Think Out-Side-The-Box

July 31, 2009 at 12:14 pm (Thinking Outside-The-Box) (, , )

Thinking Outside-of-The-Box is a weekly feature item. If you are familiar with it skip the next couple of paragraphs and go to the next Bold sentence.

Thinking out-of-the-box doesn’t mean thinking differently. Thinking out-of-the-box means thinking with out boundaries or limitations. It means pure thinking, seeing past the road blocks and patterns our minds make.

 These “boxes” prevent us from seeing the easy and best solutions.

 One way to train yourself to think outside-the-box is when you see something that is just brilliant, new, yet old, analyze the thought process behind it, and then immediately apply this new insight to similar items.

Friday’s Out-Side-the-Box

Equate Contact Solution

I noticed on the side of my bottle of Equate Contact Solution that there is an ad for 1800- CONTACTS. Why is this Out-of-the-box Thinking? Because every time I pick up that bottle of contact solution, which is a daily occurrence, I see and think, 800-CONTACTS. In addition, I bought this bottle at a brink and mortar store and not from the 800-CONTACTS website.

Thinking Outside-of-The-Box

Thinking Outside-of-The-Box

 There is a marketing adage that you have to see something five or seven times before it is ingrained in your mind. This is branding 101. Well, how many times will I see that 1800-CONTACTS ad over the life of the bottle. Once? Five times? A hundred times?

The Economics of It All.

The profit on a bottle of contact solution is probably pretty high, since it takes a couple of months for you to go through one. For those with 20/20 vision a bottle of contact solution runs between $5 for generic and $8 for the good stuff. But all of it is simply saline solution.  But as a business owner, it’s a low turnover item so you aren’t making a lot of money on this item in the short term. This is bad for cash flow.

Daily wear contacts on the other hand is probably a low profit item, but high turnover item, so for the short term, it’s a great cash flow generator.

Let’s add advertising to the mix. Advertising is expensive and it can be hard to track if it’s working, especially radio and television.

The power of 800-CONTACTS out-of-the-box thinking would really multiply if they are also the maker of the Equate contact solution. There is no additional cost for the ad since they have to have the label printed anyways. No additional contracts (i.e. costs) to negotiate with the maker of the bottle to place the ad. They may have to pay the retailer some kind of promotional cost or simply reduce the wholesale price to increase the retailer’s profit as an incentive. Remember, I have already said that this is a low turnover item for the store, so anywhere they can increase profits is advantageous.

In addition, 99% of retails don’t sell contacts at their location so 800-CONTACTS is not cannibalizing the retailers profits in any other areas.

So, in what areas can you apply this advertising model?

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