In a market of sameness, market differently

Andrew didn’t share the vision. He was inundated (as we all are…) with the stories of wily marketing from the Apples, Teslas and Red Bulls of this world.

They were in a different stratosphere. Budget. Time. Energy. People.

His business made products that nobody would conceive to be ‘cool’. Why pretend?

He understood the importance of building solid customer relationships. He got that. He instilled the principle into the heads of all of his staff.

He knew they had to attract new customers. He invested his budget where he knew people searched for what they made. Google.

You follow the conventions of ‘best practice’ marketing.

He didn’t need to build ‘a brand’ as such. What he needed was sales. Traffic = sales

And then we discussed Yeti.

Makers of iceboxes. Coolers. About as mundane a product as you could imagine.

But Yeti made awesome iceboxes.

In fact, when Yeti launched they charged 10x more for their product than the manufacturers of other iceboxes.

Ultra-pricing raises eyebrows. It creates intrigue.

But it wasn’t the price point that interested Yeti’s core audience. It was the message.

Yeti coolers were extreme. Robust. Beastly. They go everywhere with you. They kept ice, icy. The most compelling, most wanted, element of the Yeti? That ice cool beer at the end of a day by the lake, in the woods or up the mountains. That’s what you bought when you invested in a Yeti.

Yeti performed.

But still, it was just an ice box. A bloody expensive icebox.

Yeti now own the marketplace. $470m in sales in 2016. Not bad for a business launched in 2006.

I don’t care what you make. You have to sell the vision. That’s where you create difference.

Marketing can be your most powerful differentiator.

People buy output.

Beastgrip make plastic contraptions that turn your phone into an feature-laden camera rig. The competition compete in a marketplace of intensity on Amazon. Beastgrip, however don’t sell the technical jargon. They don’t sell on price. They sell the photographic powers now in the hands of their customer. No pun, but they’re selling the vision.

And this is the purpose of marketing. To fuel desire for your brand. To reach your audience where they’re heading, not where they’re at.

You, your job is to build your brand less ordinary.

Whatever you sell. You build your brand less ordinary.

Whilst you believe your market is saturated and that your customer is fixated on price, there’s always a space that you can create. It just takes a little creativity. A little perspective on educating people as to what they really want.

Premium products exist for a reason.

Outlier brands exist for a reason.

They’re making space to build their business. As confidence grows less attention is paid to the movements of the competition. Followers follow.

So here’s my takeaway. If you believe your customer is content with the mundane, shine a new light on what you make.

It doesn’t require big budget.

In fact, you’ll spend less. Because you’re creating demand and building word-of-mouth. It’s a lot cheaper to sell to somebody that’s searching for your brand. You save money creating content for a narrow audience, an audience of believers, than an audience of ‘all’.

You don’t need to be cool. You just need to be a little more adventurous. A little more playful with your marketing. Marketing does work. Remember. Just do it.




Written By:

Ian Rhodes


Equipping brands with the strategy, tools and optimisation processes that drive ecommerce growth. Consultant, Writer & Conference Speaker.

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