Raking It In - A Quiet Leaf Blower

My marketing radar is always on alert for opportunities that blow me away!

Recently I was blown away by the alarming noise of the traditional leaf blower. It was during a lovely fall day where in three different settings, I was annoyed, interrupted and distracted by the ridiculous roar of a gas-powered leaf blower. At my office, at a shopping center and then at home; the leaf blowing army was out in force. No disrespect for those who do this work. My frustration is with those who engineered these ear blasting devices. 

Thar she blows

James, please save us
Where is James Dyson when I need him? 
My hero who created the blade less fan and the extraordinary vacuum cleaner, is needed to solve one of the great problems of the twenty-first century- can’t we silent these damn noisemakers?

I live on a densely wooded property in Raleigh, North Carolina with my fair share of deciduous trees. Fall is like a snow storm of leaves on my property sometimes six inches high. I understand the need for efficient and easy leaf removal but isn’t there some way to do this with our inside voices? 

I know all about the traditional rake and the labor it takes to move leaves but you would think in an age of nano technology we could come up with a way to shut up the leaf blowing noise makers.

Marketing. It is built upon differentiation. When all the leaf blowers are noisy, who will figure out how to put a muzzle on them and silence them for good? What a breakthrough it would be in changing and shifting a category of products when you can leverage power but in a quiet way.

Hard of Hearing
If I were an engineer, I’d be working on this problem because of the pent up demand for this product.  Why hasn’t this product come to market yet? It can’t be too difficult a challenge. I don’t believe it would be so expensive to produce that no one will purchase it. I think the companies who make these noise makers are hard of hearing. Listen to your customers. And by the way, your customers aren’t just those who use them but those who live next door to the brigade of leaf blowing blowhards.

Marketing requires deviation to be different. I'm often reminded of one of my heroes Frank Zappa who during his day, was able to differentiate himself from the crowd of rock and rollers. Whether you loved him or hated him, you have to celebrate that he got different way before Steve Jobs.

Raking it in
Seriously, this isn’t the world most pressing issue. I know. I get it. But it illustrates what a smart marketer understands when you can find a way to separate from the crowd. If I had this product, I would call it QUIET. My tag line would be Leafing Noise Behind. (sorry,  I have a bad pun disease).

Somebody will be raking it in.

I am a marketing professional with over 30 years of experience creating success. If you enjoy these blog posts, please sign up to receive them in your email or share them with other marketing friends who might be interested in these topics. You can comment on this blog, send an email to me at JeffreyLynnSlater@gmail.com or as the Car Talk guys on NPR  like to say, write your question on the back of a $20 bill and mail it to me. Thanks for traveling along with me on this journey. 

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