Week 2: What Is Your Product?
So in week one we mentioned that ‘Who’ and ‘What’ go hand in hand. There has to be a ‘What’ (a product or service) for there to be a ‘Who’ Who are you serving? Who needs what you offer? This week we look at the ‘what you offer’ and importantly relate it back to who to refine it further.
- Identify and Refine your Product
So what do you offer? What is your product or what service do you provide? Often it is not as simple to identify as you may think. For example, I will use Chris, a fictional landscaping business owner.
Chris owns a small general gardening and landscaping company. What is his product/service? Gardening? Yes, but what is he really offering? A beautiful garden (a product)? Time-saving for busy people (a service)? Convenience? Pleasure?
This is where we need to relate back to the who, who is his ideal target audience/customer? This may not even be his existing customer base but the ones with the work that he wants, that is, more beneficial to his bottom line or specialist to his strengths.
What matters to them what do they want? This is very valuable to identify and once you have identified this audience and their ‘needs’ you can ensure you tailor all your messaging and refine your product to better meet those needs.
2. What makes you special? Your USP’s explained
Going back to ‘Chris’ for a second. It could be that all he is getting is small, quick, local garden tidy up jobs and that’s fine for him, as he has a strong mobile force and it works, or it could be that what he really wants to be doing is maintenance contracts to large businesses, or specialise in a particular strength or expertise like bespoke high-end landscaping.
How he promotes his service and offer will influence the type of person he will reach and sell to and help you to develop and market your product in a way that will impress and better serve your customers.
You may have heard the acronym USP, it stands for Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Points, which I prefer for smaller businesses.
So they can be tricky for some but it is important to dig deep, perhaps look back at what made you start this business, see if you can identify what makes you uniquely different from the competition but be warned ‘Great Customer Service’ Quick Response times’ and other vague and frankly, lazy USP’s, do not sell! People can see through the sales talk these days and often tune right out to it. You need to dig deep, find your voice, your values and what drives you and use them to build Unique Selling Points into your business that people can relate to and help you stand out from the crowd.
3. Product Development – keep upping the game.
So once you have identified your product/service and broken it down into the sum of its parts (what it really is and who it’s for) you can look to ways you can improve it. Make it more unique, mould it more to your target market?
A fantastic idea I came across that works brilliantly if you have the time and budget to pull one together, although as with any marketing expense, the cost is negligent if the predicted return exceeds it, is called a ‘Shock and Awe Pack’ in some circles and it can be incredibly effective in most types of business with a high product value or customer lifetime value.
Basically it is a bumper mailout pack that, presents your business and or product and all it’s benefits to your ideal client, the big ones 🙂 Direct Mail is becoming increasingly more effective in a very digital world but something that is put together thoughtfully and personally specifically for your client that is genuinely useful, informative, helpful or funny can go a very long way to winning them over. The process of building out a version of a ‘Shock and Awe Pack’ you could send out to your ideal client will also get you thinking hard about what you offer, how you present it and how you could add to or improve on it.
Mailouts can be incredibly easy to create yourself on programs like Canva where you have hundreds of templates at your disposal to edit and create something that is well designed and all ready for print like Postcards, bookmarks, flyers, brochures, letters and more. Take a look and think about what could go in there that would be helpful or useful to them specifically.
If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch email, website or social media we’re always happy to chat and give advice.
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