Posts about ‘marketing’

Who at Brooks Brothers thought it was a good idea to open a branch in the waiting area of an airport. How does it enhance their old-school, classic, tailored image to hang around the likes of Hudson News?

Often, it’s suggested by either my client or a colleague that we talk to “leading-edge” consumers instead of just average consumers. Except sometimes the suggestion is “extreme” consumers. Is there a difference between “leading-edge” and “extreme” consumers?

Changing The Formula

Exactly where a product falls on the “Love It / Solves It” axes depends on what it means for a particular consumer to “love” a particular product, and on what it means for that product so “solve” a consumer’s problem. Any change to the product (and the way it is marketed) may move the product in any direction.

What It Takes

Characterizing what goes into a purchase decision is, I’m guessing, the most important thing a company can do. Why does anyone buy anything? There are lots of ways to talk about it, but the one I’m enjoying these days, I call the “Love It / Solve It” chart.

The idea is this: In order for me to buy a product, it must both solve my problem, to some extent, and I must love it, to some extent. Exactly how much a product must solve and how much I must love before I’ll by are related to each other along some curve. If a product is above and to-the-right of the curve, as the star is, I’ll by. Below the curve, and no dice.

Stop Growing, Already!

Must business growth mean “do more of everything”? Why do companies seem to believe that the only way to extend their value is to do everything they can, in every direction?

I’ve written a bit about Starbucks before, about how, over time, the unique Starbucks experience has become watered down to the point that it’s no longer special. Today, though, I was struck by several further dilutions of whatever it is Starbucks thinks it is.

You Talking To Me?

Often when clients come to us with a “consumer segmentation,” they’re looking horizontally. This type of consumer has these issues to address; that type of consumer has these other issues. The product is designed to speak to both groups, or mainly to one and only opportunistically to the other.

But they forget the vertical segmentation.

Expressed And Implied

Sometimes, a feature that may never be used is given the “Primary Feature” treatment. Doing this changes the consumer’s perception of the product, on the shelf or in use.

Conference Reflection

It’s hard to believe that we still have to recommend to companies that they consider the consumer’s entire process of learning, deciding, buying. The new things that are changing the interaction between company and consumer–like the “social media” stuff that presenters at this conference talked about–aren’t changing the fundamental need to know the consumer.

Get A Job

What job is your product interviewing for? The metaphor of the job applicant is powerful and simple to understand. I use it often when working with clients to align the features of a product with the aspirations of the consumer. I first ran across it in The Innovators Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen, and it fits […]

Four Questions

Early in her great book “The Product Manager’s Handbook,” Linda Gorchels notes that there are four things every product manager must know about his or her product:

* What does it do?
* What is it?
* What is the market?
* What does it mean to the market?

Many times, clients come to me raring to get designing, but without answers to one or more of these.

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