Remember: problem, solution and then product

Talking to a businesswoman who had trouble promoting her new product, I told her she needed to take a step back and view how she marketed from another viewpoint – that of the customer.

So many people bang on about themselves and their product – this is only natural, as humans think about the most important thing: ‘me’. Great if you’re a customer, not so if you’re the business.

Customers are naturally self-centred, but the business cannot afford to be so. The best way to market your product is within the perimetres of how your customer thinks, not to your perception of what they should be thinking. Your customers don’t give a tinker’s toot about you or your business, they only care for ‘what’s in it for me’, what tangible thing they can take away in their paw, how their lives will be improved, whether it’s good value for money…

Therefore you must think of the kind of questions your customers will ask when searching or asking for a solution to their problem. In other words, what is their problem, have you got the solution, and does your product match up? Let’s examine a well-known scenario from TV:

Problem: a really greasy and dirty cooker surface that won’t shift with ordinary cream cleaners: “How can I clean my cooker, it’s totally baked on?”

Solution: a spray that cuts through the grease and tackles the grime with the minimum of effort: “Great, my cooker’s really clean after only a couple of wipes!”

Product: (I bet you can guess, as it’s represented by a well-toned orange cartoon figure.) This uses something the customer can to latch onto, and provides a focal point for the customer when searching the supermarket shelves…

The method? Problem, solution, product – and note the order they come in. Your business’s contribution comes last, whereas your customer has top billing. That’s how you get their attention, show your empathy, maintain a memorable presence, win above your competitors, and achieve those sales.


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