Are you focusing on the wrong benefits of your products?

28Jul10

A few months ago, I dropped a water glass while I was in the process of drying it off. The glass shattered into what seemed like a million pieces, and it took a good 45 minutes to clean up the mess. By then, I had finally had it with easily-broken glasses. Without further delay, I headed straight to my computer and ordered an unbreakable drinking mug.

The model I chose is stainless steel with some sort of plastic covering on the outside, and includes a sturdy handle so you can pick it up with ease. Overall, the stainless steel mug is a huge improvement over drinking water out of a glass. Compared to regular glasses or mugs, the advantages are numerous:

– It keeps drinks hot or cold for a longer period of time.

– It won’t shatter if you drop it.

– It almost never sweats or develops condensation in hot weather.

Interestingly, only the first benefit (keeping drinks hot or cold longer) was part of the manufacturer’s sales pitch. I discovered the other ones on my own. And this makes me wonder how many sales they’re missing out on, simply because the people designing and marketing the product don’t understand all the ways that customers value it. Who knows, they might sell twice as many units if they focused on the unbreakable aspect, or the way it stays dry in the summer.

Of course, every product manufacturer faces this same challenge. You can never really be sure that you’re shining the spotlight on the most salient benefits of your product, and that you’re getting that message to the right target market. In the case of high quality drinking mugs, I’m sure there are a lot of other klutzes out there just like me who would love to replace traditional glasses with an unbreakable alternative. And if it’s a sweat-proof mug that keeps liquids hot or cold for hours while looking stylish and modern, that’s all the better.



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