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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Thai steel wool

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This a bundle of steel wool. I picked it up at a Thai grocery today because I needed some and it was cheap. But it's also notable for its unusual packaging. This package is made of flimsy cardboard and plastic with nothing printed on the back, which is a perfectly suitable package for something that costs less than a dollar. I suspect this package was not originally intended for export, because most of it is in Thai and the price is apparently in baht. Well, it still works fine.

Note the perforations on the side on the package. The striking feature of the product was that it was part of a big sheet of these; I detached it before purchase. This is a good idea. Displaying the stuff vertically saves space in a tiny store. It also helps to catch one's eye, though that doesn't seem necessary - steel wool is neither an exciting impulse buy nor a big moneymaker for the store.

Moving to the package itself, I think I'm partly drawn to it because I can't read all the great things about it. While the labeling is a lot more muted than typical American fare, it still (presumably) has a lot of raving about the superior quality of the stuff, which I don't think anyone really believes. The trick in selling this sort of simple product is to make a professional-looking package that doesn't make too many wild claims about how much better it is than any competitor. (Then again, I do wonder what "SUPER-SLIM" refers to, and why it could possibly be a good thing.) I like the pictures of pots for this reason: they indicate "this is good for cleaning pots" without making any silly claims. I don't think steel wool is a very interesting thing to sell, but this seems like a pretty good way of selling it.