the first step in marketing …is when inspiration and genuine need come together.Ballas created something that people needed.He then used his trait –his brand—of perfectionism and attention to detail… Ballas is a good example of the fundamental principle of marketing: identifying a need and then meeting it.”
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Folks, if you ever find yourself thinking that there’s just no way that your unique vision can change the world… well, take heart from Mr. George Ballas, amateur inventor.
In 1971, Mr. Ballas was a dance instructor with a successful studio in Houston.He was a perfectionist.Paid attention to details.Absolutely meticulous.His perfectionism extended to his lawn, a two-acre expanse bordered by hundreds of trees.
But Mr. Ballas had a problem.The same problem that anyone with a lawn had in 1971.How do you manicure around those tree roots?
Then one day he was sitting in a car wash and noticed the spinning brushes.Racing home, he punched holes in a tin can, put some fishing line through the holes and attached the can to a rotary lawn edger.
What he created that day is now used all over the world.A critical tool for the landscape industry.You might even have one in your garage.
But Mr. Ballas’ story didn’t end there.It began.Being a perfectionist, Ballas wisely spent the time to fine-tune his invention.Only then, did he promote it on national TV, building a company that was eventually bought by Emerson Electric.
The name of his invention?Ballas called it the Weed Eater.You probably call it… the Weed Wacker.
And now you can say: Yes, I know that.
The first step in marketing/branding is when inspiration and genuine need come together.We often discuss that it’s all about satisfying needs, but it is only those who really put it into practice who succeed in the competitive business world.Ballas created something that people needed.He then used his trait –his brand—of perfectionism and attention to detail to make what he invented as good as it could be and then promoted it.If he hadn’t invented anything that people needed, he would have had nothing to promote.If he had promoted something that people didn’t need, he would have sold nothing.Ballas is a good example of the fundamental principle of marketing: identifying a need and then meeting it.Also, it is inspirational because who would have thought that some guy working in his backyard with no science or specialty training other than dance could reshape the landscaping industry by his observations. In addition, Ballas’ attention to detail is a brand attribute that should not be overlooked. Details matter and can be the difference between a successful product, a service or a personal brand that sells in the marketplace. And oh yes, personal branding is simple when you have marketing in mind!