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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Spring into Summer with Low-Cost Event Marketing

Everyone looks forward to summer’s classic events: the fairs, the food festivals, the outdoor concerts, the community ice cream socials, the antique car drive-ins that bring yesterday along for a ride, and of course, the fireworks.

 

Smart businesses look forward to these events, too. Not just because they’re great ways to get out of the office for a while, but for their potential for low-cost marketing. While everyone’s out on the streets, these companies find a way to cash in on the summer fun.

 

Here are some ideas for marketing a business at outdoor events.

 

Food and Beverage Events

 

Many food-related businesses have booths at these events. For example, if a town holds a July Zucchini festival, a baker might want to sell her zucchini bread a Turkish restaurant their trademark mucver, an egg-and dill-laden zucchini pancake, and an Italian restaurant its fresh fried zucchini dipped in its famous marinara. Other businesses, too, can get in on the act. The local garden supply store could sponsor a prize zucchini contest, giving away some of its nature-sourced fertilizer to the winner. If a business can figure out an angle to get involved, its customers will associate its name with the fun times at the annual event.

 

Outdoor Sports Events

 

Stock car races, horse shows, baseball games, and marathons are all popular summer sports events. Sports gear stores, bottled water distributors, and health food stores can all capitalize on event sponsorship. A company’s name on a competitor’s uniform, number, or t-shirt, free bottles of water bearing the company’s logo handed out to competitors, all can get a company’s name out there, showing local residents its community pride. Even if a company’s business has nothing to do with sports, becoming a sponsor for an event can go a long way to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the local economy.

 

County and Community Fairs

 

Whether a company wants to walk around handing out free merchandise or sit in a booth demonstrating its new air conditioner, fairs present promotional opportunities galore. Imagine how effective an air conditioner company could be—demonstrating how its product cools the passersby as they head underneath the grandstand in search of relief from the sun. How many icemakers could a company sell simply by handing out ice-filled glasses of lemonade at its booth? Other businesses who sell services often sell raffle tickets to win a day at their spa, a free pass at their swimming pool, an interior design consultation, or a week-long vacation in the mountains at their resort.

 

Market the Company’s Presence at the Event

 

It’s not good enough just to show up, swag in hand. Businesses who succeed in summer event marketing publicize their participation long before the event begins. A small ad in the local paper, plenty of hype on the company’s social media page, and a special banner on the company website can clue potential customers in that they’ll miss out if they don’t look you up at the event.

 

Finally, Choose the Right People to Staff the Event

 

Summer festivals demand fun-loving, outgoing personnel to staff their giveaways or display booths. An employee who melts in the sun like a popsicle won’t do the company any favors if s/he won’t be as enthusiastic at closing time as s/he is in the morning. Just because an employee has an extensive knowledge of a product means little if his or her product demos cause customers to think of the Grinch.

 

Keep an upbeat presence at summer events, market the product with enthusiasm, and support the community. The business will gain new customers, and you’ll get out of the office and have a great time. Isn’t that what summer’s for, anyway?

 

 

 

 

 

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An Indispensable Low-Cost Marketing Toolkit for Startups

Marketing success on limited budget

When a new business launches, money can be tight. Yet marketing is a must. Otherwise, potential customers will likely never find it—online or in real life. Here are some tools that a startup business can use to jumpstart its marketing strategy:

 

 

Wix

 

To succeed in today’s competitive environment, it’s a must for a business to have a website. User-friendly Wix allows a business to create a website with little effort. With its easy-to-use drag and drop templates, a business can customize its website for a professional, brand-forward look. Although creating a Wix website is free, a company is better off, though, to purchase its own domain. Purchasing a domain is a cost-efficient way to have an easy-to-find web address that better reflects the new brand.

 

GoDaddy

 

A low-cost, user-friendly tool, GoDaddy allows a business to purchase its own customized domain. Brainstorm several choices before buying, though. Choose a name that customers can remember easily, one whose meaning relates to the company’s products or services.

 

eFax

 

Can’t afford a fax machine? eFax is a low-cost monthly subscription service from which businesses can send and receive faxes without the costly alternative. Having such a service will allow a business to communicate quickly and easily with customers and potential customers, giving the company an opportunity to generate excellent online reviews, which, in turn, will grow the customer base for the business.

 

MailChimp

 

Email marketing is one of the best ways to communicate with current customers and make new ones. The trick is to avoid spamming (use double opt-ins) and provide usable information that helps the receiver solve tough challenges. MailChimp is a low-cost (free for low-volume users) email solution that allows a company to send out email newsletter, coordinate them with social media, and maintain a segmented database to which a business can send targeted mails to certain segments of the customer base. User-friendly interfaces and a double opt-in system makes MailChimp a great way for a new business to get its email strategy off the ground.

 

Quality Promotional Gear

 

It doesn’t have to be expensive to make an impression. Useful freebies that a company can hand out build goodwill while getting the company’s name out in front of more eyes—in effect, allowing customers to be the company’s “advertising agency.” Most promotional gear is low in cost and high in ROI (return on investment.

 

Social Media

 

A startup should look at its potential customer base to discover which social media platforms they use most. Target these platforms, make the company’s presence known, and keep the lines of communication open through sharing useful information, fast responses, and ongoing conversations.

 

Skype or Google Hangouts

 

Video meetings are a must for today’s startups. When a company needs to speak face-to-face with customers or colleagues, yet distance intervenes, a free video platform like Skype or Google Hangouts is indispensable for conferences, meetings, or teaching.

 

Fiverr.com

 

It’s tough to find local graphic designers who can create the kinds of logos that can give your business a memorable face without spending a ton of money. Fiverr gives companies access to thousands of affordable freelance designers from all around the world who can create quality, eye-catching logos that will stick in your customers’ minds for years.

 

GetaCopywriter.com

 

To get the attention of customers and search engines alike, a company needs effective written copy for its website, social media posts, print ads, and media ads. A low-cost service that employs only native English-speaking, pre-screened writers, Get a Copywriter provides quality copy for a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house professional copywriter or signing with a pricey Madison Avenue advertising firm.

 

With these low-cost tools at the ready, a startup business can get off the ground easily. Small businesses, too, can benefit from these user-friendly marketing tools.

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