The Art of Slight Product Modification = Sales

22 Aug

Remember that Simpsons episode where Lisa released the Lisa Lionheart doll that is ment to be the wholesome doll that would inspire a generation of girls and break Malibu Stacey’s monopoly? And remember how when the doll is released, a new Malibu Stacey doll is released but it is exactly the same as every other Malibu Stacey in the store… but oh wow… it has A HAT! All the little girls go mad and buy the new Malibu Stacey with the hat and forget the Lisa Lionheart doll. This is slight product modification that is majorly played up so people want it.

I recently saw an ad for the new Reach toothbrush and they were promoting it as the best thing ever. Guess what its amazing feature is. A hole in the handle to rest your thumb in “so you can have better control of the brush”. WOW! Oh my gosh! All this time I have had no control of my toothbrush because it didn’t have a hole for my thumb. I better buy 100 of these amazing brushes I think. Toothbrush companies must find it hard to sell new brushes I think because after all, toothbrushes are much of a muchness.

This also reminds me of a mascara I saw a few months ago that is still probably being sold in stores. This particular mascara was battery powered. Who on earth needs a battery powered mascara? I personally think thats just asking for makeup mistakes. Basically this mascara is exactly the same formulation and brush as this companies other mascaras… but it has batteries to make the mascara vibrate… thus adding an extra $10 or so to the price and providing a gimmick to entice purchase.

I suppose a great deal of people see the advertisements promoting the new feature and believe that it really is amazing and a must have in their house and thus purchase it. Slight product modification and the promotion of its “special feature” always amazes me because the modification is usually insignificant but still captures a new, or product switching proportion of the market who like to try new things.

Note to self: Sell plastic water bottles with holes that can be pushed out so you can use it as a shower if you are on a camping trip. Amazing!


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