Back-To-School Marketing 101: Sell SOLUTIONS, Not Products

Check out this extremely clever ad from Gwyneth Paltrow’s company, Goop. While the company (and Paltrow) have drawn criticism for her controversial health and lifestyle tips, the brand is thriving and targeting a wealthier consumer base: women who are 35 years or older with a household income of $100,000 or more. Paltrow’s website generates millions of visitors, and she has a massive following on social media.

The ad is simply for a mix of vitamins you can get anywhere. However, the company titled the product “High School Genes” and markets it for women who are frustrated and feel that their bodies aren’t responding to diet and exercise anymore. READ THE DESCRIPTION: You need to note that it’s not about the quality of the vitamins or what’s inside

It is simply sales copy written to appeal directly to the target market: women who are dealing with the inevitable weight gain due to hormonal imbalances. (Go show this to any woman in her 40s and ask if this ad doesn’t ring true on some level.) Other vitamin packs sold by the company include “The Mother Load” for pregnant women; “Why Am I So Effing Tired?” for exhaustion; and “Balls In The Air” for those “who function at an intense pace and want to keep it that way.”

The packaging, description, and product names are sheer brilliance and are excellent examples of how you take an ordinary commodity (in this case, vitamins) and differentiate yourself to charge a premium. One month’s supply is $90, or you can get them for $75 if you set up a monthly subscription. This is easily double the cost of going to your local grocery store and gathering these same vitamins on your own, and it’s worth noting you could easily do that because, by law, they have to reveal the ingredients and dosage on the back of the package. Nothing on the label is proprietary.

One MSP client of mine instantly boosted sales for his higher-level, premium-priced managed services plan by simply putting a brief description on it: “The Fast-Growth CEO Plan.” The lowest level was marked for “Small Office/Home Office.” With a little work, he could have been a lot more creative, but it was incredibly effective. When the plan was presented in the sales meeting, the larger organizations skipped right over the cheaper “Small Office” option simply due to the name. Not one even considered it, often stating, “That one won’t work for us.”

The key to having your services appeal to prospects and price elasticity is in the specificity: Create products and services for a specific type of person with a specific problem. Describe the problem it solves, not the “stuff” inside. The services can be the same plus or minus a few key things with a few minor tweaks. Many of the store-brand products you buy at the grocery store are manufactured under a private label by the same, more expensive name-brand products that sell for higher price points, and they’re often stacked next to each other on the store shelves. Many of the cereals you buy at the grocery store are actually manufactured by General Mills. Great Value peanut butter is actually Peter Pan peanut butter. Kirkland’s Signature House Coffee is actually roasted by Starbucks and sells for about half the price. Why would brand manufacturers do that? Because they know the store-branded items will never outsell a well-designed, properly marketed, brand product. There is a huge marketing lesson in this. Don’t miss it.

Would you like even more ways to help you thrive during the economic crisis? Join me at the upcoming Recession Rescue Roadshow for a blueprint on how to strengthen your IT Service Business and secure a profitable 15%-20% growth this year! Visit www.RecessionProofYourITBusiness.com to register now.

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Robin Robins
There’s no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 18 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 10,000 IT services firms around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com