The Shahtoot (Mulberry) experiment
Yes you read it right! The Shahtoot experiment.
How come one fruit be a part of a social experiment? It’s all depends on what we are looking from it.
I had a Shahtoot tree in my backyard, I was in deep thinking ( brainstorming) that day and kept looking at this old tree full of juicy fat Shahtoot, falling all over the ground with no or “0” value to it.
I thought how come Alphonso-Mango sells at overpriced value and this fruit is associated with zero value.
I climbed on to the tree, collected as many as Shahtoot possible. Washed them and took a really nice pics full of juicy Shahtoot in basket. Posted in a Group (Gurgaon Foodie) with around 38000 Plus members.
Within minutes I started getting response on where and how can they collect, some asked address, phone number, WhatsApp number & suitable time to collect.
Suddenly my post was on top post with 240 likes and 59 comments on how and where to get the produce.
People actually started sharing how Shahtoot reminds them of their childhood, How they felt good just seeing a pic from their childhood. It does bring back memories.
People from all walks of life with all professions liked this sweet little memory from their childhood.
I was amazed to see the response on Shahtoot, I mean I am the founder of GorgeousForever.com and I tried N number of approach to cross sell women’s wear in all countries with huge advertisement budget but never saw this much of demand of a product with 0 budget on advertisement and 100% results.
I remember how people asked for Shahtoot, One lady called me “Hello, I saw your post in Group, can I please have Shahtoot. OMG my whole childhood, school mate, friends flashed in front of my eyes just seeing this fruit”. Later at the evening she came and I gave her a box full of Shahtoot. She was a Indo-French fashion designer so I also made a new connection for my International fashion website.
Calls started coming and many stories later I gave 15–17 Box of Shahtoot to people, I remember one person came in BMW 720 just to collect Shahtoot, made me think was it so rare to find these. One took Uber just to collect, and three people sent drivers for the collection.
Suddenly whole world wanted a fruit with zero value, some even asked please keep some for me, and how they are priced? I said it’s for FREE. Later person on phone said even if I was charging for the same they would not mind paying for it. Surprised again. Suddenly value itself added to the product.
So many marketing lesson in 6 hours.
Here is what I learned from this experiment as an entrepreneur.
1. People don’t know what they are looking for until they see it first. iPhone was never needed until it came into existence.
2. Anything associated with culture, childhood memories or taste can be a trigger point for a products success.
3. We are all humans and we love to go back in sweet memories, associate your product to a memory and see how sales graph will shoot up.
4. Demand and supply plays a crucial role in this, Shahtoot are available in villages so are diamonds deep inside earth, there are planets made of diamonds. It’s not actually a rare element. But it made to look rare so demand will increase if supply is in control.
5. Also if you focus on price, product will suffer to achieve that. Focus on product, price will get self-attached as demand and supply will be on your favor or not.
6. The best advertising is still word of mouth, no need to spend a single penny just let your produce or Product do the marketing for itself.
Also I made new connections from people in Fashion, media, financial institution & Hospitality industry. All this at zero cost with the help of a fruit with “ZERO” cost I thought previously.
Guess what, 2 days later a new batch of Shahtoot is up for a grab.
Now you tell me how much should Shahtoot cost?