Satan (in the guise of Max Von Sydow) moves to a small New England town and opens an antique store called Needful Things. Do you remember the Steven King movie? I can’t remember if Satan was destroyed at the end of the story but it seems that there’s a “Needful Things” in nearly every town in America. Tune across the dial and listen to the commercials (a strange but instructive pastime). One might think the American consumer is in desperate need of “things.”
I’m keeping a list but since you may not share my enthusiasm I’ll only pass along a few of my gems. Automotive repair needs (including tune up, tires, brakes, collision needs) gardening needs, decorating needs, moving needs, hardware needs, floor covering needs, office equipment needs, computer needs (not limited to repair, networking and software needs), party supply needs, financial needs, real estate needs, catering needs, wedding needs, heating and cooling needs, plumbing needs, electrical needs, eye care needs, chiropractic needs, printing needs and (I am not making this up) there’s a store in Myrtle Beach South Carolina that can handle all your FLAGPOLE NEEDS!
Perhaps the Marines on Iwo Jima had a “flagpole need.” Their assignment was to climb Mt Suribachi and raise a flag to signify the capture of the island’s high point. What they “needed” was a symbol of their achievement. (The famous photo was actually of the second flag raising).
Harvard Professor Emeritus Theodore Levitt stated that a quarter of a million quarter inch drill bits were sold last year but no one wanted a quarter-inch drill bit. They wanted a quarter inch hole.
But back the pony up for a minute. I’m not sure anyone wants a quarter of a million quarter-inch holes in their wall. Perhaps the hole was drilled to hold an anchor to hold the hook that held the picture frame that held your diploma. “We can’t help you pass your final exam but we’ll make sure the rest of the world notices your accomplishment.
Professor Levitt also stated that Kodak sells film (but) they advertise memories. Now we’re talking!
We don’t have “needs.” We want our car to start. We want a garden that’s the envy of the neighborhood. We want a drill, saw and hammer to build the long promised tree house for our children. We want a copy machine that faxes to save money on overnight shipping charges, a new home, a sewer that doesn’t back up, ceiling fans that cool our rooms, a carpet to sink our weary feet into and perhaps even a way to show support for our troops in harm’s way.
Think about what your client could provide for your life then start writing!