Tag Archive: positioning


Beat them with marketing!!!

Honey is honey. The ingredients are: honey. There is almost nothing more basic.

How, then, do you differentiate your honey from your competitors honey?

Why, packaging, of course!!!

Dutch Gold Honey claims to be the first company who started packaging their honey in plastic bears, and what an impact they’ve made (heck, my picture is proof that Meijer has adopted this shape for their honey containers – and my wife (and I’m sure many other folks) will go to great lengths to buy the honey bear, even if it’s more expensive than the other, more plainly bottled, honey products).

Frankly, I think the move to the new container was nothing short of brilliant.

Dutch Gold could have done a few things in this scenario, they could have kept their honey packed in the same boring jars as everyone else, or shaped their container as something more related to honey (a honeycomb or a bee, perhaps), but they didn’t, and more power to them for making the decision they made!

Dutch Gold exploited a looser association, and, thus, they occupied a new position in the consumer’s mind. Everyone thinks of bees and honey, but bears and honey are not quite as closely related (Heck, word on the street says that the bears are more into the bee larvae than the honey anyway).

So Kudos to you, Dutch Gold. It’s just a shame that it seems like everyone puts their honey into bear-shaped containers nowadays.

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What’s in a name?

Yesterday, I was doing a study on two different companies, and they each had a variant of the exact same issue, so I felt it merited addressing:

Company A had a ‘three-word-name’. For sake of illustration and anonymity, we’ll call this company “David’s Plumbing Company”.

I had trouble finding their website (first giant indicator that something was very wrong), but, upon digging into it further, I found the following shocking info:

  • Going to “David.com” went to an unrelated website (remember, these names are made up for the purposes of illustration; I have no idea what is at “David.com”)
  • Going to “DavidsPlumbing.com” went to a competitor!
  • Going to “DavidsPlumbingCompany.com” also went to a competitor! 
  • The actual website was in this format “DavesPlumbCompany.com” – you had to know to shorten the first and second words to get to their website!!!
This essentially means that, if your customer thinks you’re at “DavidsPlumbing.com” or “DavidsPlumbingCompany.com” (that is the name of your company, after all), that you are essentially handing these folks off to your competitors!!!
Company B had a pretty good name. We’ll call this “Bob’s Law Firm” (again, these names have been made up for purposes of illustration!), but they insisted on going with a TLA (Three-Letter Acronym…get it?). Therefore, they became “BLF”.
  • Issue #1: This is where I, again, have to make reference to one of the most brilliant marketing works of all time, Positioning (Buy it, read it, love it). You should not use an acronym for your company name unless you are incredibly well known, or your acronym is substantially more convenient to use than your company name…and even then it is a stretch. An acronym simply does not hold the same place in one’s mind. It does not conjure up any images/memories unless you are so well established in the prospect’s mind that they have these memories readily available in great supply.
  • Issue #2: “BLF.com” (I repeat: names are made up!) belongs to a competitor!!! What are the odds?!?! To alleviate this situation, Bob’s Law Firm went with “BLFFirm.com” (that’s right…say it out loud: “Bob’s Law Firm Firm”). To make matters worse “BobsLawFirm.com” is available!
Your customers would not naturally know to look for “BLFFirm.com”, as that web address does not even really make sense, so, again, you are handing potential customers over to your competition!!!
If no one can find your website, how can anyone buy your product? If your competitor is easier to find (and, in a lot of cases, the customer may not even realize that it’s your competitor), why would your customer put in the extra effort to find you?
Company names have always been important, and company websites are increasingly becoming expected and downright necessary. You may have a dream name in mind, but you need to ensure that it plays nice with the web, or you will be losing massive amounts of sales for an incredibly inane reason! 

Leave Something Behind!

A few days ago, I was getting ready in the bathroom when I noticed my wife’s St. Ives face scrub and had somewhat of an epiphany:

Now, there’s nothing fancy about this face scrub (what I mean to say is that this epiphany could and should apply to any other consumable consumer product).

The basic, underlying issue is this: You need to stay in the forefront of your customer’s mind, and, even better, you should strive to have your brand noticed by folks who are not yet customers and seek for ways to have conversations spurred concerning your product.

So, back to face scrub: Our face scrub is kept in the shower. Therefore, the only time that we notice or think about the face scrub is when we are in the shower, and the only time that anyone else would notice or think about the face scrub is if they were in our shower (…and, since moving into our new house last September, I don’t believe we’ve had anyone other than us use our shower).

So far, we’re not doing a good job of staying in the mind of the consumer or starting conversations…

Now, let’s say that St. Ives made a cheap magnet with a mirrored finish and a border that featured the tube of the St. Ives scrub that I have pictured with a cheesy tagline (something really corny like “You look great today!”), and let’s say that they included this free with the purchase of a tube of St. Ives.

In my opinion, a mirror is an awesome choice because it 100% relates to this product, and, of course, because people love to look at themselves. Also, while these folks are checking themselves out, their eyes are always just inches away from a picture of your product.

I’d imagine that this mirror would get stuck on the inside of lockers and on refrigerators in kitchens everywhere that St. Ives is purchased (I remember from high school that every single girl had a magnet-mirror in her locker). This also means that this mirror would get viewed, not only by the girl who owned the locker, for example, but also by her friends, and not just by the woman who owns the refrigerator, but by all of her house guests who happen to step into the kitchen.

Now, let’s say that someone gets two of these mirrors because they buy two bottles; while it is true that they may throw the extra away, I believe that it is more likely that they would pass this on to one of their friends (who wouldn’t want a magnet-mirror?).

And, just like that, your product, which is normally hidden behind a shower curtain or a medicine cabinet door, is put in the central location of a house or school.

It is so important, when you have a consumable product (especially one that is kept somewhat out of view), that you stay in the forefront of your customer’s mind and spur conversations relating to your product, and the best way to do this is to leave something behind!

On Positioning

Read it. Loved it. Highly recommend it.

The Timesheet Chronicles

I recently finished reading the book Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

This is a classic in the marketing field. The authors define positioning as “a new approach to communication…But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.”

The book then goes on to present the concept of positioning, and the associated challenges and opportunities. What sets this book apart is the plethora of examples that are provided from a variety of industries (both services and products) that illustrate both how position can and should be used, and how it shouldn’t be.

Finally the authors extend the concept of positioning and show how it can be applied to one’s self and career. In addition how one can start a positioning…

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