Don’t be the best, be different!

by Marketing Lowdown on March 4, 2011

Ever heard the quote – “If you can’t beat them, join them” ?, what if this advice was ill conceived and an attempt to justify the creator’s lack of creativity and innovation?

Many of us have a competitive streak that forces us to want to compete with the No. 1 in our field of expertise, what if I told you this was the wrong way to go about running your business? I suspect you’d dismiss me and go about your work, maybe you should have a second thought.

The way in which truly innovative companies market themselves and their products (read: Apple, Coca-Cola, Red Bull) is that they don’t market the features and benefits of their products so much as they market the experience or lifestyle you will inherit after you’ve handed over your cash.

For example, Google Android, sure a great operating system which is incredibly scalable and has incredible potential for growth, but they sell their features, they tell you about it’s high resolution graphics, functional GUI and generally compare it to the iPhone. Apple on the other hand, illustrates (not dictates) the lifestyle you can achieve with their product, they show you the types of apps you can get and how they will make your life easier, they don’t compare their iPhone to other phones in the market, because they realise that they are only competing with themselves.

What i’m trying to get at here is that the Apple iPhones offers a product but sells you a lifestyle, other phone manufacturers sell you features and essentially just another phone, Apple have removed themselves from the phone market and made their own market – the lifestyle market.

Sure, Android has followed suite, but after the first few WEEKS of the iPhones product life cycle, they managed to attract the early adopters and naysayers alike and convert them before their competitors could emulate, and what happened when the competition did catch up? They flopped, why? Not because their product wasn’t good, in fact, they were great, often better than the iPhone in terms to functionality and features, but because the iPhone had already embedded itself in it’s customers minds (a great example of manipulating consumer behaviour!)

When you’re about to release a new product or service, or if you’re re-hashing an existing product into it’s 2nd product lifecycle phase to extend it’s life, turn the products marketing upside down, forget what the product is, don’t list it’s features, think about what the product can offer, what can it help it’s target market achieve? Why is it something they MUST have?

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Written by: Adam Vesnaver (Writer: Product / Brand Management & Entrepreneurship Specialist here at Marketing Lowdown!)

Keen to spot new opportunities and turn them into something bigger & larger than life. Adam has worked in Marketing in the Telecommunications Industry as a Product Manager for the past 12 months and for 5 years in various Technical / Business Analysis roles. Currently studying part-time for a Commerce degree. Adam has a big interest in Entrepreneurship and is looking to start his first business in 2011.

With experience in Product Management, a background in being a geek and a newfound love of DIY business, he’ll be bringing a range of content and support for these above topic’s.

University: Charles Sturt University (Sydney Correspondence)
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) – Part Time
Scheduled Graduation: 2014/15

You can also read about Adam on our staff and contributors page!

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