During my recent trip to Prague I observed a few things related to marketing. I like to analyze everything – it’s just the way I am.
So this story made me smile, but it reveals a particular formula and that is..
Opportunity + Foresight = Profit
I was introduced to a young man from London. He was one of the friends my son made during the competition they were both involved in. As seems to be the case with young people these days, they knew everything about each other within a short time of meeting.
They both knew about the rules and regulations of this contest. There is a long list of them, but one in particular was going to affect most entrants. For security reasons they were not allowed to take in backpacks to the venue.
However, they were allowed to take in clear backpacks that allowed the contents of the pack to be examined easily and quickly.
Here’s the opportunity
Somebody has to provide those clear backpacks. You would think that the entrants would prepare ahead of time and buy one that is suitable.
Here’s the foresight
Maurice took a poll of his friends (click here to take my poll!). He quickly discovered that most of them were intending to get a suitable bag when they arrived in Prague. That’s called market research.
When he landed in Prague, he found the main shop that sells these bags. He negotiated a price for 30 of them and negotiated to be able to get a refund if he brought any back.
That’s called working smarter, not harder.
Maurice then sold all his bags to the entrants who didn’t have one. He charged 400% of his purchase price. That means he made a 300% uplift on his outlay. He could have sold more, but he was limited to how many he could afford to buy.
Having taken more money (400% remember) than actual cost, was he exploiting his fellow entrants?
You might argue that, but in fact they were delighted. He had solved two problems for them. The first was finding where to source the product. It would have taken them effort.
The second was saving them time – that’s huge. They didn’t have to take a trip into the center of town and back. They could buy what they needed without moving an inch. He sold them where people already were. He took the product to them.
What Maurice really did, if you boil it down, is solve two problems for people. The benefits (remember the distinction between features and benefits) were less effort expended and more time saved.
It’s amazing what people will pay to save time and energy. If you can offer something that does that for them, you have a customer.
So here’s a question for you. And please join the discussion in the comments section. What benefits does your product (or anticipated product) offer your customers? Not features – benefits.
What does it benefit them to buy your product? If you can’t answer that clearly then you may not know your own product well enough to be able to sell it properly.
Join the discussion.
Please let me know your own experiences and if you have a story to share, that would be great.