Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Product that Limits its own Sales: Condoms

Sorry this is a short post, but there isn't that much explaining to do.

The problem with selling condoms is simple: you're selling a product that explicitly tries to limit its future market. Sure- the condom manufacturers are selling something associated with something very fun and very cool, but not even tobacco companies (...they're cool, available, and *addictive*. The job is almost done for us. ) have this problem; by the time you might die, your kids are already hooked.

So condom companies have a dilemma. On one hand, selling a defective product would help future sales. On the other, selling a defective product labels your company's product as inferior, hurt current sales, and the entire plan fails.

I wonder if some actuaries figured out the ideal effectiveness: effective enough for people to not complain, but ineffective enough to boost future sales.

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