We are creatures of habit. American families, on average, buy the same 150 products over and over again, which make up 85 percent of their household needs, according to research out of Harvard Business School. So how can you get people to take a chance on your new business and become loyal customers?
The trick is helping customers overcome their initial hesitation and making your new item speak to customers in a relatable way.
Here are five ways to help your product sell itself in a crowded marketplace:
1. Broadcast your advantage. What makes you better
than everyone else in the industry? Be clear with customers from the
start. Perceived advantage is built on factors like greater prestige,
more convenience, superior effectiveness or better value for the money.
Even cleaning products, the most mundane of all consumer necessities,
can win using this theory. For example, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers solved
the problems that previous spray-on liquid cleaners claimed to, with the
added advantage of not damaging the paint on walls as competitors'
products did. The brand made this ability to remove touch marks without
damaging walls clear through a TV ad campaign that demonstrated the
product at work. This provided positive reinforcement to consumers
before they made their purchase.
2. Fit into your customer's routine. How much effort
is required for customers to make the transition from a current product
to yours? If the cost is more than its relative advantage, most people
won't try the new product. Febreze seems like one of those success
stories -- and it is -- but even P&G can make mistakes with their
branding, as was the case with Febreze Scentstories. In 2004, the
company launched a $5.99 scent "player" that was reminiscent of a CD
player with five scent discs that changed every half hour. Consumers
were confused. They couldn't tell if the product played music, freshened
air or did both. Not knowing how or why they would use it, they didn't.
3. Work right out of the box. When building new
products, don't add work for the buyer. Make your product work as
intended the first time out and every time thereafter. A kink-free
garden hose, for example, should be kink free the first time and the
hundredth time; a children's toy should be easy to assemble; and you
should never expect a busy mom to spend more than five minutes figuring
out how to use a new slow-cooker.
4. Make benefits easy to spot. The more evident the
perceived advantages, the more your product will market itself. For
example, the clear plastic packaging of 3M's Command line of removable
hooks allows you to see and understand how the product enables you to
hang and remove a hook without leaving a hole in the wall.
5. Let customers try it out. Tea bags were first
used as giveaways so that people could sample tea without buying large
tins, vastly improving the "trial-ability" of brewed tea, and eventually
tea bags. Samples, giveaways and store demonstrations are
tried-and-true techniques for risk-free experimentation. If you can't
afford to give your product away, offer a tempting discount or "buy one
get one" deal. Depending on your product and core customer, you can use
sites like Gilt.com or Travel Zoo to make enticing offers.
Local products or services benefit from actual social interaction: an
informal gathering in a home where guests can "play" with the product
or try the service, a farmer's or open-air market where consumers can
touch and taste what you're selling and meet you. The easier something
is to try, the faster customers will want to buy it.
Base Source : www.entrepreneur.com
By : Debra Kaye
Brand Strategist and Partner at Lucule