Wasp Catchers: A Case in Point on the 4 Ps of Marketing

Glass Wasp Catcher

 

Recently, I was in an antique store in Lenoir, NC. looking for a unique gift for my wife. While the store had some interesting artifacts, I really didn’t find anything that flipped my switch. My daughter Maggie, however, did find something she wanted to purchase.

Ambling up to the cashier to pay, something overhead caught my eye. Looking up, I saw this really cool-looking glass contraption. The object resembled a bee hive and had a lid sporting a wasp on top. There was a reservoir at the bottom to hold liquid. As my curiosity about the piece grew, I asked what it was and in what era it originated.

“It looks like an antique,” said the shopkeeper, “but it’s a reproduction of a Victorian wasp catcher.” The idea behind the wasp catcher is that the reservoir is filled with a sweet liquid to attract flies, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets that fly up through the hole in the bottom. Once inside, the insect eventually drowns and can be poured out through the opening at the top.

I was a little disappointed to learn the item wasn’t an antique, but purchased it anyway because the price was under $30 and it looked to be an interesting conversation piece. Being a family of animal lovers, we placed the wasp catcher in our yard as art, and we haven’t tried to kill a thing with it.

How did this transaction relate to the 4 Ps of marketing? The 4 Ps are Product (uniquely designed and visually striking wasp catcher), Price (under $30), Place (above the head of anyone who stops at the cash register of the antique store), and Promotion (product benefits relayed by the shopkeeper).

That day, it all came together for the shopkeeper in the form of a sale. Once he sells a reproduction wasp catcher, he hangs another to replace it. It’s no surprise to me that he says it’s one of his best sellers.

Consider the 4Ps in your product mix. Do they properly align with what your target market desires?

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