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blog.gkaindl.com » Creating Demand

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Creating Demand

Demand

Marketing is a very central thing that I encounter every day, be it when reading the mumbo-jumbo on the latest Web 2.0 fad, clearing my spam folder or browsing through a magazine. One particularly interesting term in marketing is “demand creation”. Sometimes, I even have to resort to marketing-speak myself.

The first time I stumbled upon this term was during a summer-internship at a local IT company when I was 16. The company’s head of marketing had a funny “some name - demand creation” badge on their door. I found this particularly weird since it was completely unaligned with the concept of marketing and advertising I’ve had so far.

Obviously, my understanding (and, as I assume, many others’ as well) of marketing is the concept of highlighting an object’s or service’s superiority over their competitors as well as to make the product known to a disperse public. Consequently, marketing is something that comes after the product, or at most with the product. You discover a demand, you create a product, you market it.

The term “demand creation” throws this concept over: Rather than going from the premise that there actually is a demand for your product or service, you just harness the power of marketing to create it, i.e. you attempt to sell your product to people that don’t even know that (or if) they need it. As a result, it is possible (and even viable) to create a product for which there is no initial demand at all, but tie it together with clever marketing so closely that the demand is created on the fly. It’s as if the local gas station makes you buy gas even though you don’t have a car.

Consequently, rather than asking ourselves: Do I need this product?, we have to ask: Does anybody need this product?. I think we are way too ready to accept that every product has its place (even though we do not see this place in our own lives) than we are to accept that people may actually be audacious enough to sell a product that is of no good use to anybody.

Think about this: How often has it happened that you have bought a product, say, a piece of software, because it looked cool, had a beautiful website, got good reviews and so on, only to later discover that you actually find no good use for it? It just doesn’t fit you. You have no demand not only for the product, but not even for the task it is trying to solve! Be honest, have you never bought such a thing?

Well, that’s the magic of demand creation. In fact, maybe the whole point of the product is that it’s not targeting an actual demand, but attempting to instill the feeling of satisfying an artificial demand that doesn’t really exist. It’s twisted, but quite possible. If something looks really useless, it maybe is.

By the way, I sell anti-demand-creation tin-hats for $15 a piece, just drop me an email…

About

Hi, how are you? My name is Georg Kaindl, and I'm a twenty-something from Vienna, Austria. During the day, I'm a CS student at the Vienna University of Technology, but at night, I turn into an independent software developer for the Macintosh platform, social nerd, lazy entrepreneur and intuitive researcher.

I like to write about everything that matters to considerate technology enthusiasts, but humbly retain the right to go off-topic from time to time.

My posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Contact

You can reach me by email if you have something to say that's not related to a blog post or that you don't want to have publicly available as a comment to a post.

However, you'll have to prove that you are human! Even though I personally like robots very much, I'm less of fan of SPAM. It's just a simple riddle to solve, but a SPAM bot won't cut it!

To get my email address, take the word before the .com in my domain name first (Hint: The word you are looking for starts with a "g" and ends with an "l"). Next, simply attach @mac.com to this word.

Boom, there's my email address. Simple, isn't it?

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