Unique Selling Product

As they say, the best USP there can be is the product itself. If that’s good, half the publicity is taken care of. Well, anyway, I’m no marketing guru, so I’ll steer away from this before someone grows suspicious of my expertise (lack of it, rather) on the subject.

Besides, that’s not what this post is about. It is about a product though. Two, actually. Every month, a new product sells on local trains in Bombay (are we still allowed to say Bombay?) like there’s no two questions about its necessity,

The first item that proved a heads-down winner was the head massager. Priced at a just-on-trains-exclusive Rs 10, looking oddly like an egg whisk, this sold through all of September to October. The success was obvious, for otherwise, there’s no way on ...err...train, that it would sell for 2 whole months. I ignored it at the moment and felt thoroughly like a ‘Boka Jamai’ (a Bengali tale about the foolish son-in-law who mistook kheer for rice and milk) later.

Having discovered its joys only much later, oddly enough on a visit to Hyderabad, I went looking for the head massager as soon as I was back in Bombay (oops, censored word again). To no avail though, not for the Standard Train Price at any rate (no pun, as usual).

For anyone desperately still seeking one, try Colaba (Rs 30! Insane) or the pavement in front of Jehangir Art Gallery (bargainable to Rs 20).

Anyway, the latest hot seller on the trains is as bizarre as it gets. Curious ear muffs, or their poorer cousins, in all patterns—leopard spots and zebra prints (animal prints are in, by the way)—and various colours, down to the conservative black (that’s in too).

Ok, now why is this bizarre? Isn’t it perfectly normal that people should want to buy ear muffs in November? Well, not really, not in Bom.. errm...You-Know-Where. Because You-know-Where doesn’t really have a winter, and the present mid-November temperature is 30 degrees! This city just pretends to have a winter for five days or so, between Christmas and New Year.

But I did see a young man wearing full-sleeved pullover on the train today. I thought only advocates and marketing executives had to pretend that it’s winter all year round, sweating in their black blazers and woollen suits, respectively.

The young executive in a formal striped shirt did check out the earmuff though, for pure curiosity’s sake I would imagine. I don’t think he’d fancy wearing them to work, or even at work, even if he has to sit right under the air conditioner!

So far then, the only ones wearing these funny earmuffs—and quite nonchalantly too, as if everyone else is foolish not to be—are the guys selling them. The price? Rs 10 of course.

Frankly, I don’t see this one making it for two months. Unless the Met department issues a heavy snowfall warning next (to top the cyclone warning earlier this month). I’m not buying one regardless. As for a Rs 10 deal on the head massager, I’m still on the lookout.

Note: FYI, the head massagers were manufactured in China. As is everything else, including fake ipods to hideously loud cellphones. That’d explain the peculiarity of the idea and design and the low pricing.


Mani said...

Btw the ear muffs are in fashion in u kno where?! -- Hyd...
sellin like hot cakes and are in high demand from the "bike-walas"!!

Jayeeta Mazumder said...

I want Bokoma!

Revived Angel... said...

Ur "egg-whisks" r quite a fashion in park street,u knw,though i had to refuse acknowledging my fellow onlookers as friends whn they tried it out on the road like models of some tele-shopping brand wid scores of people ogling at them.baba,of all persons,gt fond of it too..Waiting to hear of the ear muffs.As of winter,it seems to have arrived in Calcutta finally.

Fully grown fuzzy Hipposaur said...

Killer post. Loved the part about the earmuffs. They're very in by the way. very in...!