We are creatures of habit. American families, on average, buy the same 150 products over and over again, which make up 85 percent of their household needs, according to research out of Harvard Business School. So how can you get people to take a chance on your new business and become loyal customers?
The trick is helping customers overcome their initial hesitation and making your new item speak to customers in a relatable way.
Here are five ways to help your product sell itself in a crowded marketplace:
1. Broadcast your advantage. What makes you better than everyone else in the industry? Be clear with customers from the start. Perceived advantage is built on factors like greater prestige, more convenience, superior effectiveness or better value for the money.
Even cleaning products, the most mundane of all consumer necessities, can win using this theory. For example, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers solved the problems that previous spray-on liquid cleaners claimed to, with the added advantage of not damaging the paint on walls as competitors’ products did. The brand made this ability to remove touch marks without damaging walls clear through a TV ad campaign that demonstrated the product at work. This provided positive reinforcement to consumers before they made their purchase.
2. Fit into your customer’s routine. How much effort is required for customers to make the transition from a current product to yours? If the cost is more than its relative advantage, most people won’t try the new product. Febreze seems like one of those success stories — and it is — but even P&G can make mistakes with their branding, as was the case with Febreze Scentstories. In 2004, the company launched a $5.99 scent “player” that was reminiscent of a CD player with five scent discs that changed every half hour. Consumers were confused. They couldn’t tell if the product played music, freshened air or did both. Not knowing how or why they would use it, they didn’t.
3. Work right out of the box. When building new products, don’t add work for the buyer. Make your product work as intended the first time out and every time thereafter. A kink-free garden hose, for example, should be kink free the first time and the hundredth time; a children’s toy should be easy to assemble; and you should never expect a busy mom to spend more than five minutes figuring out how to use a new slow-cooker.
4. Make benefits easy to spot. The more evident the perceived advantages, the more your product will market itself. For example, the clear plastic packaging of 3M’s Command line of removable hooks allows you to see and understand how the product enables you to hang and remove a hook without leaving a hole in the wall.
5. Let customers try it out. Tea bags were first used as giveaways so that people could sample tea without buying large tins, vastly improving the “trial-ability” of brewed tea, and eventually tea bags. Samples, giveaways and store demonstrations are tried-and-true techniques for risk-free experimentation. If you can’t afford to give your product away, offer a tempting discount or “buy one get one” deal. Depending on your product and core customer, you can use sites like Gilt.com or Travel Zoo to make enticing offers.
Local products or services benefit from actual social interaction: an informal gathering in a home where guests can “play” with the product or try the service, a farmer’s or open-air market where consumers can touch and taste what you’re selling and meet you. The easier something is to try, the faster customers will want to buy it.
By Debra Kaye
Nissan to recall over 40,000 cars due to malfunction of brake fluid leak
Japanese automaker gaint Nissan says, it’s recalling nearly 400,000 vehicles in the U.S. because of a braking system defect that could cause them to catch fire.
Users and Owners are advised to park affected vehicles outside and away from structures if the anti-lock brake system warning light comes on for more than 10 seconds.
The Japanese automaker says a pump seal may become worn down and cause brake fluid to leak. “If the warning is ignored … the brake fluid leak may potentially create an electrical short in the actuator circuit, which in rare instances, may lead to a fire,” the company says in documents sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall affects four different models in the U.S.: the Nissan Murano SUV, model years 2015 to 2018; Maxima sedans, model years 2016 to 2018; and the Infiniti QX60 and Nissan Pathfinder SUVs, model years 2017 to 2019.
Nissan says in a statement emailed to NPR that it is working on a fix and that owners of affected vehicles will be notified beginning in early December 2019. “Once the remedy is available, owners will receive a final notification letter asking them to bring their vehicle to an authorized Nissan dealer or INFINITI retailer to have the remedy work completed at no cost for parts or labor,” the company says.
This isn’t the first time Nissan has had problems with brake fluid leaks. Last year, for example, Nissan recalled more than 215,000 vehicles. The automaker says vehicles in the 2018 recall that haven’t been repaired are included in the current recall.
World food prices hike for first time in five months: U.N. FAO
World food prices rose for the first time in five months in October, boosted by jumps in quotations for sugar and cereals, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 172.7 points in October, up 1.7% on the previous month and 6.0% year-on-year.
FAO also predicted that cereal production would be 2.704 billion tonnes in 2019, slightly lower than its last forecast.
The FAO sugar price index jumped 5.8% from September levels, largely because of expectations of lower supplies in the year ahead following forecasts of large reductions in sugar output in India and Thailand.
The cereal price index rose 4.2%, with wheat and maize export prices climbing on the back of reduced crop prospects in several major producing countries and “robust trade activity”. By contrast, rice prices fell, hit by subdued demand and expectations of an abundant basmati harvest.
The vegetable oil price index increased 0.5% to reach its highest level in more than a year, while the meat price index rose 0.9%, driven by higher import demand especially from China.
By contrast, the dairy price index dropped 0.7% in October, as lower quotations for cheese offset increases in those for skimmed and whole milk powders, FAO said.
FAO lowered its forecast for global cereal production in 2019 by some 2 million tonnes, pegging world cereal output at 2.704 billion tonnes, but still up 1.8% from 2018 levels.
The U.N. agency said worldwide coarse grain production in 2019 was seen at 1.425 billion tonnes, down 1.3 million on the previous forecast.
Wheat output was seen at 765 million tonnes, down nearly 1 million tonnes on the last outlook, but still on course to set a new record and up 4.5% on 2018 levels.
The forecast for global rice production was put at 513.4 million tonnes, little changed on the previous forecast and slightly below 2018 levels.
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