Last summer, the smash hit of Amazon Prime Day wasn’t a tablet, a flat-screen, or fancy VR goggles… It was the Instant Pot, a multi-function electric pressure cooker, which also doubles as a rice cooker, crockpot, saute pan, steamer, yogurt maker, and stockpot. Dang.
During the 24-hour online sale, the Instant Pot sold more than 215k units in the US alone, rising to become one of the country’s top-selling items — and gaining a cult following in the process.
Seriously, 400k Facebook fans are now following a kitchen appliance, leaving rave reviews like, “I can’t imagine my life without my magic pot!” and “I love this thing more than my 9-year-old son, and he’s an honors student!” (Ok we made that one up.)
So why do “Potheads” love it so much?
Because, according to its creators, Robert Wang and Yi Qin, even IP newbies can use it to cook almost anything. Bread, cheesecake, risotto, pulled-pork, soup, lasagna — you name it, the IP can do it.
Plus, it’s pretty much foolproof. Back in 2010, Wang and Qin had been stewin’ on a way to “automate cooking as much as possible,” with a product that was “safe, convenient, and dependable.” So, their company Double Insight and its flagship product, the Instant Pot, were born.
Their paid marketing is almost non-existent
We’re talking a no-nonsense website that just features the product’s main benefits on its homepage in a plain text numbered list. Oh, and prominent buttons to share reviews and join their user community.
Because let’s be real here — it takes more than just a great product to create a cultural phenomenon… It takes everyone telling their friends about it.
And food bloggers are awesome hype(wo)men
They’re notoriously vocal (Seriously, do we really have to scroll through a three-page description of your vacation in Tuscany to get to the dang minestrone recipe??), which makes them perfect for word of mouth referrals.
So Double Insight leveraged them, and their audiences, to create the perfect “buzz marketing” campaign.
They sent bloggers cookers to test out, and then gave them a platform to share their reviews, with a Facebook page driven almost entirely by user-published content (including everything from recipes, to community-led IP cooking classes).
But here’s the thing: It’s a crockpot, not rocket science
Double Insight’s technology isn’t revolutionary, and companies much larger than the 25-person company, like Black & Decker and Breville, have all come out with their own takes on the OG IP.
But, if you’re going to make something that’s easily replicated, you’d better have a loyal fanbase — and the Instant Pot is better at building theirs than anyone else.