If You Build A Better Product, Will They Buy?

Posted on 06 June 2013

“If a product is great and everybody loves it, it will sell.”

I spotted that statement recently in a blog post about marketing, and it reminds me of that old saying, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”

And I say no, not necessarily. Even if a product is great, it won’t sell unless:

  • people hear and believe a compelling story about why they should buy it
  • people know where and how to buy it
  • the price is right (or rather, the price-to-perceived-value ratio is right)

Sure, people might buy from you ONCE. But they won’t come back again and again, and they won’t recommend your product (or you) to their friends and followers and subscribers, if:

  • you don’t deliver the product promptly
  • your salespeople are rude and unhelpful
  • your billing procedures and website are not user-friendly
  • the product user manual is incomprehensible
  • your follow-up service sucks
  • you do something that makes people lose trust in or respect for you
  • you don’t use apostrophes correctly in your marketing messages (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating about that one)

One of my favourite quotes about marketing, from the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout, says it perfectly: “Many people think marketing is a battle of products… It’s an illusion. There is no objective reality. There are no facts. There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality… Marketing is the process of dealing with those perceptions.”

The lesson: A great product by itself is not enough.

Action steps: Examine and fix every step and process in your product development and marketing systems (including sales and after-sales service) so that customers have a good reason to buy your product, can easily find and buy it, want to come back again and again, and happily recommend your product (and you) to others.

What do YOU think? Do you think a product will sell just because it’s great and everybody loves it?

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