Give the People What They Need

Have you ever tried to make a 6 year old eat spinach? (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t end well for both parties involved) Or have you ever tried to convince a friend that a romantic interest of theirs just “isn’t worth it”? Both of these scenarios have a common theme-life is a constant battle between what people want and what people need. How do you decide which side to give into?
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People treat wants and needs as these mutually exclusive entities. As a marketer, I honestly see that we can have both. In fact, that’s my whole M.O. behind marketing products. To me, products are the art forms of business.

A great product should change the way you think and enhance your life. As a consumer, this is a no brainer. However, as you can see, so many companies get this horribly wrong. I’ve seen a few software companies have the best product ever, but it’s hard to use and it looks ugly. The same can be said for certain consumer goods I’ve purchased and used. But it’s more than just aesthetic appeal that comprises the beauty of a product. There’s something even more intangible that we can’t always properly articulate.

When you buy that one thing, and it happens to be made well while also suiting your needs, something inside of you says, “Yes, this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life!” It’s this intense, euphoric feeling where the experience with the product itself is new, but the feeling when you use it is natural-almost primal in a sense. More eloquent people call it “intuitive”. I like to call it delightful.

A lot of companies have recently adopted the strategy of showing commercials that appeal to emotion. It is an effective strategy, but nothing competes with the real thing. Even for myself, working at Chegg on the scholarships product, I’m constantly agonizing over how to help shape this product to cause a student to say, “Where has this been all my life?” or to feel that unbridled, visceral joy that comes with having their needs met while enjoying the experience every step of the way. Since I can’t draw to save my life, helping build great products is my art and the world is my canvas.

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