A great product doesn't sell itself, as just about any businessperson who has built a better mousetrap can attest. Effective marketing is a critical factor in priming the pump and selling the customer long before the product is actually in his or her hands.
So imagine my excitement in finding a wonderful book by one of the most successful marketers in the business. At present, much of that business centers on pomegranate juice!
Lynda Resnick, aka "the POM Queen," has written a real gem in "Rubies in the Orchard." The rubies are the pomegranates that she and her husband have grown on 18,000 acres of orchards to produce their 100 percent pure pomegranate juice, POM Wonderful.
The title also refers to finding "elements of intrinsic value" that consumers desire. She says, "Every successful marketing campaign begins with uncovering these hidden gems and communicating their value honestly and transparently to the consumer."
Resnick describes her very successful marketing plan for introducing an unusual, pricey juice that created an entirely new product category. She did it by promoting the health benefits and insisting on keeping the product pure. She labored over the product name and the packaging. She and her husband conducted expensive research to verify their claims.
If you are familiar with Teleflora, FIJI Water, Wonderful Pistachios or the Franklin Mint, you've seen Lynda's handiwork for other companies that she and her husband own. Talk about diverse products; Resnick is the mastermind behind all those marketing campaigns as well.
In addition to learning plenty about pomegranates, Lynda has learned what sells, how to sell and when to trust your instincts. She is a born salesperson, who opened her own ad agency at age 19. Through successes and failures, she reached a point where she raised the question, "What good are advertising, marketing and design if the product is junk?"
There are a variety of lessons in Resnick's stories that are easily translated to other businesses. I am particularly impressed with the fact that she started with nothing more than a high school diploma and has worked her way up to dean of the marketing profession.
While her strategies seem simple, they recognize above all that consumers aren't stupid. They are looking for value, honesty, respect and occasionally, fun.
Products and businesses fail every day for all kinds of reasons, from inferior quality to poor promotion. Resnick's advice is useful to any business that is looking to avoid that fate.
Find the value in your product, no matter how basic or simple, and capitalize on that feature. Lynda managed to do that for bottled water, juice, pistachios, collectibles and flowers, all great products but hardly necessities. If your product is worth producing, figure out what makes it special.
Mackay's Moral: You can't plant rubies in your orchard, but you can surely harvest them if you know how.