Don’t just pull a price for your product or idea out of a magic bunny hat! In doing so you arrogantly think you know best
Ask yourself: “what are my competitors doing?” the balance of a price point can be found in what others are charging
Don’t under value your price point or you risk running a loss (or your cost of putting it to market is just way to high)
As a rule your minimum mark-up should be between 20-30% above cost of sale
Test the price point, don’t rely on dumb luck
Today we are going to look at something that is the next step in the process and that is preparing yourself to sell whatever you have out in the real world. We call this the dark art of “messaging”.
Now this is before you even get to the stage of developing a dir ect marketing strategy because what you now need to do is look at how you are going to connect with your audience or buyer. In doing so you need to consider how you or your brand will be presented to the market, what messages you want to send and ultimately, what imagery you want to use to deliver the message. At the end of the cycle is ensuring that whatever you put out there needs to reconnect your potential customer with your point of sale.
For example, let’s say you run a food delivery business. There are some pretty basic rules to follow when marketing your business to an end consumer and, unless you are Domino’s, you are probably more than likely going to use print marketing delivered into peoples letterboxes in the area immediately around your business. You will want to make sure that you have great pictures of the food people will end up getting that really look appealing. You’ll have obvious things such as price and menu, maybe even a picture of your great grandmother where the recipe came from. In that example the message you are trying to convey is very simple – buy my food because it looks great and if it looks great then it will taste great. Where it connects back to price is obviously if you are cost competitive with someone else. So, that’s a relatively stratight-forward example to deal with.
It gets more complicated when the business maybe service oriented or retail focussed around a particular product or brand. So let’s try and un-complicate things a little with a descriptor of the process. Firstly before you get down to the foundations of messaging you need to know that the communication process itself is best described as “sender – encoding – transmission – decoding – receiver”. Obviously you will be the sender – so lets simplify that stratight away! The second step is called encoding and takes a creative idea and turns it into attention getting advertisements or materials that are developed depending on the type of medium you will be using (such as print, television, radio etc.).
Of course the messages (whatever they may be) are transmitted through whatever medium you have selected onto a device where the intended recipient will receive it. Now this is where it gets really cool because if you get that messaging right then you have nailed it! In other words, the message you are sending, through whatever the medium is that you have chosen, transmitted and received on a device by the recipient needs to resonate with them.
In simple terms? Has whatever you got to sell connected with one or other emotions of the consumer or buyer. Now, I’m not going to step into the world of consumer behaviour just yet, that’s for another article, but let’s instead look at an example we are all more than familiar with and where lessons can still be learnt in terms of start-ups and small business. Its Coca Cola.
We all know that Coca Cola has been part of the world consumer experience for well over 100 years. It stands out from its competitors because it is able to connect with an audience on an emotional level whether that be through fun or funk or whatever. In fact if you were to re-launch the brand today would the same strategy still have currency? The answer is yes it would because they probably would still understand need ahead of step one, the design of the campaign and then onto what medium would be used. At a broader level they say they basically want to make the world a better place.
The following are some important lessons that writer Jeff Bullas wrote about a while back:
Lesson 1: Create Liquid Content
The purpose of content excellence is to create “Ideas” so contagious that they cannot be controlled this is what is called “liquid content”. On a social web people can easily share ideas, videos and photos on social networks such Facebook.
So create content that begs to be shared whether that be an image, a video or an article.
Lesson 2: Ensure your Content is Linked
The next part of the equation is to ensure that these ideas create content that is innately relevant to
The business objectives of your company
Your customer interests
This is “Linked” content…. Content that is relevant and connected to the companies goals and brand.
Ensure that the content communicates your message that is congruent with your mission and values.
Lesson 3: Create Conversations
Coca Cola has realised that the consumer creates more stories and ideas than they do so the goal is provoke conversations and then “Act” and “React” to those conversations 365 days of the year. The new “Distribution Technologies” of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook provide greater connectivity and consumer empowerment than ever before. Don’t just publish but interact with your audience and tribe.
Lesson 4. Move onto Dynamic Story Telling
On traditional media in the past, story telling was static and a one way street. Television and newspapers shouted at you with no means of interaction.
Coca Cola has come the realisation that to grow their business on the social web they need to move on from “One Way Story Telling” to “Dynamic Story Telling”
This means you need to allow the story to evolve as you interact and converse with your customers. You need to converse with your customers in many media formats and social networks.
Storytelling has moved on from static and synchronous to multifaceted, engaged and spreadable.
Lesson 5: Be Brave and Creative with Your Content Creation
Part of the new Coca Cola content strategy is applying a 70/20/10 Investment principle to creating “Liquid content“.
70% of your content should be low risk. It pays the rent and is your bread and butter marketing (should be easy to do and only consumes 50% of your time)
20% of your content creation should innovate off what works.
10% of your content marketing is high risk ideas that will be tomorrows 70% or 20%…. be prepared to fail
All this week we will be talking more in depth about marketing and pricing, communicating and messaging so watch this space!
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