How to Rebrand Old Products for New Sales

Let’s say a company has an old product. Sales are so-so and dropping off gradually, like a slow leak in a tire. It may not be a drain on the bottom line just yet, but that day is coming.

 

The first temptation—just end production and try to keep its fans satisfied with another one of the company’s products. One problem, though. That product has a legion of loyal fans.

 

Remember what happened when Coke ditched its flagship product for “New Coke,” a product designed to resemble the cola of its nearest competitor, Pepsi? Disaster, of course. Although the upstart Pepsi was gaining on Coke in popularity, it wasn’t worth panicking over. Fans raised such a ruckus that the company’s millions spent in producing the new product went down the toilet—along with gallons of “New Coke,” quite probably.

 

Though Coke recovered nicely after it reintroduced its trademark flavor, it’s still a painful memory in marketing history. Not a mistake a startup or a small business wants to repeat since they don’t have the cash reserves to fund their recovery, as Coke did.

 

Faced with either a slow leak or a blowout, companies need to do something to get this product paying its own way again. Why not a rebrand, suggests Lahle Wolfe of The Balance.

 

Put a New Spin on It

 

One of the reasons an old product’s sales might stall is that it hasn’t risen to meet the demands of today’s customers, suggests Wolfe. She cites American candymakers’ dilemma as they faced rising ingredient prices and lower sales. Their solution? Inject more air into the candy and reframe it as a healthier alternative.

 

That marketing gamble paid off and has spread to other food and beverage makers’ marketing tactics, too. Smaller-serving soda cans have sprouted up in grocery stores, as have individual bottles of wine, all catering to the nation’s demand for “less is more.”

 

Judging from the increased sales, despite the higher price per unit, their efforts to repackage their old product have worked.

 

Other products, too, can benefit from looking at them with new eyes—finding a way to make them appeal to a modern customer base. Here’s where doing research on customer demographics is golden. Find out that the target market wants—and reframe that product to give it to them.

 

Find a New Market for It

 

Expand the customer base for the product. Although this will take some research into the demographic(s) most likely to buy the product, it’s well worth doing the legwork to find out. After all, even if you found a new product to replace it with, you’d have to do this kind of marketing research on the new product anyway.

 

Once the target market is identified, it’s time to put the company’s marketing efforts into full gear. Target ads to that segment of the population. Add promotional gear or labeling that will appeal to the new customer base. If it’s a better price they’re after, promote that in the labeling and messaging. Find out what about the product will attract that segment of the population and promote that.

 

Pair the Product with One of the Target Market’s Favorites

 

Discover what the target market likes and find a way to pair it with that item. If the target market is seafood lovers in New England and the product is a light-tasting beverage, advertise the product as the perfect go-with.

 

Wolfe mentions that Procter and Gamble discovered that their sales of Mr. Clean had dropped off, but those of their other product, Gain, had risen. What did P & G’s savvy marketing department do? It combined its popular product with one losing popularity with great success. Now Mr. Clean has a new life, Gain is still selling like hotcakes, and the company bottom line is expanding.

 

Finally, Rename and Reconfigure Its Appeal

 

Near the bottom of the ocean lay a huge number of ugly fish—with even an uglier name. Called slimefish, for the coat of slime around their face, they were a species that fishermen threw out in disgust—until a marketer decided to make hay with these fish—to be had for a song at one time. That marketer tapped into the fish’s brilliant orange color and renamed it “orange roughy”—a fish which now commands a high price at market, thanks to a brilliant re-naming and re-branding.

 

Find the hidden gold in your slow-selling product—and figure out a new angle you can take to market it. Chances are, it will be a smashing success!

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Tips on Marketing a Brand New Product

marketing a new productWhen a company creates a new product, there’s always a rush of excitement—and then comes the feeling of dread.

 

Will the customers like it? Can they find it online? How can I get information about my product to those who need it?

 

A thousand and one questions pierce through company executives’ waking hours at the launch of a new product. Here are some tips that can help a company market a brand-new product and get it into the hands of customers the company designed it to help.

 

Identify the Target Customers

 

Like a farmer scattering seeds, a company needs to scatter its marketing efforts on fertile ground. The best way to do that is to discover what types of people are most likely to need the product. As the company lists the characteristics of these people, it needs to be specific as to their demographics—age, gender, region, city, work or student status, likes, dislikes, and economic status. That way, the company can select the product features that will best appeal to which types of customers.

 

List those characteristics along with each customer type (called a customer persona). When the company writes ads, looks for promotional gear, or films promotional videos these are the benefits to stress to each group.

 

Whether you are marketing a new product or adding a new product to your business line, successfully launching the product and garnering awareness can have an impact on how successful the product is. According to the More Business website, marketing a new product requires a targeted marketing strategy where the goals are to generate revenue and build a strong customer base.

 

Look at the Competition

 

If there are similar products out there, research them. What are their strengths compared to the company’s new product? What are their weaknesses? Find ways to show that the new product the company created is better than all the rest. Educate potential customers through comparative analyses. Demonstrate that the new product will better meet their needs than anything else on the market.

 

If there’s not another product like it out there, then the company still has a little homework to do. Educate potential customers about the product and show how it meets their needs. Company representatives may even need to get out into the community and do giveaways at promotional events to get the buzz rolling about the new product. Once several people try it and love what it does for them, be sure to get their recommendations in print on the company website. Be sure to get their permission first, though.

 

Use the Right Blend of Marketing Tactics to Reach Target Customers

 

A Hypothetical Case Study

 

A company will probably need to use a blend of methods to get the word out about the new product to all its target customers. For example, if the new product is a mineral-rich, natural water, the company’s target customer groups may be athletes, nutrition-conscious dieters, and mothers of young children looking to provide the best in nutrition and hydration for their children.

 

Example No. 1: The Athlete: Naturally, the company should direct some of its marketing to athletic events. Sponsorships, finding a local athlete to be an influencer or spokesperson for the product—all can work to reach the first target persona—the athlete.

 

Example No. 2: The Dieter: For the dieters, a white paper or blog post about the benefits of these minerals—and even simply hydration–to people who are on a diet would be an excellent way to market the product. Videos and photos that show customers’ before and after pictures would be another strategy that could work well.

 

Example No 3: The Mom: For moms of young children, the testimony of a pediatrician or pediatric nurse would be gold in their eyes. Think about providing sample bottles of the water to daycare facilities, too, as well as kindergartens and grade schools. Make sure that the labels point out the nutritive value of the beverage as well.

 

As you can see, a careful, well-planned strategy can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to marketing a new product. Follow these tips, and the company’s new product will have its best shot at success.

 

 

 

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4 Ways to Market a Seasonal Business When It’s the Off-Season

market a seasonal businessWho in their right mind thinks about ice skating in the summertime? People who want to cool off, that’s who!

 

Though most people associate ice skating with sledding, hot cocoa, and holiday carols, some smart marketers have figured out that figure skating—as well as hockey and just plain gliding around the rink—can be an ideal way to cool off if one doesn’t care to jump in the pool.

 

From their glitzy brochures to their website’s summer-tweaked meta descriptions, Wisconsin’s RecPlex ice-skating camp has gone all out for the area’s off-season business. Since they’re literally miles from the nearest beach—and hey, doesn’t every kid want to be the latest star on ice?—they appeal to the area’s parents, who bring their no-school bored kiddies in for their summer camps. Mom and Dad often join in the fun, once they feel how cool it is in the arena.

 

That’s fabulous off-season marketing. What about selling ice cream in the winter, though? Or a landscaping service? Here are four foolproof ways to market an off-season business:

 

1.      Grow Anticipation During the Off-Season

 

During the peak season, offer opportunities to customers to sign up for an email list. When the off-season rolls around, build anticipation by blog posts that bring back great memories of seasonal fun. Christmases in July, recipes for hot pumpkin pie a la mode from summer’s favorite ice cream shops, all build desire for the product in the company’s target customers.

 

2.      Find a Way to Appeal to People in the Off-Season

 

Get creative, like the Wisconsin ice rink mentioned above. The ice cream shop that stays open in the fall can offer seasonal favorites, like Ohio’s Young’s Dairy does with its fabled pumpkin pie milkshake. Ice cream-starved hordes come from miles around after their ice cream stands have closed to experience the creamy cool favorite. Retail stores’ swimwear departments can promote their wares as “cruisewear” for those who, tired of winter, take a cruise to parts South after the winter holidays.

 

3.      Offer Sales on Off-Season Merchandise

 

A hockey equipment manufacturer, whose prices go off the chart during the pre-holiday buildup and the winter playing season, offers tantalizing deals in mid-summer to attract customers. Hockey fans looking for great deals, having subscribed to the email list, buy in droves—and tell their friends. The result? Their winter sports merchandise flies off the shelves even during the heat of summer, thanks to clever marketing, a good email list, and good old-fashioned word of mouth advertising.

 

4.      Let Human Billboards Do Your Talking

 

That same hockey supply store is one fabulous marketing guru. Not only do they have great sales during the summer, but they also make promotional wear that bears their name that they offer at greatly reduced prices off-season. Some of that promotional wear is perfect for summer. What hockey player wouldn’t want a breezy cotton t-shirt that proclaims their athletic prowess on the ice even as they compete for the attention of the opposite gender at the beach?

 

Smart marketers find an angle no matter what season it is—and bring in the revenue all year long.

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The Rise of the Influencers: 2018’s Hot Marketing Trend

influencer marketingAccording to Forbes, influencer marketing looks to eclipse digital marketing as the latest way businesses can garner more customers. “Many businesses have just gotten the hang of digital marketing,” you may say. “Now, I have to switch gears—again?”

 

No, a business doesn’t need to completely switch gears to adjust to this trend. Especially when one realizes it’s just an old friend in a different suit of clothes.

 

Influencer Marketing a New Twist on Word-of-Mouth

 

We’re talking about word-of-mouth advertising. The kind where a happy customer tells a potential customer how good the business’s product are. The kind that causes loyal brand evangelists to tool around town in T-shirts that proclaim “Coke.” As we know, custom printed T-shirts and promotional apparel can make a difference in getting the word out about a business, so what is the difference with influencer marketing?

 

The only difference is that with influencer marketing, a business needs to concentrate on attracting what marketers call “influencers.” People who are changemakers. People who are on the cutting edge in their industry. They don’t have to be celebrities, even though some are.

 

Get the Imprimatur of an Industry Leader

 

Remember that old ad for E.F. Hutton? The line from an E.F. Hutton customer, sitting on a plane, “Well, my broker’s E.F. Hutton. And E.F. Hutton says…” Everyone cranes their necks to hear from him—because–when E.F. Hutton talks, everybody listens.

 

It’s like that with influencers. Look for those kinds of people to become a product’s evangelists, and the world will listen. At least the corner of the world in that niche.

 

An expert dog trainer, for instance, whose protégé has taken dogs destined for the killer’s needle and made Schutzhund or agility champions out of them will have great sway in the minds of canine sport fans—if the mentor endorses the lesser-known trainer publicly. One doesn’t have to be Cesar Millan to have people in the Schutzhund or agility niches notice greatness.

 

Nike has gotten that message since they went viral with Michael Jordan’s wildly successful Air Jordan line. They’re still getting it with soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. To the tune of a cool $500 million.

 

Get That Industry Leader to Notice Your Work

 

A business doesn’t have to be a huge company like Nike to take advantage of influencers in its niche. A restaurant, for instance, that has a specialty that they do extraordinarily well will get tons of traction from the say-so of a local food critic.

 

People whose life trajectories have been transformed by a product, too, are superb influencers. Their passion—and the obvious change that the product has wrought—can go far to promote the business who makes the product. When they—for free—get on social media and tell all their friends who need the same kind of transformation, who wouldn’t climb on to that bandwagon?

 

Seek out Influencers and Partner for Profit

 

It goes without saying, then, that a business needs to seek out those that can be influencers for its flagship products. A music studio’s prize pupil who wins a scholarship to Juillard—that’s an influencer. A local dress shop whose prom gown the local prom queen sported in all her glory.

The town’s sports hero who eats three of a restaurant’s hamburgers before he competes on the field.

 

All these people can be a brand’s influencers. All the business needs to do is to leverage their clout—online, in promotional gear, and in the buzz around town.

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Brand a Business through Community Involvement

Branding a business through communityAs entrepreneurs, it’s important that we notice what’s going around us, and what’s going on in our local communities. After all, a small business is part of a community.  One of the best ways a company can brand a business isn’t by having a slick ad with an irresistible call to action. It’s telling a brand’s story through community service.

 

It’s like branding karma. Choose a need in the community that no one’s taking care of. We’ve done this ourselves at Rise Up Eight, a website focused on stories of people overcoming adversity worldwide to inspire people to never give up.

 

First, Plan the Service Project to Tie into the Company’s Mission

 

If possible, tie it into the company brand. It will associate the good deeds with the company’s regular mission, says Forbes Agency Council.

 

  • If the organization is an educational institution, try offering free English or GED classes.

 

  • If the company is a bank, offer a free paper-shredding service where people can rid themselves of paperwork that may appeal to identity thieves.

 

  • If it’s a clothing company, partner with a local stylist to offer free makeovers to needy individuals in search of a job.

 

  • If it’s a music studio, it can provide free concerts to nursing homes or homeless shelters.

 

  • If it’s a water-bottling company, it can hand out free drinking water to the city’s homeless

 

And so on. Use imagination to tie the company’s money-making mission into one that serves others without a financial reward, and the company reaps the benefits of all the good vibes.

 

It’s like free advertising. Only with a heart.

 

Find Ways to Spread the Word

 

Spread the word—but don’t appear condescending or boastful. Use these ways to get the word out, so the company’s project can serve more people:

 

  • Press releases: Make friends with the area news professionals. That way, when the company does hold these public service events, its press releases will go to the top of the stack. Make sure that whoever writes the press releases follows the standard press release format.

 

  • Social media: Of course, the company will need to promote the event on all its social media channels. But don’t stop publicizing the event after it’s over. Build the fear of missing out (FOMO) for the next event by showing photos and videos.

 

  • Promotional apparel and other gear: Done right, this low-cost strategy can pay off dividends throughout the year as a silent reminder that this event is indeed worthy of special apparel, commemorative pens, or coffee mugs.

 

  • Get other organizations involved: Non-profit organizations, like churches, mosques, temples—or secular social service groups may help you spread the word. Most of these institutions are understaffed and will be glad that the company is tackling some of the undone tasks that help them serve their clientele.

 

  • Support the efforts of like-minded companies and non-profits: Do volunteer work for some of these organizations. Without even a hint of coercion, encourage employees to do likewise. Make sure that they know that the company won’t penalize them for not participating. Nothing ruins a good deed like a sourpuss participant.

 

Finally, Brainstorm after the Event to Improve the Next One

 

Look at what went wrong and what went right. How could the event attract more people? How could the company reach more people with the goods or services the event provided? Get input from both beneficiaries and participants, from both employees and upper management. Brainstorm with the heads of the local social service agencies to see what needs are the most crucial and find a way to incorporate some of those needs into the next event.

 

With careful planning, a company can position its brand as one that looks after the welfare of not only itself, but also the community at large. That kind of branding can help the company grow its visibility all year long.

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