Robert van hoping to make it easier for people to make a decent meal, but did not expect that his new product to attract fans.
Last summer on Amazon Prime the day in the online store global 24-hour annual sale events, one of the most sold products in the U.S. is a multi-function electric cooker.
This question is called the instant pot, and more than 215 000 of them were sold in the United States for one day.
The fact that this countertop device has been outselling TVs and tablets may be a surprise to many people, but not to his legions of loyal fans who Express undisguised adoration.
“If you look at the Amazon reviews, one common word: “love”,” says Mr. Wang.
“Americans are very open with their emotions. Love is everywhere. Another is that ‘instant pot changed my life’.
“It’s really helpful for us understanding what we have created value for society”.
First available for purchase in 2010, instant pot has turned into a real mania, and success is built through social networks, “word of mouth” rather than traditional television or print advertising.
Today is the official instant pot Facebook group of almost 398,000-people strong, and there are thousands of other online lovers. Fans to share recipes and tips on how to make everything from soups, stews and chili to deviled eggs, popcorn and cheesecake in the device.
Mr. Wang said that from the beginning was going to let the product speak for itself, and to increase sales at the expense of customer testimonials, and not to pay for advertising.
He describes this as “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to Your door” marketing strategy.
Instant pot is the brainchild of Mr. Wang and his friend Qin Yi, who are veterans of the canadian technology. Mr. Wang worked at the now-defunct telecommunications company Nortel, while Mr. Qin was employed by BlackBerry.
They are brainstorming ideas for a new project in 2008 and realized that people were looking for the same solution, they are a way to cook healthy food quickly and inexpensively.
That was when their attention turned to kitchen appliances and restart the cooker.
They came up with the idea for the instant pot is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker, warming pot all-in-one device.
Along with three other partners, they have created a business called Double representation in Ottawa, the canadian capital, and the first version of the instant pot was born in 2010.
“We tried to automate the process of cooking as much as possible and tried to make the plate,” said Mr. Qin, who is Vice President of product management. “One click can prepare meals for the family.”
The product was not, however, instant success. Mr. Qin said that one of the problems is the “stigma” associated with one of the main functions of the instant pot: the fact that it can be used as a pressure cooker, which has long lost its popularity in North American kitchens.
“Most people have some concept of urban legends of the explosion of the pressure cooker in the kitchen of his grandmother,” – said Mr. Qin.
He says they have resolved this issue by making product safety a priority design, and makes the instant pot as reliable to use as possible.
Thanks to word of mouth, sales have been growing well in 2013 when Amazon started to sell the product, and sales soared further.
“Amazon is a very practical company,” said Mr. Qin. “They didn’t approach us until they saw that [upward sales] the trend has already formed.”
– Tell three friends
Internet hype about instant pot helped bloggers enthusiastically talk about food and exchange recipes with their followers.
Some of these bloggers to buy their own instant pot, while a Double gives understanding of electric stoves for others to check out.
Laura Pazzaglia, Hip cooking under pressure, says she’s not surprised by the success of the gadget.
“Everyone who has the instant pot, they tell three friends about it,” she says. “If you continue in the same spirit, it is obvious that You can’t help but succeed”.
Today Double understanding remains a small business with just 25 employees, contracts for production at the plant in China.
Despite the fact that the Bank faces increasing competition from other similar products made by many large companies, for example, often black & Decker, MS, Pazzaglia says that an early start instant pot and use online following gives him an advantage.
Zeynep Arsel, associate Professor in the Department of marketing in Montreal at Concordia University, says that instant pot echoes the trend for healthy but simple food, and is called “textbook perfect buzz marketing campaign.”
She adds: “Cooking is a social and emotional practice that creates a lot of value in our lives.
“A product that occupies a Central place in culinary practice and creates a sense of attachment, being an agent in our social and emotional life.”
Instant pot is now on its fourth iteration of its development the design was driven by feedback and ideas submitted by users. With prices starting from $80 (£65) for the simplest model, top-of-the-range 180 $version can be controlled remotely using a mobile phone.
“It’s not so much the story of instant pot in fact, it is the history of each user,” says Mr. Qin. “Whenever you have an instant lack of separation of the product, you have a story to tell.”