Are you filling your customer’s need? Or are you filling space on a shelf?
The best brands are the ones that produce products that fill a need for consumers at the same time they are satisfying their desires. A trusted brand not only defines that need, but clearly communicates how they fill that need, reliably, consistently, and without surprises.
Unless you are marketing for As Seen on TV, the first question in developing a product plan shouldn’t be “can I sell this?” but should be “does the market need this?” Defining what benefits your customer receives from your product is the first step in marketing a trusted brand.
You have established a need in the market now how do you satisfy your customer’s desires?
In rainy Seattle, more people were ducking into coffee shops for a drink than guzzling super-sized sodas. Starbucks found a way to tap into customer desires while fulfilling a need.
Sure, no one needs coffee, but Starbucks said if you want to drink a cup of coffee, how about making it a good one? They woke up our taste buds and pretty much revolutionized the coffee market, and definitely redefined coffee shops.
When you are developing your product plan, keep your customers desires in mind.
You can get things done, or you can do things well. Go with the second option.
Test and Test again. When we start projects for our clients, we always take a step back to look at the goal of the project: why have we been asked for a brochure (catalog, package, training tool)? We define our goals before we design a thing, because beauty alone is subjective. When we create a design, we test it back against the goals to see if our solution meets the objectives.
A trusted brand knows it’s mission, has tested it, and makes product decisions that add value to that brand.
The price point for your product depends upon the audience, and marketing your product as a “great value” may or may not be the right thing to do. The “right price” really depends upon who you are talking to, and how you define the best way to fill a market’s needs.
A trusted brand knows what their customer expects, and confidently delivers products at the right price for the quality they deliver. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Tell your customers exactly what they get for the price they pay: quality materials, reliable performance, and service after the sale go a long way to capturing satisfied customers. Setting expectations up front, clearly and confidently is the first step in building trust.
Be the brand to trust, and don’t spend time looking over your shoulder at other brands who are aiming at the opening price point. They are down there low for a reason.
Part 1 of 5
Illustrations by Mark Thoburn