Marketing a new product people don't understand

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Hi guys,

I've developed a physical product that I'm trying to sell via my website. It's a kit which allows you to make lanyards, fix/improve backpacks/luggage, restring your shoes and many other things with shock cord(bungee cord). Could be nobody wants the product...

I'm not sure how to communicate what my product does. It's very useful in a diverse range of applications, but it's diversity makes it hard to choose talking points for my marketing.

I'm also having trouble building a customer avatar. Basically this could appeal to anybody who does outdoor recreation or works with a lot of tools. My plan is to target the really enthusiastic "Every Day Carry" guys who are already spending thousands on lights,knives,etc and try to expend after capturing that segment of the market.
Because the product is very creative, there's a possibility people will post their creations online making future customers more understanding of the product.

I've done a tiny forum promotion which sold 1 unit and I've run $70 in Google ads which sold 0.

The Google ads keyword report shows that the people were probably looking for a different type of product.

What do you guys think? I'm considering attempting some video ads showcasing the product on Youtube(linking to my funnel of course.). Perhaps also reaching out to smaller Youtube channels in the genre which may be open to doing a review in exchange for the product.

Thanks all
#marketing #people #product #understand
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  • Profile picture of the author tnob
    I like the YouTube ideas.

    Have you thought about actually going out in public with your product and just talking to people to get their input? Maybe target a store in a mall that your customer would be shopping at?

    COVID may prohibit you from doing this, but if not, might be a good route.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
      Thanks!


      Yes, I plan to market via gun shows in the future. They have a lot of them near me and a table is only ~$50. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance due to covid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I'm not sure how to communicate what my product does

    You need to determine WHAT you are selling - what the most useful and needed applications are.


    You need to identify your potential audience... the hikers, campers, boaters, fishermen, bikers, climbers, etc etc....are a logical target group. Then there are handymen, gardeners, sportsmen such as hunters....etc.


    Do you have a site/blog for the product? Do you have videos showing various uses of the product? Are there any similar products? It there a "need" for the product? These are things you need to research and make decisions on.


    A blog where you encourage buyers to list new ways they've found to use the product could be good when you begin getting sales. Find every use you can for the product and feature THOSE in videos and posts on the blog..but don't feature 'does everything' in ads. Identify needs and focus ads on those. Test and tweak ads and tighten target market till you see some results.



    My plan is to target the really enthusiastic "Every Day Carry" guys who are already spending thousands on lights,knives,etc and try to expend after capturing that segment of the market.

    That is not 'a plan' - it's a dream. Just because people have money to spend does not mean they throw money at every product advertised.



    Curious - what is an 'every day carry' guy?
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
      Thank you!!

      You need to determine WHAT you are selling - what the most useful and needed applications are.
      I've developed the clunky but accurate one liner "Most people lose a lot of gear. At TruRugged we've built a lanyard making kit so you'll never lose your expensive gear again.".

      This is the base of the product. The other uses are peripheral(Although there are many. For example it's useful to replace the little zipper pulls on things when they break.).

      Do you have a site/blog for the product? Do you have videos showing various uses of the product? Are there any similar products? It there a "need" for the product? These are things you need to research and make decisions on.
      Yes I have a site. It is against the rules to link it, correct? It's called the TruRugged Lanyard Kit.
      I'm working on videos... They keep coming out poorly. I do however have an army of photographs I've taken of potential uses. I also have a tiny blog I'm working on with info on the product.

      You need to identify your potential audience... the hikers, campers, boaters, fishermen, bikers, climbers, etc etc....are a logical target group. Then there are handymen, gardeners, sportsmen such as hunters....etc.
      Herein lies the main problem. Do I make a separate funnel/email sequence for each subtype of customer? What type of language do I use in my copy? "Hey guys"?
      It's hard to drill down on a potential customer when your customer is "One of the following groups.".

      By "Every Day Carry"(EDC) I mean the guys who are into carrying lots of knives,flashlights,guns,etc every day. It's a whole online genre. There's a big subreddit, forums, Youtube channels,etc just dedicated to EDC.

      I think this is the logical group to aim my early marketing efforts towards. These are guys who post pictures of their $500 flashlight collections. Wouldn't you want to spend $35 to accessorize them?

      My thought is that these people would be likely early adopters. If I can then get some of those people to start posting reviews, etc then people who aren't "EDC guys" will search for my product and still find those reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    There are methods for validating your idea online, but before delving into that, another simple/"old school" method to supplement tnob's suggestion of influencer promotions and mall demos/focus groups (both can work!) that can yield dividends and help you decide fast without a big cash outlay ... is simply engaging with your personal network. Personal emails, phone calls, Skypes, even live meetings when applicable. Do people who know you care enough to purchase it? This can feel scary to some who instead opt for other methods (ads, etc) ... but imo it can be a very useful way to get honest feedback (or potentially referrals to folks closer to your product target) that helps you validate and/or refine your positioning.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
      Thanks!

      Yes, I have sold them to people I know personally. I even had one friend purchase 3 for Christmas gifts.

      I haven't been able to sell them in other ways offline due to covid however.

      What I did to develop the product from my original prototype was to go onto a flashlight forum and do a free giveaway of one of my earlier products in exchange for feedback.
      From this I was able to get feedback from 28 people in my target demographic and their input was fairly consistent. I designed the final Minimum Viable Product based on their input.
      However, out of these 28 people that I got on my list in the giveaway I was only able to sell one unit.


      The website is clunky and unprofessional and I don't have any videos. Perhaps I should simply hire someone to clean up the site and someone to make me videos...
      I'm good at photography but I hate talking to a camera...
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
        Got it. Ok - well certainly sounds like you've done some of the important initial legwork. Good to know. I do think ROIGuys' suggestions to improve your images and target some of those outdoors/niche groups are really solid. I also think Serene's suggestion of finding EDC instagram people is worthwhile. You might be surprised about the depth of that niche on IG. As visuals naturally dominate the platform, this is another reason to make certain to put high priority on product images. Last - have you explored explainer videos and companies that do them? Can find ppl who specialize in these on Upwork or Freelancer, and they can be a very effective way of portraying (and selling) your product
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        • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
          Should I just start emailing Instagram people and trying to work out a deal? I'm reaching out to Youtubers now to get some reviews.

          I'm trying to find somebody to do a good product demo video. I've been using Fiverr; Should I switch to one of those platforms?
          Problem is that everyone on Fiverr wants the instructions to be spoon fed to them. I'm working on a script today...

          Do you actually think selling retail is a possibility? I figured selling via direct marketing would be the easiest(also I can offer lower prices).
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          • Profile picture of the author Serene Carmen
            For videos have you looked at viralecomadz.com? There was also another company which I have forgotten the name of. I'll see if I can find it.

            Also have a look at ecomxads.com. You don't need to write a script for these companies.
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            • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
              In addition to specialist companies, Upwork certainly has people who could help on the video front, too. Something to consider.

              RE: IG - I forgot to ask: You mentioned you don't have a personal page, but do you maintain a business presence there for EDC products or otherwise? If not, you might still try connecting to see about getting your website and product featured. If you do have business IG and are attempting to grow there, however, getting your stuff featured on peoples' page can be a great way to build your brand. This requires good pictures and some research and outreach (every IG'er may be different on the kind of deal to strike) ... but imo can be worth that effort (esp for some smaller (non fitness and beauty) niches)
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              • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
                I don't have any business IG. I've focused on forums.

                That's a good idea. I'll get started on the IG...

                Thanks!
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                • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
                  Cool. Let us know how it goes! Might also suggest checking out Gary Vee's "$1.80 instagram strategy" for some practical guidance on how to grow your brand there..
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  • Profile picture of the author ROIGuy
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
      1) Do you mean my photographs? Or my Logo? The logo sucks but I'm stuck with it for now...
      2) I will be offering an affiliate deal very soon.

      3) Do you really think selling via retailers is viable? I thought most companies launched online then down the road you can get into stores.
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  • Profile picture of the author Serene Carmen
    Hi Andrew

    Do you think instagram influencer marketing (in your niche) might work? It sounds like it would do well with someone demonstrating the different ways it would be used.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Chase
      Perhaps! I'll look into that. I didn't consider Instagram because I don't use it personally.
      Thanks
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