Customers Don’t Care if Your Product is Great

The Snuggie is perhaps one of the best products ever (it's not).

The Snuggie is perhaps one of the best products ever (it's not).

Just kidding…but they don’t care if YOU think it is great. I cringe when companies constantly put out content talking up their “great” product features. A blog, Facebook post or video that is supposed to solve a problem, ends up sounding like Gavin Belson on HBO’s Silicon Valley:

“Hooli is about innovative technology that makes a difference, transforming the world as we know it, making the world a better place…I firmly believe we can can only achieve greatness if first, we achieve goodness.”

I am as guilty of this as anyone. It takes a long time for the harsh realization to sink in: don’t say a product is great, show it is great.

Hand Lotion Hurts a Handshake

Dollar Shave Club knows their market. They solve customer problems in creative ways. With dry skin, lotion is a necessity (I know this first hand). Anyone that has used hand lotion knows it can be really greasy. This is a problem if you want to do anything: use a phone, type on a computer or shake someone’s hand. No one wants to be this guy:

Your Hand…is Covered in Butter

Dollar Shave Club makes funny videos but they have an impact because of understanding their market, the problems it faces and how to solve them creatively (in this case, dry hands and greasy lotion hands). Features get worked into their marketing when describing how they solve problems:

Problem

  • Dry hands are bad ->
  • Traditional lotion can leave hands feeling like they are covered in butter

Solution

  • Dollar Shave Club lotion moisturizes hands without a butter aftertaste ->
  • Hands are now moisturized and someone can actually do things

Solve a Customer’s Problem with Creative, Entertaining and Informative Content

Except when asking a customer to buy your product, content should focus on solving specific problems and/or provide entertainment:

  • Post a case study to Facebook with a customer testimonial about how a company’s product solved their huge problem.
  • Publish a fun video on YouTube making light of stereotypes in an industry.
  • Upload a picture to Instagram about a product solving a problem in funny ways.
  • Put out a story on Snapchat about how a company was founded.
  • Share an article on Twitter about five ways your customers can find more customers.

The best companies know the problems their customers face and clearly articulate how to solve them.

Everyone is Spoiled on Free Information

Through Google or a social network, a question can often be answered in under 30 seconds. Tons of free and helpful content gets uploaded every day to the internet and social media. On YouTube, there are 300 hours of video uploaded every minute and 4 billion video views every day. With all this free information, every customer’s BS detector has been upgraded to the latest model. Any content that does not bring the consumer value will be quickly discarded. In the land of content shock, the company that solves a problem is king.

What is “Content Shock”?

Courtesy of Mark Schaefer’s blog.  Mark outlines the evolution of content marketing and "content shock".

Courtesy of Mark Schaefer’s blog.  Mark outlines the evolution of content marketing and "content shock".

Consumers are overloaded with information. Companies figured out that writing blogs, producing videos and sharing helpful information on social media can reach an untold number of customers (I wrote a blog post on this topic). This content marketing / social media gold rush created “content shock”.

Content shock, a great term developed by Mark Schaefer, sums up the state of the internet and social media. There is too much information and not enough time to consume it. Like the California gold rush in 1849 or North Dakota oil boom in 2006, companies have flooded social media to reach customers. A company needs to produce and share content if they want some of that social media gold but what does that mean with content shock?

How Can a Company Make Lemonade out of Content Shock?

It is harder but companies can still reach customers on social media (Azriel Ratz on one of the latest public Facebook news feed changes).

The company that provides the best content, which solves a customer’s problems in a creative way, wins.

I know from personal experience this basic concept is difficult. As a marketer, default mode is to talk about how a product has 10 features that make it awesome. Meanwhile, a customer says to themselves:

“You might think it’s great, but what’s it going to do for me? Does it meet my needs? How will you solve my problem?”

Is This Good for the Customer?

Any company using social media needs to outsmart the competition with their content game. While competitors load their Facebook feeds with just pictures of products and features, customers will go where they are heard. A customer appreciates when companies seek to understand them and their problems. There are so many companies to choose from, so customers will toss a business aside if they do not provide value.

The movie Office Space succinctly teaches how to market on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. Bill Lumbergh reminds everyone to think, “With every decision you make, is this good for the company?” Businesses can think with every blog, video or social media post, “Is this good for my customer?”


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Even though I write this on every post, thanks for reading.