Soda straws have been with us for a hundred-and-twenty-five years. The first patent was issued in Eighteen-Eighty-Eight. And you used to get one at soda fountains for fountain Cokes and milk shakes.
How is it that all of a sudden, even in nice restaurants, a glass of ice-water comes with a soda straw stuck in it? I don’t ask for a straw. Yet, every cold beverage arrives with a soda straw. Why is this?
Toy-maker Fisher-Price is, in my opinion, the classic example of a company that develops new products the right way. Its customers, young kids, are said to be the most finicky of all consumers.
Fisher-Price sends its people into homes and playrooms. They want to see what play areas look like. What’s in them. How existing toys are being used. They look particularly for things that moms have adapted for children’s play. Necessity is the mother of invention, they agree, and moms are very inventive.
True marketing is a process of maximizing a company’s assets. It begins with identifying the company’s assets, and that’s not always as obvious as you might think.
The genius chief marketing officer at Delta Airlines was the first to identify Delta’s customers as an asset two years ago. The result included new sales opportunities that have accounted for over $1.5 billion in new revenue.
You can go through a similar marketing process in your own behalf, and you begin the very same way.