One of the critical aspects of any business is the ability to make a sale. As long as you are selling, you are most likely to remain in business. If you are not making any sales, then it may not matter how good your management or processes are, because business is majorly about sales.
The sale can be elusive and that leads to the death of many businesses. This is why almost any business always has room for a good salesperson, even when not hiring. A good salesperson is always in business.
While getting sales is hard, sometimes sales can show up from unexpected places. This is the case when people find a different use for your product, one different from what you had in mind when making the product.
The unlikely market for Arimi’s Milking Jelly
One such product is the Arimi’s Milking Jelly which has been in use in Kenya for almost forty years. The milking jelly was and is still marketed to farmers, but has found a market in an unintended but large market.
Every supermarket in Kenya stocks it, even in Nairobi where you do not expect farmers to go shopping for milking products in the supermarket. This is because Arimi’s is now a mainstream skincare product in Kenya, especially in urban areas. Despite the fact that the manufacturer has never marketed it as a skincare product, the product found its use in that area.
How did this come to be?
Even the manufacturer cannot tell exactly why. The product is safe for use on human skin, and one theory states that people started using it because it was said to be ‘more natural,’ as opposed to skincare petroleum jellies that are scented and made for human skin. Through word of mouth, word spread around that the safest petroleum jelly that one can use on the skin is Vaseline.
With this, the market grew. Even parents started using it on babies, instead of the normal baby creams.
They got lucky
Almost forty years later, the product is still going strong with little or no advertising.
I think the manufacturer just got lucky. This is something every business person would want, but luck cannot be planned for.
— By Jacob Mugendi