Appeal to your customers: Solve their Problems

Smart marketing is everywhere!

It’s easy to see a great idea from one company and find ways to replicate it for your own business.

Because I love what I do, I’m always wearing my marketing hat and looking for inspiration and new ideas for my clients.

My most recent inspiration came from water balloons because they solve a parents’ problem (also my problem): quickly tying water balloons for excited, impatient kids.

Be a Problem Solver

Successful products or services solve customers’ problems and simply make their lives easier.  Problem solving delivers value and often justifies a higher price point.

For example, the Bunch O’ Balloons was around $20 or $7 for about 100 balloons.  In comparison, the manually tie water balloons are as cheap as $1 for 100. However, the less expensive water balloons take so much time to fill up and tie, which is a pain in the butt.  The Bunch O’ Balloons save parents a lot of time and hassle, so their kids can get to throwing water balloons faster.

 

Zuru Bunch O Balloons
One of the best problem-solving products for parents

Electrical Products that Solve Problems

Similar to the water balloon example, Pass & Seymour’s Plug Tail Wiring Device solves electrician’s problems with less than a minute installation and a reliable connection every time. This helps contractors increase productivity and stick to the overall project schedule to meet deadlines and keep their end customer satisfied.

Pass and Seymour Plug Tail
Plug Tail flyer for WESCO Distribution shortly after its launch.

Defining a Problem

Learn about your customers by first understanding their needs and wants, but continue to go deeper, asking about why they buy and how they use your product.  Typically surveys, focus groups, interviews or simple conversations can provide this information.

Consider the following customer touchpoints and factors:

  • Advertising / Promotion: How do customers learn that your product exists?
  • Distribution / Place: Where do customers find your product?
  • Competition: What other products are next to your product? How do customers choose what to buy? What sets your company apart from the competition?
  • Buying experience: How do they buy, order, and pay?
  • Additional options: How does delivery and installation occur (if applicable)? How is the product staged, stored, or moved around (e.g. multiple delivery times and locations)?
  • Usage: How is the customer using the product?
  • Product support: Where do customers go if they need help? This includes returns, exchanges and service needs.  What questions are customers asking?
  • End of life: How is the product disposed of?  Is it recycled or is there another service opportunity? For example, some carpet installers offer recycling.  Many appliance deliveries include free haul-away of the old appliances that are being replaced.  Maybe Bunch O Balloons can come up with an easier way to pick up the popped balloon bits.

    popped water balloons
    The aftermath of my kids’ fun with water balloons.

By asking a lot of questions, you can learn about your actual value propositions and uncover insights that may help future product or service development.

Simply Be Customer Focused

Companies that stay focused on the customer – solving their problems and listening to their feedback – will build stronger customer relationships, increase loyalty, and have research to support product improvements and ongoing innovation.

Need help aligning marketing efforts with your target customer? Get in touch to talk about your marketing.

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