Define Your Product – The Branding Pen, Article 5

Just as it’s important to define who your ideal client is, it’s also important to accurately and specifically define your product or service. Knowing the details of exactly what you’re selling will further help you target your ideal customer, because you now know specifically what problem of theirs you can solve and how you can help them. You’ve already figured out who they are and where you can find them, and that’s half the battle.

Define Your Product

Read through the following and then complete the worksheet to answer all the questions. When you’re finished you will have a much better idea of not only what you’re selling, but why you’re selling it, and this is what will help you to focus your marketing in the right places, to the right people.

  1. What is it that you’re selling? This is a fairly easy question to answer. Is it a physical product or a service? If it’s a product, what are the characteristics of it, i.e. color, size, shape, weight, features, etc.? If it’s a service, define it down to the most minute detail, if you can. The more specific, the better. For example, if you’re a cattle rancher, what breed do you specialize in? What color cattle sell the best? Do you sell mostly bulls or replacement heifers? Even if your service or product will work for multiple audiences, be specific and pick a specialty so that you can more easily market it. The other folks will still find you, but the people you really want to work with will have an easier time finding you, and that’s important. (See my article on “Why You Should Stick with Clients Who Fit Your Target Niche“.)
  2. Who will buy your product or service? What is this person like? – We’ve already determined this in figuring out who your ideal client is, so we won’t answer the question again in this worksheet, but keep it in mind as you’re answering the other questions.
  3. What problem does it solve for your potential buyer? Everything solves a problem! If you’re selling cattle, as in the example above, what problem will it solve for the owner? Do the bulls you sell handle certain terrain better than others, so they would be suitable for ranchers in mountainous areas? Or, another example would be if you’re selling horses. Will they win more, have more fun, be safer? Knowing what problem your product or service solves for your clients is key to figuring out how you will approach them and market to them. They need to understand that you “get” it, and you know where they’re coming from, thus you’ll be able to really help them.
  4. How is it different from what everyone else is offering? Now this one can stump some of us, but there is always something that sets our product or service apart from everyone else. Always. For example, maybe you offer delivery of your bulls or heifers to buyers. Or maybe your horses have some kind of training that others typically aren’t getting. Maybe the foals you’re selling are by a stallion that is known to produce winners. Maybe you’re offering complimentary bonus lessons for people that purchase your horses. Figure out what it is that sets your product apart from everyone else and make sure people know it.
  5. What are the features vs. the benefits of your product or service? And there is a difference between features and benefits. Buyers really only care about how it will benefit them in the end. What’s in it for them? It really IS all about them! For example, maybe buying a horse from you means that the buyer will get 4 free lessons to really learn how to get the most from that horse’s training. This is a feature. The benefit to the buyer is that they will have more fun, be safer, win more stuff, etc. Get it?
  6. You are not selling just a product or service. Nope. You’re selling a memory, an experience, a feeling…. something that shouldn’t be easily forgotten. Even if you’re not selling horses, which all by themselves create experiences worth remembering, your product…or how you do, or DON’T deliver it…will provide someone with some feeling, memory or experience that they will remember, for better or worse. A perfect example of this are some Chevy truck commercials that aired on TV a few years ago, about a woman and her truck, a man and his truck … the “STRONG” campaign. Chevy hit the nail on the head with these! The first time I saw the commercial about the woman and her truck, if I didn’t already own a heavy duty truck, I’d have gone out and bought a Chevy. I wanted to BE that woman (not only because she’s tall and skinny), but because she is bad-ass, and I just might be that bad-ass if I drive a Chevy, like she does. Okay, I’m not that gullible, but that is the emotion, the memory, the experience that you want to be associated with your product, if  you can, because that is what makes people buy from you. Check out the commercials here if you haven’t seen them already!

Now that you have a better idea of why you need to define your product, download this worksheet to help you with the how.

Define Your Product Worksheet


Click here to view all the articles in The Branding Pen Series.

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