Thursday, December 4, 2008

Delight the Cat

The world was simpler when all you had to do was build a better mousetrap. For better or worse, innovation beget market demand. But those days are long gone. As we globalize, firms look far and wide for the most efficient provider of its products and services. Things become commoditized and prices are pushed down. Combating this trend with disruptive technology is expensive and unpredictable. Benefits from traditional incremental improvements suffer the same margin pressure that initiated this whole process.

But, for digital marketers, this is all a very good thing.

In what world besides the digital one can you imagine a 50+ year old cereal company, Diamond Shreddies, who reinvigorates its slacking business and becomes the pride of the nation thanks in large part to people passing around goofy videos? All without the first change to its product. They did it by taking something that people don’t compete on and finding a way to own it.

Forward thinking companies in the digital world raise their second or third order product offerings to first order, front and center. In the case of cereals, traditional companies compete on things like price, taste, texture, and nutrition. They compete on things that can be measured in dollars, cents, grams, milligrams, and calories. What they don’t compete on is smiles. They don’t compete in making bad days better. Yet, their customers love to smile and have plenty of bad days. With the help of their digital agency, Diamond Shreddies noticed and did something about it. The results speak for themselves.

In the digital world, we as marketers are given a great opportunity. It doesn’t take factory retooling or production line changes to add a new dimension to the value proposition. We don’t have to build a better mousetrap in physical terms; we just have to delight the cat.

*I had nothing to do with the Digital Shreddies campaign.

1 comment:

Libby Anderson said...

I'm still thinking about Shreddies too. Such a great case. Headed to the Adaptive Path conference next week, will let you know how it goes -