I just read about a store in the Tokyo area that has not had a customer since 1972. Amazing to think that it is still in business, bu that is besides the point. It’s a broom store and the article states that perhaps the reason for no business is due to the fact that it’s selling a product that people do not need anymore.
After thinking about this for a while, I don’t know if I agree. I know Tokyo and Phoenix are very different places, but I would venture to say that people in both places still purchase brooms. I have two in my house – one for indoor use and one for outdoor use and the local Home Depot still seems to sell plenty.
As a marketer I wonder if the problem isn’t so much with the product as it is with the marketing. No matter how widely used your product is, you still need to market it to your customers. Identifying your core customer segment and then communicating a value proposition to them is the foundation of marketing. I would suspect that a more aggressive business owner with a keen love for brooms would be able to bring this business to the 21st century. Heck, with the popularity of niche blogs, I would think they could even start a blog, and network within social media to develop a world wide fan base.
It’s just my hunch. What do you think?