Listen Investors And Founders : Run ‘Maggi Test’ On Startups [Food For Thought]

It is said that Google’s Larry page runs a ‘toothbrush test’ on a company before acquiring – i.e. is the company/service such a useful utility that it becomes a habit? an essential part of life.

“Is this something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?” [The Toothbrush Test]

Forget that – what I’d recommend is to run Maggi test on startups (portfolio + newer ones you are evaluating).

What’s this Maggi test?

For those who were sleeping under the rocks, Maggi was banned in India for almost 6 months – the company has now been cleared of all accusations around the product being unhealthy for consumers.

6 months in a consumer life is a pretty long time! People often tend to move on to other competitive products and least of all, forget about the ones they weren’t even using. But then, Maggi has made a strong comeback and is selling like..hot cake Maggi.

And now, back to the Maggi test : What’s it all about?

A. The most important question:

What if you aren’t around? Who is going to miss you? Who is going to miss your product/service?

Frankly, how many unicorns do you think will be missed if they go off the shelf?

B. Brand and product loyalty

All it takes is 5 minutes for Snapdeal to sell 60,000 Maggi packets (and they are still running flash sales).

For a product that was out of market for almost 6 months and was termed a potential health hazard, people still want it.

That’s some loyalty to die for ! This sort of loyalty is only seen among drug addicts !

Maggi

C. Competition can’t even touch you.

They all tried. But failed.

In fact, most of the Maggi competitors have been trying to occupy the prominent shelf space in retail outlets and while they might have seen some success, the truth is that they haven’t won the numero uno place.

These were big shoes to fill in and Maggi competitors fought the small battle of market share, but not of mind share.

Nobody is even close.

D. Users = Evangelists = Community = Win.

Yes Maggi might have been replaced by bread / other snacks for college students, but they aren’t a convert yet – for the lack of a viable alternative to Maggi.

One shot and they all will come back.

Which (Indian) consumer tech company do you think comes close to this?

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