How to launch a product with a latent need

This episode of Fractal Marketing with Gerard Doyle is called “How to launch a product with a latent need” with Maree Beare, the CEO and Founder of consumer health app Wanngi. Maree explains that Wanngi functions like a digital wallet and that its primary use is to manage difficult-to-access health records.

Maree also shares the marketing journey of Wanngi and the obstacles of brand awareness for a product for a latent need. However, she shares their great success with blog content and the value of being recognized by Forbes and CNET in their quest to go global and penetrate the US market.

QUOTES

17:43 “The government has announced a grant for researching into the impacts of the bushfire smoke, not only bushfire smoke but people’s mental situation after the bushfires. So we propose that people could use our app and monitor their symptoms then track what’s happening to them over that period of time and share that information.”

19:56 “We are placing a focus on the US. They have a significant problem. It’s worse than in Australia. They don’t have essential government record as an option, which we do. They don’t really have a medicare that’s like our public system.”

26:13 “Instead of bringing your folder with you, you’re going to start accumulating this information electronically, safely, in a secure place in cloud so that no matter where you are, you can show this to the doctor, no matter where you are. And in whatever language.”

33:52 “One of the problems is that it’s actually very difficult to get a hold of your health records and your medical documents in the US. And in Australia, by the way, you don’t seem to have ownership on often very easily or you may have to pay for them. So we’ve written some articles on how to do this.”

36:41 “If I could go back in time, I would think that we could have acted sooner to start understanding the market straight after that because a week from launching, the government decided it was too early and they closed the mobile API gateway down.”

HIGHLIGHTS

02:24 Introduction to Wanngi

12:45 Caregivers as a potential app user pool

19:23 Going global & using Wanngi overseas

28:25 Marketing Wanngi & creating content

35:34 Maree’s advice & working with the government

RESOURCES

Maree on Linkedin

Wanngi.com

Apple App Store

Google Play Store

How to be unique in a booming niche like craft beer

This episode of Fractal Marketing is called “How to be unique in a booming niche like craft beer” and today’s guest is Richard Jeffares, founder of TWØBAYS Brewing Co, is a pioneer of gluten-free, vegan, and lactose-free craft beer in Australia.

Richard starts by laying the context for a gluten-free product, and for TWØBAYS, that is the niche of coeliacs. He then discusses the early successes of the brand and their plans for brand awareness and expansion in 2020, including social media and word of mouth marketing

QUOTES

05:19 “It’s just not the same as sitting there at the bar and you’re drinking the cider while everyone else is drinking beer, for me anyway. You feel different. And unless you love cider and don’t like beer, which I don’t, you want to fit in with everybody else. So that’s really been the crux of it is, just want to be inclusive.”

06:55 “So we then negotiated the exclusive rights to import millet, buckwheat, and rice from these gluten-free malt houses in the US and bring them in by the containerload. So we’ve got, I think it’s 11 or 12 different millet malts, 1 buckwheat and about 6 or 7 different rice malts that we can use to make the beers that we have at the tap or even in package.”

12:11 “So from April to December, we got to about 750 locations around Australia, so anywhere from Port Douglas, Hobart and Perth and probably of those, I’d say 250, probably 200 of them are the big guys and the other 550 are independents. And so we’ve really wanted to make sure we try and do both strategies.”

27:30 “We’re 100% dedicated brewery and no barley comes in, sort of a no gluten allowed setup. So if you then go to a contract brewer, which is what these big guys are doing and say hey, brew me a gluten-free beer, then that contract brewer is going to make sure that throughout their whole manufacturing process, they are doing everything to avoid gluten.”

28:19 “We do offer it to other breweries if they want to but when they realize the price of that malt compared to barley, they’re kind of go, uhh. Then we talk about how they’re going to clean their mill, which you can’t do, so how are you going to mill that barley to brew with it? How are you going to clean your tanks? All those sort of things. And I say, well, why don’t you just buy my beer?”

Background

TWØBAYS Brewing Co was born from the need to avoid gluten and a trip to America which opened the eyes of Founder, Richard Jeffares, to breweries in Portland, Seattle, Denver and Montreal who were crafting high quality, gluten-free beers, so he decided to bring high-quality craft beers to Australia.

HIGHLIGHTS

01:49 Introduction to TWØBAYS

05:41 Creating gluten-free beer in Australia

09:23 Marketing TWØBAYS

16:27 Expansion and markers of success

25:07 Competing with the big names

RESOURCES

https://www.twobays.beer/

https://www.instagram.com/twobaysbeer/

https://www.facebook.com/twobaysbeer

How the Sunk Cost Fallacy Causes You to Make Bad Decisions

 

  • Sunk costs are a necessary part of business and life. Embracing them helps you spend money wisely and make the best decisions for your professional and personal paths.
  • The “endowment effect” is an evolutionary concept that causes people to overvalue something just because they own it.
  • The “sunk cost fallacy” causes people to become committed to something they’ve already spent money on, even when continuing to pursue it is no longer a rational decision.

 

Often when people hear the term “sunk cost,” they think of losing money. That’s a mindset we need to change.

Sunk cost is actually a necessary and rational part of business and life. Trying to avoid it is what leads to irrational decisions and wasted money. Embracing the concept can help you spend money more wisely and keep yourself on the best personal or professional path.

I’ll show you how.

What is sunk cost?

“Sunk cost” is an expense you’ve already incurred and cannot recover. These are in contrast to prospective costs, which are future expenses you may avoid if you change course.

Sunk costs, for example, may be:

  • The $1,200 fee I paid to cancel my family’s trip to Japan to avoid coronavirus.
  • College tuition, especially for a field you don’t or can’t pursue after graduation.
  • The money a startup invests in creating a product before pivoting.

We face sunk costs like these in both our professional and personal lives every day, and they can be beneficial. They become a problem only if we approach them with the wrong mindset.

The sunk cost fallacy

The problem with sunk costs is their tendency to convince us we have to forge forward because we’ve already invested too much to quit or change direction.

Say, for example, you’ve gone to law school and earned a law degree. Once you graduate, you decide you don’t want to be a lawyer but instead write a novel or return to school for marketing.

That shouldn’t be a bad thing.

The sunk cost fallacy is the mindset that you’ve just got to take on the burden of being a lawyer for the rest of your life because of the time and money you’ve sunk into law school. But why would you spend the rest of your life in a career you don’t like just because of three years in a particular pursuit?

Businesses can fall into this same trap. You might spend months and thousands or millions of dollars pursuing a product or project, and then realize it’s no longer the best path forward for you or the business. 

At that point, you can accept the investment as sunk cost, but many people are compelled to continue pursuing something solely because they’ve already put so much into it. Even if it won’t pay off best in the long run — even if you could earn above and beyond your sunk cost — you feel the need to stick to what you’ve started.

The endowment effect

This mindset about sunk costs comes from a psychological concept called the endowment effect. This is our tendency to overvalue something just because we own it.

Business Insider illustrated the endowment effect with an experiment in its series “Why Are We All So Stupid?” where host Sara Silverstein offered to buy people’s lottery tickets for two or more times their purchase price.

In the experiment, 78 percent of people refused to sell their tickets, concerned they risked selling a winning ticket. One man even replied, “Do you have $700 million?” demonstrating how highly he valued his ticket, as opposed to about $5 he’d sunk into buying it or $10 he could earn selling it to Sara.

Psychologists believe humans are hard-wired to this kind of loss aversion due to evolutionary pressures on losses and gains.

Consider that, for a hunter-gatherer society, the loss of a day’s food or water could mean consequences as severe as death. Gaining an extra day’s food is not very useful — traveling around with extra food on your back is actually a burden for a nomadic community. 

Evolutionarily, we learn that loss is greater than potential gain, so we overvalue what we already have.

This innate loss aversion leads to the sunk cost fallacy: We don’t want to lose what we already invested, created, or own, even if it’s no longer a rational pursuit.

The rational sunk cost mindset

You might be hard-wired emotionally to avoid sunk costs, but economically rational thinking can help you accept and embrace them.

Here’s a great example of that rationality: I started to work with someone last year on a website build with a $12,000 budget. About halfway in, when we reviewed what he was getting and why, it no longer made sense for his business.

He realized all he really needed was a simple website he could probably create through Wix or Squarespace and maintain himself — after he’d already spent about $6,000.

The loss-averse human might think you absolutely need to finish this project; you’ve already spent $6,000 on it! But he decided to stop and accept that sunk cost.

Here’s why: The prospective costs of stopping then were much lower than if he continued with the website we were building. He would have spent another $6,000 on the project, plus future maintenance costs. Stopping meant a $6,000 sunk cost, plus maybe $30 or so to set up the website he actually needed.

An economically rational mindset doesn’t see a wasted $6,000 on an unused website. It sees this client spent $6,000 to end up with a website that was perfect for him, instead of spending $12,000 plus future costs on a website that didn’t serve him at all.

You can apply this mindset to any sunk cost:

  • For my $1,200 sunk cost on the Japan trip, I gained peace of mind and safety for my family, plus a Cavoodle puppy I could buy with the $5,000 I didn’t spend on the trip.
  • For the sunk cost of a law degree, you might gain unique expertise and potential greater earning opportunities for pursuing a career you’re passionate about.
  • For the sunk cost of pivoting, a company might gain millions of dollars in sales pursuing a more fitting line of business.

Where are your sunk costs? 

I challenge you to look at the decisions you make in your business, career, and personal life. 

Ask yourself whether there’s anything you’re doing now simply because you’ve sunk time or money into it.

Are you pursuing anything you no longer have a rational reason to pursue?

Try to approach that thing with an economically rational mindset. Can you change course now and accept the sunk cost as a victory?

This is based on an episode of Fractal Marketing, the podcast for entrepreneurs who want to grow their company through smarter marketing. Subscribe and leave a review through Apple, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Should You Build Distribution Channels or Sell Products Directly?

This episode of Fractal Marketing with Gerard Doyle is called “Should You Build Distribution Channels or Sell Products Directly?” and today’s guest is Damien Stone, Founder of Water3. Today, Damien shares the journey of his company and how direct sales to a niche market created early success for Water3.

He then shares the expansion of the business in recent times and the role of technology in the business model in their bid to scale up and go global. It is noteworthy that one of upsides to Water3 is the nature of their product allows them to have a greater negotiation position with business partners. At present, the company has no real competitors and is in a prime spot for massive growth.

HIGHLIGHTS

03:53 Branding: Water3’s unique product

06:54 Market timing

09:11 Referral marketing with a remarkable product

16:18 Expansion and technology over the past 18 months

20:39 Water3’s global trajectory

25:39 Reducing risk and convincing business partners

33:16 Damien’s advice

QUOTES

11:44 “You’ve got to be remarkable. And being remarkable doesn’t mean having a bright shiny glitter-covered shirt. It means having something that’s shareable that everyone wants to talk about. So it’s what’s remarking about. And they kind of love stories like that, show you this care in the likes of the brand. And this is such an interesting little aside that will actually stick inside someone’s mind.”

17:01 “We thought long and hard about talking to the beverage companies and then we encountered a path of what are we going to do? The hot points for these guys, a niche market, well, it’s going to make them go, yeah okay, we want more tech. And there’s a huge amount of… software that they built around just being operators ourselves that we’ve had to go through and make a lot of changes on.”

25:38 “And I guess what your story is telling me is, oh, get out there and prove that people will actually buy it, people will use it. Okay, maybe you haven’t done it to the scale that Walmart or someone could take you to but if you’ve proven it yourself, you remove the risk for them. And if you remove the risk for them, they’re more likely to do it and I’m guessing the other upside to it is it puts you on a stronger negotiation position, right? Because you’ve got some idea how profitable it could be.”

30:54 “Who on earth is using that machine at 2 am? Now it turned out, some of our best customers are security guards and the cleaners because they can’t get water anywhere. Nothing’s open at 2 am when they’re walking around. Isn’t that funny how just you often don’t know what your market’s going to be?”

34:22 “Everyone loves it, but no one wants to fund it. What the hell’s going on? So I probably would’ve gone down a couple of other projects if I’d known 8 years ago it was going to take 3 years for us to get started. Or if we do get stuck into another business ambush, made us enough money to get started in the end, but I would’ve probably done some of this stuff a bit sooner.”

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

A quick monologue podcast from me on ‘sunk cost’, A sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs are contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be avoided if action is taken. 

Business insider ‘lottery ticket video

Humans may be hardwired to be loss averse due to asymmetric evolutionary pressure on losses and gains: for an organism operating close to the edge of survival, the loss of a day’s food could cause death, whereas the gain of an extra day’s food would not cause an extra day of life (unless the food could be easily and effectively stored)