Spend time in the marketplace and you’ll have many close encounters of the third kind with the most interesting species in all of nature: the human being. And as we have learned, the nature of humans isn’t much different from other animals: All need to breathe, eat, drink, procreate and survive.
But there is something that clearly sets humans apart from other fauna: sentience. And one of the manifestations of being self-aware is that beyond what humans need, they also want.
Every human who owns an automobile will need to buy new tires. But what they want is to keep the family safe while not spending a Saturday buying tires. So if you’re in the tire business, should you advertise tires, which are commodities that the Big Boxes can sell cheaper than your cost? Or should you develop and market a customer loyalty program that combines peace of mind for your family with pick-up and delivery? How about this tag line:
Let us worry about when you need new tires and get your Saturday back.
Basically the hairless weenies of the family animalia, human beings need shelter, but we want a home. So if you’re a realtor, should you focus on the obligatory list of residential features, or how the physical setting and interior space fit what you’ve learned is your customer’s sense of a home? Try this on:
Mrs. Johnson, countertops can be replaced. What I want to know is how much will you love seeing the sun rising over that ridge as you enjoy your first cup of coffee every morning?
Humans, like thousands of other warm-blooded species, need to eat every day, whether they get to or not. But unlike other animals, only humans want to dine. If you own a fine dining restaurant, do you emphasize the food, or the potential for a lasting memory? Check it out:
Long after you’ve forgotten how wonderful our food is, you’ll still remember that table for two in the corner or the booth next to the fireplace.
Small business success requires understanding these marketplace truths:
1. What customers need are commodities driven by price.
2. The price war is over, and small business lost.
3. What customers want is anywhere from a little bit more to everything.
4. Customers will pay more for what they want – charge them for delivering it.
As a small business success strategy, delivering what customers want or selling commodities they need, is as Mark Twain said, “like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
Write this on a rock … Find out what humans want, deliver it, and charge for it.