In an age of Snuggies, pet rocks, and bacon flavored sundaes, one has to wonder if businesses are actually being attentive to their customers’ needs or are just looking to make headlines in order to further their marketing efforts and bottom line? The latest product to hit the market that invokes serious doubts about the future of customer attainment is the banana bunker.
Funnyman Stephen Colbert took to his show to convey a dire [albeit, tongue-in-cheek] need to protect America’s banana supply. After sharing a soothing instructional video showing users how to use the BananaBunker (slogan: “Pamper your banana with the BananaBunker”), Colbert wholeheartedly endorsed the product. He further goes on to show the company’s instructional video which shows how a bunker-protected banana can be dropped from a third-story fire escape with absolutely no damage! WOW! Colbert basically took the words right out of my mouth by saying that the product is “perfect for all those times I am out on a fire escape with a banana that I am not eating and I reach for my phone or my electric razor, and my banana falls to the ground.”
So, was there a need for this product in the market? Has there been a public uproar over an upcoming banana shortage or the need to protect against bruised bananas? If there was, I’m not sure where I’ve been as my bananas have been doing just fine (and I eat roughly ten of them a week!). I have to wonder if Cultured Containers, the creators of the ‘revolutionary’ banana bunker, actually conducted market research to discover the real wants of their client base as one fast-food chain did with milkshakes. With the average price of a banana in NYC costing 22 cents, it’s hard to believe that any research was done – one banana bunker runs about $16 in total (that’s $7 for the product and $8.55 for S&H)! I’d have to eat about 65 bananas to even see any cost benefit from purchasing the piece of plastic.
So, it’s 2012 and there’s currently so many ways to gauge consumer sentiment for product development purposes. Nowadays, social media software can be leveraged in order to get a sense of what public demand is, and best of all, it’s so much cheaper than using an outside research firm. For more info on how to use social media to satisfy your customers’ desires, attend our free summer social media online series.