I came across this thought-provoking concept half-reading an article in a coffee shop provided newspaper. The Economist weekly mag is, apparently just such a “trophy product”. Half of its sales go unread. Instead, they’re left in swanky reception areas and on meticulously planned yet strangely shambolic coffee tables. Their purpose is not to be read. Rather, they’re meant to portray a personality. A particular type, one that is intelligent, inquisitive and commerically or politically savvy. I wouldn’t mind betting that the FT falls into the same camp.
Oh the shock of it all. People actually buy products for no other reason than to cultivate a certain image?
But hang on a minute, isn’t this brilliant news? If people buy specific items just to impress, then what if there is an equivalent Trophy Product each of us offer that every single client should be buying, if for no other reason, to give an impression of worthiness to their clients/staff/suppliers?
And the joy of it is, it needn’t be especially pricey. I wonder how many firms, in these credit crunch afflicted times, are busy cancelling their monthly reception-table FT subs? I bet you won’t see the FT jettisoned in favour of a rag-eared London freesheet anywhere.
It introduces the possibility of a touch of neat salami selling too. Whatever that product is, every client should have it.
This concept could be merged with the thinking retail window-dressers exhibit. Many like to have a spot in their displays, no matter how small, where their most outrageous (which usually translates as expensive) offering goes on show. It may only get bought the once, but brings the punters in. I can think of several sectors where I’ve helped businesses over the years that hold similar opportunities for the creative rep.