“The old rule was to create safe, ordinary products and combine them with great marketing.” Seth Godin, from Purple Cow. For better or worse, times have changed.
We grew up in a by-gone era. Gas was cheap and electronics were expensive. One good income was likely enough for a family to thrive and daddy always got the big piece of chicken (I urge you to Google, Chris Rock big piece of chicken, although be warned the language is NSFW).
For better or worse, times have changed. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in how you bring a product to market. As Godin suggests companies used to create conventional products and got them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. They achieved this through large television and print advertising campaigns. Think back to your childhood and I’m sure you can recall a jingle or two and likely can recite them word for word. It worked great for one reason: they had a captive audience!
Back in the day, people read the newspaper and actually sat in front of the TV during commercials. Think about that for a second; not including online content, when was the last time your read a newspaper? How many commercials do you see on any given night? Probably only one or two before your YouTube video played (or at least until you’re able to skip it)!
Things have dramatically changed including people’s behavior and purchasing habits. We have enough safe and conventional products; today’s entrepreneur must be unconventional and unrelenting in their pursuit of something different – the experience perfected. Create remarkable products that the right people will seek out and service the hell out of those people. You don’t need everyone to buy your product, just the right people. It can be tough to grasp the notion that less customers is better but the sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.
Everyone knows I love Starbucks. Part of the reason is because they live this concept. What’s your favorite Starbucks TV or newspaper ad? If you’re having a tough time recalling one, it’s because the company doesn’t waste their time on mass media. They don’t want to be everything to everyone; they want to be the best for their specific group of customers. Starbucks recreated the coffee experience in America by focusing on the things that their customers value – the coffee and the experience. They made an experience so ridiculously great and combined it with a sensational premium product, that people line up for a $5.00 coffee.
In today’s fast paced world filled with a lot of noise, your company must stand out! Look at HBO, who create specialty programming aimed at calculated group of people, or Amazon who can get virtually any product to your doorstep in a few days or Zappos who offer free shipping every day with a 365 day return policy. All these companies have one thing in common, they aim to be extraordinary to their customers. They’re not only doing things dramatically different than their competitors, they grasp the changing rules of marketing to today’s sophisticated consumer.
At Roma Moulding, we exist in an “old school” industry where I have no shortage of people willing to tell me how it used to be done. While I appreciate their sage advice, often these people are still rooted in that old mentality that doesn’t work anymore. Strategies and tactics that once worked no longer work today. Like the other great companies mentioned above, we are super-focused on creating targeted products, to a targeted audience while delivering a specific partner experience.
Change doesn’t always come easy and in many instances takes time. Becoming remarkable doesn’t happen overnight but when it does your audience will love you and keep coming back for more! My message to business leaders is, start now – don’t wait! If you’re having trouble getting the concept off the ground in your company, contact me here on TonyGareri.com and I’ll do my best to add value to how you position your brand.
My advice is to start with these three questions:
What are you doing to remain relevant today?