The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

A Premium Commodity …
February 9, 2009, 6:38 am
Filed under: Comment

One of the biggest issues in marketing is when your brand somehow ends up being regarded as nothing more than a commodity by the population.

Companies spend millions upon millions of dollars trying to lift themselves out of this profitability quicksand, often embarking on pointless – and costly – marketing ventures that end up alienating rather than attracting.

I’ve written a lot about how to differentiate via innovation however sometimes it can be done by a single word.

I was in a shop near our house when I saw a rubber.

No – not the kind that stops my mother becoming a Grandmother – but the good ol’ pencil removing product.

Now let’s be honest, a rubber is a rubber.

Sure they come in different shapes and different colours but at the end of the day, they’re all the same. A commodity.

Because we’re all electronic junkies these days, I thought I’d jog your memory on what a rubber actually looks like …




However, the guys behind this rubber were a bit clever.

You see, they realised they could ‘differentiate’ from the countless other varieties and as such, increase its value and desirability.

No, it hasn’t got an inbuilt USB.

Nor a radio.

It hasn’t even got a remote control R2D2 robot in it.

What these guys did was add a single word that instantly appealed to a computer [ab]using old fart like me …


That’s it.

One word and yet it managed to make me smile … not just because it now resembled a key on an Apple keyboard [a modern look for an ancient product], but because in this techno-focused World, DELETE is the perfect modern definition for one of the oldest ‘type removal’ products you can buy.

That single word helped me part with 10 times the amount of cash a plain old white erasure would have cost.

One word … but it’s the perfect word!

More money than sense?

Well let’s be honest, with my brain cells, that’s not too hard but it’s worth remembering that differentiation isn’t just about being unique from your competitive set [especially when in many cases, it’s the competitors who are making you go in that direction rather than the business opportunity], it can be about differentiating your audience – and in this case, the makers of this product seem to be targeting 30+ sad bastards who use an Apple computer and like tat.

7 Comments so far
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30+ sad bastards? Hey!! I would buy that rubber and im 20! Hmmmm…what does that make me?!

Comment by shib

it says youre on your way to becoming a fucking sad bastard at 30 years of age shib. next question?

oi campbell, i have some trash outside my apartment. if i put a notice on it that says will you pay me a thousand bucks for it?

i suppose theres some skill writing a post about a rubber that has some questionable business rules included in it but at the end of the fucking day its still a post about a fucking rubber

Comment by andy@cynic

“No – not the kind that stops my mother becoming a Grandmother”

Thanks for that image. I feel as sick as Jill when she is forced to “entertain” you.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Given the only women you entertain are made of rubber, that’s quite a big call Mr Whizz.

Still, it’s nice to know you’re being so ‘safe sex’ concious – though your personality is the ultimate condom. Allegedly. 🙂

Comment by Rob

Plain old white erasure??
Are they still going?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

God, I’m turning into NP or Marcus with that kind of spelling.

Comment by Rob

personally, i would have paid an extra $5 for it if it had ⌘Z. but i guess delete is OK.. 🙂

Comment by lauren

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