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First, Best, or Different

Niche Marketing Matters
By John Bradley Jackson

Value Proposition

March 18th, 2012

A value proposition states why a customer should pay money for your product and service.  Therefore, in order to define a value proposition for your product or service, it is important to get inside the minds of your intended customers.

Value propositions are a promise of value to your customers.  This promise is based on trust.  If they buy your product, and the promise you made turns out to be false or misleading, you will have lost that customer forever.  Only promise what you can realistically deliver.

To craft a powerful and unique value proposition, you must first answer a few questions.  Most importantly, what will be the end result for your customer?  What kind of need does your product or service fulfill?  Will your product or service help a customer’s business, home, or love life?

To find this out, ask your current clients what makes your product or service valuable to them.  If you don’t have any current clients, try to ask customers of a similar product or service.  Why would they choose your product or service over a competitor’s?

When creating a value proposition, focus solely on the target customer.  Forget about your boss, suppliers, or other partners in the process.  Never forget that your product or service is ultimately there to serve a certain segment of the population, even if others are involved in the creation, marketing, or money-making processes.

There a couple different approaches to writing a value proposition.  The simplest way is to list all the benefits your product or services claims to provide.  A more effective way is to compare your product or service with your competitors’ and highlight the ways in which your product or service is superior.

It is critical to figure out what are the most important attributes of your product or service.  That is, what is it about your product or service that most appeals to your customers?  Once you have found these most valued attributes, you know what to focus your attention on when creating a value proposition.

In an article called “Why They Should Buy”, author Kirsten Korosec says it is important to take your value proposition and turn it into a meaningful marketing slogan for your customers.  Often when we create value propositions, they are in “company speak” and may not connect with your target clients.

Effective value propositions are good for marketing because they are short, simple, and appeal to the customers’ core needs.  You want your customers to understand, believe, and remember your value proposition.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2012
All rights reserved

 

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Niche Market Businesses Are Rare

December 27th, 2009

According to Startup Nation, “surveys have shown that fewer than 12 percent of all online businesses sell a unique product or service”. Everything else is a commodity with lots of competition.

If you disagree with statement, go to eBay and do a search for a made up product. Let’s make up something right now…how about “dog food knife”. My bet is that you have never heard of such a product — I sure have not. Sure enough, I just went to eBay and found a four piece dog food serving set including a dog food knife, fork, spoon, and can cover made by a maker named Betterware out of the United Kingdom.

Yes, that was a silly example. Yet, in the world of web marketing, there are few true niche products and your competition is just a click away. This means that your offering needs to be different than the rest of the pack. While else would anyone choose your product over another?

Without sounding obvious, it would be best to find a way to differentiate your offering. A competitive advantage can be built on just one attribute or feature such as price, color, delivery lead time, packaging, quality, performance, or brand.

For a pure commodity, this may not be easy. But, without this differentiation, the online market is just an auction.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.

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Market Uniqueness Not Sameness

May 27th, 2009

For many products and services, the field is cluttered with similar or the same alternatives. When that is the case, marketing is reduced to a war of price and delivery—this translates into low margins and fickle customers.

For example, seemingly every real estate agent in the country markets his or her self as the top selling agent in the city, county, or country. They refer to themselves as a “million dollar producer” or the “top agent for 2008”. Besides sending the same message as virtually everyone else, the message is not believable—how can all agents be the top producer?

Instead, market your uniqueness or your special knowledge and skills. If you are a real estate agent and have expertise in horse properties, that makes you very unique. The horse property buyer wants a real estate agent who understands their special equestrian needs such as knowledge of livestock zoning laws, location and access to equestrian trails, and the need for a large, flat parcel (horses prefer not to climb hillsides!).

This specialized message about your knowledge or skills is testimony of your distinctive competencies, which are the foundation elements of your competitive advantage. By focusing on a unique market segment, it actually becomes easier to sell your product or service. In turn, your special skills create satisfied customers who will happily refer you to others. Satisfied customers often will also pay a premium for a great product and service. And, so it goes.

Celebrate your uniqueness not your sameness.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.

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