Products That Stand Out in a Crowd

This post is about products that stand out in a crowd of similar products, and I couldn’t think of a better real life example than the wine section of the grocery store.

First a little background. I like red wine. The end… just kidding. The truth is we appreciate red wine, and also not enough to actually learn anything about it. That second part is very important. Many of your customers will appreciate what you sell, and also not know exactly what they’re looking at. I say this because product experts can look at something and either A) know all the key players in the industry to everything is recognizable or B) they know what they’re looking at and can spot subtle queues of quality (or in this case they can make sense of a wine label).

So what ridiculous method of selection would barbarians like us employ ?

Ready for it?

1) Price

2)  Interesting labels.

Like I said, I’m far from a wine expert. Want to know if it’s red or white? I’ve got your answer. Beyond that, I’m clueless. So this means pricey wine is out of the question. It also means that I can’t spot a bargain either. For me that means cheap wine = bad time. So I look at the middle shelf. As I’ve said before so many times, price is part of your product.

Once I have my selection area squared off the fun begins. I’m looking for interesting labels. Remember, I can’t understand what gibberish they’re pitching on the labels so this is the best I can do.

Here they are again, the seven bottles I collected just for this post.

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By wine bottle standards, these stand out on the shelf and for different reasons I chose each of them. I’ll explain one by one. Let me also make the blanket statement that all of these did actually taste good. This system may have it’s flaws, but we’re happy with the results.

Educated Guess

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How often do you see a blackboard with interesting science formulas on a wine label? It’s a first for me. The name sealed the deal, Educated Guess. I’m a big fan of making and testing guesses. I had to drink this wine. Most of the neighboring labels were boring fonts on off white labels. This one stood out with white writing on a black background AND orange name. It’s that simple, and they wouldn’t have won my business if they hadn’t grabbed my attention first.

Paso Creek

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Off white label? Check. Basic font? Check. That tree though… and wait, look closely, there’s something in the tree looking at you. There’s something intriguing and calming about this tree. Even as I write this, I can’t stop looking at it.

Dark Horse

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The silver label is a bit different. It’s somewhat shiny and stands out from the bottom that’s darker filled with wine (I could have photographed prior to consumption. whoops. 20/20 hindsight). Check out that negative space though. The horse head is left aligned with the text. I can’t help noticing this label. Then comes the name. Dark Horse. Wikipedia defines this as, “A dark horse is a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort or a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed.”. Ever feel that way? Me too. Again, had to drink this wine.

Layer Cake

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Okay, this one will be really really short. The label has cake on it! Do I have to explain what’s going on in my head when shown a photo of cake? I didn’t think so. Wait, are you still reading or have you already left to get yourself some cake too?

Decoy

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This one feels the fanciest of the flock. I think it’s the duck. It has a majestic look to it. It’s maybe a little smug too. I didn’t notice it the first time around. That duck doesn’t even care I’m here. The name is large and all caps, DECOY. The font below is cursive (fancy) and there’s a lot of white space on that label. Overall it says very little. I must know more, and so I did.

19 Crimes

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You may be thinking what I was when I first saw this. What are these people thinking with a label talking about crime and a grungy old picture as the label!?! Well it worked. I had to know what this was about.

It’s an interesting story…

“Nineteen crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction British rogues guilty of a least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by “transportation” began in 1783 and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited.

As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick.

This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built.”

After this bottle taught me so much and I spent a few moments of thought holding it, I would have felt silly not buying it. Another victory for the brave wine label.

The Show

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Arguably this one stands out the most. It looks like they literally shrunk down a rodeo poster and slapped it on a bottle. Red letters, huge yellow sun with black rider and horse over top. Need I read anymore? Nope. It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the two red wines you’ll see me with. The other is Merlot by the way. If this is the show they have for me on the outside, I can’t wait to try what’s inside.

Commonalities

Every one of these bottles grabbed my attention in some way. Maybe I like bold marketing. Things that stand out and break convention. Some of these may not be ones you’d personally choose. That’s okay because you can’t appeal to everyone.

I imagine these wineries realize shoppers like me are intimidated by the wine aisle. We don’t know what we’re looking for, not a clue in fact. We’re looking for a beacon of hope, something to save us from the awkwardness that comes from feeling horribly uninformed. These rebels looked at the crowd and chose to be remarkably different. They lit their torch and guided me out of the unknown and into something I could feel good about. The label is cool.

Why This Matters to You

If you sell a product purchased as a gift, chances are they’re not comfortable with choosing a product the way an end user would be.

If you sell to someone that’s new to your category, they may not be comfortable with where to start.

If you sell to someone that’s been around a long time, they may want to see a fresh perspective.

In every case, bold moves that grab attention are winning moves. Attention is at a premium, and fitting in is like hiding out.

Where to go from here? Well we have two options that you should look at here https://marmalead.com/apps/

Rock Your Photos – How do your listing’s photos perform? Get a custom report from real shoppers that scores the quality, appeal and clickability of your photos as well as a slew of keyword suggestions for your listing!

Entrepreneur’s Library – Do you spend enough time learning? Top performers in every industry are constantly learning to stay ahead. The Entrepreneur’s Library is just what you need to go beyond SEO and into a master of eCommerce. Welcome to the club. This library is growing every month and next two courses are copywriting and photography so what are you waiting for?

Photo credits to Allie Peplin. Thank you Allie!

 

The Amazing Hashtag Generator

Today we got an email from a customer that loves our new Storm feature and explained how some of these keywords will end up as hashtags for social media.

The next question of course was, “Don’t suppose you know of a tool that can convert a list of words automatically into hash-tagged words do you?!”.

I don’t know of one, and I didn’t even bother looking… It was more fun to make one!

So here you go. It’s in Google Sheets, you can make a copy of the spreadsheet for yourself and go nuts.

What does it do? 

Three things!

1 – Removes spaces because hashtags don’t have spaces.

2 – Makes everything lowercase because hashtags are lowercase.

3 – Adds a hashtag in front because that’s the whole point.

Okay it does a bonus thing. It transposes the hashtag list so you can one that goes vertical and one that goes horizontal. Just in case.

You’ll need to make a copy of the sheet so you can edit it. It will then live in your Google Drive.

Get it here! 

The Power of Self Talk

We all do it, whether you realize it or not. That voice in your head that either pushes your forward or holds you back.

What is self-talk?

Having positive self talk is essential to your well being and success. Think about the words you’re using in your own head.

Is the system unfair?

Are you getting your share of sales?

Are you grateful for the customers you do have?

Are you excited about the opportunity to grow your business?

It’s such a simple idea it’s easy to overlook and write off. Can you think of a time someone burst your bubble and you felt deflated? Can you think of a time someone encouraged you to keep going despite your own doubts about success?

I bet one felt a lot better. It doesn’t always have to be someone else saying these things. You have your own inner voice and it doesn’t always say things that help. You can change that! I want you to consciously be positive. Praise yourself because you deserve it.

Self -Affirmations

Have we talked about self-affirmations? Probably at some point. Well here it goes again. Look in the mirror, say something positive about yourself and your future.

For example, “I’m a successful Etsy shop owner.”  Don’t say in the future I will be. Say it affirmatively and in the present, “I am”.

Your subconscious only understands the affirmative by the way. So stick the with “I am going to succeed” vs the “I’m not going to fail”. The “not” part is ignored and you’re reinforcing the wrong message.

Does this feel awkward?

Yeah, Gordon thought so too. Think of how many people will give up because it feels uncomfortable at first. Now be one of the few that pushes through and meets success head on. Growth = change = discomfort. Learn to appreciate the discomfort that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone and growing.

Free is a Race to Zero

Free is a race to zero. A zero sum game. You can only save as much as you spend then you’re stuck. Growth is unlimited. Creating is the answer. Reducing is the opposite of creating.

A little background, on Episode 22: Greed Part 2 of Etsy Jam, I went on to discuss how free is a big lie. It’s also a race to zero…

The High Cost of Free

The cost of free is typically privacy and time. Kevin recently discovered how much info his Android phone is collecting from him. It not only tracks his every movement on a map, it also lovingly saves voice recordings of everything he says to Google Now.

IBM disabled and banned the use of Apple’s Siri on company issued devices. Siri didn’t meet corporate policy guidelines. It was feared company secrets could be recorded and sent outside of the company. Siri sends audio recordings to an Apple server for processing. Is Apple a good steward of information? Probably. They’re a hardware company and it’s transparent where they get their money. It’s not advertising and data mining.

Time is so undervalued it’s sad. Spend 10 hours to save $20 and you’ve made yourself $2/hr. You’ll have to decide if that’s a good return or not. Your situation will dictate the value of your time. Could you have spent 10 hours on something worth more? Could you have spent 10 hours designing a product that will keep making you money month after month?

Enter Real Life

I’m no saint. I fall into this trap too. Most of it is pride getting in the way. Do I want to pay more than the next guy? Of course not. I want to be the deal king. The question then is what will that title cost me.

We’re always keeping an eye on the budget at Marmalead and it’s tempting to jump through hoops to save money. This is especially when it involves building something ourselves. It’s really tempting to tinker with stuff. When you’re running a business though, it’s really important to spend your time where it’s most valuable.

A Plea For Change

If what you’re working on doesn’t add value to the customer, then it’s probably not worth doing. Even if it saves you money, it has a limit on how much can be saved. Adding customer value is unlimited. There’s no ceiling in sight.

This mentality will change you. Choose the one you want to live because it has far reaching consequences. You must either live in a world of abundance or one of scarcity. They can’t coexist.

Hint: Choose abundance.