This blog is a dedicated forum for the transmission of
marketing strategies, insights, and opinions that matter.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

'Must Have' Versus 'Nice to Have' Products

I've reflected a lot this weekend on marketing messaging strategies and promotions after going through my snail mail (mainly direct mail), catching a minor amount of TV, and perusing the web. Noticed a lot of poor messaging - usually based upon the indefensible features of a service or product (e.g. speed, price, etc.). Also, noticed multiple instances of poorly selected promotional vehicles, the worst being a 30 second television advertisement for a B2B provider of document management enterprise technology solutions during a consumer-oriented television show.

In thinking about the positioning, messaging/branding, and promotion of products and services, two key principles need to always be considered: audience segmentation/targeting and consideration of 'must have' value versus 'nice to have value.' When considered intelligently, these two tasks will support better decision making for the competitive (= context) positioning, branding, and media and campaign components selected for promotion.

Segmentation is simple. Differentiate your pool of potential prospects and understand the key differences between them and methods for influencing with them.

As for the must-have versus nice-to-have aspect, Maslow's hierarchy of needs diagram is actually pertinent. Think of the must-have products/services owning the bottom rungs of the pyramid, and nice-to-have products/services as owning all rungs above it except for the top one of 'self actualization.' Now to make sense of how to use this distinction in a practical way....

With must have products, the emphasis can often be weighted more towards market and competitor analysis. With nice to have products, you'd better dig as deep as possible to understanding what in your target audience will truly move them to get something they may not need, and make your message simple yet memorable and powerful so that it moves your audience. The creation of new markets or new market segments has historically been built on new technology and new product applications. These, however, ultimately depend on marketing know-how to generate uptake in the market.


Post a Comment

<< Home