It’s Not About Your Product | a lesson in value

“Your product doesn’t matter. The solution does.”

You know those moments when you’re in a conversation and you say something that strikes like a lightning bolt. Or a hot searing iron to the skin.

Completely profound and unexpected. Even to you.

This is one of those moments.

I was chatting with a fellow marketer one day, just catching up and riffing about the daily grind. She brought up a new client she had just begun working with, and the concept of conveying value.

The client sells vending machines. She asks,

“How do I make vending machines sexy?”

My response:

“It’s not about the vending machine. It’s about the solution that the vending machine provides.

It’s about the university kid that has a day full of lectures and didn’t remember to pack snacks, because he was up late studying…

It’s about the person running between meetings but has waned mental clarity due to hunger…

It’s about that same person needing an afternoon pick-me-up. They had meetings all morning and now have to attend to a mountain of paperwork that won’t sort itself out…

It’s about the heartbreak of getting your snack stuck in the vending machine when you’re already hangry…

…and being the one to promise that it won’t happen again.”

Vending machine fetishes aside, this thought process applies to all products and services. Consumers don’t care about the product upon initial interaction – all they care about is their problem and finding a solution.

Brand association can take years to establish. But being there, with your hand raised at the right time (ie. university campuses, malls, offices), displaying that you’re the solution to their problem, is something any brand can do.

This is a picture of an abandoned structure not too far from my house. I discovered it while hiking one day.

I didn’t expect to see this building in the woods but it attracted me. Or rather the beckoning light at the end of it did.

It made me curious, plus kept Ontario’s flying microvampires at bay.

I didn’t know I needed it until I needed it. It created value that day.

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