Lessons from a Scissors Brand

Grow your business for free by reframing your advice

Is there a way to sell a product, without focusing on the product at all?


It’s Not About the Scissors

Let’s look at Fiskars. You’ve probably used their scissors before - the ones with the shaped, chunky, orange handles, that first hit the market in 1967.

Having been a major player for a while, Fiskars had hit a wall in terms of advertising its product. Scissors aren’t new or exciting, and everyone knows what they are and how they work.

In a saturated market and with no new products, hitting their acquisition targets became very difficult.

Fiskars therefore decided not to focus on the scissors, but to find out more about the other side of the equation – the people who buy them.

They surveyed their customer base, and identified the key demographic that consistently bought their product. This turned out to be people who make scrap books of their children’s lives.

They put together a campaign based on these people, linking them together at clubs and community centres, all using their scissors and sharing in the experience of the product – rather than the product itself.

As a result, the long-standing business which had been ticking over for many years saw a year’s sales growth of 15% – all without focusing on their actual product.


Don’t Sell the Product

What this shows is that you don’t always have to sell the product – in fact often you shouldn’t.

You should sell what the product means.

If someone seeking advice wanted to buy a product, then they’d have bought it already. Instead, you should sell the lifestyle.

Just as scissors are used to make scrap books, financial products are used to benefit lives. The product is not the point, the lifestyle it supplies is. Clients come to you to improve their finances, to buy their home, or to secure their future.

This is what you should be selling. Focus on the new lifestyle your advice will provide and, just like those making scrap books, your clients can focus on the happy memories that will come.

About the author
Oliver Broadhurst
Oliver Broadhurst
Oliver has been writing professionally in the financial services space for over five years, focusing on topics ranging from customer experience to industry regulation. He’s consulted with organisations such as UK Finance and the FCA to produce business articles, industry reports, and white papers, while providing insight as a member of panels including The Opening Banking Implementation Entity’s Consumer Group.

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