Denny's Daily Zinger: Marketing's Holy Grail - A Product That Sells Itself!
In the 20 years we've lived in Philadelphia, it has become a foodie's paradise.
However, the sine qua non of the city's dining experience is the legendary Philly Cheesesteak.
We had a couple of young college singers stay overnight with us. They had had cheese steaks for lunch.
After the concert, I offered them something to eat and drink.
"Isn't Jim's near here?" one of them asked.
"Go up to the corner, turn right and you'll see Jim's on South Street."
They were gone in a nano- and came back with their second cheese steaks of the day.
Two Kinds of Products: Needs and Wants
"Need" products sell themselves—toilet paper, ballpoint pens, soap and gas for the car.
Cheese steaks are "want" products. In the summer, we can ply guests with fine food and drink at a dinner party until we are all sated to the eyebrows. Step onto the patio for a breath of air, and the smell of onions from Jim's Steaks wafting over the rooftops will make you instantly ravenous all over again.
What's in a cheese steak? A soft hoagie bun containing fried steak. Uppity chef Bobby Flay calls for provolone, but Cheese Wiz is correct, along with peppers. In South Philly you order a cheese steak wit- or wit-out-onions.
Cheese steaks are terrible for you—calories and cholesterol.
Yet the three premier cheese steak emporiums—Jim's, Gino's and Pat's—are always mobbed.
They don't need to advertise. They make wants come true.
Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His most recent book is "Write Everything Right!" Visit him at dennyhatch.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.