What is the Product?
The Whole Product Model (“The Marketing Imagination”, Levitt’s)
- Generic Product: What is shipped in the box and what is covered by the purchasing contract
- Expected product: This is the product that the consumer thought she was buying when she bought the generic product. It is the minimum configuration of the products and services necessary to have any chance of achieving the buying objective. For example, when you buy a tablet, you need to have either a Wi-Fi network at home or a cellular connection for it to work, but either one is likely to have to be purchased separately.
- Augmented product: This is the product fleshed out to provide the maximum chance of achieving the buying objective. In the case of a tablet, this would include email, a browser, a calendar, a personal directory, a search engine, and an app store, for example..
- Potential product: This represents the product’s room for growth as more and more ancillary products come on the market and as customer-specific enhancements to the system are made. E.g. Over 500,000 apps for the Apple Ipad
Who is using the product?
Demographic analysis (Catering to your market)
- Who are the people who are consuming your product?
- Age, gender, income level, occupation, etc.
- What methods are they using to purchase and consume your product?
- Online, retail, phone order, etc.
- Do they need something else in order to make your product useful, or more useful (is there an opportunity for cross promotion?)
- How often do they consume the product?
- Everyday, weekends, seasonal, etc.
- What kinds of questions do they have about your product?
- Price, ease-of-use, durability, competitive advantage, etc.
- Scan Yelp and other forums for competition
- Pay attention to low ratings and customer complaints
Understanding your enemies and allies
- A company that is not aware of competition is prone for demise
- Constantly check the competition for new product developments and service transitions
- Is there a company who could benefit from a partnership? (take advantage of potential partnerships that could promote both brands)
- Make sure you have a presence in the areas where your customers are (local community events are a great place to talk with customers, probe for feedback, and create content for social media)
- Some people prefer to invest with a company which has a local presence, preferring to pay a premium for local goods
Use customer feedback to promote and modify marketing initiatives
- First impressions are crucial when it comes to websites and social media, avoid content and designs that distract and deter users
- Satisfied customers will likely share their positive experiences with others, make sure to record and document all positive feedback (fodder for website content)
- Carefully monitor blogs and review website for negative feedback (one harsh review can send away tons of potential clients)