I get this question a lot: “What if what I’m selling doesn’t really solve a problem?”
Business is simple: find a problem, solve the problem, and sell the solution to the people who have the problem.
Easy, right? There are plenty of problems to solve in the world, so this should be pretty simple.
But what if what you do or what you offer doesn’t really solve a problem?
People like to create a category called “nice to haves” and end up tossing a lot of things in that imaginary box, saying that since you don’t need to have it, it’s not as important in life.
Even if your product or service doesn’t solve a direct problem, it may be solving an indirect problem.
A new apparel line isn’t really solving new problems. You can buy a plain white t-shirt down at your local thrift store for a dollar, so why spend $30 on a t-shirt with a custom design printed on it? There’s a reason people do. I’ll get to that in a bit.
The problem with dismissing something as a “nice to have” is that it negates the fact that most things that are nice to have play an important role in society and culture.
Is Coffee a “Need to Have”?
Something I’ve learned in my travels is that there are a number of things you’ll find in every culture: at the top are fashion, food, and coffee.
Coffee is a huge deal. The worldwide coffee industry is estimated to be over $100 billion, and it’s estimated that 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world every year.
That’s a lot of espresso.
Some would argue that they need coffee to get through their day, but if tomorrow all of the coffee in the world was gone and everyone went through a few weeks of withdrawals, the world would continue on.
People want coffee. They don’t need coffee.
Do you see the difference? It’s not a matter of what people need — branding, marketing, and selling a nice to have is about determining what people want.
We Buy the Things We Want
Consider art, beauty, music, or personal memories. Do these things tangibly solve problems?
We buy paintings because of how they make us feel. We buy new clothes and makeup and hairstyling gel because of how it allows us to express ourselves. We pay for music streaming services because of the way music resonates with us.
Desire. Feelings. These are the driving forces behind most of our purchases in the 21st century.
You can make a living by selling something that someone would classify as a “nice to have”, because as long as you’ve done your research, there’s probably someone out there that resonates with what you’re creating.
Evaluate your “nice to have” with these questions:
- Am I making something that I want to exist, or am I making something that people are asking for?
- How does this make someone’s life better?
- How are people missing out by not having it?
In the coming weeks, I’ll show you how to validate your idea, craft an irresistible story, and create a marketing strategy to catch the attention of your target audience.
Brand, Market, and Sell Your “Nice To Have”
If you’re finding yourself still lost in the world of branding, marketing, and selling your nice to have product or service, I’m writing a book that will help you.
The book is called Nice To Have, and I’m in the writing process right now, with a launch date to be announced. Nice To Have is designed and written to help you navigate your industry, find the value in the product or service you provide, and fashion a story that resonates with your future customers.