One of the interesting gifts my children received for Christmas was a mini theatre style popcorn popper from their grandparents. It’s not full size like a theatre one, thank goodness! It’s about twice the size of my coffee pot and has claimed it’s own permanent spot on my kitchen counter.
I am perfectly capable of making popcorn on my stove top in a pot. Okay, more like 70% capable and 30% of the time I burn it and have to start again… oops.
Still I had to wonder why I should have an entire new appliance to cook one thing… until we used it for the first time. It’s easier than popcorn on the stove top and I haven’t burnt a batch (yet). Plus, it’s cute with it’s bright red theatre vibe and it’s fun for the kids to watch the popcorn pop out of the kettle to fall into the tray below.
As I waited for popcorn to pop the other night I realized it illustrated a couple of marketing lessons.
Actual need is irrelevant:
Actual needs are food, water, shelter, clothing.
A popcorn machine is not a need but it’s now sitting in my kitchen instead of in the store and here I am telling you about it which shows they’re selling and getting talked about even though there’s no real element of need.
Did my kids need a popcorn popper? No. Do they love it? Absolutely. If they’d seen it in a store, I’d have been hearing “pleeeease mommy” for the next hour.
Their “want” would have become a “need” in their little heads. It happens in bigger heads, too.
How many people “need” to buy into the latest online multiplayer game craze or Apple’s latest (admittedly always awesome) product? How many would say they “need” it?
Wants are what sells:
It’s about what people want and they want an experience.
My parents know my kids love to go to the movies. It’s a treat and reward for them on the occasion Hollywood produces something fit for children to see. This gift recreates a little bit of that at home.
How can you turn what you’re selling into an experience people want, which they turn into their own “need”?
Skeptics can become fans:
Experiencing a product/service can be what it takes to convert someone from skeptic to fan. It took cooking one batch of popcorn to change my mind.
What can you do to offer that taste or experience of what you’re selling that will convert people?
So, do you have any unnecessary but well-loved items in your kitchen? Tell me I’m not the only one with crazy small appliances in my kitchen that talk to me about business and marketing lessons… has your coffeepot or toaster oven shared any insights lately?