Why Iron Free Dominates Wrinkle Free: Lessons for Marketers

July 2nd, 2016

There are multiple ways to position a product. Marketers often highlight product features, such as “wrinkle free.” However, we know that it’s often best to address specific consumer pain points, such as “iron free.”


wrinkle free vs iron free
It is clear from Google Trends that the pain point solution “iron free” dominates searches, and its cyclicality likely reflects actual consumer need. This makes sense; consumers have needs and seek solutions for our needs more than we seek specific features, which are merely instrumental.


We would assume that the market positions products in response to consumer needs. However, a brief Amazon search found over 1 million results for “wrinkle free” (i.e., the product feature), but fewer than 5,000 results for “iron free” (i.e., the consumer pain point).


While consumers search for “iron free” 8-30 times more often than “wrinkle free,” products matching “wrinkle free” are 250 times more common on Amazon. Features are nice, but pain point solvers are powerful. This is a simple example — one of many, I imagine – where the market isn’t using language that reflects consumer demand.