Made for Me Marketing

Every morning it’s the same thing. I survey my collection of hair goop “product” and decide which largely ineffective concoction I’ll go with that day. Nothing lives up to the hype: My roots are not boosted, my hair is neither big nor sexy. It has not been inflated to extreme volume. The “hold” is nowhere near, all-day, super, ultra, or able to withstand rough weather and high humidity (or gentle breezes or the simple force of gravity).

Now, I’m not one of those people who goes for “salon product” that adds $25 to an already $30 haircut. But lately, I’ve been desperate and experimenting with the expensive stuff. I now have $50 worth of useless products to use up, instead of $10 worth, before I can try something else.

How I lament — every darn day — the passing of the 2 or 3 tried-and-true products that actually worked. One, a moderately priced salon find, was taken off the market 4 years ago or so. For a while, I could buy someone’s hoarded stash on eBay, then that too dried up (no pun intended). The second, and most lamented, was $2 hairspray that I’d been using for at least 15 years. Suddenly, it was no more. I went online and found others also searching, wondering, and finally crying that it was no longer being made. So, to eBay I went again, but unwilling to pay $20 a bottle for $2 hairspray, I was defeated — and deflated, from the scalp up.

So that got me thinking — How are these companies making the decision to get rid of products that some people absolutely love? Heck, entire Web sites and message boards are devoted to “discontinued” cosmetics and hard-to-find products, as women desperately search for their favorite shades and scents.

Have a little compassion, companies — and a little marketing savvy. Use this devotion to your advantage!

Why not have a page on your Web site where people can sign up to be “XYZ Junkies” or “Rabid 123 Fans” or charter members of the “Don’t Ever Take Away My Ripe Sienna Plum Club.” (Yes, the lipstick shade I wore for 20 years or so until that too was discontinued.) Publicize the heck out of it in women’s magazines (and on Oprah) and see what kind of response you get.

Then, if you do get the bright idea to discontinue something, tell your fans! Do you think there’s a woman out there who wouldn’t buy a case or a gross of her favorite product if she thought it was going away? (Don’t you people watch Seinfeld? Ever heard of  The Sponge, Sponge-worthy, ring any bells?) And, of course, it’s not just hair & make-up, it’s toothpaste and soap and laundry detergent and cleaning products and underwear and panty hose…and on and on.

As those savvy eBayers know, you could make a fortune selling these discontinued items “online only” at a premium to your devotees. And I guarantee you’d earn the undying loyalty of millions of us out here happy to forgo the “next best thing” if we can simply keep using what works.

I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty
being only skin-deep. That’s deep enough.
What do you want – an adorable pancreas? 
                             ~ Jean Kerr,
The Snake Has All the Lines