Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to Make a Successful Sale: Do We Create Needs or Simply Discover Them? - Part II

Can we really create needs?
Last week's article was focused on the fact that, as people dedicated to marketing  products, brands and services, our main task is to discover the needs that motivate our customers to finally make the purchasing decision for what we offer, and based on this discovery to develop all our commercial and advertising efforts.

If we can’t find such need, it’ll be very difficult to connect our product with its consumer and make the sale happen.

One of the comments I received about the post, reminded me that one of the major products developer of our time, once said that "We create needs"

I am 99% sure that we DO NOT create needs.

And I say 99% because, like everything else in this world, there is no absolute truth about anything and there should always be room for a second opinion, and a third, and many more.

Now I'll try to show you where my opinion is coming from: If it were possible for us “to create needs”, then consumers will simply be programmable robots to whom we would be able to dictate what, how and when to buy our products. And we all know it doesn’t happen that way.

If it were possible for us to create needs, companies would need not to diversify, sales would suffer no ups and downs, there would be no competition, all brands would be alike, product consumption would remain stable, regardless of the economic crisis, and a lot of things more, and as we see, none of this actually happens.

New products are created because there are business opportunities for them.

Products are created because somehow its creator has discovered a market niche to which marketing efforts can be aimed and turn that product into a profitable business.

But first, this discovery of the need must be made. The product developer must have found that there is a need in the consumers' side which must be properly taken care of and/or fulfilled, and makes sure this new product he’ll be bringing in will fill the gap and do the job more efficiently, or even on a unique way, as it has been in Steve Jobs’ case, who directed his products’ marketing efforts towards specific market segment and did it in a wonderful, unique way for each of the products they developed.

What made Steve unique, in my opinion, is that he was able to look further ahead and find out that things could be done in a better way, that products could go a step further in satisfying consumer’s needs and anticipated what consumption trends might be among people for those new products.

But anticipating is not the same as creating. Finding out where things are heading to and getting there before anyone else is not the same as creating a brand new place. And that is the virtue successful entrepreneurs have: they know how to analyze the market looking for new business opportunities to develop and create new products and services.

If we could create needs, the world would be very boring.

And boring because we would all have the same car. Why would we need a smaller, or a larger one? or why would we even need a luxury car, instead of a two-door sedan if both of them allow us to satisfy our transportation needs the same way? Or maybe everyone would live in the same house, or would wear the same clothing?

Can you imagine what it would be if drug dealers could "create the need to consume" their products?

The power lies, as it has always done, on consumers, who have the power to decide to purchase an specific product, service or brand that suits their needs, and will purchase it from the one who knows how to discover what really motivates them to make the buying decision.

This post is dedicated to you. I do hope you enjoy it.

And here you have the link to Part I: How to make a successful sale: Do we create needs or simply discover them?



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