A new entrepreneur met me with an idea about packaging roasted nuts and she seems very eager to tell me how passionate she was about her idea and how people loved her nuts. She had created a sample of the package and was about to print them the following week. As she showed me the sample design, I asked her about the designer and where the inspiration came from. I did a simple google search for similar products. Then I pointed at the various designs on the screen and I asked her in one sentence, “If you saw your products next to these ones on the shelf, which one would you go for? No doubt your nuts may taste better than the samples that popped up on the internet, but do they even look attractive enough to get someone to pick it?” and she replied, “no I would not pick my own product.” She had to go back to the drawing board, her packaging would put her at a disadvantage from the start. Marketing is not enough, being everywhere does not suffice, but a good blend of product and package is why many entrepreneurs set themselves up for failure by not asking themselves hard questions that they may not like the answer to. A good package is even more important than the content when it comes to being picked, but if you want repeat customers, you must improve your product.
Why do you sit on the sidelines while other businesses are able to attract and keep good customers, then check out these two strategies I learned from dating? As with dating, the two major challenges anyone faces are finding opportunities to meet and talk to good people and the second one is being selected above the other options in the market.
1: Create opportunities (Promotion)
Ditch that old saying that once a product is good, people will trample the paths to find it. The business space is becoming more crowded each day.
Five years ago, there were fewer options for your product, design, and service. And if you are waiting for people to trample down the path to finding your product, they may even bump into five other brands that are better than yours. The first and critical path to being found is to create opportunities to be found by people and other businesses around you. You have to take your business card, go to your local business event, church business prayer meeting and visit businesses around you. Sitting all day on Twitter and Instagram may not suffice.
When you put yourself out there, you increase your chances of being found.
However, you do not want to be all over their face in desperation, it may leave them wondering if you really have other clients. On another note, when it comes to promotion you need to stop spamming! After a while, people just switch off, put you in their spam box or simply unsubscribe.
Use powerful language in your rather casual conversations too – never be caught off-guard with your speech. Your everyday social and casual expressions are just as important as that speech. You need to make the best of every situation by putting your best selves forward at each point. Make yourself available online and in industry events then choose your words well. The first thing that attracts a client to a business is their communication.
Communication is not just about what you say or the words on your packaging, but also about how you say it, the colors, the feel, the quality, your outfit, the choice of location, the simplicity or sophistication of your brand.
How many words are found in the iPhone pack? Probably less than the Nokia case. But in split seconds, the client connects with the message of the brand. What are you communicating to your clients?
2: Making Your Business More Desirable (Packaging and Content)
So you finally nailed two thousand followers but do not have quality content! You finally got a chance to speak at that business meeting but rarely had any valuable thing to say about your business. There was nothing that distinguished your business from the other businesses in the space. You are boring! You got their attention with your packaging and the fact that you stepped out of your nook, but now, you cannot sustain their desire for your product. Then you wonder why you keep going to conferences, exhibitions and business fairs and your bottom line remains constant. You keep getting dumped once the client has used your product or service once. The answer lies in one word; Value. You have to divide your focus between these two things, spending time finding clients and also spending time on improving your product value. You cannot dodge one or the other. Do you spend more time on things that create value or are you simply too busy trying to woo new customers that you overlook the fact that your current customers are frustrated or discontented with your product? When you work on your business silently to make your product or service more valuable, your clients will spread the word for you.
If you focus on wooing new clients without improving the value of your product or service, your old clients will advise new clients to stay away from doing business with you. So why don’t we find some balance between the two steps?
Let us get practical, take a notebook and answer these questions honestly
- Would you pick your own product over other products and why?
- Does your customer get value for money?
- What is your competitor doing better than you are?
- What activities are you pre-occupied with the most in your organization that is yielding the least impact?
- What do you need to stop doing altogether?
- What is that part of your business that is making your product less desirable?
- What can you do to become more attractive to your clients?