Why reality isn't as logical as marketers, researchers and economists think

What do marketers, researchers and economists have in common?

Most assume that the consumer is rational. This is why so much marketing research is misleading.

Johnson & Johnson First Aid Cream was a greaseless, soothing, kind of magical antiseptic cream.

The formula was perfect for small wounds, minor burns, cuts, scratches and things like that. And it didn't make you cry like a baby when you put it on.

But when Johnson & Johnson first launched it in the 1950s, something intriguing happened.

Consumers tried it once. But no one was buying it a second time.

Johnson & Johnson couldn't really understand what was wrong. Because the product was great.

So they ran some tests. And finally figured out what was wrong.

Turns out, when you're treating wounds with antiseptics, there's one thing people expect. You have to feel a burning sensation before getting healed.

No one was buying J&J's First Aid Cream a second time because when they put it on it didn't burn. Thus, people thought the cream didn't work.

So the product development guys at Johnson & Johnson came up with a simple solution. To put (a little) alcohol back into the cream.

And suddenly sales went up again.

Your pal,


Miguel Ferreira
Founder & Chief Copywriter, Teardwn + Nishi


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