaxed and confident.

Goods Only

You might have heard the term “commodity fetishism”. If not, in a nutshell, it is a relationship between people, money and items where individuals value items and money in and of itself. Missed something? Perhaps people who put their labour into the product and the real value of those items in the lives of people from either side? This is what the toilet paper commercial is trying to tell you: toilet paper = confidence. No matter how you look at the toilet paper, confidence isn't one of the things it is made to do. Yet you can believe that it does because the pack said so. What else did the pack say?

Should I care who makes my toilet paper? I think I should. I would love to meet those nice people who care about my cleanliness and confidence. I want to hear what they thought of it, I want to know more. But at the same time, I could probably live without toilet paper, and use a quick shower when needed. That would certainly freshen me up and give me a nice pleasant feeling of certainty and what do you call it? Yes, yes. Confidence.


Now where were we? People make products we like and use. It’s a somewhat easy link to see and miss when we focus on shiny new objects. Did you even need them in the first place?

People buy food because it makes them less hungry, a great goal if you ask me. I can meet your wishes for a tasty, quick, plant-based and exciting meal. Easy. Do you know what is hard? Make you buy only my product. Not that I want you to. Because there are other makers whose passions you should support too. My meal might tickle your tastebuds, engage your neural network of pleasure sensors and make your mouth water, and I hope it will leave you happy. When you are no longer hungry.

If you like my food, if you believe in what I do, come back for more. I won’t tell you to become a regular. And I don't sell feelings. However, I can give you a recommendation. And we can have a chat when you aren’t too busy.

Regular future

The regulars are true believers in what they buy. They know the revolution is coming and this is their contribution to when, not if.

Small, independent, local individuals selling their artisan craft products need you and your attention.

The regular once came to try and find more than what they were looking for. Maybe respect or an expert opinion; an outstanding quality or a story, a vision of the future they want to see.

People and the products they make are connected. Tell me a joke and I will make hundreds of people laugh. Tell me a story and it will become part of me. You eat what I make and it nourishes you to do what you do best.

Post-Credit Scene

If you are the regular you are a true star of the show. I am the stage maker and the audience, waiting for the main act. You are the lead role. Every time I see you, I smile. And afterwards, I want to bow, and I will never be bored of this show.


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About the Creator

The Food Guy

I read about food politics like it's a Harry Potter.

Eating my way through culture and cooking up the future.

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