I was talking to a company recently about their product, a really nifty little item that I like and am actually using myself.  As usual, when I first talk to companies about their products, I immediately begin to think over how to best market and sell their products. I am somewhat obsessed with figuring that out.  With this company, their products are sold among a niche market of enthusiasts like me.  The question:  how to go from niche to mass with these products?  Or, how can their products appeal to the masses?

I’ve talked to a few people I know about the product.  The all had the same reaction after my description of the product from the company packaging: “I don’t get it.”

My next statement is:  “Well, think of working with the product like ____(insert a universal brand that almost everyone over the age of 5 knows about), and the product will do _____(insert a universal verb that everyone knows)”

“OK.  I get it…so, what do you use it for?”

My initial analysis of these same reactions from several people is, the way the company describes the product right now is lacking.  OK, so that means there may be some modification in the verbal messaging about the products. But, more importantly, there has to be modification such that consumers will immediately understand its purpose, the outcome it provides and/or its benefit.

But as I’ve thought a bit more, I think the issue is more consumers knowing they have a problem and seeing the solution, from which they go about making a purchase of the solution to solve the problem…versus…customers not knowing they having a problem, which requires some education to realize they have a problem, from which they go about making a purchase of the solution to solve the problem.

In general, showing customers they have a problem means a longer path to purchase. That means you need more mindshare from consumers who are in general already overwhelmed with where to spend their time and money.

This is not to say that this product or any other requiring consumer education won’t succeed in mass.  But knowing where consumer’s get hung up about products is pretty key to figuring out how to sell to them.