Marketing is probably one of the hardest yet most important elements of running a business. When it comes to creating the perfect marketing strategy or campaign, most business owners end up getting so frustrated, they want to tear out their hair. However, pinpointing and implementing the right marketing strategy for your product or brand will definitely grow sales faster than you can ever imagine.
Let’s take a look at one brand that used the right marketing strategy and as such, has grown exponentially over the past few years.
Lyft is a rideshare company that has become increasingly popular over the years and is now in close competition with Uber. But how did this company grow so fast? Well, for starters, they had an advantage. Most Americans will gladly pay more for convenience especially when it comes to ridesharing. Lyft recognized this fact and capitalized on it.
Since their target audience already loved what they had to offer, they just needed to get their existing customers to spread the word. So, they implemented one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book: word-of-mouth strategy.
Lyft introduced a referral program where they offer incentives to riders in order for them to advertise the business. As a rider, you get discounted or free rides when you share your referral code to your friends.
This word-of-mouth strategy helped to boost Lyft’s credibility and in turn, their sales. So, if you’re wondering how this company grew so fast, it’s because they knew the first rule of marketing and acted on it. Most people are more likely to buy a product or service if a close friend or relative recommends it.
Now, you may not want to go the Lyft way when it comes to marketing your product. However, there are other interesting ways to effectively market your product to your target audience. We have also thrown in a few marketing fails that you should definitely avoid.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
How to Market Your Product
Wondering how to market your product so your customers can fall in love with it? Here are a few tips:
1. Tell Your Product’s Story
Believe it or not, every product has a story that you just haven’t shown your customers yet. It could be something that happens behind the scenes or a story that inspired the creation of the product. For instance, if you sell homemade bags, your customers will love to know how each bag is crafted with love or how each bag represents the pure love and peace that comes with having a loving home/family.
Don’t sell your product. Sell the experience and the benefits that come with using it. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using storytelling.
Let’s take a look at one brand that has truly captured the art of brand storytelling: Huggies.
How Huggies Tells its Story
As a new parent, you would most likely be bombarded by different diaper brands, with all of them promising leak protection and comfort. Huggies knew that it had to stand out from its competitors. So, this brand devised a way to deliver an experience that was more than the basic “leak protection” chant.
Tons of studies have shown that hugs help to improve brain development in babies and of course, stabilize them. With this in mind, Huggies went on a baby hugging mission. It partnered with Oglivy to launch a volunteer hugging program in many Canadian hospitals.
This campaign shot Huggies through the roof. Sales increased by over 16% and Huggies had a new image: one backed up by medical authority. This just goes to show that with the right brand story, you can shoot sales through the roof and endear customers to your product. Not only did Huggies choose the right story, they also launched a campaign that makes for a good pun with the brand name.
Don’t Go Against Your Brand Perception
Just before you launch or market a new product, it is important to consider your core audience and determine how your message will resonate with them. For example:
McDonald’s has always had children and families as its core audience. However, at one point in time, they decided to make a little switch. They introduced the Arch Deluxe which was aimed at a more elite customer – adults. Did it work? Not exactly.
The market just couldn’t reconcile McDonald’s with a fine, sophisticated dining experience and did not buy into the idea. McDonald’s poured millions of dollars into producing and marketing this product yet it was still one of their biggest fails ever.
What Will Your Competitors Do?
Wondering how to market your product to customers? One fail-safe trick is to find out what your competitors wouldn’t or have not done and do those things. Let’s take a look at Nike for example –one of the biggest brands when it comes to sports. Nike was not always the hot kid on the block. Back then, they continuously tried what their competitors wouldn’t do. Sometimes, they failed woefully. Other times, they didn’t.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Nike towed a line that was commonly laughed at by the marketing experts of that time. Celebrity athlete endorsements. It signed Ilie Natase, a Romanian tennis player that was the worlds best at that time. Nike also signed Steve Prefontaine in the mid-1970s to add to their growing list of celebrity endorsements. Did this work? Oh yes, it did. By 1980, the brand’s revenue growth had catapulted to $270 million.
In addition, they convinced Michael Jordan to endorse their shoes in 1985. You probably already know about this. By 1990, Nike’s revenue had climbed to $2.2 billion. As at 2018, it was estimated at $32.4 billion.
The bottom line is: Don’t always play it safe just because your competitors are doing so.
Don’t Leave Out Your Existing Customers
When it comes to marketing your product, you don’t necessarily have to look out for a brand new audience just to boost sales. You can boost sales just by focusing on your loyal customers/fans. Ever heard of the slogan/ad campaign tagged: “Got milk?”
In the 90s, something crazy and unusual was happening in California. It seemed as if milk consumption was declining. So, the National Dairy Board and the California Advisory Board approached an ad agency known as Goodby, Silverstein& Partners (GS&P) for help.
The agency created a focus group and asked respondents not to consume milk for an entire week before participating in the study. When the respondents showed up for the study, one thing was common. Every one of them felt anxious and deprived with the absence of milk in their everyday diet. In fact, the absence of milk was noticeable and they realized that most consumers felt a strong connection to everyday products.
This realization led to one of the greatest ad campaigns of all time. They focused on the “horror” of running out of milk and came up with the tagline: “Got milk?”
Till today, this tagline is something that most consumers just can’t seem to forget. It also helped to boost milk consumption by up to 7% in 1994.
What’s the bottom line here? Focus on your existing consumers and boost sales by appealing to the innate part of them.
Promise Something Exciting and Deliver.
When it comes to marketing your product, one ploy almost always works: making a big promise. However, these days, you also have to deliver on the promise. Customers can easily look up reviews on the web and if your promises are unfulfilled, you would just lose brand credibility.
So, make promises that would get customers excited about your product and ensure that you deliver.
Which of these marketing steps have you tried out? Which ones are you willing to try?