The Strategist

New-age marketing: Creating outstanding products

02/21/2020 - 07:14

Nowadays, consumers already have almost everything that they need. Moreover, they are too busy to spend time looking for the product that you created for them. Marketing departments take on a product or service and spend money to tell consumers that they cannot live without this product. However, this approach is no longer valid in the modern era. But what works then?

Outstanding product

The old rule was: produce ordinary, unremarkable products and create great marketing for them. The new rule states: create outstanding products, and people who need such products will find them by themselves.

Of course, it is too early to say that modern advertising does not work at all, or that consumers ignore it completely. Obviously, it’s not right. Advertising still works: it may not be as good and effective as before, but it attracts attention and ensures growth in sales. As for its cost, targeted advertising is much more effective, but most of the advertising is not targeted.

Such advertising can be compared to a hurricane that blows along the market square, affecting everyone and everything, regardless of who they are or what they want. It takes a whopping amount of resources but doesn’t work properly. 

Consumer choice

In the past, marketing professionals defined their target audience by themselves. Cunning advertisers tried very hard to ensure that their advertising was aimed exactly at the consumer audience that they needed. At the same time, they believed that they would determine who would pay attention to their advertising and when. Now, however, we have an exact opposite situation.

The choice is made by consumers. They choose to listen - or not.

"Very good"

Here’s a paradox of our life: the more turbulent the world we live in becomes, the more people want peace and security. They want to eliminate even a minimum of risk from their careers and from their business. And many mistakenly believe that for this you need to always play by the rules and not lean out. Therefore, fewer and fewer people are working on creating something outstanding.

The antonym of the word "outstanding" is the expression "very good."

Outstanding ideas are much more likely to be picked up than ideas that are not. However, so few brave people create something outstanding. Why? They are sure that the antonyms of the word “outstanding” are the words “bad” or “mediocre” or “weak”.

They think they have done something outstanding when it’s just very good.

It is not about quality. If you fly somewhere and the plane arrives at its destination on time and without any incident, then you will not tell anyone about it. This is what it should be. If your flight was terrible or, on the contrary, the service was extraordinary (arrived an hour earlier! Issued a free ticket for another flight!), this would seem to be something outstanding, which is worth telling about.

Manufacturers set acceptable quality standards for themselves and try to follow them. It's boring. “Very good” happens every day and is not worth talking about.

Proper marketing

Proper marketing is marketing where the seller changes the product, not its advertising.

Here’s an example of how Dutch Boy company turned over the entire paint business. It is so simple that it’s even funny: it just made another can. Paint cans are heavy, hard to carry, hard to close, hard to open, it’s uncomfortable to pour paint out of them. However, all cans were like that, and most people thought that there was probably a good reason for this. Dutch Boy was the first to realize that there was no such reason – moreover, a can is an integral part of the product. People don’t need paint, they need painted walls, and a good can makes the painting process much easier. Dutch Boy used this idea and issued a can for paint, which was more convenient to carry, open, close and empty. Sales skyrocketed, which, if you think about it, is completely natural.

Based on “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin