Tagged with: ‘marketing’

Posts: 6

This is how you package consumer goods

Yesterday I was in the market for some plughole unblocker. We’ve moved places recently and I forgot to put this useful little thing in our shower.

So I head into Tesco and — eventually — I find the section for bleaches and plughole unblockers.

I know that Mr. Muscle is a popular brand for this product, so I look for the logo.

Bingo. I find the Mr Muscle.

photo of Mr Muscle among other products

Just as I’m about to pick up a bottle, I notice the bottle next to it. It’s called Buster — a brand I've never heard of.

photo of Buster — a challenger brand

Here’s what happened:

  • The packaging for Buster does a great job of capturing my attention. It makes a bold assertion that’s relevant to what I’m looking for -- that this product is much better for bathrooms.
  • The packaging entices me to find out why by picking-up the bottle and turning it around. In two, very succinct bullet points, it pitches why Buster is better.
  • By this point I’m already holding the bottle of Buster and since I had just been sold on why it’s better for what I needed, I went ahead and bought it.

Without realising it, this nifty bit of packaging had moved me right through the marketing funnel (Awareness > Consideration > Purchase) in around 10 seconds.

Of course, the irony here is that both of those brands probably come from the same company — be it, Procter & Gamble or Unilever et al. This is how the consumer packaged goods industry works.

That though shouldn’t take anything away from this being a nice example of how to package an alternative product, in a market that is largely dominated by recognised household brands.


Same Same. But Different.

It’s Sunday, late morning, and I’m right in the middle of cleaning the bathroom. In the other room I hear a frustrated girlfriend struggling to find accommodation on - lets say - website X, for our trip to the Amalfi Coast.

Complaints flying left, right and centre, vented in a tone that kind of suggests that this is all my fault:

  • “Why won’t this?”
  • “It won’t let me!”
  • “I keep loosing my tab when I go to trip advisor for reviews!”
  • “I hate this”
  • “Why can’t it show me what’s available on the dates that we’re going”
  • “Oh FFS!”

At this point I’m scrubbing the bottom of the shower. The smell of bleach is intense and my trainers squeak on the floor as I scrub back and forth. Before I hear the next complaint come in, I stop and shout - “try AirBnB?”

“Ahhh! I can’t use this useless website anymore.”

“Try AirBnB!” I shout.

No reply…

30 seconds later:

  • “This place looks gorgeous”
  • Then there was laughter “this guy’s review is hilarious… ‘It's a great place to unwind and get away from it all. Especially given the wifi and flatscreen TV doesn't work’ haha”
  • “I’m loving the ones that look good, ok”
  • “we can go through them later“

3 minutes later, “I’ve found somewhere! Let’s book this one!”

Same problem, solved differently

AirBnB and website X offered the same thing, that is: A product that helps you find, compare and buy accommodation for your travels.

One had concentrated on designing a delightful user experience, the other clearly has some work to do.

What fascinates me though, is the impact that poor design can have on someone’s Sunday morning.

Put another way, how important our work as designers is.


How to Pitch Your Product to the Press

Last Tuesday I popped in to DoES Liverpool to see Matthew Hughes give a talk on how to pitch your product to the press. He’s a tech journalist at MakeUseOf — so he had some lessons to share from the other side of the table.

In no real order:

  • Be as concise as possible - journos receive mountains of product pitches each week.
  • Sounds stupid but: There’s a difference between product pitches and press releases. The former is an anchor to entice the journo to sign-up for your product, check it out and write a review.
  • If you have notable investors > name drop them. This adds validation.
  • You need to entice the journo - lead with the problems you’re solving.
  • Personalisation is important. Do your research on the journo. What have they written in the past that might make them want to write about your product?
  • Gifts are cool, but not bribes $$$. UPDATE from Matthew: “Should probably clarify I meant gifts with no monetary value though, and after an article has been published. ;)”
  • Obvz grammar is super important.
  • Journos like phone numbers for follow up - so share yours.
  • Don’t talk about yourself (founders) - especially if it’s a product pitch.

Bookmarks:

  • press.farm find journalists to write about your product.
  • blonde20.com good PR agency. Do retainers from around £4,000 a month — much more competitive that London agencies we’ve spoken to.
  • uber.com/presskit Uber’s press kit is a good example.

Shortcuts You Can’t Take

Last month Sage approached me asking if I could write an article on marketing for their small business community.

To narrow the context a bit, I concentrated on marketing websites. The outcome of which I'm really pleased with. The short post offers an insight into my past 5 years of researching, designing, building and iterating marketing websites for clients. What works / what doesn’t; all brought to life with three tiny case studies from a few of my longstanding clients.

Entitled “The Shortcuts you can’t take” the article points out how businesses can contribute, in volumes, to their bottom line by concentrating on adding value through content, design research and website investments.

Profit gives you freedom. Fingers crossed this short piece will help you along your way →


This is How You Automate

Just received a wonderfully engaging / automated / interesting / human / polite / funny / direct / personal upgrade message (there’s an oxymoron there, I know) from the folk at TeuxDeux. This is how automated marketing should be:

Dearest Tom,

It’s been six months since the launch of the new TeuxDeux and we very much hope you’ve enjoyed it. Given how much you’ve been using it, it’s our guess that you have. In fact, with 1846 items done since you’ve been with us, you are certainly among the most productive people on the planet!

As we mentioned in March, TeuxDeux is moving to a paid subscriptions service and it’s almost time for you to decide whether you want to become a “true believer.” You can subscribe here:

https://teuxdeux.com/#subscribe

Becoming a subscriber helps us keep TeuxDeux running, fix bugs, update our apps and, soon, shared lists! And that’s just what’s up next.

Before we go, we thought you’d enjoy a couple other fun facts about you & your TeuxDeux:

  1. The to-do that was on your list the longest that you finally completed was: “Complete e-Business models section” (1405 days)
  2. The to-do on your list the longest that you haven’t completed… yet :) was: “Portfolio video” (193 days)

Don’t worry. You’ll get her soon.

Thanks so much for all your support. We love and appreciate you.

The friendly folks behind TeuxDeux’