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Can You Rebrand Hard to Soft?
By: Cindy Wendland
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You think you know what you like – those great Maine lobsters. People talk about how delicious the hard shell lobsters are. Then you find out, that really 70% of the Maine lobsters in the summer are softshell and you’ve been eating them all the time. Maine fishermen are working to rebrand softshell lobsters and make them a sought after item.

Communication and messaging are important in marketing. Maine lobsters are known as the best tasting lobsters. It turns out that lobsters shed their shells (molting). During this period they are softshell lobsters and the taste can be saltier and brinier. To keep up with demand in the summertime when many lobsters are molting, fisherman catch and restaurants serve, softshell lobster. 

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative is making a push this summer to make softshell lobster a special Maine treat. They are trying to get the attention of chefs, restaurants and visitors alike. They claim these lobsters are sweeter and easier to eat. Maine is looking to revitalize the lobster market, and their effort to rebrand softshell lobsters is their goal.

The downside to softshell lobster is that there is less meat in the lobster, and the lobster is in a more vulnerable state, so it may not arrive to the destination alive. Back in 2012, the Maine Lobster Advisory Council was trying to rebrand the softshell lobster. Three years later, they are still at it. Some restauranteurs say they don’t want to mislead customers, and some who receive a softshell lobster instead of a hard shell lobster, send it right back to the kitchen.

This is an old problem that needs new solutions. Some tie-ins with Apple’s iPad cooking may help, but the Marketing Collaborative didn't solicit our advice.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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