You Need a Symbiote

Shopkeepers take note! Always place your beer near the diapers.

research analyst noticed a correlation between sales of beer and diapers at the grocery store and hypothesized that when men zipped out to grab more diapers, they couldn’t resist stocking up on beer at the same time. A marketing opportunity was born! 

I don’t think that pairing would work today (I do not recommend blending childcare with alcohol) but companies often look for interesting hooks to boost their product’s appeal.

A symbiotic relationship is one of mutual benefit for each party involved. The picture above is an example I observed near my house. Therapy session with your massage anyone? I’d bet you a tenner that the psychologists they use are juniors needing experience.

During our honeymoon, Kath and I endured a timeshare presentation to get a free dinner cruise (questionable tradeoff). I’ve given blood by focusing on the cookies that come afterward. A recent movie launch offered a free non-fungible token when you booked a ticket in advance. Each example uses an additional desirable offering to help people make the first step towards something they may not naturally want to do.

Let’s consider this at a strategic level: How can your organization benefit by combining an offering with another desirable product or service? Taxis could do more business if they paired up with Lysol wipes. And honestly, the psychology consult offered by the masses is a stroke of genius – therapists are in high demand these days. 

Change isn’t universally appealing. What can you offer to help people buy in and throw their support behind you? One client ran a customer service program that sent their top exemplars to an industry conference each year. Win-win. I’ve used point systems and giveaways on my own projects.

Is there a local vendor you can partner with? Is there a hard-to-get item or service that will draw people’s attention? Leverage alternate attraction to reach your goals.

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper