Seriously? A company that exists to sell lightbulbs for pinball machines? A bit of investigation confirmed that they specialize in lights and lighting upgrades for pinball machines!
Sharing What You Know
Light bulbs for pinball machines? That’s an awfully narrow niche, but apparently there’s a need for them. I suspect the proprietors didn’t start with a brainstorming session and end up with an inspiration to sell a very specific product into a very specialized market. They were probably already involved with pinball machines and saw the need to replace or upgrade the many light bulbs they contain.
It used to be that if you needed a security system at home or at the office, you’d call an alarm company.
They would provide the full package:
Provide and install a security system, complete with a console and sensors and the wires that connected everything
Monitor the system from their office, and notify the police or fire department if something bad happened
You would enable and disable the system using a key or keypad on the console, but the alarm company took care of the rest
That model served a lot of people for several decades, and there is no shortage of companies offering that kind of service today. (In some markets, you’ll encounter ads for security systems several times daily on radio, TV, and other media.)
When is the last time you watched a TV commercial more than once. On purpose.
While I was skipping past commercials during a program I’d recorded, one ad caught my eye. I actually skipped back to watch this “Holiday Surprise” commercial from Kohl’s. I was touched, and checked-out the #ShowKindnesshashtag shown at the end of the video.
It hit a chord with me and I checked if the video was on YouTube. Clearly it resonated with many other people, since it had been watched hundreds of thousands of times. After watching it a couple more times, I shared it across several social media sites, like this post on Twitter:
Most people appreciated when the United States Postal Service started marketing the “priceless” Forever Stamp in 1997. This was a great “do the right thing” moment, tacitly acknowledging that if you don’t use a stamp for a year or five, the Postal Service has still had the use of your money for that time and shouldn’t charge you extra to use it. It seems only fair that a First Class stamp should always cover the postage for a First Class letter.
The compromise was that the Forever stamp was usually pretty generic, such as the American flag stamp. If you wanted a commemorative stamp (such as a Christmas stamp, or one that featured someone important to American culture, such as Rosa Parks), it was going to depreciate like any other stamp.
Let’s consider the marketing for two products you have bought. The first is your latest car. How did that automaker market to you? You probably saw TV commercials, newspaper ads, maybe online ads as well. In other words, likely a very ‘traditional’ marketing model was used by this automaker to connect with you and get your attention.
Now recall the marketing that was used to promote the latest CD or song you bought on iTunes. How did that artist promote themselves to you? Did they use commercials? Probably not. Newspaper ads? Nope. Direct mail? Be serious.
And yet, you bought the rock star’s product, despite the fact that they did little to no direct marketing to you.
The reason why rock stars can sell their products despite the fact that they do little to no ‘traditional’ marketing represents a fundamental difference in the ways that rock stars and most brands market their products.