Posts Tagged ‘need’

Find a Need and Fill it?

December 4, 2009

We all know this as a standard business motto – Find a Need and Fill it.  Inventing a wheel or growing wheat to make bread would be examples of filling a need.  So is “filling a need” the most profitable way to grow a business? 

Remember all the tennis shoes that have been created to give you sure footing – perhaps even wider at the base for steady walking?  Now Masai Barefoot Technology is promoting their $245 sneakers that mimic being barefoot.  The shoes are narrow and rounded on the bottom – making you unsteady but building great gluteus maximus (nice butt) because you are unsteady on your feet.   Reebok is playing catch up with their Reebok EasyTones.  Uh – did anybody think about just going barefoot rather than spending $245?

Why do we pay big bucks for haircuts that make us look like we just crawled out of bed?  Or very expensive jeans that look like they got run over by a train?   Basic motorcycle sales are down, suffering from the economic sluggishness.  Jesse James, maker of custom motorcycles starting at $150,000, has a four-year waiting list. 

Sources tell us Madonna spends $10,000 each month for drinking water that has been blessed by Kabbalah rabbis.  And if you don’t have that privilege you can at least buy the Bling H2O that has made appearances at the MTV Music Video and Emmy awards.  The frosted glass bottles have Swarovski crystals spelling out “bling” on the outside.  The water actually comes from Dandridge, Tennessee – probably out of some farmer’s back yard –but they are labeled “Limited Edition Spring Water” and are sealed with a cork.  They don’t promote health or quality — rather, they promote being the world’s most expensive water.  You and I may not be celebrities but even as mere mortals we can get our own Bling H2O for only $441 per case of 12 bottles or $36.75 for one bottle.

If you fill a “need” you can make a living.  If you fill a “want” you can get rich.

Shorts vs Panties

August 14, 2008

This morning I opened a new pack of undershorts that Joanne picked up for me.  Wow – seven pairs of new Fruit of the Loom shorts.  Out of curiosity I asked her what she paid for these.  She said it was $5.99 for the pack of seven.  Okay that’s $.85 each – and these babies have double stitching, the extra overlap for the trap door that we guys need – all in all just a real classy piece of workmanship.

Then I asked her what she pays for her panties. She said normally $8-10.00 each.  Of course those are much simpler in design – no trapdoor needed.  Just a bag with a couple of holes in it.  Now I may be oversimplifying the issue here, but why are they ten times as much money?

It’s because for guys we’re talking about a necessary and functional item.  For women it’s a matter of style and grace and beauty.  I’ve always told people you can make a living selling things that people need; e.g. washing machines, transmissions and light bulbs.  But you can get rich selling things that people want – chewing gum, vacation trips, motorcycles and ladies panties. 

People don’t “need” my books.  But I sell hope, inspiration and imagination that just happened to be packaged between two book covers.  People “want” that.  It sounds like an elementary business concept – but what about you — are you selling what people need or what they want?