• Craig Singleton

The E-Commerce Guide to Product Value

XYZ Brand: We have the world's greatest product available.

Consumer: What’s so great about it and why should I buy it?

XYZ Brand: It’s 100% organic, made by hand and comes in an assortment of colors.

Consumer: Yeah, but did you hear my question?

Sound familiar?

This type of tone-death B2C communication has been going on since the beginning of commercialism.

Your potential customers are simply asking you, “What problem of mine will your product solve”?

Herein lies the problem for a lot of brands. They believe their product to be a one-size-fits-all solution for every consumer. I’m a bit ol’ school, so I understand the value of having an unwavering faith in your products and services. However, if you truly believe your product to be suited for everyone… I mean… everyone… then, you may need to reevaluate your business plan and objectives.

Truth is, there isn’t a single item on the marketplace that will prove to be perfect for each and every individual. In today's hyper-obsessive buying climate, consumers are constantly looking for something tastier, more shiny, healthier or less time consuming. And they want the brand’s message to be aligned with their own. Which literally makes it impossible for any one brand or product to position itself as the be-all end-all solution.

That being said, having a clear (and I mean crystal clear) understanding of what your product offers will inevitably give you the clarity needed to target the right people. And with that, justified reasons as to why they should care.

This involves asking yourself a series of tough questions. Not necessarily difficult to answer, but somewhat brutal on the ego. You’ll have to deconstruct that unwavering faith that we discussed earlier. Whether you’ve handcrafted your products from scratch or are the beneficiary of slapping a label on a mass produced product – you’ll need to get to the bottom of what separates your product from the rest. You'll need to know its "true value."

Please note: This isn't a simple matter of knowing your features and benefits.

You'll need to question everything from build quality, choice of ingredients to functionality. How does your product compare to your top 3 competitors from a quality control standpoint? What do they do better or worse than you? Do they offer more color variations or sizes? What about the aesthetics? Looks wise, do your products provide a premium look or budget friendly? If so, is that to your advantage? Why?

What specific problem does your product solve? How does it improve “quality of life?” Does it only offer a solution a certain time of year or under certain circumstances? Does it work instantaneously or requires time? Are there any ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction? Are there ingredients that can offer more than one benefit when applied or consumed?

As you can see, there isn’t a shortage of definitive questions that can be asked to better understand your product and it's "true value". Again, not only will this help develop (or strengthen) your USP, but it facilitates a better understanding of whom to market your products to, and how to do so.

Being a professional copywriter, I know that in order to get clear-cut answers, I need to ask the right questions. This is why I provide each of my clients with a detailed creative brief at the beginning of each project. I customize the briefs to suit the individual project objectives. For example, if a new client is receiving a ton of website traffic, but they possess poor conversions, then I need to know what sets their products apart from their competitors. I’ll need to understand who their target audience is, in order to find out what motivates them to click the ‘add-to-cart’ button. I’ll want to know what justifies their price point. All these things and so much more allow me to create content that connects and converts.

So, dig deeper. Get to know your products intimately (no... not like that). But get to know what they truly have to offer. Once you do this, I guarantee you'll see a change in how your prospective buyers see your line of products.

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