A business succeeds by doing three things: creating something people want, getting it to them, and communicating the value. We call this: product, placement, promotion.
Hey Siri, search ‘sandbag workout’.
Workout sandbags are an interesting product because no one wants sandbags. The product is the sandbag but the JTBD is looking like this guy. Or at least more like this guy.
Sandbags are also interesting because of their distribution opportunity. DTC opens opportunities blocked by traditional retail and neutralizes the TiVo problem. Channels like Amazon are okay, but shift the comparison metrics to price and stars. Companies that offer good-enough inexpensive options do well on Amazon – not a good tactic here.
Lastly, the ‘people also ask’ sandbag section seeds great copywriting. These customer queries reveal wants. And customers want clarity. Searches are full of ‘program’ or ‘workout’ or ‘plan’. People are searching for what Bob Moesta writes are the ‘little hires’. Someone has bought a product, the ‘big hire’, but don’t quite know how to use it. That’s interesting too.
People take action when their current situation stinks enough, a new solution looks good enough, there’s not too much ambiguity aversion, and their habits aren’t too strong. In his book Moesta puts it this way:
[Push of the malaise + Pull of the solution] > [Anxiety of ambiguity + Habit of the moment]
If LEFT > RIGHT then action occurs.
Push: everyone wants to be in better shape. Like that guy? Who knows.
Pull: sandbags are kinda weird, kinda bro. This may be an opportunity.
Anxiety: people don’t know the ‘little hires’. Big opportunity.
Habit: the workout (or not) of the moment.
In Unacceptable, the book about the college admission scandal, parents hired help. The aiding advisor advertised high-school-test-prep ads at coffee shops and gyms near the schools. The customer wasn’t the student going to college, it was the parent paying for it. The consumer and ‘little hire’ were different from the customer and ‘big hire’.
Successful products serve both groups. This makes the Unacceptable story tragically funny, some students didn’t know, what, or care what their parents did!
This is spitballing. We’d also need to find:
- Where are the ready people? Maybe: in Google searches, Instagram fans, on Reddit forums, listening to personal development podcasts, and so on. What’s our version of the coffee shop?
- What does ‘zombie revenue’ tell us about why people who buy it but don’t use it?
- What workout email helps customers make progress?
- Why are sandbags so bro? Is this an opportunity?
Every business is a trade off. Doing one thing makes other things easier/harder. A team that plays offense fast has less time for their defense to recover. There’s a good way to sell sandbags. Is this it? Only the market knows. But it’s a good mental lift.