My Kitchen Sink Marketing Story

Posted by John Park on Jul 29th, 2008
Jul 29
Let me warn you in advance.  This blog post is about a clogged kitchen sink and what I learned from it.  Please proceed with caution.
A couple of weeks back, my wife summoned me to the kitchen to show me a completely clogged sink.  After quickly asserting that she had nothing to do with the clog and rejecting any notion that a sink can become clogged by “human error”, she asked if we should call a plumber.  Of course, this statement was pure horror to a “Man” who can easily fix anything… before paying to get it done right that is.  Never mind the so called “opportunity cost”.  I quickly got my car keys and headed to the store that solves ALL worldly problems–Home Depot.
Once there, I found myself in the kitchen sink isle staring at 20 different sink declogging solutions.  I should say sorry to my “green” friends.  Vinegar and hot water wasn’t going to solve this one.
After just a few seconds, one product caught my attention.  The bottle was a non-descriptive black and it didn’t have any fancy marketing language on it aside from a bold sticker that stated “Guaranteed to Work”.  What struck me was that the product was housed in a Ziploc-like clear plastic bag.  The implication was that it is so potent we’re adding this extra layer of protection for your safety.  I thought about it briefly in the moment and decided if it was that strong, I HAD TO HAVE IT.
When I arrived home with it, I proudly exclaimed “Look honey.  I got the strongest stuff I could find.  It’s so powerful that it comes in this bag!”.


As I was listening to my own words, that’s when it hit me!  Now, keep in mind that I am supposed to be a marketing expert and I shouldn’t be caught so easily–hook, line and sinker.  The good news is the product worked.  The real questions are…  Is it really more powerful than the 19 others on display?  Will it hurt my skin more than the 19 others if I had touched the liquid?  The answer is a resounding NO.  It’s true.  I fell for the marketing genius behind a sink declogger.  Somewhere out there is a genius sink declogger marketer.
So, let’s get back to the business marketing side of this story.  What did I learn from this?  These are lessons I’ve studied but they were reinforced again by this real life event.
1)  PACKAGING MATTERS.  A proper image for your product or service that delivers a powerful benefit in the quickest way possible is crucial and something all businesses should strive towards.
2)  BE DIFFERENT.  Throw “me too” marketing out the window.  Remember, the 19 others all looked essentially the same to me.  Differentiate your product or service from the competition.  Why are you different and how does this make you better?  Constantly ask this question of yourself, products, services and company.
3)  LEAD WITH THE BENEFIT.  First ask and identify what your prospects want from you.  Once you’ve done this, lead with these “wants” in all of your marketing efforts.  What did I want from the sink declogger?  I wanted the strongest declogger possible.  They led with this benefit through effective packaging.  Too often, businesses lead with Features (what is it?) and not the Benefit (how will it help me or solve my problem?).
Without further ado, I present the world’s best packaged sink declogger.
Packaging Matters



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