Weekly Column: 2017-05-12

Recently, more customers have been searching out ALC21 and the requests for consultations have increased. We were able to meet with good companies often, and sometimes we would come across unique ideas or products. Although they have good products, a common problem they face is they cannot make many sales, and this may be due to marketing. Of course, letting consumers know that your services or products are good is marketing, but can you justify not being able to raise sales with just marketing? In other words, if you effectively market, will it really lead to sales growth?

There is one thing I always strongly advise my customers about.  You must be the most memorable, so you must be the best. As you market, the most important thing is to differentiate your products or services. Because similar products still have differences between them, marketing can bring out their differences and transform them into something new. In the recent market, there are two types of products: new products and the imitations of those products with supplemented additions. However, even if a new product or service is better, ultimately, it cannot beat the original.

During the second half of 2014, Honey Butter Chips were insanely popular in Korea, up to the point of going out of stock. Despite the plethora of imitation products, some tasting better than the original, the popularity of the Honey Butter Chips could not be beaten. Many consumers sought the original regardless of taste or price. Although they were interested in the new imitations, they did not give much thought about which was better.

It is very difficult to change the existing habits of consumers without tremendous effort. When Pepsi-Cola was first released, they marketed their cola as tastier than that of Coca-Cola. However, this backfired by exposing the Coca-Cola brand more. Coca-Cola has long been synonymous with cola, and consumers remember cola as Coca-Cola.

That said, the world only remembers the one who comes in first. For example, people all over the world remember Neil Armstrong as the first man on the moon in history, but no one remembers the name of the second man to walk on the moon. If this is true, the secret in succeeding in marketing is to be the original, to be the first and remain in the memories of consumers. However, many companies overlook this and try to create better goods or services through benchmarking, which does not produce big results. Of course, you may be able to create better products or services than the original but, according to the law of marketing, the value of a product is created by consumer awareness.  Therefore, it is not easy to gain an advantage over consumer awareness with just a better product.

The most important thing is to differentiate the products or services so that it becomes the original thing in the consumer's mind. It must be remembered as first rather than to emphasize the superiority of an imitated product or comparing them through marketing. If you become the best in a new area and grow in that area, the product or service you produce will be remembered as the original to consumers.

Are you thinking about trying to market by differentiating your products or services? If so, I highly suggest that you start highlighting the differences of your products as original in your marketing. If your products or services are remembered to be the first by consumers, rather than trying to convince them your products are better, you will be able to become a leader in that area and increasing sales through marketing will not be as difficult.