Ideas are Cheap but Marketing is Hard

How 3 little kids taught me 5 lessons about Marketing and Ideas

I was walking towards the gate last week Friday, after attending a boring event at the University Conference Centre.  I was thinking about the uninspiring scenery when I noticed 3 kids playing at the walk-way towards the end of the garden. 2 girls and a boy, the boy was much younger than the girls. One of the girls held up a bottle of Bigi apple, but inside it was a clear liquid which I believe was definitely water. She was swearing to the boy that it’s Pepsi, her friend (the other girl) also affirms it, but the boy kept on shouting “Iro ni” (It’s a lie!). I couldn’t resist the urge to engage the kids, considering the fact that I was actively looking for a way to exhale the boring memories of the event I just left.

So, I walked towards them and asked the boy why he thought they were lying because the girls seem to be pretty sure they have a bottle of Pepsi. He was a smart boy, somehow. Without hesitation he told me “to ba je pepsi ni, oma ru o, iro ni won pa” (If it’s actually Pepsi, it should be bubbling, they are lying). To my surprise, the boy wasn’t considering the color of the liquid in his discretion, while I was sure it’s not Pepsi because Pepsi should be black the boy was sure it’s not Pepsi because it shows no evidence of gaseous bubbles like most carbonated drinks, including Pepsi.

One of the girls asked me “se ema mu wo?” (Will you have a taste?). I told her I know it’s water. She said, “Yes it’s water but it tastes like Pepsi”. I was intrigued and tempted to have a taste. I had a drop of the liquid and instantly understood what was going on. The girls added sugar to water and poured it inside a Bigi Apple bottle to give it that gaseous sting you get when you open a carbonated drink, and they were trying to sell it to the boy in exchange for his dinner. The other lady was the elder sister to the boy while the lady holding the drink was their neighbor whose mum told her that Pepsi is just a mixture of sugar and water.

Lesson Learned: Ideas are Cheap but Marketing is Hard

The young lady’s mother never knew she was giving her daughter a business idea when she told her Pepsi is just water and sugar. She was probably just talking to her daughter like any mother would. Only that the daughter took it as a lesson she could profit from, even if it’s her neighbor’s dinner.  

The real test of entrepreneurship is not coming up with ideas, it’s about being able to execute and manage the idea. Ideas are in the air when you truly listen to people speak.

And to make your customers believe you need to ensure you are pitching to the right senses and initiating the right response.

Most times, the value an entrepreneur expects from a customer is cash. And this is absolutely okay as the ideal purpose of cash profit is essential to sustain and expand the business to reach many other customers. For the kidpreneur herein, the value she seeks from her customer (her friend’s younger brother) is not cash but sumptuous dinner.

If only the little girl knows that the boy wouldn’t believe her because the liquid wasn’t bubbling, she would have improved her product and find a way to make it bubble.

Anyways, I had fun with the 3 kids. Bought them Pepsi, and they asked a lot of questions which I’m sure they might turn into a profitable business someday.  I just hope they won’t try to sell me a mirror and tell me my identical twin brother lives in the device.

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13 Comments on “Ideas are Cheap but Marketing is Hard”

  1. This is very insightful. Thanks for paying attention to them and picking these lessons to share with us.

  2. Wow. Thanks for sharing such an insightful story to learn from. It showed me that selling is essentially making my prospect believe what I have to offer them is indeed valuable by appealing to the right senses.

  3. Pingback: 5 Online Market to Sell Your Products in Africa - Charles Adetola

    • Thank you, Samuel

      Ideas are cheap but Marketing is one of the greatest challenges in business.
      Very soon, I’ll be sharing my discovery on how to set prices for your products or/and services.

      Stay tuned for more value,


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