The Advanages of Originality

t_newhard_kOne of the best marketing tactics you can use is to be first to the market. Being first to the market will help you sell more and simplify your marketing efforts.

It is a well known fact that the second product to the market will achieve on average 71% of the sales of the pioneer product. Never heard this before? Now you have. Many products are considered successful with about 5% of the pioneer product’s sales. I’m thinking about Apple and their OS.

Being first to the market is perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your business sell more of whatever you are selling. But there can be only one pioneer, right? The rub here is that pioneer products do not have ultimate dominion over an entire product category.

Think about cereal. After Granula, the first breakfast cereal in the US, Kellogg and Post should have hung up their spoons, right? But that didn’t happen. Both came out with their own versions of breakfast cereal that were easier to eat and prepare (one had to soak Granula overnight in order to soften it). Kellogg based his cereals on flakes made of wheat or corn and Post based his on granola. General Mills came along much later to snag a lot of market share by changing the main target market of breakfast cereals to children. The cereal made by General Mills had much more refined flour and more sugar than the product pioneers.

New variations of the same thing, but changed to be first to fill consumer need with more features and fill new target markets.

To find something original about your product or business start by looking at who you sell to and then at how the benefits of your product or business are translated into benefits by your prospects.

If there are product features not being translated into benefits by your target market, you have found an original feature to market to your prospects. For example, once Verizon realized that people wanted a super reliable network and that they had the most reliable network, it is all they have talked about. If your target market is looking for a feature that you do not offer with your product –  you have found an original product (once you develop it) to sell your prospects and a new target market.

Originality is not nebulous and you do not need to be a genius — try to make it a process by understanding what you offer and what your prospects need — then fill the gaps. If you do this you can capitalize on the advantages of originality.