Sell the Right Pain Point

Bottled water arrived circa 1990. First to combat dirty tap water. Then as a luxury item.

Grocery store value proposition:

“Stop pouring your own water. Never lose another bottle. Convenience.”

And everybody scoffed… for awhile. Now it’s a $60 billion market that’s quadrupled since 1990. Not too shabby. Heck, Evian is just “naive” backwards. Suffice it to say, bottled water isn’t going anywhere.

But the pain point – “pouring your own water sucks” – still isn’t good enough for some people. Because of this, the market’s scale is limited and it probably won’t quadruple again.

So let’s talk new pain points.

How about a street festival that’s hotter than satan. You pay a homeless guy $1 for a bottle of Deer Park. You don’t even like Deer Park, but you buy it anyway. Because the pain point is real – “you have no other options.”

And the value prop is also real:
“Buy me or die.”

So pain points are relative. You don’t have to invent a new product for every pain point. Just apply different pain points to the same products.

To sell something, sell the right pain point.

It’s not about the what but the how, why, when, and where.