There Are No Low-Interest Categories

Topic: The biggest myth in corporate America.

Dev Patnaik: We buy things for widely different reasons. We buy things because they satisfy basic needs like hunger, right, or thirst. We buy products because they make us feel good. They meet our needs of identity or needs of belonging.

On some level though, we buy everything because it meets some needs that we have and I think companies have gotten shy about the reasons why people buy their products.

The biggest myth I have heard in corporate America is the myth of the low-interest category. You’ll go into company that makes widgets and nails and say, “Those are relatively low interest category.” It’s something that people are not that interested of and so well, our biggest, or only choice is just slice it down and make it as cheaply as possible. I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think there is any such thing as a low-interest category.

Every time we go in and we study cleaning products, we may find out that it’s really about a mom caring for her children. And we study soft drinks and we realized there’s much more about feeling like you have a sense of identity and a belonging with a group of people. We study engineering thermoplastics, and we discover that it’s really about chemical engineers who use those thermoplastics feeling like they’re competent in their job.

There’s always a human being and a high interest factor associated with it. I’ve told more than one CEO that the first thing he needed to do was to walk around his company and ask people, “Do you think we have a low interest product? Okay, you’re fired.” Get rid of people who don’t believe that the stuff they make can change the world because it is changing the world whether they are noticing it or not.

 

Conducted on: June 24, 2009.

Jump Associates CEO Dev Patnaik debunks the corporate America myth that some products are only valuable if they’re cheap.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less