High-Pressure Marketing: What We Can Learn From The Instant Pot Product Story
Published by Martin Communications
February 16, 2017

Here at Martin Communications, we have a small cult following of the Instant Pot – today’s versatile, easy-to-use pressure cooker. As busy working parents, we think it’s as close to The Jetsons’ automatic food dispenser as our generation will likely get! But the Instant Pot isn’t just how some of us make home-cooked meals for our families on weeknights – it’s also a really cool marketing success story.

You’ve probably at least heard of the Instant Pot, if you don’t already own one. In recent months, it has been a top-selling item on Amazon with consistently great reviews. So how did a multi-function pressure cooker become such a must-have in the kitchen? The key to its marketing success was a mix of patience for the right timing, strategic engagement with influencers and a product that stands out from competition.

The Instant Pot was definitely not an overnight success. After years on the market, social media helped drive sales through the roof during 2016. Bloggers tried the Instant Pot and loved it – and wrote about it. Online groups formed, specifically to share recipes, ideas and tips on how to get the most use out of the cooker. So promotion of the Instant Pot took on a word-of-mouth and online viral momentum that has not stopped.

But let’s not forget that what continues to drive sales is the quality of the product – almost everyone who tries the Instant Pot loves it.  Once you’re comfortable using it, you quickly begin to figure out how to adapt recipes to work with the pressure-cooking method, which adds to the versatility of an already functional cooker. If you pay attention to social media chatter about the Instant Pot, a common sentiment is how happy it makes owners to continue to find new ways to prepare food with no additional purchases required.

This is a rare thing to see in today’s marketing climate – but something we often address with business owners. Even in today’s fast-paced world, marketing can take time. It’s such a mix of right place, right time, and the right message.

As marketers, we work hard to help those 3 things align. We watch industry and market news. We talk with influencers and consumers. We look to trends in complementary industries. But, we don’t have a magic ball. Strategy is smart thinking paired with experience. Instant Pot combined all these aspects with patience and waited for the right time. It was a slow, steady climb to reach viral status. Are you running to get to a finish line faster than your fans? Sometimes, slowing it down just a little will help you reach more people – with more impact – than a sprint toward an unreachable goal.

We love a great marketing story. And a blog about the Instant Pot wouldn’t be complete unless we share one of our very favorite recipes – Beef and Broccoli. You can start this before work, it’ll stay warm all day, then add rice and broccoli to finish the dish and serve! Happy pressure cooking!


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