Cell Phone Walking Tells Me about Product Differentiation

I went to visit a friend last week in Manhattan and while walking down the street, I noticed that everyone, and I mean everyone, had their heads in their phones.  Even people walking in groups or couples were talking on the phone and talking to their friends at the same time.

Even my friend was on his phone and talking to me at the same time!! Duh.

Of course, he said he was “checking his emails” and just after pulling him back from walking into traffic, I yelled at him, “What’s wrong with you?  Why can’t you wait till we get to the diner before looking at this stuff.” He looked at me, both a little quizzically and dumbfounded, put his phone in his outside coat pocket, looked down at the ground and said, “I don’t know.”

I continued with “why do you need to look at your phone all the time? He guiltily looked at me and said,  I guess I don’t NEED to but I WANT to.”

As I started to rant, I told him a story about needs and wants.  It went something like this.  “Last week I went to the doctor because I had been coughing for several weeks.  I NEEDED to go see a doctor. I needed a diagnosis and a treatment. Not only did I want a physiological fix for this ailment but WANTED  a little sympathy or empathy (or both) also.

Things are no different when it comes to other experiences in our lives.  Whether it be bowling or eating out or going on a vacation.  We enjoy the bowling experience more when the service is great, the staff super friendly toward us, the bathrooms extra clean and the food tantalizing; basically when all the elements exceed our NEEDS.

As many of you know I am always talking about “product differentiation and some of you have said to me, “Fred, bowling is bowling. It’s the same all over. It’s a commodity.”

To which I have said,  and still say, “You may not be able to differentiate your product based on CUSTOMER NEEDS, but your ability to differentiate your product based  upon CUSTOMER WANTS is exponential

What do your customers WANT that you may not be giving them? 


It’s possible to meet their NEEDS and WANTS in every interaction.

How are you doing that?

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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