5 Ways to Inject Excitement Into Your ‘Boring Product’ Marketing
Bad news, brands: Not every company can be Apple. Not every company can produce visually appealing products that are designed to go directly into the hands of consumers. We know it’s a tough pill to swallow. But it’s the reality.
Fact is most companies don’t produce flashy products. The majority of brands create parts and pieces used in other products. Or manufacture items sold through distributors. From a standalone product standpoint, there’s nothing flashy about them. But these are the products that make the world go round.
Your Product Boasts a Brilliantly Important Purpose
The Apples of the world are the outliers. We don’t need iPhones and iPads. We need nuts and bolts. We need flush valves for toilets. We need those plastic things that go on the ends of our shoelaces (called aglets, not “flooglehorns” as Tom Cruise tells us in Cocktail). Those are the products that fuel our lives.
Yet the Apples get all the marketing glory. They’re the cool kids on the block. And it’s given all the other companies out there an inferiority complex.
So You Must Destroy Your Marketing Limitations
When it comes to marketing and branding, too many companies place themselves inside a box of limitations. They compare themselves with the Apples of the world and they can’t compete. They see their products as boring or unsexy, so they believe their marketing efforts have to be boring too. So they do what everyone else in the industry does. It’s a sadly self-fulfilling prophecy.
But just because your product isn’t as visually appealing as an iPhone doesn’t mean your marketing can’t be as interesting and engaging as Apple’s. In fact, if you have what you consider to be a “boring” or “unsexy” product that’s all the more reason to make your marketing more bold, exciting and engaging.
How to Spice Up Your Stale Product Marketing
For all the companies out there that think your marketing is limited by the products or services you sell, this is your wake-up call. Whether you supply companies with toner or manufacture rubber bands, your marketing choices are your chance to leave your mark. It’s time to take that chance.
Online marketing is a particular godsend for “boring” products. It has leveled the playing field, giving every company a chance to stand out, go viral and reach new audiences by being creative. It gives you a ripe opportunity to inject some much-needed personality and excitement into your marketing.
Not sure where to start? Here are five ways to transform your boring product marketing into something that stands out and grabs people’s attention:
1. Make it ADVANTAGEOUS
One thing boring brands do all the time is focus on specs and features of their products. That’s a fantastic way to put people to sleep. People don’t care about specs. They care about how a product will impact them.
Bring your benefits to the forefront of your marketing and move the features to the background. If you’re selling to businesses, show them how your product will save them time or money. If you’re selling to distributors, focus on how the product will get them more customers.
2. Make it SIMPLE
Too many companies get caught up in the complexity of their products. Just because you produce a complex product doesn’t mean you need to produce complex marketing. Anyone should be able to visit your website and understand why your product is valuable. If they can’t, you’re in trouble.
The key is to whittle your marketing down to the essential message. If you’re selling flush valves, maybe the message is “it won’t go down without us”. If your selling screws, maybe the messages is “without us, everything falls apart.” Use Apple as an example. Don’t be afraid to go simple.
3. Make it VISUAL
Your product may not be much to look at. Washers and aglets aren’t much to look at. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your product visually interesting. Show your product in colorful or unique settings. Or show how an artist has used your product to create stunning artwork.
Make people see your product in a different light. For the washer, you could show the product next to a picture of the world weightlifting champion with the caption: “Only one can hold 10,000 pounds of weight”. For our aglet, you could show a dozen pairs of different sneakers with a caption that says, “What do all these shoes have in common?”
4. Make it NARRATIVE
Behind every product is a story. Many stories really. How your product came into existence, how people use your product, how your product makes a difference in the world. Those are all stories that can be used to make your marketing more interesting. Your product is just a thing, but a story creates an emotional connection.
Tell people why your product matters. Think about Jared, the guy who lost all the weight by eating Subway sandwiches. Subway turned hist story into a highly successful marketing campaign. Do the same. If you are a paper company, show how clients are using your paper. Show the notes, reports and contracts that have shaped companies—and people’s lives.
5. Make it FUNNY
The Web has opened the door to more marketing humor. It’s a risky approach because you actually have to be funny for it to work. But for a “boring” product, a little humor can go a long way. You can even make a joke of how boring people perceive your product to be.
Nothing can push your marketing viral faster than a good laugh. Say you make rubber bands. You could create a video showing a plain old rubber band laying on a table. Cut to text: “A lot of people think rubber bands are boring. We beg to differ.” Cut to an office after hours: Rubber bands are shooting off everywhere. Loud music is playing. One band shoots the cork off a champagne bottle. End on the tagline “The best bands in the biz.”
Obliterate the Boring by Marketing Your Heart Out
Remember, not every product is innately sleek, sexy and interesting like the iPhone. And that’s OK. Most companies—especially industrial companies—just have to work a little harder with their marketing to make their products more engaging and exciting. But, when you do, the results can be just as remarkable as anything that’s come from Apple.