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11/9/2010 Two Imperatives for a Product Marketin…

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Two Imperatives for a Product Marketing Strategy Offerings

John Melendez 3 QQ-36 0 Battle Will Produ ce No Winner

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Seeking Marketing Advice
My business colleague Sam works for the marketing departm ent of a manufacturing firm. Recently he shared with
5 Poly 's Sept. Contracted Sales Exceed RMB 9
me his concerns over how his com pany was marketing its products. The com petition Sam’s employer is up
bln on Strong Dema nd from Lower -Tier
against has grown three-fold within the last year. Thus making the value pitch has been getting harder and harder
to push through. Cities

After hearing Sam out for a few minutes, I told him , “It looks like your company needs to re-think its marketing

His answer: “Exactly!”
Imperatives for Marketing Strategy
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Sam said he didn’t want to waste m y tim e discussing sem antic marketing analysis methodology – SWOT All news Marco Markets Finance
analyses and the like, Rather, he wanted some practical, com mon-sens e advice. Talk Business & Industry Opinion
Breaking news
I told him to s tart his new plan with at least two things in m ind:

• Transparent Value

• Non-Replicable Design

Transparent Value

What better product is there whose value is readily s een? Jus t as it is with those many s oftware products boas ting
“feature-rich” this and “robus t” that – there is little to no value in a product whose benefits aren’t readily apparent.

Practical thinking advises to m anufacture (or at least package) a product with a relevant nam e, appealing graphics
and user instructions that render im minently clear value. That’s it.

On the second point…

Non-Replicable Design

If ABC com pany makes a one-piece gizm o with no inherently exclus ive design attributes, then what’s to s top the
competitor from beginning production of the same product a few weeks later?

On the one hand, there are cus tomers who do pay attention to detail, and are able to point out quality features that
make Com pany A’s product stand out from the rest. They’ll buy your product. On the other hand, quality m eans
nothing to the many other buyers who hand over their cash to buy a cheaper product that they feel is es sentially the
sam e.

Practical thinking advises to design a product whose unique features and benefits are extrem ely difficult to
replicate. For example, some companies design their products bas ed on standards or attributes establis hed in-
company. These standards only enable product use in conjunction with another product in your line. Or they may
expire after a designated time. Or they have other attributes that limit its m anufacture to just one producer – your

An Example in Non-Replicability

For exam ple, many laptop computers com e with a specially-sized replaceable battery. While bootleg battery
manufacturers might easily be able to replicate the battery’s external and internal features, they might not be able
to replicate the battery’s “digital signature” or the other s ubtle technologies that restrict the laptop circuitry itself
from connecting to, dis charging from, or recharging the battery.

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11/9/2010 Two Imperatives for a Product Marketin…
This technology renders the counterfeit battery us eless, and thus helps protect the m arket share of legitim ate
replacement battery manufacturers .

Leverage Other Tools to Support Non-Replicability

Supplement your product’s non-replicability with all other available forms of protection. These could include claims
to copyright (for intellectual property) and patents on specific design features (for tangible goods ).

John Melendez is a US-b ased journalist, business consultant, and former expatriate resident of China:
johnm .

Tags: Marketing,bus iness,strategy

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