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Monday, February 16, 2009

What do you love?

We, as consumers, have a vested interest in the products and services we use and the stores in which we shop. How much of an interest depends on how we feel about it. The more we love a product, store, or service, the more of a vested interest we have in its long term success.

It is not beneficial to us, as consumers, to fall in love with a dud. (Not all duds are bad products, some are just poorly marketed) If you are the only one to love a product and buy it, or the only customer a particular store has, then there is no possible way for that product or store to survive, long term. You, as the lone consumer, do not have enough buying power to guarantee the success of what you love.

So what happens to the duds? Well, they disappear, of course, leaving you to feel the pain & sorrow of losing something you love. While it might not compare to losing a pet or loved one, it's still painful to lose something you love, no matter what it is.

It's an endless list of things that we have loved and lost, as consumers. I am sure we all can think of at least one product or service that we once enjoyed very much, that we would just about kill to have it once again. A shampoo or conditioner that made your hair look great, that perfect shade of lipstick that stayed on all day without smudging, that nail polish that didn't chip for two weeks, a favorite candy or snack, a brand of shoes that always fit as if they were made just for you, a flavor of yogurt, a dry cleaner that never ruined your clothes and always got every stain out, the Chinese restaurant that had the world's greatest lo mein.

But alas, it's not very likely we will ever have these things again.

credit: webphotomart.com Now take a look at the products and services that you currently love. Do enough people love these things to guarantee its success in the marketplace, long term? Are they going to be here tomorrow? Are you going to have to go through the pain of losing another favorite, yet again? Is there anything that you, as a consumer, can do about it?

Yes, there actually is.

There are two things you can do to help.

1. Sharing is caring...tell people about it.

The more people you tell, the more will be introduced to the product or service that may have never heard about it or tried it before. And there are lots of ways and plenty of opportunities to do this.

2. Tell the company responsible for the product or service exactly how you feel about it.

Take the time to write a letter and mail it, the old fashioned way, on paper in an envelope with a stamp on it (perhaps you can even send a thank you card). Popular celebrities shouldn't be the only ones to get fan mail. While sending an email is quick and easy, sending real mail goes the extra mile to show how much you really care.

Now this won't guarantee that a product or service won't disappear at some point, but you will be doing your part to protect your interests in its long term success.

Is there a product or service that you use and love enough to tell me about it, today? Now is your chance to start doing something to protect your vested interest in it, by telling me (and everyone else that will read this page) all about it.

Leave a comment. Consider it an investment in your own consumer happiness.

There is one catch, though...

Please do not advertise your own products, services, or websites. This is for your fans to do today, not you. Instead, tell me about someone else's product or service that you love.


Anonymous said...

it was joni mitchell who sung:
"Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got till it's gone"

there is a bran of firm tofu i live off of that they sell around here, i'd be lost without it.

App said...

You forgot to say what brand!

If they sell it around here, I'll try it.

Anonymous said...

i only know it by it's appearance, i cant remember the brand name. next time i'm at the asian grocery store i'll take a closer look.

niagaragirl said...

Years ago there was a Kroger's store brand of tea in what was called Black Rum flavor that we really loved. Then one day it was all gone. We had a friend in Indiana scour the discount bins at all the Krogers there. She was able to come up with a dozen boxes to send to us.

We wrote Krogers and we were asked to try their "new gourmet teas". Sorry it just wasn't the same.

After several disappointments with some cosmetics and such disappearing from shelves, I just learned not to get so hung up on things.

What is really bothering me more these days is the amazing shrinking package syndrome. I bought a jar of Hellmanns Mayo last week, and there is now a nice big inversion on the bottom surface of the jar. The inversion or "dent" in the bottom now takes the place of product that used to be there. What used to be a 32 oz quart is now 30 ounces I think.

Maybe product shrinkage/deception could be a whole separate post for you ;-)

App said...

The time to act, speak up, and to tell the company and others how you feel about a product is when it's still around and they can try it.

If you wait till it's gone, that's too late, as we have all found that out plenty of times, like in your case with Kroger's Black Rum tea.

Instead of telling me and others what they can't have any more, it would be in your best interest to tell us what we can have that we might not know about.

The small effort from you could mean the difference between a product that you currently love becoming more popular or going the way of the black rum tea.

Shrinking products are nothing new. It is a sneaky way of raising the price without most people noticing it.

I think the most notorious case was a children's cough syrup in 1993 (Triaminic), that advertised a new improved taste, which was really just diluting the medicine to half its strength, requiring the patient to take twice as much per dose. The price remained the same, but only half as many doses per bottle...they doubled their price on the product and called it an improvement!

But the most serious effect of this was that parents didn't know the dosing had changed and were not giving their children full doses.

The FDA eventually stepped in and made the company put huge warning labels on the front of their bottles, warning consumers of the new dosing information.

Anonymous said...

This post brings to mind a product that didn't last even though it was better than the opposition. I'm referring to the old Beta video that many said was superior to the VHS and yet it was never as popular and eventually bit the dust. Naturally, when technology is concerned, if you can't keep up with the times you can kiss your viability goodbye.

Oh, just so you know, you've been tagged, so your it. :D

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone else is reminding us that we can change to world by where we shop and whose businesses we support.

The more we share our favorite local and online businesses the more likely they will survive the current economic slide.