Nobody even questioned the process that contained this word.
It almost seemed unreal that one word could make such a difference.
What was that word?
If you read Benjamin Cheever’s book, The Plagiarist, a marketing executive becomes an overnight success by simply adding the word repeat to shampoo instructions: Shampoo, rinse, repeat. As the story goes, shampoo sales skyrocketed.
While this example is a work of fiction, many shampoo bottles had this word in their instructions.
Why would you need the word repeat in the instructions? If you were to look at consumer behavior in the 1950’s when shampoo was mass marketed, many people didn’t shampoo their hair as often as we do today.
Over the years, consumers changed their habit by washing their hair daily. With more frequent shampoos, hair wasn’t as dirty so it did not require consumers to repeat the process, making the word repeat unnecessary.
While there was a change in consumer behavior there was also an opportunity. Conditioner was added to the hair care process. Suddenly, the industry benefited from an additional revenue stream.
So, what’s the point?
Can one word improve sales?
Perhaps. But the greater lesson is that what we learned, what we know, and what we’ve seen may no longer be relevant in today’s marketplace.
When things change, look at the opportunity that exists.There are times where we try to apply what we learned, what we know, and what we’ve seen and wonder why it no longer works any more. It may be just the right moment to try a different process.
Take a few minutes to review what isn’t working in your business or life. Identify ways you could approach it differently and see what happens.