If every product had to be truly unique in order to be successful, there'd hardly be any success stories.
Thankfully, that's not the case. Uniqueness isn't a prerequisite for success.
Instead, if you want your product to succeed, you've got to focus on two major points:
- Making sure it's high-quality.
- Making it stand out to consumers -- no matter how crowded the market might be.
Now, as I've written before, marketers can't do much for a product if it's not a truly great product. We can't -- nor should we -- try to convince people that they need something that's not going to bring them any value.
What we can do is help a product stand out from its competitors. This is especially vital to your product's success if you're entering an already crowded market -- packaged foods, for example, or women's fashion.
Here are three surefire tactics for making your product stand out in a crowded market:
1. Tell your story.
Behind every brand, there's a story. Even if your product is one of many similar products -- one new brand of bicycle among hundreds, for example -- no other company will have the same story to tell as you do.
As consumers become more interested in hearing authentic stories from "regular people," rather than paid endorsements from celebrities, your brand's backstory is becoming ever more powerful.
Harness that power by being open with your customers about who you are and what you do. Is creating this product fulfillment of a childhood dream? Did you and your best friend dream up your company while backpacking in China?
While you don't want your story to overwhelm your product messaging, you also shouldn't be afraid to share it. People respond to people more than to products.
2. Find what does make you different, and work hard at articulating it.
While your industry or niche might feature many products that are similar to yours, every product has something that makes it different. Find what that is and hone in on it.
For example, one of our clients, Dizzy Pig BBQ, makes barbecue seasonings and rubs. In the crowded packaged foods market, they could easily have been overlooked, and become just one more spice blend in a bottle.
But instead, Dizzy Pig has grown into a major success. That's because from the start, they've emphasized a crucial difference between them and their competitors: Dizzy Pig's seasoning blends are all-natural, chemical-free, and allergen-friendly (meaning their rubs and blends are free of the top 8 food allergens).
By focusing on this particular value, and producing a consistently delicious and high-quality product, Dizzy Pig has built up a loyal following.
3. Create urgency.
One surefire way to make any product stand out is to create urgency for your customers.
This is something else at which Dizzy Pig excels. They create limited-release, hand-numbered seasoning varieties that are only available for a short time. Once they're gone, they're gone. That creates a real, true urgency that helps turn potential customers into actual customers.
You can create urgency in simpler ways, too. Digital coupons that are only good for the next 24 hours, a sale that lasts for two days only, a free gift that's included with every purchase through the next week -- these are all easy ways to motivate your audience to visit your site or make a purchase.
Of course, as with everything in digital marketing, any urgency you create must be authentic. Consumers today can see through attempts to make them feel a false sense of FOMO.
So if you plan on selling something for the next year, don't say it's limited edition. It may earn you a few new customers now, but it won't pay off in the long run, when customers realize that you've been disingenuous.
Standing out in a crowded market takes strategy and marketing know-how, for sure.
But the most important thing you need to make your product shine is a thorough knowledge of what makes your product great, and the ability to articulate that to your audience. If you can do that, there's nothing that can hold you back.