Product Marketing Lessons from the Gas Station
With summer coming to a close in the next few weeks and the last big vacation weekend on the horizon, Labor Day (funny enough), there is still time for a few lasts splashes and kicks in the sand. So as travel via the sky has become about as much fun as wet bread due to the lovely TSA checks or un-fare pricing, the majority of us are choosing to hit the open road. After all, what could be more fun than packing the car full of your gear and clan and embracing some of our majestic highways to view some of America’s quaint coastal towns, waterparks, or national parks. Personally, i am a big fan of raod trips and especially during the summer months. The open road, the wind hitting your face, some good tunes, and the occasional rest stop to explore a small town to discover a new lobster roll. That get you excited?
Alright, so now its time to weave some marketing lesson in now, since i have to admit i could ramble on about traveling as well as road trips for many many more paragraphs. So as our cars inevitably run low on gas (unless you are going electric), the trip to the gas station is a must. Now even as we enter an exit and get ourselves ready for this venture, the 1st Marketing lesson is about to commence.
1. Competition- It is clear that when we get off at an exit there is always at least two or perhaps three stations offering gas at various prices and our price conscious minds are already peering thru our eyes to quickly spot the best deal in this quiet little town with a name we will most likely never remember. So for the thrifty ones driving, they will spot the best deal and aim for that station, while the upper crust driving the foreign guzzler will most likely wander to the shortest the station with the shortest line at the full serve pump.
So as you pull into your station of choice, for this example let’s say that we are the price conscious consumer going after the cheap petrol. The next marketing lesson we are about to experience is a good one and one that almost goes unnoticed. As we park next to our low budget pump, we hop out of our car and usually swipe our card and then select what grade to pump.
2. Price- Now we get to survey the three price levels offered. As aforementioned, we are price conscious so of course we are going to opt for the regular fuel being the cheapest one. Now a very important thing to note here besides the price which usually ends with a 9 is that there are 3 levels. Doesn’t this make our selection decision so much easier? Absolutely. For marketers who offer various products to their customers, they ought to take notice and employ this simple product marketing offering, just 3 choices. 3 choices sounds so easy and brilliant because it is. Think about it. Our whole lives we are confronted with this offering from this example at the gas station to shirt or food sizes: small, medium and large. As marketers we think sometimes that we want to give consumers more choice and more control, but the reality is as long as you offer a valuable product, your consumer will be satisfied. Hence, you will make their lives much easier by offering less selection actually. A good example of this is, when was the last time you were in a Best Buy? Did you feel overwhelmed? My head spins in that place as there are so many options i simple don’t even know where to begin. I don’t even go near that place, but that’s just me.
So in these final few weeks of the summer, which I hope you all enjoy, just remember that these rest stops offer some great little marketing lessons that we can all learn from. They might not be in our face as much as that salesman calling you and leaving you voicemails every other day, but nonetheless, they are present.