Does Anyone Even Care?

Ever wonder if anyone in your market even cares about what you’re doing?

Well, Google feels your pain.  Check this out…

In this recent BBC article, two new devices from Google are discussed: Chromecast and the Nexus 7 tablet.

Chromecast is Google’s 3rd attempt to compete with Apple TV.  The first attempt, Google TV (launched in 2010) was poorly received and quickly pulled from the shelves.  The second attempt, in partnership with Sony, never even made it to stores.

Jason Jenkins from Cnet said of the Nexus 7 launch:

[su_note note_color=”#19292E”]

“Apple has established such momentum, Google’s real challenge isn’t just making a better tablet than Apple, it’s persuading ordinary people to care that it makes one at all.”

[/su_note]
And THAT is the real question facing any business today: How do we get people to care?

[su_list icon=”icon: chevron-right” icon_color=”#456793″]

  • There is FIERCE COMPETITION in your market.
  • Your market is BOMBARDED with advertising every day.
  • Many products and services are unnecessary luxuries in today’s AFFLUENT world.
  • Your market has TOO MANY options for something they many not even see as a PROBLEM.

[/su_list]

So, how do we get them to care?

The key to success here is two fold:

[su_list icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#456793″]

  • Create exceptional products & services
  • Effective positioning

[/su_list]

The days of creating me-too products are over.  Consumers demand excellence in product design, functionality, fun-of-use (not just ease), and customer service.  If you’re not delivering on all sides, you may as well call it quits.

Even more important than the product itself is the positioning.  Your product must be positioned as the only option in your target customer’s mind.  You must create dominance through effective positioning and messaging to your audience.

Then, you must be consistent in that message for years to come.  Many companies (marketing departments & CEOs in particular) get tired of the same old message.  But, they tend to switch up the message just as its starting to get traction in the mind of the audience.  So, don’t let your boredom dictate your decisions.  Get the right message out there and STICK WITH IT!

Here are a few tips on getting your positioning right:

[su_list icon=”icon: check” icon_color=”#456793″]

  • First and foremost, talk to your customers (or potential customers).  Find out what THEY think.  Find out how they categorize the competition.  One simple way to do this is to ask them to use one or two words to describe the various products & services.  Ask them to define which “one” each product is.  Here’s an example: Volvo is the “safe one”.  Toyota is the “reliable one”.  Ferrari is the “fast one”.  You get the idea.  Just because you tout a particular feature doesn’t mean your target audience sees it that way.  Find out what they see.
  • Map out the entire market on an X/Y axis.  Use audience demographics on the Y axis and product features on the X axis.  So, following the above example, the audience demographic might be income.  Low income on the bottom, high income on the top.  Features on the X axis might be safety, reliability, speed, handling, etc.  Then plot out each product/service on the grid.  Draw ovals that show where each product is positioned.  This is literally a visual map of the positioning of each product.  Make sure your product is positioned in an area where there is a gap left by the others.  Otherwise, you’ll be in a tough head-to-head battle.  This’ll be painful, even if you win in the end.  You need to differentiate.
  • Lastly, once you’ve defined the position you want to own, you need to develop messaging that reinforces this position and a value proposition that is irresistible.  First, don’t try and be creative or cute.  Be direct & explicit.  Second, make sure your messaging is super clear about four things: who its for, what problem you solve, what you sell, and what makes it unique.  If you can effectively communicate that message quickly, you’ll be well on your way to nailing it.

[/su_list]

Side note: It can be difficult to do this with your own business.  We all suffer from some amount of insular thinking.  Getting opinions from your target audience is key.  Bringing in outside people is enlightening.  If you feel like you need some outside help, give me a ring: 480-442-4098 or email me.

3 thoughts on “Does Anyone Even Care?”

  1. Good points here. Positioning is what takes you from transactions and promotions into the lasting wealth of a brand.

    I question the two players selected though. Google is not a 2nd place contenter. Their problem, and the heart of what the giants have to contend with, are the perceptions of being seen as 1st place. We think of Google as a search company, we think of Microsoft as a PC company (in an age where PC’s are not the hot commodities). Samsung is known for making hardware, not the OS.

    Apple is known for the OS. It’s known for being cool. Jobs was cool, and for a while, everything he touched will be cool. When that day ends, they are just another conglomerate..

    Funny you chose the Chromecast device. The difference here (I’m hoping.. mine is on order) is that the device will change our lives. The iPad changed my life immensely and got that “First Position”.. the iTV is cool, but I have three other devices hooked up to do what it doesn’t.

    Everytime I walk through a new TV display, I marvel that people pay more to have Netflix, et al on the set rather than get an external device which is easier to use and more likely to be updated. They buy those sets because the first position is held by TV manufacturers.. The pundits write about Google, Microsoft, Apple or even Dell and HP cracking that market. They won’t.. they have to find a new market.

    The Chromecast appears to me to be a new market. A simple network device that allows all the piece we have to work together. Judging from Google past performance with YouTube players, I expect to see the punt and let us just watch anything.

    What remains to be seen is whether the TV execs advising Google have talked them in to limiting Chromecast… (like Hulu contract don’t allow us to see some computer content with HuluPllus).

    Well, maybe it was a good example.. got me thinking. Now back to building my brand. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the feedback Jared & Warren.

    And Warren, you’re absolutely right!!!!! Google is not a 2nd place contender and Chromecast may be in a different category (it certainly is when you look at the features).

    But, the key is to own the “1st Position”, as you called it, and that position is dependent on how the market views the product. So, if the market views Chromecast as a competitor to Apple TV, Netflix, etc, (even though we know those are different things with different features), then it doesn’t matter, because the market will determine that its a me-too product in an already established category.

    So, the key when launching new products (such as Chromecast) is to create a new category – which is extremely difficult to do. If not, you’ve got to figure out a way to topple whoever is in the #1 position – also difficult to do. But neither is impossible.

    Thanks again for the insightful comments!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.