How to combine a product with a service

I got a lesson in marketing from the bin man on Friday.

Well, not quite the bin man.

He would have been the “dumpster man” – but instead of a steel skip drop off, he arrived with a small bag.

Which then folded out to become this:


Which is a super large synthetic fabric bag that holds 600kg.

Unlike a skip, it will fit just about anywhere. But the best bit of all is the business model.

This is a Brisbane firm that has just arrived in NSW (Nicely branded,too).

So I got chatting to the owner.

He delivered the bag to us because he was working through a dumpster aggregator site. To get things moving they are doing deals and come round to explain how it works.

The really smart bit about this business is the way they distribute their service (when they’re not visiting you in person).

You see unlike dump bins, you can buy these bags at your hardware store and keep them for when you need one.

When it’s full, they come around with a little pink truck with a hydraulic arm – and hoik your bag away.

What I like about this is the way they’ve turned half of the service (the drop off) into a product.

That’s saved them a chunk of cost right there. But it’s also lifted their revenue as I imagine lots of people will buy one for “just in case” and in addition to the income from bag sales, they’re pulling the consumer out of the discount dump bins market by forcing a choice of pick up, possibly months or even years in advance.

And sales of bags would be a great leading predictor of service needs as they grow.

On top of all this, I think they’ve managed to improve the actual service experience.

Sometimes the best service is to be left alone to do it yourself, as Rory Sutherland pointed out recently.

I’ll never have to book and wait for a skip again. There’ll be one waiting in the shed.

(Come to think of it, I’d better keep an eye on my stuff – Annabel can be very quick to fill a skip with whatever I still like..)

The only downsides I can see are relatively low barriers to entry and – probably more significantly – the fact these poor entrepreneurs will be forced to deal with the horror negotiations at the big box hardware stores.

I wish I’d thought of this.

I wonder what other services could be split and turned into a product/service combo?

Would that be a servuct? prodvice?


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