Marketing products that are generally perceived as boring can be quite the challenge. For some products, the appeal is obvious. But for others, it can take some convincing.
Some products take more explaining to convince people that they’re worth an investment. Certain industries cater to huge needs in the market but don’t have the celebrity status that other companies like Instagram enjoy. Take Oracle for example. They are the second highest earning software development company on the planet, but most people don’t know who they are and what they do.
Here are eight powerful ways to market products that don’t have instant sex appeal:
Define the solution
What problem are you solving in the market? Frame your product pitch around the benefits of the product. Discover what your customers are actually looking for and centre your marketing around that frame.
People aren’t too interested in product specifications and features. They want to know what problem it will solve for them.
In some market where there is a lot of competition, it’s okay to list the features of the product alongside the problem-solving statements. Look at what your competitors are doing and offer more. This could be more features, a lower price tag or both!
Know your audience
Knowing your target market is crucial to effective advertising. If you target everyone, you find no one. Different demographics have different ways of describing things. It’s essential to nail down the people you’re targeting so you can speak their language.
Define your expertise
The most successful businesses create industry monopolies through innovation. How? By creating entirely new markets. Exploiting a need in the market that hasn’t been met is a powerful modus operandi for building wildly successful businesses.
Brian Dean of Backlinko is one such example, coining the term “The Skyscraper Technique”. This one method for acquiring backlinks earned Brian celebrity status in the world of search engine optimisation. Of course, there a lot more to it than just this but you get the idea.
Define a market need and create something unique around that requirement.
Create Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is a tough one because it usually involves spending a large sum of money on advertising that is hard to measure. One example of a highly effective brand awareness campaign is CompareTheMarket.
CompareTheMarket is an insurance comparison website that launched a campaign called “Compare The Meerkat” led by a cartoon meerkat called Aleksandr Orlov. By associating their brand with a friendly character and constantly correcting the “Compare The Meerkat” phrase to their real brand name, they were able to hugely increase their brand awareness without talking about insurance comparison at all.
An iconic logo is also an important part of any brand awareness strategy. Your logo is your company insignia. It should represent everything your business stands for. It should also stand out in general. Not in a cheap, flashy way. You want bold but understated. There are plenty of logo design services out there (such as Juicy) that can help you create wonderful logo’s for your business.
Create a story
People don’t just want to hear about your products and services. When it comes to brand loyalty, we all want to know what the business is all about. What’s the history, values and narrative behind the companies’ inception?
An interesting story about a companies’ identity can foster a connection to your brand based on common ground.
Create product demand
John Mcafee launched his anti-virus software company back in the 80’s. Shortly after the company launched he warned everyone about the risk of not having anti-virus software on their computers.
One of his most famous marketing stunts was loading an RV with computers and calling it an “antivirus paramedic unit”. By the early 90’s he was making five million dollars a year with a client base that included some of the biggest companies in the world.
Anti-virus is boring. But by highlighting the dangers and needs of having it on your computer, Mcafee was able to create an entire market for his products.
Using scarcity is one of the most widely used forms of marketing. A classic technique that can be used to encourage people to invest in a product or service. You can use scarcity by giving customers a limited time to buy your products or by only selling a limited number of discounted ones.
A retail store that has a sale is a classic form of scarcity. How? Because the customers don’t know how long the sale will last for and if they’ll be able to buy those products at that exact price again.
Create brand advocates
A brand advocate is a fancy term that is being thrown about all over the place. It basically means people love your stuff so much, they’re willing to shout about it. They’ll tell their friends, family and co-workers about your product/service because they genuinely think it’s awesome.
Dropbox is a company that has had huge success with this technique. Back in 2010, the idea of storing files and folders in the cloud wasn’t something most people even considered.
Dropbox found it particularly difficult to attract new customers to their service offering. So they decided to try something different.
They offered free storage for anyone that signed up with them as well as offering more space to people who referred their friends to the product. In essence, Dropbox built a viral marketing model that revealed the benefits of using their service to users and turned them into brand advocates who promoted their stuff practically for free.