For $106.75 (+$20 shipping), you can become the proud owner of 25 pounds of Oreo cookie crumbs. What does this have to do with marketing, you ask? Let me back up a bit. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Ohio Growth Summit, one of the premier gatherings of marketing minds in central Ohio. It was two busy days of note taking, networking and aha moments. A session titled, “If You’re Not Pissing Off a Few People, You’re Probably Not Exciting Anybody Either,” caught my eye. As speaker Charlie Wollborg promised us 180-ish slides in in 60 minutes (complete with a shot of the Titanic and the footnote: “Spoiler Alert: It sinks”), I knew we were in for a treat. 

But back to the Oreos.

Over the course of his presentation, Charlie made a point that really hit home with me. Somewhere along the way, someone in the cookie factory looked at the crumbs they were sweeping up and discarding and thought, “We could sell that.” And just like that, trash turned into treasure. (Trash that we now pay for and gleefully sprinkle atop of our ice cream.)

THE BIG QUESTION What is everyone in your industry throwing away? What do people see little or no value in? How can you approach it from a new angle and turn it into a revenue stream?

Be the Oreo, people.