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Selecting Your Product Correctly Is Critical To Your Success

Thinking deeply about what product you will sell on the Internet may seem like a lot of poppycock to many business people.  "We make what we make, and that is what we will sell on the Internet", is the attitude of many.   That is the "production" mentality.  More successful marketers, however, take a more holistic approach to marketing.  Sorting through the considerations discussed here will take you a long way from the "take it or leave it" marketing attitude and into the hearts of your customers.

The "augmented product" need not be a commodity.

Think In Terms Of Solutions To Customers' Problems

Focus On Complete Turn-Key Solutions

Identify The Niche Market Or Specific Target Audience You Will Sell To

Include "Back end" Related Product Sales Opportunities

Let's start with:

The "augmented product" need not be a commodity.

The product you sell is far more than the physical item, such as a book purchased from Amazon.  Every product or service includes other auxiliary features, such as the method of ordering, the delivery mechanism, packaging, financing terms, customer service, credibility, and on and on.   What you end up with is an "augmented" product.  The importance of this concept is that its understanding allows you to escape from the "commodity" trap.

Too many items for sale are perceived by the buyers and sellers as commodities - undifferentiated products.  You can get basically the same item from many possible sellers, and therefore, the temptation for the buyers is to buy based on who is willing to sell the cheapest. For commodity sellers, it is difficult to charge a price higher than the competition.  In those industries, profit margins tend to be thin.

Tom Peters says, "There is no such thing as a commodity!"

You need never be stuck in the commodity trap.  There are always ways inventive minds can discover to make your physical product (and the same can be said for services) different from the competition.  Offer better customer support, a different and more convenient packaging, or deliver in a more convenient way. 

In other words, change some of the auxiliary features, and you have a unique product that is not a commodity any longer.  And don't discount the value of the personal relationship you can build with your prospects and customers.  Your competition may be able to buy the same widget from your competition, but the customers cannot get YOU from your competition.

So, the first lesson is that you must be unique.  But being unique is no advantage to you unless that uniqueness is of some advantage to your customer.  Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book Positioning : The Battle for Your Mind discussed the need to achieve a "top of the mind" awareness of your product or service in your prospects' and customers' minds. 

People can only remember so much, and simplify their lives by filtering information and categorizing information into lists in their minds. When they think of widgets, and if that is what you sell, you want them to immediately think of your company as being the "widget company".  To do that, you must be unique in some favorable way. 

For an extended discussion on this vital component in your marketing plan, let's go to Achieving a Marketing Advantage Through Your Unique Selling Proposition.>>>>>