How to market products that are no longer popular?

Marketers feel headaches in Miami’s apartments, vintage record stores, fuel-efficient cars, pharmacies exposed by the media, and foods that contain trans fats that are no longer popular for a variety of reasons.

Wharton’s professors and marketers believe that while the ultimate goal of marketing is to market products or services to target consumers, occasionally more push is needed. When this happens, marketers must be creative to help the product or service weather the storm until the market picks up or the company changes its strategic direction. Wharton marketing professor John Zhang said, “From the perspective of marketers personally, sometimes they really feel that a product can’t be sold at all, but if you think about it again, the customer’s needs are This is so different, you have to find those customers who need your products .”

If the product is left unattended, then there are nine out of ten that indicate that the target consumer group of this company is positioned incorrectly. Professor Zhang said with a smile, “Everyone knows that it’s hard to adjust, so you only need to find customers who are right.” In order to find such a person, the company must conduct research on the market and consumers to find out why their products are not subject to certain consumption. The favor of the person, and find ways to ignite the passion of the target consumer. “Believe me, although the system strictly categorizes the market, finds consumers, and then repositions the product is a traditional marketing method, it is much easier than finding a customer with a taste. If you don’t know your customers, Just relying on your own experience and instinct to guess, the sales job must be difficult. For example, you might think, ‘Since I don’t like it, others certainly don’t like it, but your assumption may be wrong.”

Professor Zhang suggested that marketers stand on the consumer’s stand and use a critical eye to think about what they are selling. “So you might find that sales are not something that is difficult to accomplish.”

The last Hummer dealership

Wharton marketing professor Stephen Hoch believes that the reason for the slow sales of products or services is that consumers have a significant resistance to such products or services. Therefore, the goal of marketing should be to “design a product or service plan that can eliminate the resistance.” For example, consumers complain about the high price of gasoline. At this time, car dealers can propose free to help the owner to sell the newly purchased SUV . shop. But this move is obviously only effective for customers who are not willing to buy SUVs because of high gasoline prices. If customers do not buy SUVs because they are worried about environmental pollution, then this move has no effect.

Missouri St. Louis Lynch Hummer is the world’s largest new and used H1 Hummer ( the Hummers ) vendor, is one of two stores selling exclusive Hummer and Hummer parts. Lynch Hummer ‘s strategy is to focus on the most familiar car and expand new business.

Jim Bushart , director of parts dealerships , pointed out that since the introduction of H1 into the consumer market in 1994 , the sales of Hummer vehicles have experienced several ups and downs. Since most of the fluctuations are caused by intermittent production, the company has been paying close attention to the needs of consumers and attracting their attention regardless of whether the output is sufficient or not. He said, “No matter what we do, we will not reduce our pursuit of customer service or customer satisfaction. We always ask ourselves, ‘What is the consumer’s needs?'”

Lynch Hummer is now expanding its second-hand Hummer, second-hand Hummer parts and other truck and car businesses. Bushott said, “You have to decide whether to do it or not. If you decide to do it, you must go all out. You must be free from the temptation of market competition and concentrate on developing your own unique advantages.” If Butchott presses himself The way, Lynch Hummer will be the last Hummer dealership still in operation. “Even if the manufacturer stops production, we will be the last distributor to supply Hummer parts and services.”

Hodge believes that retailers will also encounter the situation where consumers are hesitant to buy new products because their original old products can continue to be used. Car marketers later solved this problem by encouraging old car replacement. Other products can also be used for reference. He said that recent research by Wharton students shows that consumers prefer discounts and replacements rather than pure discounts when buying new products.

For example, someone wants to buy a new digital camera that has more features than his current older camera. At this time, a savvy retailer can recommend a discount and replacement method to him, even if the old camera replaced is not sold at all. Hodge said, “In this case, the reason for the customer’s hesitation is that ‘my original camera can still be used, and it is not worthwhile to buy a new one.'” Combine the cognitive value of old products into new products. It seems that this resistance can be eliminated. “Of course, the premise must be that this person wants this product, but some factors hinder him. At this time, creative sales methods and understanding of customers’ ideas are very important.”

Identify customers who may purchase goods in the near future

When the economic cycle is sluggish, product inventory may be excessive, and market confidence will also decline, resulting in slow sales of products. The real estate market is now at a low point in the cycle, and some markets don’t even know where to fall.

Wharton marketing professor Leonard Lodish pointed out that in this case, marketers must seriously consider adjusting prices until the market picks up. He said, “If the price is right, Miami’s apartments may be sold out.” Regardless of the economic situation, pricing is a key factor in the success of marketing decisions, but some companies do not attach great importance to correct pricing. Marketers must consider not only the value of the actual assets being sold, but also the intangible factors that influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.

John Paul Rosser is a commercial and residential real estate agent in Miami. He said that the apartment market has not yet fallen to the bottom. In this case, his advice to the seller is to analyze who is the most likely buyer at the moment, even if the number of such people is small, and try to attract other consumers. Take the example of several venture funds active in the South Florida apartment market in the United States. If they can buy all the apartments, they are willing to take the shot. “Once you find the right buyer in the market, your sales will increase.”

Lodish pointed out that products such as SUVs and real estate will not respond instantly to market demand. For example, after the consumer trend changes, it takes four years for automakers to adjust their production capacity. In addition, marketers should also find buyers through pricing and accurate consumer market segmentation, because even if the product has begun to decline, the purchasing enthusiasm of these people will not be reduced.

Hodge said another challenge for marketers is the involvement of government regulators to change the rules of the game. In this case, many sellers will withdraw from the market. If the company formulates a new strategy according to the new regulations of the government and maintains it when competitors fade out, or if it takes the opportunity to expand its consumer base, it will gain a lot. Full victory. For example, the government announced a ban on cigarette advertising in the future, Marlboro ( Marlboro ) instead boon, because it is the most powerful brand of cigarettes, other tobacco manufacturers struggling to survive when it standing.

The same is true of Total Wine & More , founded by David Troon and Robert Troon . Since the Troon Brothers founded the chain in Delaware in 1991 , it has traveled to 10 states and California on the east coast of the United States . Hodge said that the legal provisions on alcohol sales in the US states are very complex. So far, no retailers are willing to study these laws in order to establish a national chain, even though such chains can accumulate purchase influence and operate remotely. To achieve maximum cost-benefit. Champagne has been actively advocating in some states to abolish the blue law prohibiting Sundays from selling alcohol. “The government’s injunction may hurt the entire industry, but if someone can figure out a way to circumvent it, such a restraining order can actually push his business.”

Lodish said that even “sin products” containing trans fats can find their own market. “There are people who don’t care whether they have trans fat in their food, and some people don’t pay for it if they sell it.” So, the key to selling products in this case is to make the potential consumer groups Divide, exclude those who will never buy this product, and then concentrate on attracting those who may be tempted. Companies can observe what consumers are buying, what they don’t buy, and then link the results of observations to other variables that determine market segmentation, such as socioeconomic conditions, geographic distribution of people, and stores where people choose to shop. “For example, people who buy trans fat foods will not buy whole-grain food.”

Erin Armendinger , director of the Wharton Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative , believes that as long as marketers are marketing well, consumers will not succumb to wallets. Apparel and footwear designer Kenneth Cole recently gave a speech at Wharton, pointing out that there are very few Americans who really need to buy new shoes. Amen Dingze said, “Consumers buy certain goods, such as clothes that are not in urgent need, but they don’t buy them because they need them. It represents a desire to own this product.”

Finally, as new technologies and innovations continue to emerge, some products are beginning to become obsolete. A typical record store is a classic example. Since consumers don’t buy albums and CDs and instead buy and share online music, such stores have begun to disappear. Amundin said, “I hope that the market can make progress and reform before everything is too late.” In addition, she also cited the example of Kodak . Kodak foresees the development of digital imaging products and services by anticipating its own product, the film will die out. “The wise company will face the reality when the product goes downhill, accept the sunset and welcome the new sunrise, but this road is not easy.”

A product or service may have to be completely eliminated after a generation. Take the government’s new regulations, if the company can survive the market recession or the difficult time of the crisis, it can profit from it, because the cake at this time has become smaller, but many competitors have also withdrawn from the market. So it can take the opportunity to gain more market share. Hodge pointed out that as Wal-Mart advanced into the country, many small independent retailers in the US local business district were closed. “If you can escape Wal-Mart’s butcher’s knife, your future prospects will be brighter, because after the other husband and wife stores have closed down, you don’t have to compete with them.”

Professor Zhang added that successful marketing considers the product life cycle, from the initial growth to maturity. When the product begins to decline, marketers hope that the product can continue to generate profits without increasing brand investment. “You may just want to squeeze the last drop of the product without injecting any investment.”

The boundary between promotion and fraud

Professor Wharton believes that while marketers need to design the most innovative solutions to market unpopular products, salespeople must be mindful of the boundaries between promotion and fraud. Companies can guide consumers to appreciate products, or emphasize to consumers the advantages of products that can make up for the shortcomings. But cognition is a very important part of this process. “How consumers understand that the information you deliver must be consistent with the actual situation of the product. You can say that something is technically true, but the person listening may misunderstand it. In my opinion, this is It is against morality.”

The pharmaceutical industry often encounters a sudden marketing crisis, as new research or newspapers often report that a listed drug is more or less effective than originally thought. Recent examples include the new lipid-lowering drug ezetimibe ( Vytorin ), the analgesic Vioxx , and hormone replacement therapy for menopause.

Wharton marketing professor Lisa Bolton pointed out that pharmaceutical companies should respond to questions raised by articles or research in a timely manner. Otherwise, patients, potential patients, media, medical experts, government regulators, the company’s own sales, employees, and investors will start to have questions, and the company needs to explain to many people. The professional knowledge, the degree of influence and the attention to the drug incidents of these people are all different, so the company’s explanation must also be the right medicine.

She said, “There is still such a kind of news is very complicated, it is more difficult for the audience lacking professional knowledge, so you must convey the information in a concise and clear manner, stabilize the mood of consumers, and cannot overwhelm them with a condescending tone. Doubt. The challenge for pharmaceutical companies is clearly that they must be carefully worded because drug advertising is regulated. Most importantly, pharmaceutical companies must follow ethical rules and avoid any fraud, otherwise not only revenue but also company reputation will Damaged.”

Solutions Group ( at The Resolutions & Group Inc ), Pennsylvania Skippack City, a pharmaceutical consulting company, the person in charge Basara Lisa ( Lisa A · Basara ) said that every company specific methods adopted to deal with the question depends on a proof Evidence that the drug is unsafe or has a hidden danger. For example, if there is conclusive evidence that a drug may cause harm to a patient’s body, the most appropriate first step is to measure the degree of fear or concern of the patient and the prescriber.

Then, based on the results of market research, complete information is communicated to drug users and prescribers. If the company believes that certain patients are no longer suitable for taking a certain drug, it should publish specific patient selection criteria by e-mail, letter or label change to ensure patient safety. “Historical experience shows that integrity and timely action are important means for the company to successfully fight the storm.”

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