January 2014

How does the Price of a Product Affect the Marketing Plan for the Product?

2014-08-24T15:29:47-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, grow|Tags: , , |

POINT: John Moore

The price of a product doesn’t necessarily affect its marketing plan. Objectives still need to be set. Strategies must be identified. Tactics need to be developed. Constraints (budget & timing) must be listed. None of that changes with low-priced or high-priced products.

What does change are the strategies and tactics needed, relative to how a product is priced given its competitive landscape.

As mentioned earlier, high priced products need a rich story behind it in order to justify its premium price. That story needs to come through in the strategies and tactics used to gain customer attention in hopes of earning a purchase.

How a product is priced relative to its competition will significantly affect its marketing plan.

The more competitors a product has, the more difficult it will be to gain customer attention.

The more similarly priced competitors a product has, the more difficult it will be to earn a purchase.

The onus is on the marketer to create imaginative strategies and tactics that breakthrough the cluttered competitive landscape.

Fast food retail marketers face this conundrum every day. Prices are similar across the board for fast food retailers. Every fast food retailer competes on price from Taco Bell to Burger King to Subway.

To standout from all their competitors, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Subway need to be more imaginative in what they say, when they say it, how they say it, and whom they say it to.

Taco Bell continuously showed creativity when they  were running their “Think Outside the Bun” marketing.

Burger King continuously tries to be more uniquely creative than McDonald’s in its marketing efforts. (Doesn’t always work for Burger King.)

Subway continuously, and with sharp focus, shows its creativity in marketing its $5 foot long sandwiches and in telling its eat healthy story.

The simple fact remains, a brand, no matter if its priced high or low, must be interesting to get customers interested. A marketing plan needs to follow through on the “be interesting” positioning.


I’m going to keep this one simple as I think the answer is simple… A great marketing plan won’t change based on the price of a product.

Whether you’re selling low-priced cotton swabs or multi-billion dollar cruise ships, the marketing plan should be geared to do the same thing:

Define ways to meaningfully engage with your intended participants (target audience) with the right message, in the right place, at the right time

Crackerjack Marketer

October 2013

Is Sampling (or Demonstrations) the Best Way to Drive Trial of a New Product?

2013-10-08T15:55:13-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , |

POINT: John Moore

“Give, and you shall receive.” It’s an old and overused proverb. And for good reason… it works.

The more kindness we give others, the more kindness we receive. The more knowledge we share with others, the more knowledge we personally receive in return. The more generous we are, the more generously we profit. (more…)

August 2013

How Can a Marketer Design and Implement a Great In-Store Marketing Program when Operations Demand a Clutter-Free Store?

2013-08-14T10:26:25-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, SandBlog|Tags: , , , , |

POINT: Paul Williams

The secret to clutter-free in-store programs is discipline.

The discipline to say No.

As a marketer at Starbucks we were responsible for building in-store programs. Our first step was to take a look at the inventory of products and programs and craft an engaging experience for customers. (more…)

July 2013

What Do Effective In-Store Marketing Campaigns Look Like?

2013-07-30T12:52:11-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

POINT: John Moore

Wow! That’s a meaty question. Let’s simplify this and focus on the importance of communicating to two audiences to make a retail marketing promotion successful.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from my retail marketing days at Starbucks is that marketing has two audiences: Customers AND Employees. (more…)

June 2013

How Should a Retail Brand Best Use Social Media?

2013-06-11T10:07:06-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, SandBlog, think|Tags: , , , , , |

POINT: Paul Williams

First, it is most important to remember that social media tools are tactics that support a word of mouth marketing strategy. So much excitement lately, how easily companies and customers can directly connect to each other, we forget that social media is a tactic, not an objective. (more…)

May 2013

Do Brands Need to Be Marketed Differently Depending on Its Life Stage?

2013-05-22T12:09:29-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, SandBlog|Tags: |

POINT: Paul Williams

As we were taught in our marketing and business classes, there are four basic stages of life for products, services, and companies.

I love the graph below – redrawn from the book Universal Principles of Design by Rockport Publishers.

For each stage in the cycle, the graph not only illustrates the traditional product sales curve, but also describes the audience you attract, your market size, sales volume, amount of competition, and strategic business focus.

What you’ll notice this chart lacks is timing. That’s because that can’t be predicted. Your cycle could last months (what we call a fad) or it could play out for decades.

While the picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll review for clarity…

Introduction – When you first launch (a company or a new product) product sales are at their lowest. Your audience consists of early adopters, your market is small, and sales are low. There is very little competition at this point. Your key business focus is building awareness.

Growth – Ah, things have picked up… Your audience is mainstream and your market is continuing to grow. Sales are high and you’re the competition has picked up the growth trend and is also getting into the game. Your business strategy now is to gain market share.

Maturity – The late adopters have finally hopped on board and you’ve got a large market. The sales climb is leveling off but the competition is high. With fewer new customers to attract, you goal is to keep the customers you’ve got.

Decline – The only new customers you’ve got are the laggards. The market is getting smaller (contracting) as some customers lose interest and drop off. You’re seeing moderate sales of those who have stuck with the product and who stick with you. Competition is only moderate. Once the wave of cash declines, so do the competitors looking to make a quick buck. The traditional strategy for this stage is transition.


My experience tells me brands go through three distinct marketing communication phases:

1. Awareness & Appreciation
2. Emotional Connection
3. Top-of-Mind Reminders

When you first introduce a new brand, marketing communications should focus on Awareness & Appreciation. Once the brand has established awareness and appreciation, it’s time to focus marketing activities on building an Emotional Connection between the brand and customers. The final phase is using marketing activities to keep the brand Top-of-Mind with customers.

1. Awareness & Appreciation
Using Starbucks as an example, when the brand was considered new and emerging the company focused its marketing efforts on educating customers about higher-quality coffee, dark roast flavor, and coffee drinks.

Because its product was familiar but different, Starbucks had to explain why Arabica beans were higher-quality then the Robusta beans found in nearly every home and restaurant in America. Starbucks also had to explain the basic coffee drinks (Latte, Cappuccino, and Mocha) to an unknowing American audience.

Starbucks used PR campaigns, print ads, in-store brochures, and in-store coffee tastings to increase awareness and appreciation for its unique point-of-view on how coffee should taste.

2. Emotional Connection
After the brand had established itself, Starbucks turned its marketing attention to building an emotional connection to the brand. Coffee is unlike any other beverage. It connects the morning to the night. And, it connects people with people. We begin our day waking up to coffee and we close our dinners sipping on coffee. Throughout the day we discuss life and business over coffee with people.

In the late 90s, Starbucks marketing communications made the transition from education to emotional connection. In-store posters began showing how people enjoy coffee. It’s limited advertising also showed how coffee makes one’s life more enjoyable.

3. Top-of-Mind Reminders
Starbucks is now at the point where everyone is aware of the brand and most everyone has had a cup of Starbucks coffee. The brand no longer needs to educate customers about the Starbucks difference. The brand doesn’t need to always reinforce the emotional connection aspect. Instead, the brand uses its marketing activities to remind people of Starbucks in order to keep the brand top-of-mind.

Do all Marketing Activities need a Strong Call to Action?

2013-05-14T09:05:20-04:00 Categories: Crackerjack Marketer, SandBlog|Tags: , |

POINT: Paul Williams

Call now!
Click now to sign-up!
Subscribe today!

Each of these is a call to action. We marketers put ’em everywhere.

The call to action is the punctuation at the end of our advertising message sentence.

Dear Customer, now that we have conveyed to you how great and valuable this product or service is… Here’s what to do to get it. (more…)