Water And Music Top The Sales Charts

Apr 3, 2013

Credit Justin Willingham

When I think about all the inventions and discoveries in my lifetime, it’s mind-boggling. Plastic. Television. Computers. Cell Phones. Jet airplanes. Color photography. 

And that doesn’t scratch the surface.

But I believe the most extraordinary marketing successes have been achieved for two products that are centuries old: drinking water and music.

Last year in America, we drank 9.1 billion gallons of bottled water. That's 222 bottles apiece. Four bottles, every week, for every man, woman and child in America. Even I’ve paid up to five dollars for a cold bottle on a hot golf course.

Bottled water didn’t exist when I was growing up. Nobody carried water around with them.

And music? Music was something you went somewhere and listened to. Even after portable radios came out, people didn’t lug ‘em around every day.

Today, kids between eight and eighteen listen to music nearly three hours every day. Three out of four eight-to-eighteen-year-olds own an iPod or an MP3 player. This is the same human species that got along fine without constant music in our ears and bottles of water in our mouths, backpacks, purses, pockets, on their belts and bikes.

Why suddenly do you have to carry water constantly, as though you’re heading across the desert? And pipe music into your head all day?

Because you can.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.