Posted by Callum VP, on September 10, 2020.
Do you ever eat your own dog food? In case you’re not familiar with the term, ‘eating your own dog food’ or ‘dogfooding’ is the practise of an organisation using its own product. It’s a good way for organisations to test their products in real-world usage. It’s something I’ve often wondered if restaurant owners ever do. You know when you order a tea or coffee in a restaurant or cafe, and they bring you the milk in a tiny little jug. Then you try to pour the milk from that decorative little jug into the cup and as much of the milk spills down the front of the jug as actually makes it into the cup. It’s so annoying! There are some jugs that simply don’t pour without spilling. If the restaurant or cafe owner had ‘eaten their own dog food’, I’m pretty certain they would have swapped the tiny little decorative jugs for more practical, better-pouring jugs, that aren’t going to annoy their customers!
Anyway, this article isn’t about spilt milk. It’s about us eating our own dog food.
As you may have seen, we’ve recently created a little garden at our HQ in Banbury. In doing so, we’ve been eating quite a bit of our own dog food. And in the main, we’ve been pleasantly surprised! Not that this should come as a surprise to any of us, you know we have great products!
We’ve used all of the following;
- Our Edgar lawn edging
- Our Ergo raised bed
- Our Ergo Quadro raised beds
- Our Urban Balcony raised bed planter
- Our 2in1 water butt
- Our Speedy downpipe filter
- Our Thermo-Wood compost bin
- Our forcing cloches
One of the products that impressed me most, was the Edgar lawn edging. When I first saw this product, I thought it looked a bit lightweight. I thought it was perhaps a little too domestic. However, this is the great thing about dogfooding; you get to experience the reality and often this is very different to your judgement and the ’story’ we tell ourselves about how things are and what things will be like. Truth is, this product was nothing like I expected, it was loads better. And with this experience, we can now highly recommend it. Without using it, we would have sold some, but the way we spoke about the product would likely have been very different, because we had a perceived expectation of the product that isn’t in fact true. Now we really know what it’s like to use, we can inform customers in a much better way.
So, are there any products that you produce, or sell, that you haven’t tried & tested? Are you really able to describe their benefits? Do you truly know that they’re as good as you tell people they are? Are there any parts about them that could be improved to make the whole customer experience that bit better? i.e. are you giving your customers leaky jugs?!
Eating your own dog food, or dogfooding, may sound like the strangest thing to do, but having spent a significant time over the past 2 months doing exactly that, I can highly recommend it’s benefit to
any company willing to give it a go!
So, go do it & Bon Appétit!