In case you didn’t see the story, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan duct-taped a banana to a wall at the Art Basel Miami Art Fair. It was controversially eaten by performance artist, David Datung. The banana was promptly replaced and subsequently sold for $120,000 (£92,000).
According to the UK Independent newspaper, the couple who snapped up this great artwork said…
“We knew we were taking a risk, but ultimately we sense that Cattelan’s banana will become an iconic historical object.”
If that wasn’t sidesplittingly funny enough, they added… “We see the piece as a unicorn of the art world, and bought it to ensure that it would be accessible to the public forever, to fuel debate and provoke thoughts and emotion in a public space in perpetuity”.
At this point, I’m laughing and crying at the same time. A fecking banana taped to a wall? $150,000? Art? Why or why didn’t I think of it? Why can’t I find buyers like this?
This has to be the best business plan ever.
Niche Product – Fruit taped to a wall positioned as art
Target Audience: Delusional Art Snobs
Pricing Strategy: Outrageously High
Upsell Potential – Fruit maintenance, other fruits, different colored tape.
Medium-term Product Development – 1-2 years: Vegetables, 3-5 years canned drinks
Key Risks – Rapid Ripening of Fruit [Note that this is also an opportunity for upsells, cross-sells, and maintenance retainer]
Risk Mitigation – Further supply of bananas purchased locally
Marketing – Press coverage
One Banana – let’s go with $1, plus
One reel Duct Tape – say $7 for 60 yards
Art Fair Entry – Est $100
Maurizio Cattelan Sir, I salute you! You are a true product positioning ninja. You have taken what most people would describe as a banana taped to a wall and redefined it, reframed it if you will excuse the pun, to become something completely different in the eyes of the buyer. It’s not an organic $1 banana, it’s a $150,000 work of art to be admired, discussed, explored, enjoyed.
Anything is possible in marketing.
Now, where are those plums I bought earlier?