An older man, near the end of his life, once shared with me that, if given the chance, the only thing he would have done differently would be to have “had more sex and more bacon.”
Hmmm. His wisdom struck a deep chord. And guess, what? My friends strongly agree.
Let us have a brief moment of silence for all the times we have passed up the “bacon” for various reasons (fat/calories/headache) and realized later that we would have been happier if we had chosen differently.
During a recent long-winded conference call my mind wandered to Sex & Bacon. I was being pitched a product that was not terribly compelling. It would not elevate my endorphins, complement my pancakes or generally add value to my existence as would Sex & Bacon. In fact I would rather have had either sex or bacon (or both) than continue talking about this banal product. So I politely excused myself and then realized that enjoying sex or bacon would probably trump many activities for many people. Products, services and experiences that approach this appeal are bound to be pretty darn successful.
There’s Something About…
So what are the magic ingredients in sex and bacon? Maybe it’s just obvious, I mean it’s sex and bacon. But in the constant flow of new products, few spark their universal and passionate appeal. Some notable exceptions include Facebook, Snuggie, and the iPhone.
The similarities? Satisfaction of primal human desires – some almost biological imperatives: Facebook satisfies the yearning of the human psyche for connection and acknowledgement; Snuggie satisfies our fetal craving for warmth and comfort; and, the iPhone taps into the instinct for control and toddler-like desire for immediacy. Plus, they all just make you feel good.
Scratch that itch
The more deeply felt the need, the more successful the product. Daily Grommet, an online marketplace and the birthplace of Citizen Commerce, launches one inventive consumer product across the web everyday at noon. Their platform gives people the information and tools to learn about and support products that align with their own values. “Every Grommet responds to an itch, to an insight,” says Founder, Jules Pieri. And by featuring products that are recommended by the passionate community, there is a high likelihood that some itches are widely felt.
For example, Vapur, one of their most successful products, is a reusable water bottle that collapses after use. Not only does Vapur eliminate the annoyance of carrying an empty water bottle for reuse (or guilt of throwing out plastic bottles), it also provides a highly satisfying experience whenever you roll it up and stash it away. For some eco-conscious folks this may almost measure up to one bacon aficionado’s stated “thrill of eating bacon.”
A basic instinct
“Dare to be simple” is the primal rule of Steven Brennan, SVP Technology at Digital Influence Group . Even though complexity can be entertaining (the kama sutra and Bacon Freak will keep you occupied for months), simplicity can be powerful when well-executed.
For example, DIG created a social media campaign for Sony Reader called “Words Move Me” that was a runaway success. The challenge was to create a program that made an emotional connection around the Reader product. It focused on the love of reading and invited readers to simply share their favorite moments from a book. This easy sharing sparked impressive results. The purity of the concept allowed participants to share emotionally and instinctively. Something at which all effective Don Juans and Romeos are skilled.
Is there a takeaway to all of this? When we look back at our lives we will cherish our relationships and experiences – those that made us feel good on a variety of levels. Innovations that help us accomplish this will be very welcomed. As Dennis Rivera, VP, Corporate Strategy & Finance, Disruptive Apps states, “there is nothing in the world that bacon doesn’t improve.” A good reminder for those looking to create the next big thing.
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