Does your product appeal to the masses?

By Jeff Bowman

Millions of products line the shelves of  North America, some household names, and some big brands but it’s the no-names that really appeal to me.

Usually,  these products are cheap knock –offs, designed to look like a popular brand but often falling short on performance and quality. There have brightly coloured packaging with labels that literally shout at you.

Often they are NEW, innovative, can’t live without type products, that promise to make our complicated lives much easier. The real driver is often price. These products fascinate me. Remember the K-tel Record Selector, The Pocket Fisherman or the Patty Stacker? Who thinks of these things and how do they get to market?

Last year I discovered the show Pitchmen on Discovery Channel – a show that details how products make it to television, starring the late Billy (Oxyclean) Mays and Anthony (Dollars 4 Gold) Sullivan. It is a fantastic process, and details just as many “no-go” products as successful ones.

The interesting thing, and something that can be applied to many businesses, is the criteria each product must meet to be considered.

I want to focus on one aspect, and that is, does the product have mass market appeal? In this age of specialists, verticals and niche targets, it is refreshing to think about how your product or service actually measures up against the Pitchmen’s standards. Does your product or service reach the widest possible market through a variety of demographics? Does it appeal to different of ages, income and education levels and both sexes?  This may seem really simple but often we create our own obstacles.  Just think, by making a product for a single gender you have effectively cut your market in half, unless you find a way to make it appealing to the other gender as a great gift or accessory. It comes down to the creative thinking process and your ability to spin the uses of the product or service in order to generate high levels of interest.

Do you have an effective pitch for your product or service, if you aren’t creative, there are lots of marketing people out there to help you out.  Check out these great products. What is your favorite product?

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