There is a very good reason why one of the first lessons drilled into young businessmen is to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’. There are some concepts and products that are so simple and effective that trying to ‘improve’ them would likely only ruin the formula. At the same time, when companies are trying to stand out from competitors, they need unique aspects to separate themselves. Here are some great examples of marketing for simple products that still make each one feel fresh and new.
As games of chance go, there are few out there so simple yet effective as bingo. In its original form from hundreds of years ago, it was essentially an interactive form of lottery and the modern game still operates in the same way. It means that, when it comes to marketing, providers need to focus more on what’s around the game than what’s in it.
If you look at some of the larger examples like Paddy Power Bingo games, the gameplay itself is often familiar but they are distinguished by things like special offers, social elements in chat rooms, or competitions and tournaments that add an extra dimension. In these cases, the aim is to make the game more of an experience than anything else.
Thousands of years of cooking up dinner has meant that humans tend to have every possible tool and gadget they need in the kitchen at this point. Yes, there may be dozens of specialized types of knife out there if you want to work at the highest professional levels, but at the end of the day a single good knife can cover a lot of situations.
Companies therefore have to get creative in showing why their latest gadget is different and necessary to have in your kitchen, and this industry often relies on spectacle to do it. There is perhaps no better example of this than the famous Slap Chop food cutter. At heart, it’s just a simple vegetable prep tool for those short on time or knife skills, but it was marketed so bombastically and enthusiastically that we are now a decade on and it’s still a piece of Internet legend.
The ultimate in simple products, water is a fundamental building block of life. It may not be identical all over the world, but in places where water directly from the tap is safe and readily available, selling someone a different type of more expensive water is an uphill battle at best. On the other hand, we’ve been buying brands like Perrier and Evian for decades based on just that.
While historically bottled water was sold on health claims or a sense of elitism, the current trend is leaning more into the environmental aspect of water. Waters now labelled as sustainably sourced or otherwise environmentally friendly are now far more common, with even established brands now pivoting their marketing.
There may not be any new products under the sun but you can be certain that there are plenty more ways to market each one that already exists. There’s always a new way to sell!