My dog won’t drink tap water. Only artisanal alkaline spring water.
Sometimes I even have to hand-feed her the water to get her to drink.
(It’s embarrassing but I’m going somewhere with this – promise)
This is a real-world the example of the saying ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’.
It’s not like she doesn’t need water to survive – she does.
It’s not that I, the provider of the water, don’t know she needs to drink water – I do.
It doesn’t matter.
SHE doesn’t know that she needs to drink water. She’s the ‘buyer’, and when it’s a half-day old bowl of tap water, she will wait me out until I get so concerned I give her ‘the good stuff’.
It’s a premium product in a less than average market.
If the product/service you are selling is good enough, you can create demand – but it will take more work.
It can’t be an impossible market. There has to be some reasonable use or need.
Even then, occasionally, they still won’t buy.
You have to convince people that your product is worth the upgrade. That, while they don’t absolutely need what you’re offering, their lives will be better with it.
You have to sync it to their identity – that they are the type of person who buys craft water (which, apparently, I am?).
And then you have to deliver.
Your product has to be so good that they buy it again and again, despite the fact that it’s double the cost of the other water jugs and there is a free alternative readily available – tap water.
You need them to become product evangelists, spreading the word of your amazing water, if you want to gain real traction in this type of market.
It has to be that good of a product.
Now, let’s talk about a good market.
When we’ve been out at the park on a hot day and she’s been running around for an hour or so, the EXACT SAME DOG will drink muddy water out of a puddle in a gravel parking lot.
There are sticks and rocks and scum, and even if I try to pull her away she goes for it.
She is aware that she is absolutely parched. In fact, probably the only thing on her mind at that moment is ‘where can I find water?’
She’s so thirsty that she will voluntarily leave playing with the other dogs to find some relief.
It’s her biggest priority in the moment.
A below average product in a starving market can perform well as long as:
- It’s serving a real need/pain that is a priority for the user
- There aren’t any better convenient options nearby
It really doesn’t have to be that good if the need is great enough and there aren’t readily available alternatives.
It can’t be outright BAD.
Even when my dog is drinking from a puddle, if I were to lead her to a bowl of vinegar, she’s not going to drink it no matter how thirsty she is.
Average offers for average markets require a lot of marketing.
When you have an old bowl of stale tap water + a weird dog who (for whatever unknown reason) doesn’t think she needs water to live, you’re in for a lot more work.
You’re going to have to coax them. Bring the bowl to them rather than leading them to it. Scoop water up with your hand to get them drinking a little bit at a time. It’s a lot of work.
If you’ve been investing in your marketing but aren’t seeing sales, you might have an average offer in an average market.
It might even be something that you KNOW they need.
If they aren’t aware that they need it, you have your work cut out for you.
The ideal scenario, of course, is leading a dog who’s been running around in the sun (above average market) to a nice cool bowl of craft water (above average offer).
When you’ve done the strategic work of finding a great market and developing a really good offer, you don’t have to do much leading or convincing.
The thirsty dog in search of water will drink premium water, every time.
Even Bella 🐾