Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hail, Hail the Product as Hero

Walk in any auto dealership in the US and the sales person has a single focus – get you to test drive the car. That’s because they know if an emotional connection is established there is a greater chance of making the sale. In the automotive industry, the product is the hero.

Before you chalk this up to merely being one of the stereotypical, low-brow tricks employed in car sales, consider other examples where the product as the hero approach rules the day. Take electronics and computer wiz Apple for starters. They clearly get the importance of physically putting the product in the hands of prospective customers.

I suspect this was the business case for the company’s retail initiative. Think about the layout and open feel of an Apple store. Everything is about the product with the goal of allowing its sleek design and gee-wiz functionality to close the deal.

A challenge many companies face is how to best put their products in the hands of time-stressed customers as a means of creating demand. In fact, we’re dealing with this very issue on behalf of video conferencing vendor TANDBERG, a company that invests millions each year on the design and functionality of its products.

GeoEye’s release of an image of Monday’s presidential inauguration shot from the company’s satellite orbiting more than 400 miles in space is pure brilliance. It demonstrates the high resolution capabilities of its satellite and, by leveraging the timeliness of the President Barack Obama’s swearing in, the company appeals to customers, prospects, partners, investors, journalists and a broader consumer audience.

Good show, GeoEye. You’ve demonstrated the power of your product in a creative and meaningful way.


Meredith B. said...

Yes, great tactic by GeoEye, in fact they do this quite a bit around large events such as the Super Bowl, Tour de France, etc. and have provided before and after satellite images following natural disasters like Hurricaine Katrina. They really are the eye in the sky.

Anonymous said...

Just one correction: the inauguration was on Tuesday.