Thursday, December 01, 2005
Selling Snow to an Eskimo
How would you sell snow to an Eskimo? This was a question that a couple of people in my company asked me the other day at lunch. Though I do not handle marketing I have watched my marketing brethren in action to be fairly able to answer the said question.
Selling snow to an Eskimo is a piece of cake (according to aforementioned marketing brethren) if you follow the laid down marketing principals of giving your customer a new product, value for money, accessories, distribution system, pricing, promotion blah blah blah.
Now... our Eskimo is surrounded by snow. Tonnes and miles of white snow. So we add a dash of value-adds to the snow, package it attractively and pray for suckers er...customers to buy it from us. (Besides, inspirational pep talk by your Manager that you either reach your target or go back to your old job as door to door salesman in Bansiwalah Papad Company also works wonders.And such pep talks give the team that vital burst of energy and motivation to attempt the impossible like selling infrastructure bonds to Bangaloreans. )
For aspiring marketing executives the conversation below will act as a curtain raiser to a career in marketing. ( I know no one aspires to be in Marketing, but then people with a glib tongue and no life need to be gainfully occupied too.)
Marketing Guy ( MG)to Eskimo: Aksuse!! ( greetings) I am from Icy Snow Company.
Eskimo: You come selling snow to me Eskimo ??? You either crazy or from marketing. ( shaking head)
MG( plastic smile and well rehearsed speech in place): We don’t just sell any snow, Sir. We sell Icy Snow, the leading brand of snow in the world.
Aren’t you bored with same old snow you see very day? The same old white, reindeer dropping dripping, husky pee smelling snow that you use posing serious heath hazards to you are your family?
Eskimo: My ancestors use same snow, I use same snow. Nothing happen. Now scram pest, before I let my Huskies on you!
MG: You have Huskies? How cute; we give free castrations for 8 Huskies with every purchase of $10,000 worth of snow from us.
Eskimo: Whaaaa? You castrate my Huskies? I will castrate you if I see you near my Igloo again!!!! grrrrrrr
MG:(hastily) er... Or you can take the 8 pack of absolutely FREE copper bells for your Reindeers Sir.
Eskimo:(suitably mollified) hmmmmm that sound good.
MG (wiping sweat from his brow): Glad to be of service Sir.
MG starts a presentation on his Laptop.Impressive music fills the air as a Flash presentation of squiggly lines weave and curl over a world map. A clichéd commentary accompanies the presentation extolling the company and its snow.
MG: As you can see sir, we are a well-established company with an office in every country. We manufacture tonnes of snow and our sales in places like Ice Land and Greenland is at an all time high.
Eskimo is not impressed. He says “We Eskimos no fools like ‘em Icelanders and Greenlanders, Shmucks!!!! Baah!”
MG:(smoothly) Of course you are not. But then do you use Vitamin enriched snow for your igloos?
Eskimo: Vitamin enriched snow? What do I need that for?
MG: For a healthier lifestyle and bounding energy for your seal hunting Sir. Imagine sleeping in an Igloo that is slowly releasing essential Vitamins and Minerals into the atmosphere, so that you wake up healthy and raring to go!
Eskimo:(puzzled) Go Where? I go hunting once a month. Rest of the days we eat.
MG: Er… well sir let me rephrase the sentence for you. Imagine sleeping in an Igloo that is slowly releases essential Vitamins into the atmosphere, so that you wake up healthy and raring to eat.
Eskimo: Will the vitamins make me eat more?
MG(confused but learning on the job): er...is that good or bad? I mean an increase in appetite?
Eskimo: hmmmm well I can’t afford to eat more cos that means I have to hunt more...
MG: ( cutting in smoothly) Well Sir what I actually meant was that it will effect your ahem...libido!
Eskimo:(petrified) No no no... that mean I have more children, which means I have more mouths to feed!
MG: And many more hands to help you during hunting Sir.
Eskimo(scratching his beard):That sounds interesting.
MG:(triumphantly removing a glossy brochure from his briefcase)...And our snow comes in different colors too. You can choose from a wide variety of Pastels and Browns besides the regular colors. You will be the envy of the neighborhood Sir. Infact Mr. Akkituyok, your neighbour has just ordered a batch of purple snow for his new Igloo.
Eskimo: Well, if Akkituyok has ordered then I must have this new fangled snow too. That son of a mountain skunk, rotten seal eating bastard will not steal the march from me.
MG: That’s the spirit Sir !! I shall process your order ASAP. That will be $7000 dollars Sir, will it be cash or card?
Eskimo: Dollah? What dollahs? We Eskimos pay in seal skin ONLY !!!!
MG: aarrgghhh !!!!!
Well... he nearly sold the snow.
It was a catch 22 situation. MG is caught between the deep sea and Bansiwalah Papad Company. He was last seen jumping off an iceberg.