When You Hear Hemp, Do you Think “Rope” or “Dope”?

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet – or would it?

I’ve written before about how important choosing the right name is for your business, well here’s another example of how powerful the right name can be.

I made a visit to the health food store the other day.  As I was there, picking up my assortment of herbal remedies to bolster my immune system against the ravages of time and turmoil, the store owner came bounding up to me to share their newest product discovery : Hemp Bagels.

Right now, you’re probably imagining brownies laced with dried herbs of questionable medicinal value- at least, I know that’s what raced through MY mind as the tiny woman gleefully bounded towards the refrigerated section to share her latest discovery.   Why else would she be so excited?

In case you didn’t know, hemp – which has certain “medicinal” properties when dried –  was grown extensively back in WWII to make an extremely durable rope.

Allow me to share with you this ugly secret – when you think of hemp bagels – think of rope – not dope!

Trust me when I tell you that hemp bagels barely qualify as a food product.  However, with 19 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, hemp bagels are a really HEALTHY way to start the day.  At more than $1.00 a piece, they’re also one of the most EXPENSIVE breakfast foods on the planet!

Hemp seeds are highly nutritious, and contain beneficial omega fatty acids, amino acids, and minerals.  Trust me – they may possibly be the seed version of the fountain of youth but I haven’t figured out if they really will make my live longer or if it will just SEEM like life is dragging endlessly on – a parade of day after day of rope-like bagels.

I would consider hemp bagels as an essential part of the “if it tastes good – spit it out” school of diet and nutrition.   Yet they are selling by the CASE LOADS out of this tiny little health food store.

As I look back over the whole sales pitch, I never remember once any mention of hemp bagels being a tasty treat.  Nope – the entire sales pitch was on how healthy they are for me.

Knowing WHY people are buying is important.  I don’t know WHY I thought that hemp bagels would be as tasty as “healthy” high fiber Pop-Tarts – because I know that the “healthy” high fiber Pop Tarts are NOT healthy.  It’s entirely possible that hemp bagels are the secret to long life, thin thighs and limitless energy.  They certainly taste like they are.

I think naming them “Hemp” bagels was a genius naming move.   Visions of smoke filled rooms with music from the 60’s playing filled my head instead of the more appropriate image of a bagle which shares many qualities with virtually indestructible rope.

This is why it’s ESSENTIAL to know WHY your customers are buying your product or service.  Despite the fact that they’re expensive AND taste like rope, people are buying those suckers like they’re going out of style.

“They’re SOOO good for you” – I should have known that was the nutritional equivalent of “He’s got a GREAT personality!”  I don’t know if I can bring myself to buy more – even though my pants are noticably looser as a result of adding them to my daily diet.   Let’s face facts, when you start your morning eating rope bagels, the day has no where to go but up!


  1. Hi Kathy – Well, I’m of a certain age and I’m not about to free associate hemp with rope. Dope it is and always will be. The bagel thing sounds kind of like the cabbage soup diet, after a while you can’t stand to eat it so you lose weight because…drum roll…you’re not eating? 😀

    Betsys last blog post..TENACITY

  2. Ok, first thing I thought of was “dope”. And, if I stopped at the store (especially right after, ummm, taking my medicine) and was asked to buy a hemp bagel or the everything. I think I would go for the help.

    Agreed, great marketing..

    Jim Gaudets last blog post..Managing Application Servers with WSUS [Digg]

  3. When I hear “hemp” I think of some clothing made of help fibers or hemp seed powder. I rarely think of “dope” though it’s not entirely out of my mind.

    Carlas last blog post..Holiday Gift Ideas | Not Buying it

  4. Hi Kathy. And we used to say, “What’s in a name anyway.” Now we know better! I willing to bet those bagels tasted like rope 🙂

    Davinas last blog post..Small Steps To Empower Your Attitude

  5. @Betsy – you’re right – there is no joy in food anymore!
    @Jim – GRIN!
    @Carla – you’re a better person than I
    @Davina – they do taste liek rope – or clothing!

  6. Kathy,

    What a great post!!!!I laughed my way through it and I also got the point. After trying the food/medicinal hemp, I can’t believe you were able to continue eating them.

    Thanks for tickling my funny bone today!


    Sara B. Healys last blog post..Just Say NO: It’s a healthy thing to do!

  7. Hi Kathy – Great title! 🙂 And even better article. When I heard “hemp” I thought of the 60’s and 70’s. Who knew hemp was in bagels?

    Barbara Swafford – Blogging Without A Blogs last blog post..NBOTW – An Explorer Of Life

  8. @Sara -glad I could put a smile on your face
    @Barbara – Personally, I was ALL FOR hemp in bagels until I learned that it acted like rope instead of dope!

  9. Hi Kathy – I really thought dope too. They don’t sound very appetizing – but healthy stuff doesn’t often taste nice.

    Good point re knowing why folk are buying then you can paint that picture of what their life is going to be like, once they’ve bought your product.

    I don’t think I’ll be trying hemp bagels anytime soon though.

  10. When I hear hemp I do think of marijuana, cannabis, pot, etc. But I also associate the term hemp with rope and fibre, so I guess I think both rope and dope. I would definitely give hemp bagels a try.

    Jack Smiths last blog post..My Son in need of Help

  11. Herbal remedies says:

    BTW hemp seed oil has a pleasantly nutty taste and is a healthy addition to salad dressings, pasta, vegetables, smoothies, soups, sauces etc.


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