I was also taught Kotlers’ famous four P’s: Place, Product, Promotion and Price. The four P’s will help you gain instant commercial success. Recently there is a lot to do about adding a fifth one: the P of Purpose.

For me this makes sense and I believe that adding the P of Purpose could mean adding long term value and Pull to a proposition.

For me this makes sense and I believe that adding the P of Purpose could mean adding long term value and Pull to a proposition

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I figure that with the four P’s of Kotler you help to create something that your end-user wants. It creates desirability. But is it something he needs? It added up for me when I compared it to parenting.

I’m a father of two boys: they’re 4 and 6. I asked myself- What would happen if I just give them what they want?
My oldest  would be gaming all day getting high on chocolate. My youngest would be wandering through Amsterdam on his own munching on meatballs. He’s 4… As a parent I know I can’t just give my boys just what they want. They would love me for it today. But probably wont thank me tomorrow…

Perhaps my primary function as a parent is not to provide them what they want, but give them what they need. Such as balanced and healthy diets, help develop social skills and much, much more.

But if I would only  give them what they need, and have very little care for what they want, then their life would be quite Spartan. And I wouldn’t be much of a fun parent either.

My challenge is to give them what they need in such a way that they want it

My challenge is to give them what they need in such a way that they want it 

That’s pretty hard. At least I think it is. To do this, and honestly I’m no way near full marks, I need to spend time with them, observe them, talk to their teachers and get feedback from grandparents. But  also read up on nutrition or education, so that I keep up with what the best things are that I can provide them with. I need to understand the world they live in and the place they have in it.

It’s hard work to understand what they want and need, because it constantly changes.

Once I do, I need to add a healthy dose of creativity and  try to provide them with the things they need in a way that they want them.

My thinking is that that this in not that different for customers of organizations.

Sell them what they want and they’ll love you today. Sell them what they need and they thank you tomorrow.

“Sell them what they want and they’ll love you today. Sell them what they need and they  will thank you tomorrow.” 

Combining what they need & want builds a real value proposition. It makes it robust and gives it longevity. Something I want fulfills me with instant gratification. Something I need has more meaning, it has a Purpose. If this would be true then it means we have the responsibility to come up with stuff that has a Purpose in the lives of our end-users. It will deliver a solution for a need, want or even problem.

I also believe that it works on both sides of the fence. If I just go back to parenting – If I succeed to give them what they want in a way that they need it is fulfilling for me as the provider too.

From what I can tell  this is the same for a company’s employees.  If they wake up every morning to deliver a proposition that people want and need this fulfilsl them with more purpose too right? This is a very different company. 

An example that makes this real for me is Tesla. I love driving, so I’d love a car that gives you a great driving experience. On the other hand I need to drive a car that leaves the world in healthy state for my children and hopefully grandchildren.

Along comes Tesla who gives you a great driving experience and is kind to our planet. (how Tesla gives us hope)

The reason why I use this example is that is translates into the real word of numbers too – Last year they sold 22k cars vs GM’s 10 mln (that’s 450x more for GM). Now Tesla net worth is 31bln. That’s more than half the value of GM!

I can’t afford one yet but I’m sure that Tesla is paving the way for more affordable electric cars that you really want to drive. I also think that getting out of bed in the morning and go to work at Tesla would be great feeling. I’d be really proud to be part of something that improves the world.

I’m curious is this makes sense and if you recognise this at all. In other examples or from  your experience. All feedback, examples and comment are very very welcome!