Nov 14, 2012
Capitalizing on Current Trends
Don’t sell ice in the winter unless you happen to be a very good sales person. The next “be” is about being timely. How are you capitalizing on the current trends in the marketplace. Your product development, web design, strategic partnerships, and marketing all need to have good timing and relevant messages in order to be successful.
Example 1: Blendtec
One of my favorite examples of embracing new marketing strategies is one of my all time favorite companies (and products) Blendtec. Blendtec was formed in 1975 from an idea to do a process easier. Tom Dickson found a better way to mill flour and created products to do just that. They had their market, and found success.
Blendtec filled a very unique niche and found success serving it’s customers. As far as much expansion, unless you were interested in that sort of product likely you would have never heard of the company Blendtec. Enter the Internet. Someone at Blendtec got the brilliant idea to create a YouTube series entitled “Will it Blend”. As you can imagine, this would develop quite a following.
From iPhones to batteries, Nike Shoes to 2×4’s, the “Will it Blend” series has brought exposure to a whole new audience. Tom has been blending various items for years in order to test his products durability. Now they have harnessed the power of the internet to attract a whole new audience. Blendtec recently announced that they are expanding their facilities by a huge amount to try to keep up with the rapid growth. Again, this is a company that for the last 30 years was a small local producer of kitchen products.
Did Blendtec take advantage of good timing? You bet they did. Not only did they harness the power of the Internet but they also modified their product to fit their new buyers. Brilliant. What’s great is that Blendtec is not alone in their success. They are among a growing group of businesses and innovators that are changing the way people buy.
The “Will it Blend” show touches on another point that I want to make clear. I believe that this current recession that we are going through, coupled with the Internet, has given the consumer a never before peek at who is behind the products they buy. They not only see the widget, but learn something of it’s makers passion. I cannot think of a better way to foster an emotional bond for the business and its users. That bond goes farther than what a salesman could ever create. That’s why those businesses are succeeding.
Example 2: Pandora
Who doesn’t love Pandora? Their service is a perfect example of practicing good timing.
Pandora was formed in the early 2000’s about the same time that digital music was really taking off. Of course all the attention was on Napster and how they were dancing in the grey area of legality. I’m not going to go into a discussion on the history of Napster here, but I think its important to point out it’s timing as related to Pandora.
Pandora was always a good idea. The user, types in his or her favorite musician or song and instantly they have a custom mix that matches their preference. Through time, the user can select thumbs up or thumbs down on a song that the system matches for them, and in essence Pandora gains knowledge on the users likes and dislikes. The user’s Pandora channel becomes a living thing as it is shaped and molded to the unique user. An incredible idea with incredible results.
Pandora had one major obstacle, they didn’t know how to make any money at it. Through the years they tried different ways to stay in the black, all unsuccessful. Everybody loved their service, they just loved it for free. By 2008, Pandora was nearly bankrupt. The rumor around the Internet was that they were doomed. What a shame.
Pandora was at the crossroads. They could do the easy and expected thing and fade into the nights sky like so many other Internet businesses, or they could look for a new avenue to deliver their service. Here’s where the good timing comes into play. In 2008, another innovation hit the shelves: The iPhone.
Long story short, Apple releases the iPhone and Pandora was the featured app. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few years since we had access to services like Pandora on our mobile devices. From morning joggers to all night truck drivers, having the ability to carry and endless amount of music tailored to them became an essential piece of gear.
Was it successful? They went from an empty bank account in 2008 to making a 90 million dollar profit in the first three quarters of 2010. That’s one monumental turn around.
How is the timing in your company? Do you your products and services match the current trends of your target demographic? Is your marketing focused on the new avenues forged on the internet? The choice is yours. Change or die as they say.