A question recently came up – how best to position a product? For example, a ‘hot-to’ guide requiring a lot of work on the part of the buyer, or a ‘ready-made’ package of some sort that does all the work?
The fact is, I think both types of products (work/no work) can sell.
Take pills – the success of weight pills shows people want an easy solution to problems. But the success of exercise equipment means some people are still willing to work hard for results.
Another example is online keyword research – there are a lot of keyword tools out there, and a lot of keywords lists. One takes more work, but promises exclusivity (your list is your own). The other means you share the list, but you don’t have to work so hard. They both sell – but to different markets.
Often, you can take a product and turn it into a service. This can improve a product’s market, especially if the subject is involved and technical, but the results (like making money) aren’t.
But of course this won’t always work – no amount of packaging will change the fact that an exercise machine will mean work!. In this case however, adding a training video, making the ad copy emphasize the ease of spending ‘just a few minutes a day’, and showing the results all go a long way to take the sting out – as their success shows.
I recently joined a news group focusing on sales – and one post got me thinking, talking about controversy as a sales tactic – and especially the ‘Rich Jerk’ and how everyone had an opinion about the guy – and bought.
I’m not a big fan of controversy, but I understand how it can get results. And while the Rich jerk showed one form of controversy (I’m better than you, so you wanna be me?) there’s others:
A few years back little Tommy/Timmy/Jimmy needed to break the guiness book of records for emails received, so everyone supported him by sending a chain email. Timmy didn’t exist, but an email harvesting company did, likely laughing at how easy it was to get millions of addresses.
On a different forum, one fellow started badmouthing another – so much so that others sympathized with the first person and bought his product in droves. While it may have been legitimate, if it wasn’t it was a neat trick to boost sales (see my blog entry on it)
Because of being in a seperate timezone, there’s rumors that Hawaii alone may have up to 33% of the votes on American Idol, and people are crying foul at this ‘obvious’ evidence of tampering (when in fact the A.I. people can do what they want legally) – and everyone tunes in…
And those are just the tip of the iceberg – stir things up, appeal to whatever emotion you want, and watch the results come in. You may leave a little piece of your soul at the door, however…
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