How do you target potential clients? You start by studying the competition. Every marketing plan should begin with an overview of what your competitors are up to. This is not limited to your direct competition; it includes indirect competition as well, which includes products similar to yours that might be appealing to your targeted audience.
Here’s an example: let’s say you market chocolate candy bars. Your product will be in direct competition with others of its kind, but also with chocolate bonbons, pastries etc.; that is your indirect competition. To gain a competitive edge, you need information. If you have a hard time getting info. about your competition, try getting it from your suppliers. Visit your competitors’ shops, websites, expositional stands, get samples of what they market. This way, you can see what differentiates your brand from the competition and focus on what sets you apart, rather than common traits.
Every product has certain attributes that might be of interest for the consumer. Your job is to turn these into benefits. An attribute becomes a benefit when you underline its utility: 2 identical products could have the same functionality, but one sells better than the other. Why? Marketing. Marketing can turn a flaw into an advantage that sets you apart from the competition: slightly uneven coloring on a piece of clothing? It’s a trend, a new look, a vintage feel. Stained apples? More like eco-friendly, chemical-free produce. And the list can go on. The point is, you have to give a reason why your product is better than the other, and that is usually done by emphasizing the differences in such a way that yours is guaranteed to stand out from the crowd, in a positive way.
This is how to market your product:
- present you product and its main purpose;
- make a list of its main characteristics;
- state your current distribution channels;
- see how your product is positioned within the market;
- establish promotional strategies and packaging solutions.
These are basic steps to be followed whenever you think about marketing a product/service. You can take further particular actions, like create niche brands, create a derivative product addressed to a narrower audience, instill exclusivity by personalizing certain products etc. Whichever road you choose, make sure to stay true to the original concept and base brand values: clients appreciate a sense of stability, accompanied by periodical “plot twists”.