Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a thriving business or a salaried worker tinkering away on a project there’s a unique sense of exhilaration that comes with the invention of a unique product. From that first spark of inspiration to the development of a working prototype it’s a time of real excitement and self affirmation. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy if all this hard work and effort were to be rendered pointless if the product’s release were to fall on deaf ears? Wouldn’t it be a mockery of justice if your product were to be unleashed upon the market with a whimper rather than a bang and for your ingenious product to be consigned into the trashcan of history, uncelebrated and unnoticed.
Here’s where the importance of marketing comes in. The right marketing strategy can make the difference between your product becoming a household name and becoming a forgotten obscurity languishing forgotten in a few dozen basements.
Before you start to market your product…
Before you even take to the workshop you will hopefully have carried out tireless market research. You’ll have identified a public need to solve a problem that only your product can solved. You’ll have found a gap in the market and know exactly how your product will fill it. You will know exactly who your target market is and what influences their behavior. You may even have a good idea of what products they may be using that are similar but inferior to your product and how your product will scratch an itch that your competitors cannot reach. You should also have consulted a patent lawyer to make sure that you won’t be infringing on anyone else’s invention and / or copyright.
Take a bite from the Apple
When it comes to illustrating the power of good marketing there’s no better example than the Californian consumer electronics giant Apple. Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign was a masterclass in marketing efficacy that helped the company to become 100% wealthier than the American government. The campaign was clever and funny but although it directly compared the Mac with it’s closest competitor it neither made false or needlessly boastful claims nor did it fall into the trap of disparaging Microsoft’s product. Perhaps this was due to the friendship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
If your product offers a significant upgrade or advantage over another similar product on the market, you could do well to base your marketing campaign around this. You might even be able to piggyback on your competitor’s popularity.
When potential customers look at your product they’ll have a very specific set of expectation which they’ll expect to see in the product descriptions in online retail outlets. Since nobody knows the product better than you, it may be tempting to write these yourself but there’s actually a compelling argument in favor of outsourcing this. Entrusting your product optimization to a company like Grow Online has some distinct advantages. Through a structured and keyword rich approach to product description they’re proven to be able to increase traffic and conversion rates. They will have in depth knowledge of search engine algorithms that they will be able to use to your advantage.
Know your niche
Remember your market research! Many an entrepreneur has fallen short trying to be all things to all consumers. It’s important to know what your target market values and know your niche. Take a cautionary tale from the automotive world. Czech manufacturer Skoda committed a marketing faux pas in the ‘90s that almost did permanent damage to their brand. They marketed themselves on their affordability and resultantly they came across as being cheap and inferior. And cheap is a label that no auto manufacturer can afford to bear. Thus, they shifted their focus at the turn of the millennium with a campaign based around the brand’s reliability and the exceptional value for money they offered customers. The campaign even had a playful and self-effacing slogan; “It’s a Skoda. Honest”. Ensure that you don’t misplace the emphasis when it comes to developing your marketing campaign.
Embrace the power of brand collaboration
If your product comes from out of nowhere it can be laborious and time consuming to build the consumer trust that is essential in building a successful brand. Brand collaboration allows you to pair your product with a brand that produces complementary and non competing products. This will enable you to piggyback on their popularity and capitalize on the goodwill toward the other brand which consumers will read as an endorsement of quality.
Successful examples include Bonne Belle’s Dr. Pepper flavored lip balm and Go Pro’s collaboration with Red Bull.