I’m totally fascinated by the relationship that people have with products & companies. It’s easy to make a product that fills a need. You find it, you use it, it’s helpful, and that’s awesome. Thing is that this relationship only creates a user and doesn’t create an advocate or evangelist.
If you wanna create a product that people love, you have to solve a higher level issue. You have to fulfill an emotional need. Everyone’s favorite example is Apple. Buying an iPad or Mac Book Air gives you the feeling of empowerment. You’re creative in a way that wasn’t before possible.
It’s been a lot of fun to watch the evolution of my wife’s company, Umba Box. She’s created a great way of connecting artisans and their products with people that want to buy them. But… it’s more than that.
Umba Box has been wildly successful because it delights its users. The women who subscribe love getting a surprise in the mail every month. My wife Lauren is kind of like My Space’s Tom. She’s every Umba Box subscribers friend that sends you package just for you in the mail. This relationship is what keeps retention high.
To stay with subscription commerce for a minute, I’d hate to be the guys at Dollar Shave Club. They created a GENIUS video. I’m sure it sold a lot of razor subscriptions. But when the buzz wears off, all the subscribers are just getting is razors in a box shipped to them every month. It’d be just as easy to get this from Amazon.com or anyone else. There’s no added delight. Yes, Dollar Shave Club is great and it fills a need but that’s it. People can easily go somewhere else.
What are the products that you use, love, and can’t live without?
PS: If you wanna read a great book about topic, I’d HIGHLY recommend PEAK.