The best question in marketing is “so what?”
You can solve a problem. Cool. So what?
You can help people reach a goal. Nice. So what?
What more do people need before they’re at the point they really dreamed of when they bought from you? Why should they really care about what you’re offering them?
For example, no one hires me to get more sales. They hire me to provide a better life for their family. To make a difference in more people’s lives. To be free to live the life they want.
No matter how menial the product or service you sell is, there’s a greater goal it relates to. With marketing, the connection is quite clear. It’s not always so.
Let’s say you sell coffee beans. The greater goal your customers have could be about feeling energetic and getting things done effortlessly. It could be a number of other things, but let’s say that’s your target customer.
Coffee helps your customers get closer to that goal, but no one’s going to think it’s enough. And that’s why coffee is mostly a commodity. You might cut prices until there’s nearly no profit left. Or you could try to make a big deal of how sunny the hills the coffee was grown on are, but you aren’t the only one whose coffee saw some sun (so, why would people care?).
What would, then, be a superior offer?
Let’s rethink the whole thing. Instead of just selling coffee beans to people who happen to walk by your store or stumble onto your site one day, let’s sell a monthly subscription. And let’s make it $97. Or $197. Per month.
Clearly that’s not just a bag of coffee beans anymore. We need to give people a lot more than their daily caffeine spike. We need to help them get closer to that dream of feeling energetic and getting things done.
Here’s our new offer (i.e., what we sell).
It’s a monthly subscription that includes:
- An exclusive presentation each month by a productivity or health related expert
- A customers-only Facebook group where anyone can ask for help if they don’t know how to do something, so they won’t get stuck
- An online course on how to optimize their diet, so they have energy throughout the day
- A monthly package of supplements that help them feel energetic every day from morning to evening
- An online course on how to improve their brain function, so they get more things done and have better ideas effortlessly
- A monthly package of supplements that help their brain work at its best
- An online course on how to structure their days to work with—not against—their natural circadian rhythm (sleep cycle)
At $97/month that’s a steal. Even at $197/month, it’s still perfectly reasonable if the monthly presentations are good and the Facebook group works well. (Details definitely require more polishing.) Sure, this offer comes with its own challenges, but generally, the better the offer, the more manageable the challenges are and the higher the rewards for solving them.
All that is to say, before you cut your prices, consider if you can improve your offer instead.
And yes, you can still sell coffee by the bag if someone’s buying. Having a new, better offer doesn’t mean you have to scrap everything else about your business.