Could a business tell users, ‘Job done? Forget us now’?

Almost all businesses are created and run on the basis of customers coming to them more than once – hopefully, many times.

All social media platforms (and their mobile apps) are built on the basis that people use them relentlessly. The more they use it, the more the chances of them seeing some ad and the platform gaining data about users.

Even when a shop is selling something big/expensive, like say cars, they ensure that there is continuous engagement through the servicing division that ends up making more money than the sales of cars itself.

Bottomline: brands want repeated use from customers.

So, is there a business that wants you to use their services once/for a period of time and then ask you to forget all about them? Besides funeral services, that is, of course.

I remember the caption made popular by Hero Honda in the 90s – ‘Fill it. Shut it. Forget it’ – to sell the bike’s mileage promise. But the ‘forget it’ used here is not literal – you would need to fill it again once it gets over đŸ™‚

Could matrimonial services be that kind of a business? After all, if the service matches you to someone and you do get married, you don’t need their service again (for a reasonable amount of time), isn’t it? And if you did go to them again too soon that would mean their earlier match wasn’t all that good?

But no Indian matrimonial site/app positions itself using that promise – that they are so good in the matching business that people need to use them just once and then forget/delete them! The forget/delete them is a signal to indicate how confident the service is about its match-making algorithm.

This was the product pitch in the Netflix series The One that promised genetic matching of the one person most suited for you. The premise is that you give a strand of hair, and The One identifies your DNA and perfectly matches it with another person. The One’s (the platform) job ends right after matching you two.

Surprisingly, a dating website is using that pitch in its marketing!

Hinge, the dating app that pitches itself as a ‘relationship app’ is billed as ‘The dating app designed to be deleted’ right up front!

The app’s ad campaigns revel in the ‘designed to be deleted’ pitch too! This is highly unusual for any business in general that otherwise desperately wants to use its service more and more.

Hinge’s first international brand campaign in 2019 used this positioning directly! The agency was Red Antler.

Hinge’s latest campaign, by the agency Opinionated, takes a slightly longer route that adds some humor over and above the direct pitch in the 2019 campaign. The creative device is the display picture and how people go to great lengths trying to get the best/perfect pic! So, you, the user, are talking to your past self’s display picture!

Hinge’s positioning is so unique that it gets talked about more often because of that. It seems to be working for them too – “the #1 mobile-first dating app mentioned in the New York Times wedding section”, and “the fastest growing dating app in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia” as per Hinge’s own description and data!

When you look at Hinge’s positioning, in comparison, it makes other dating apps seem both frivolous and fleeting, not to mention time-wasting! To be sure, Hinge’s appeal may be limited to people who want to keep meeting new people week after week under the guise of dating. But Hinge’s positioning presumes the end-point of its service is not multiple dates but ‘settling’ down with the best possible match. So, while other dating platforms talk about their superior algorithm, privacy/safety features etc., Hinge focuses on the perfect end-goal of a dating service as a way to convince users how good they are!

Is there another business/service that could use this positioning of ‘use us once and then forget all about us’?

Update: As pointed in a LinkedIn comment by Nikita Mahipal, Finolex Pipes recently used this positioning – “Ek baar lagwaiyye aur humara naam bhool jaiyye” (buy us once and then forget all about us). And, even more interestingly, the person who is being forgotten in the ad, is the priest who solemnized Sehwag’s wedding – another link with Hinge’s positioning.

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