Category Archives: Products

Reaching Top 30% Students?

Based on feedback and other data it appears that the top 30% of college students welcome my product most. So, the question is how to perform a differentiated or focused targeting of this specific demographics (liberal arts freshmen and sophomores)? Working with universities directly might be the most effective way to go. Other than that, any thoughts?


Jay’s Answer:

  • Dean’s List
  • College Awards
  • Faculty Recommendations

A New Packaging Idea For Bath & Body Products

I have a small start-up bath and body company (not yet selling products).  I am in the design and packaging phase of the business plan and I am trying to come up with methods of adding value to my product via the packaging.  The packaging itself is very attractive (I’ve surveyed various women) and my USP (unique selling position) is that I will be creating products using various exotic ingredients.  I was thinking about adding hang-tags to my bottles with interesting facts about health/beauty related issues. (i.e. – When overwhelmed, close your eyes, touch the tips of your thumbs to that of the index fingers and inhale and exhale deeply. The breathing harmonizes blood pressure and concentration while the hand gesture conserves energy.)  I know that you probably need to know a lot more about my company but what do you think of the idea?


Jay’s Answer: It sounds like an idea worth testing with your target market.

Below The Line Campaign For Green Lipstick

I am currently working on a communication plan for an organic and environmentally friendly lipstick for my integrated communication marketing course. The product has to reflect glamorous, natural and eco-friendly attributes. I am asked to come up with innovative below the line communication tools. I have found a few but I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to market the product effectively and in an innovative way. The target market is women between 18 and 30 years old living in major cities as well as suburbs that respect the environment. I already use a teaser campaign via direct marketing, sponsorship of a non for profit organisation event, participation in beauty expositions, POP advertising, and giving samples away in major shopping centers. I need to come up with some other campaigns that really stand out, highlight the points of differences and are innovative. I would really appreciate your help.


Jay’s Answer: Focus your thinking on your target market:

  • What activities do they enjoy?
  • What organizations are they likely to be members of?
  • Where do they get their information on beauty products?

Increasing Sales In Retail Store

I am retail store manager of apparel store of mans wear, we sell premium quality shirts and have shirts of all colour palates, we do good sale only in discount period otherwise sale is not good, kindly suggest some scheme or idea which would help me do sale round the year .we also keep trousers, ties, suits but as far as shirts we are best in industry. kindly suggest some idea which help me increase sell as our company is low in marketing and we retail store in mall also suggest me idea to compete with other brands in mall.


Jay’s Answer: It sounds like people have learned to wait for your sale instead of buying year-round. Why not offer a year-round sale – at the register let the person pick a solid hollow ball to get the surprise discount inside. Discount is 5% to 50% (with lots of 5% off and perhaps only 1 50% off).

When Is Differentiation A Marketing Strategy?

A particular style and styling of it will influence buyers choice of products in the regular domestic interior lighting market (table, stand, wall, pendant – lights). Therefore, styling can be of significance in this market. I do not think though that you can plan a marketing strategy based on differentiation on styling. Or can styling be a basis for a general marketing strategy?


Jay’s Answer: In my opinion, it’s not about the lamp – it’s about the people who are likely to want your lamp. The style of the lamp can appeal to people looking for a retro look, or a refined look, or for their dorm room, etc. The same lamp may fit into many niches, but your goal is to make it easy for those looking for “that look” to find your products.

How To Start Email Marketing

I own a wholesale business that buys assorted lines of overstock brand new products from a major retailer in the US carrying recognized brands. We have more than 51000 items in stock and I need to start an email marketing asap. Our website was designed and implemented by the people at Quick Books Pro and its is very simple and directed to the end user of 1-2 products, but very inefficient for the wholesale/retail buyer and that’s what I need to aim now. My budget is very limited and I’m looking for the best possible and efficient way to develop and deploy the best email marketing plan under my circumstances.


Jay’s Answer: It sounds like you have 2 problems: your website and a marketing plan to attract people to it.

If your website is inefficient now, then no matter how much traffic you get from your email campaign, you’re not going to be able to sell your products efficiently. So, I’d focus on your website first ensuring that the people who do visit have a high rate of conversion (to purchase or at least inquiry).

Secondly, you’ve asked about how to do an email marketing plan. The key to this is first narrowly defining your target market:

  • Who specifically is interested in your products? What gender? Age? Location?
  • Why are they interested in your products? Price? Service?
  • What makes your product offering better than your competition?
  • Why should people trust that you’ve got the best offer?

While you’re probably tempted to say: “Since we have 51,000 items in stock, so everyone in the whole world would be interested in what we’re selling. We have the best selection, price, and service.” But the problem is, it’s impossible to target the whole world for an email campaign. You need to target a slice of the population that’s more likely to want to purchase from you. So you need to put your thinking cap on and analyze previous sales and/or your competition.

How To Sell More Of 1 Product Line?

Our product is ceramic tile. We had two brands, A for high class (20% sales) and B for Middle class (80%). Recently, my boss want to increase sales percentage of A. He will produce A, little higher / same price with B (same quality also with B). Is it OK to do that? What about A brand image for a long term ? Our ads majority on A. Plese your advice. Thank you.


Jay’s Answer: You currently have two tile brands (A and B), positioned differently for different markets. I’m unclear if the product is different as well, or simply the branding/positioning is different (same product/different wording or different product/different wording).

Here are my thoughts:

  • If A & B are different and your boss wants to sell more A, then he needs to increase the positioning benefit of A tiles (“what makes them better than the competition?”)
  • If A & B are different and your boss wants to sell B tiles as A, that’s okay so long as you don’t mislabel B tiles (saying they contain a higher % of valuable materials when they don’t) and increase the positioning benefit of A tiles.
  • If A & B are the same, and you’re selling to different markets (and not mislabeling), then that’s okay as well.

Where it’s problematic, is if you misrepresent the quality of the products (a lower-quality product is labeled as a high-quality product).

How Can I Promote My Online Business?

I’m just recently setup a Etsy store to sell handmade body scrubs and I am seeking tips on how to effectively promote an online business to those not on the Etsy site. Could you assist me with promoting and/ or marketing my online business. My perspective customers are that of women, but not limited to. I have found a big marketing arena within the Blog world. Do you think there is a way to expand on that?


Jay’s Answer: Start from the inside-out:

1) Make sure that you’re first maximizing conversions (people that visit your site become customers): How many of the people that visit your site currently purchase from you? Have you looked at the analytics? How many have started to purchase from you but stopped mid-order? Why?

2) Next, focus on how easy it is to find your store/site. How does your website rank on Etsy and Google? What words do people use to find your type of products?

3) Finally, get the word out. That means identifying specific websites, magazines, newspapers, and/or clubs whose members are likely to be your customers. Not just women, but women of a certain age, demographic, location, who are looking for a specific “edge”. If you’re trying to sell scrubs to anyone, no one will find you. By narrowly targeting a niche (say, women ages 40-50, with 2 kids, also has a day-job, and is looking for something to make her feel special nights/weekends, for example) you can talk to these people in the right way (and find them).

Good luck.

How To Sell Art To The Upper Class?

I’m a small business with an artistic product. I sell 2 t0 3 units per years. Ranging from 125k+. My product is in a league of its own and I’ve been called a visionary but my industry is considered small. Upper-class customers contact me to buy my product. I’m the only one in the world to offer this specific concept so they cant go anywhere else to get it. I’ve had 4 sales in the past six months that I haven’t been able to close on. I’m a master at my craft but I seem to have trouble closing/locking in the sale. How do I lock-in the sale with someone that has contacted me but has limited time, expendable funds, and a taste for outrageous, expensive toys?


Jay’s Answer: Before you begin to try to close, find out what their (emotional) needs are. Why did they contact you today? What will they do with their purchase? Where have they seen one before? You want to engage them to find out their needs but also help them to truly visualize owning it. That’s why auto dealers know that when they ask “what color are you looking for?”, once you respond you’re now emotionally involved in the purchase.

How To Grow A Fashion Boutique In A Small Town?

My wife and I opened our own High End Fashion Boutique last week and despite marketing our shop in the local newspaper, sending text messages on their cellphones, setting up a Page and Group on Facebook and inviting almost the whole town – people are still not visiting our boutique…

People who do come to visit our shop are amazed and stunned to see how beautiful it looks and how affordable our items are…but still we aren’t generating efficient funds.

The boutique is situated in a room of our house and our house is quite a central point of town…

We currently stock jewellery, accessories, clothes, handbags, purses, shoes and other smaller items, of which the most are brand names: Prada, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Ed Hardy, Dolce&Gabbana etc…But it really is much cheaper than any other store in a 500km+ area…

Our products are exactly what the classy people are looking for…we live in a wealthy farming community, where the women love to dress up and “beautify” themselves. We can also attract youths from the college as our items are affordable enough for everyone…

What can we do to get more people to our store? Do you have any ideas to raise “awareness”? I even want to offer a Louis Vuitton Handbag valued at thousands of Rands for a competition, if it will generate enough funds…


Jay’s Answer: A simple addition (if you don’t already have it) would be a website that’s SEO optimized for your region. Since everything is one-of-a-kind, you may not wish to make the website a catalog of items that people can order from (worldwide) but you do want people to be able to get a sense from your website the experience that’s “in store” for them.

Before you try to get more people to your store, focus on the people who have already visited. Did they purchase things or not? If not, then having more people come through may not yet be a good idea – you want people to come, buy, tell their friends, and repeat. If people did purchase, then you need to give them a reason to return (regularly). Perhaps a VIP preview of new purses in one month, outerwear another month, shoes etc. Or, give them coupons to gift to their friends.

Have you contacted local clubs whose members might be prospective customers? For example: Mothers’ club, Women entrepreneurs, etc.?