Selling the unsellable: Demand Generation - An Example

Think twice if you think a product is unsellable

What’re the basics of business?

1) You need to have a relatively unique product/service that you can supply

2) You’re product or service should have demand in the market

For eg: You are selling bottled water. You have a process in which you can generate clean water in bottles and distribute them to the local shops - hence the market has a supply of clean bottled water. On the other hand, people know that they have to consume clean water to stay hydrated without getting infected. People are ready to pay small amounts to access clean water too.

Hence, education about the importance of drinking clean water and the ability to pay for it drives the demand for clean bottled water in the market. If the demand driving factors - education and/or basic income is disrupted, no matter how much supply you have, no one is going to “buy” it.

Alternatively, if the local governing body decides to provide free clean bottled water via all petrol pumps and other sources, there will be surplus supply, and that too for free - which will make it illogical for any business to invest in capturing the market.

The above example talks about something very fundamental - access to clean water. As a marketer, it’s an easy job to generate demand for clean water.

But what if you want to sell 4 socks to people who only have two legs (Humans!!)?

A company called Dilly Sock wanted to do this. But who is going to buy 4 socks instead of one pair?

There is no demand for it. No amount of education can increase demand for the same - cause it’s a “want” and not a “need“.

How do you generate “want“ for a product that is totally new to the market?

You utilise social media and create demand for it by making it a “trend“.

That’s exactly what Dilly Sock did:

They collaborated with lots of TikTok influencers and ran paid campaigns on the platform using a campaign named #DillyGallopChallenge.

What’s the challenge about?

People had to put on socks on their legs as well on their arms and needed to imitate a horse!

For that, they used Dilly sock’s 4 socks pair:

It generated 12.5 million views in total on the platform. Which as you guessed, created a demand for Dilly socks - which eventually got sold out!!

Now, as a marketer are you focusing on creating demand for whatever you are trying to sell? or are you crossing your fingers and hoping that the market knows what they want?

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