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Bubbles and Smell

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Walter Hay

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A simple cleaning product such as dishwashing liquid contains ingredients that provide absolutely nothing towards the obvious primary objective of the product - i.e., to clean the items being washed.

But if you leave them out the product will not sell. WHY? The answer is expectations. The customers, mostly female (please excuse this but I am not sexist), expect the product to have the characteristics that the ingredients to which I refer present to their senses.

The ingredients are:
  • Salt. Yes ordinary table salt is added to make the product appear thicker. (More viscous) The detergent would work just as well, and oftentimes would disperse more readily if there was no salt added. But who will buy a dishwashing detergent that was runny?
  • Foaming agent. Those bubbles help if you are washing a vertical surface, because they help the detergent to cling to the surface. When washing dishes their prescence results in more water being needed in order to rinse the detergent off the surface. But who will buy such a product if it doesn't bubble? After all the bubbles mean it is working right? Wrong!
  • Perfume. Some essential oils used to impart a pleasant smell do have some cleaning power, and some have disinfectant properties. So if you leave the perfume out will people buy it? No - they want everything to "smell clean."
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Assuming your product, whatever it is, does whatever it should do, you have to, as @biophase wrote recently "Sell the experience."

Walter
P.S. Detergents used in Dishwashing machines and laundry washing machines don't contain salt or foaming agent, and fortunately if you search you can find washing machine detergent that is not perfumed. As you might guess, my wife uses one that is not perfumed because she doesn't want me to walk around smelling like a rose.
 
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robertwills

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A simple cleaning product such as dishwashing liquid contains ingredients that provide absolutely nothing towards the obvious primary objective of the product - i.e., to clean the items being washed.

But if you leave them out the product will not sell. WHY? The answer is expectations. The customers, mostly female (please excuse this but I am not sexist), expect the product to have the characteristics that the ingredients to which I refer present to their senses.

The ingredients are:
  • Salt. Yes ordinary table salt is added to make the product appear thicker. (More viscous) The detergent would work just as well, and oftentimes would disperse more readily if there was no salt added. But who will buy a dishwashing detergent that was runny?
  • Foaming agent. Those bubbles help if you are washing a vertical surface, because they help the detergent to cling to the surface. When washing dishes their prescence results in more water being needed in order to rinse the detergent off the surface. But who will buy such a product if it doesn't bubble? After all the bubbles mean it is working right? Wrong!
  • Perfume. Some essential oils used to impart a pleasant smell do have some cleaning power, and some have disinfectant properties. So if you leave the perfume out will people buy it? No - they want everything to "smell clean."
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Assuming your product, whatever it is, does whatever it should do, you have to, as @biophase wrote recently "Sell the experience."

Walter
P.S. Detergents used in Dishwashing machines and laundry washing machines don't contain salt or foaming agent, and fortunately if you search you can find washing machine detergent that is not perfumed. As you might guess, my wife uses one that is not perfumed because she doesn't want me to walk around smelling like a rose.
I believe many manufacturers conduct scientific research into what consumers want in a product. For example, many consumers in the US will not buy a dish detergent that is the color black, even if there is no difference to any other color and black is cheaper. Consumers in Brazil however will buy black detergent. There are also trends that many manufacturers follow. Like in the last two years more cleaning products have been marketed as "antibacterial".

There are also manufacturers that I believe that do no market research and go by what they "think" they can sell. I know of an entrepreneur who owns a company with a billion sales a year and he might go somewhere see something like fried tomatos (or whatever) in Georgia and say "I'm going to make frozen tomatos that people can fry and distribute them to 10,000 stores throughout the US." Other people in the industry will say "That's not possible. Our research shows that people only like fried tomatos in the southern states. That will never work.". The entrepreneur goes ahead and the product is a major hit!
 

MitchC

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I love it, my products only really sell in the traditional color that they are made in because that’s what people are used to, even though other colours are the same or probably better.

I hate washing the bubbles off my dishes but it makes me feel like I’m going to be eating dish detergent if I don’t, it’s such a waste of water.

could this be a need if marketed right?

Different is better than better

your post is basically the sales copy.

A tablet that you put in your sink and it creates dish cleaning water, use less water washing your dishes and because it’s tablet form use less shipping and plastic bottles shipping the dish soap in liquid form.
 

BizyDad

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A simple cleaning product such as dishwashing liquid contains ingredients that provide absolutely nothing towards the obvious primary objective of the product - i.e., to clean the items being washed.

But if you leave them out the product will not sell. WHY? The answer is expectations. The customers, mostly female (please excuse this but I am not sexist), expect the product to have the characteristics that the ingredients to which I refer present to their senses.

The ingredients are:
  • Salt. Yes ordinary table salt is added to make the product appear thicker. (More viscous) The detergent would work just as well, and oftentimes would disperse more readily if there was no salt added. But who will buy a dishwashing detergent that was runny?
  • Foaming agent. Those bubbles help if you are washing a vertical surface, because they help the detergent to cling to the surface. When washing dishes their prescence results in more water being needed in order to rinse the detergent off the surface. But who will buy such a product if it doesn't bubble? After all the bubbles mean it is working right? Wrong!
  • Perfume. Some essential oils used to impart a pleasant smell do have some cleaning power, and some have disinfectant properties. So if you leave the perfume out will people buy it? No - they want everything to "smell clean."
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Assuming your product, whatever it is, does whatever it should do, you have to, as @biophase wrote recently "Sell the experience."

Walter
P.S. Detergents used in Dishwashing machines and laundry washing machines don't contain salt or foaming agent, and fortunately if you search you can find washing machine detergent that is not perfumed. As you might guess, my wife uses one that is not perfumed because she doesn't want me to walk around smelling like a rose.

To be fair it isn't just a women issue. Here's a strangely similar story I learned in school many years ago:

In the early days of the space program, NASA commissioned scientists to design the best kind of shampoo for astronauts (all men back then, I'm not being sexist either, haha) to use in space.

I forget why regular terrestrial shampoo wouldn't work, but it wouldn't. This was to be literally the best space shampoo money and science could create.

I remember my teacher went into great detail about all the factors the scientists and engineers considered in the creation of this super shampoo. I wish I remembered the details. Long story short, they tested the cleaning properties of water & shampoo in several ways.

And they did it. Mission Accomplished. Super shampoo was born.

There was just one problem. The astronauts hated it. The designers had included no foam, so the astronauts "didn't know if it was working".

They used too much of the stuff, and on a mission where every ounce was tracked, they couldn't allow for the quantity expected.

So they added foam to the shampoo, even though this made it scientifically less effective at it's primary function.

----

My 6th grade history teacher was a fountain of stories like these. He was an older fellow who hardly ever taught from the book. This one stuck with me because it was my first introduction to the idea that people don't necessarily want what is best for them.

People just want what they want.

Even now in my marketing career, or in my sales career prior, I spend very little time attempting to convince anyone of anything.

Instead I ask a lot of questions about what somebody wants. Based on those answers I'll either tell them I don't have what they want, or I'll present my offering to them with the confidence that they want it.

I highlight the benefits they want, and often I don't mention the other benefits they will get, even if they need them. Close the deal, and show them later.

The world needs more teachers like Mr Stull. And Mr. Hay.
 

alexkuzmov

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A simple cleaning product such as dishwashing liquid contains ingredients that provide absolutely nothing towards the obvious primary objective of the product - i.e., to clean the items being washed.

But if you leave them out the product will not sell. WHY? The answer is expectations. The customers, mostly female (please excuse this but I am not sexist), expect the product to have the characteristics that the ingredients to which I refer present to their senses.

The ingredients are:
  • Salt. Yes ordinary table salt is added to make the product appear thicker. (More viscous) The detergent would work just as well, and oftentimes would disperse more readily if there was no salt added. But who will buy a dishwashing detergent that was runny?
  • Foaming agent. Those bubbles help if you are washing a vertical surface, because they help the detergent to cling to the surface. When washing dishes their prescence results in more water being needed in order to rinse the detergent off the surface. But who will buy such a product if it doesn't bubble? After all the bubbles mean it is working right? Wrong!
  • Perfume. Some essential oils used to impart a pleasant smell do have some cleaning power, and some have disinfectant properties. So if you leave the perfume out will people buy it? No - they want everything to "smell clean."
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Assuming your product, whatever it is, does whatever it should do, you have to, as @biophase wrote recently "Sell the experience."

Walter
P.S. Detergents used in Dishwashing machines and laundry washing machines don't contain salt or foaming agent, and fortunately if you search you can find washing machine detergent that is not perfumed. As you might guess, my wife uses one that is not perfumed because she doesn't want me to walk around smelling like a rose.
Its maybe worth considering the lack of ingredients as a selling feature.
Depending on the product offcourse.
Example: "All natural soap, no artificial aroma added"
"Traditional beef jerky, like grandpa used to make only with salt"
Just a thought.
 

Andy Black

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Great post and thread. Thanks for starting it @Walter Hay, and for that story about the astronauts @BizyDad.

Don’t they add something unnecessary to toothpaste to makes our mouths tingle and have us believe our teeth are cleaner?
 

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