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What people really want

2010/05/05

In my Econ class, we watch a lot of movies about advertising to teenagers. Looks like a lot of people are trying to buy “cool” from us, repackage it, and sell it back. Is that a stable business? No: the definition of cool changes as often as if not more than the definition of popular (there is a difference. Example? Disney). I don’t think popular products have to try to be cool, though. Trying to be cool means that you’re not cool yet.

Look at Stephen King (that’s where I got this idea, his indisputable popularity). He’s old and probably not that “cool” but plenty of teenagers like him. Not everyone, but I have yet to hear anyone hating him. He just writes a lot and writes pretty darn well. His claim to fame may be horror fiction, but he’s capable of writing in pretty much any genre and the fans are loyal.

Look at Jamba Juice. Everyone loves Jamba Juice. Are they trying to be thug? No. Have I seen any TV ads for Jamba? No. Do I like Jamba? Yes. Does pretty much everyone else I know like Jamba? Yes. We like how it tastes and how we can watch the preparation of the drink. Even though it’s pricier than soda, I can find people from my school drinking it in the dead of winter (not a lot, but some people are just like that, I guess).

Even these days, the best way to sell your product is to make a product people really want. If you’re making food, make sure it tastes good. If you’re writing a book, write whatever you want to write about (not what everyone else is writing about, COUGH, Twilight, COUGH), and edit edit edit, and fail, and try again, and fail again, and try again. Whatever you sell, don’t think about the selling, because the sales you get from the advertising is short-lived. As the current generation, we teenagers are so over-bombarded with advertising that we’re completely indifferent to it. Even sneak advertising can’t shake a teen with a tight purse—if I don’t have the money and I don’t need it, I’m that much less likely to buy it no matter how cool it is.

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