Software full of Performance

Recently, the owners of a young organic tea company approached my marketing consultancy for guidance in piercing the distribution channel for retail products. The entrepreneurs behind the company were hard-working, passionate, and totally committed; both personally and financially. They had an excellent product. They also had no sales traction.

After considerable consultation and many questions about the history of the product and the owner’s background, the reason for their unsuccessful sales performance became abundantly clear: they had not identified a unique selling proposition to differentiate their teas from the many large established teas. , medium and large. small competitors that offer endless product options in the category. This is often the problem with any new product offering in an already mature consumer product universe.

What can the new startup do to counter the existing advantages enjoyed by older, more established competitors? The following are just a few options to consider when looking for a differentiation strategy to support a Unique Selling Proposition:

Create a proprietary process
Create a management process that positions itself as proprietary, unique to the product. Another alternative is an enhancement that is supposed to improve the performance of the product. In cosmetics, we often work with laboratories to create a bioengineered process or ingredient stability that we label with an esoteric descriptive moniker.

craft production
In a world of mass production and impersonal mass marketing, the clear profession of an artisan provenance can set a product apart from giant competitors. The artisan workmanship adds an element of personal skill and old world pride that makes each product unique. Artisanal products generally deserve and justify higher prices by the most demanding consumers.

Fair Trade
Many raw materials, flora and herbs are now purchased through “Fair Trade” associations. Some are country specific. Others are product specific. They ensure that indigenous people, farmers and merchants receive a fair price for providing a better product. In the case of teas, fruits, and coffee beans, these products are often graded according to strict criteria to ensure quality and consistency.

Identify a rare and exotic component
The perfume industry is famous for highlighting rare, precious, and exotic plants that produce highly prized essential oils to make powerful, long-lasting, and novel fragrances. Years ago, he was a partner in a perfume company that used “tagetes,” a rare flower from East Africa with a very short growing season, a huge flower head, and a distinctive oil that gave an amazing “dry down” when mixed. with more subtle flowers. This type of exotic component story can carry over to food, drink, and other consumable products.

Include a component, ingredient, or mineral that can only be found in one or a very few places in the world. This creates the image of rarity and exclusivity in the new product. Moroccan argan oil is one such ingredient. Manuka harvested in New Zealand is another. Often such ingredients or components are expensive and are included in production formulas in small trace amounts.

Several years ago, we had a client who made luxury clothing and accessories for pets. He achieved success by offering a custom embroidery service to his products. The customer could order accessories with their pet’s name embroidered on the merchandise, choosing fonts, color combinations, and logo placement. These custom parts were much more profitable than the generic retail products he sold.

Limited edition
A custom bag designer, like a famous artist, makes limited runs of their designs. She numbers and signs each one, and at the end of each series she removes the pattern, dies, and design. This ensures the exclusivity of her handbags; supports high-end pricing and ensures brand desirability. The luxury goods category is rife with these types of exclusive short-term brand protection strategies.

enhanced benefits
We were recently introduced to a simple and great cost saving accessory. The owner was having limited success selling the item as a tool that consumers could use to extend the use of the consumable product. We identified an overlooked “comfort/safety” feature. As an antibacterial accessory, which will provide a great product/money saver, the product now provides double benefits to consumers and is beginning to see success on retail shelves.

These are just a few of the strategies that entrepreneurs can use to successfully launch and market new consumer products. In each case, we strive to design a guerrilla marketing campaign that highlights the perceived advantages inherent in a customer’s item. If they don’t exist, we investigate options and reinvent the product, or simply the marketing strategy, to highlight the Unique Selling Proposition that was not encompassed in the core products. Successful entrepreneurs have been doing exactly this, often without realizing they were doing it, for as long as there has been a consumer products market.

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