[Million Dollar Idea, 663 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
The idea for the business was pulled out of the inconsolable need for success. They had been sitting around attempting to come up with the next product that everyone would need. Their minds were dull, blunt as the flat side of a twenty cent coin. They threw ideas back and forth between each other. Each had the same result as another person would cite the source for whence the idea had been done before. Then, the million idea was brought forth from the depths of their unconscious minds.
“It doesn’t matter what we come up with. It’s all about marketing either way. Without a bulletproof marketing campaign, we could, we could come up with the next iPhone gizmo and still wouldn’t get any attention.” Edward twiddled his thumbs on the couch, thinking deeply.
“Yeah, with a good marketing campaign you can come up with crap that people don’t need and they’ll still buy it.” Noted Sebastian.
“Wait, what did you just say?” Edward had caught something, the beginnings of an idea within the previously stated statement.
“The best marketing campaign can sell anything.” Sebastian reiterated.
“No, not that. The other thing.”
“With marketing, you can come up with crap that people don’t need and still sell it.”
“That’s it,” Edward pointed out, “We’ve approached this all wrong. We’ve been trying to think about stuff that people need. What we should be doing is thinking about stuff that people don’t need.”
“What? No, that doesn’t make any sense.”
“No, bear with me. We’ve got something here. It’s all about marketing right?”
“Well, what if we come up with the most useless crap that nobody wants and nobody needs and market it correctly.”
“Give me an example.”
Edward looked around, there on the ground was a thong, a sandle. “The thong-hat!”
“Yes, the thong-hat. We get a thong and a pack of tin foil. We put the thong on our heads like the peak of a baseball cap and wrap tin foil around our head to create a helmet that holds the thong in place and hey presto! You got yourself a thong-hat.”
“No, it isn’t. It’s very smart.”
“No, it’s stupid.”
“No, hear me out. It is, of course, very stupid. But with the correct marketing strategy, we could make millions!”
“Well, we create a video advertisement showing how we make the thong-hat and then we call it the stupidest product ever. We tell them how much a thong costs and how much the tin foil costs. We tell them they could make their own thong-hat for less than we sell it for. We be completely honest and up-front with the product and make it into a hilarious parody of all other advertising campaigns. Then we sell it for double or triple the price it costs us.”
“Why would people buy it? That’s stupid.”
“It isn’t, this is how it works. If we make the advertisement parody funny enough then people will buy the product so that they can join in on the joke. They all know it’s useless crap that we’re selling, but a lot of what people buy is useless crap. Have you ever moved houses and found just a pile of junk that you have to throw out because once, long ago, you thought it was a good idea to buy. It’s called impulse buying. We are targeting the impulse buyers and what they get is their chance to be honestly stupid and join in on our joke.”
“I think I understand, but we need more products than just the thong-hat.”
That was the day that Edward and Sebastian started their journey to become millionaires. Amazingly enough, the plan worked and they became the fastest growing business and seller of completely useless items. Among their products were the velcro lock, the fish-net umbrella and their all time best seller the cup handle’s handle (a handle that attached itself to the handle of a tea cup).