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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 23-Mar-12


Friday 23-March-12

How to sell more shampoo (or use less)

Imagine you are a shampoo marketer, tasked with doubling the sales of your brand of shampoo. How could you achieve this? One canny marketer in the dim and distant past famously achieved this with one word.

The bottle of shampoo of course had instructions to apply shampoo, work up a lather and then rinse the  hair. Then some clever person discovered the word 'repeat', changing instructions from 'Apply. Lather. Rinse' to 'Apply. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.' An even cleverer version also added 'Apply conditioner'.

I used to obey this, and was rewarded with dry, frizzy, flyaway hair that made the conditioner necessary (as well as other hair control products). I wondered about it and tried not repeating. There seemed to be no change in cleanliness so I only did it once. The dryness wasn't as bad and I needed less extra control, so I continued like this for many years.

Another instruction that used to be used was that a 'capful' of shampoo should be used (and of course -- you've got it -- the size of the cap just got bigger). But with today's flip-top squeeze bottles this does not work. So the amount used is determined by the size of your cupped hand (unless you are a head-level, liberal point-and-squirt person).

Recently, I noticed that the rather large hole in the top of the shampoo bottle coupled with a fairly runny liquid shampoo kept resulting in getting a larger-than-intended splurge of the stuff on my hand which even ran through my fingers before I had time to splat it on my hair. Aha! Another marketer it work, it seems.

I'd also seen things that said you really don't need any shampoo and that you should give it up. I tried that once, just using water in the shower, but I didn't stick the course as you have to put up with greasy locks for a month or so, it seems. So I thought I'd try another shampoo-reducing approach.

The new approach I use now is simply to use less. I tip up the shampoo bottle and, without squeezing, let it dribble out so I have a small amount in my hand. In this way, I gradually cut down on the shampoo used until I had a minimum amount that was still effective. And it's worked! Weaning my hair off the shock treatment of a massive detergent dose, it sits better now, looks great and goes where it is put without fuss or mess.

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