Not every brand has an exciting product or service. Traditional, “boring” industries often have products that are just as mundane, such as components for other products or necessities.
The trick is that the products or services aren’t what create excitement – the marketing does. There may not be anything flashy about what you sell, but how you sell it matters.
Some of the most engaging marketing content comes from brands that sell boring products, such as Warby Parker and Casper. These brands have a reputation for being fun and fresh, drawing people in.
The product can be boring, complicated, or esoteric. The branding and marketing doesn’t have to be.
Wondering how you can use this to your advantage? Find out how to make a complex product exciting for the press.
How to Spice Up Product Marketing
If you think your marketing is limited by your products or services, you’re only limiting yourself. Even if you sell copier toner, optometry components, or accounting software, you have an opportunity to make an impression.
Digital marketing is a gamechanger for boring products. It gives every company a chance to make their mark and take a creative approach to marketing that draws people to their brand.
Showcase the Benefits
The golden rule of marketing is focusing on the benefits, the lifestyle impact, what it enables you, the user, to do, and not the features. Most brands know this, but they don’t necessarily use it in practice. For most products, the specs aren’t exciting and are often meaningless to customers that don’t know what the specs mean. It’s what they can do that matters. People want to know how a product will impact them and provide real-world value.
When the iphone launched, it wasn’t about having a powerful CPU, a color touch screen, integrated Wi-Fi, a GPS radio – it was about unlocking a world of possibilities with powerful apps, console-quality gaming, taking the internet with you everywhere, having a quality camera and video camera on you at all times, never getting lost with built in GPS navigation, and more.
Or when selling electrical and industrial products like lockout tagout devices and supplies. In addition to engaging product content and focusing on customer needs, gain their trust by providing reliable sources of product information from trusted industry experts and product standard endorsements.
Your benefits should always be at the forefront of your marketing. Keep the features and specs in the background. Showcase how your product or service solves a problem, saves time, or stretches their budget. If you’re selling to a B2B audience, focus on how the product can streamline their business, boost productivity, cust costs and attract more customers.
Keep It Simple
If you get caught up in the complexity of the product or service, you’ll put people to sleep. A complex product doesn’t mean complex marketing. Anyone should be able to read your material or visit your website and see the value clearly and plainly. If that’s challenging, you’re not looking at things the right way.
Your marketing message should focus on the essentials. Apple is an excellent example of a brand that takes complex and potentially boring technical spec enhancements and makes them exciting.
Craft the Narrative
Storytelling is the key to successfully marketing any brand, product, or service. Give the audience someone to root for. Talk about why you started your business, share customer success stories, or tell everyone how your product made a marked difference in the world. All of these stories connect with the audience and make your marketing more compelling with a clear emotional connection.
One exceptional example of how this can be used is Montefiore Hospital. Instead of focusing on medical technology or messaging in the form of public service announcements, the provider connects with the audience using real-life stories about patients overcoming the odds with the help of its medical services.
Consider how you can use your customers’ success stories to tell the audience how your products change lives.
Include Stunning Visuals
Some products simply aren’t visually appealing. Aglets (those plastic pieces on the ends of a shoelace) aren’t exciting. Washers, flush valves, drawer liners, lightbulbs, etc. aren’t flashy or visually stunning products. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your product visually interesting.
Show your product in colorful and interesting settings. Don’t just show them how they will be used, instead, show them how they can be used. Show how an artist or maker used your product with success and created something beautiful. Get creative and help people see your product in a different light. For example, an aglet could be shown with a bunch of different sneakers, each with different colored laces. What do they have in common?
Glorify is an easy-to-use yet powerful graphic design tool that allows you to plan, design, launch and analyze all your big ideas in one place. It is a lifesaver for if you’re looking to easily create high-quality images without the need for pricey outsourcing .
Glorify makes design accessible to all. Entrepreneurs, marketers, agency owners, designers and just about any busy professional can use this tool to create aesthetic images that convert.
It is also super useful to Ecommerce enthusiasts who need a simple, quick solution to make their products stand out in a saturated market. With simple tools for beginners and advanced features for designers, Glorify provides a great alternative to other design tools out there.
- Has thousands of fully customizable ready-made templates
- Offers fully customizable 3D mockups and mockup scenes
- Has branding tools such as a logo maker, brand kits and template bundles
- Collaborative features and workspaces make it ideal for teams
- Has an ambitious roadmap with several future features lined up
- Has amazing customer support
Glorify offers a free plan for those just getting started. Monthly subscriptions to their Pro and Business plans cost $39.99 and $99.99 respectively. However, if you choose either plan as a yearly subscription, you will get a 25% discount.
When in doubt, use humor. Many boring or complex products can be elevated with some humor. The joke could even be that your product is boring. The key is that the joke actually has to be funny and relatable to the masses to work, or it could backfire.
On top of that, good laughs go viral. One of the most successful and memorable campaigns for a boring product with humorous marketing is Lume, the deodorant. The creator takes a very real approach to selling her product and embracing awkward topics like body odor. Her campaigns are often shared, introducing more people to something that would otherwise be boring – deodorant.
Educate the Audience
Creating engaging content can be more than just being funny or giving stuff away. Depending on your brand, that may not even be the appropriate approach. Complex products can benefit from clear and helpful information that help people maximize their use.
You can do this many different ways, such as sharing expert advice, correcting common industry myths, or sharing interesting company history. For example, H&R Block’s “boring” tax preparation services are demystified by educational content that helps customers get the maximum tax return.
Share Behind-the-Scenes Content
This is one area where complex products can shine. People like to get a peek behind the curtain and see the “nuts and bolts” of a business, especially when the product is complicated.
Maersk, the container logistics company, doesn’t have a flashy or exciting product. It manages to make things interesting with content that shows the ins and outs of a logistics company, connecting it to how a customer’s beloved goods make them safe and sound, and behind-the-scenes peeks into life on a container barge.
Authenticity is challenging, especially when a lot of consumers believe that brands can’t be trusted. But that’s also why true authenticity shines and leaves an impact. Brands that are real and raw give the audience something to root for.
Be honest and transparent in your branding and your content. Overly salesy content or constant promotions make people feel you’re only out for yourself. Making it about the customer and showing your authenticity helps your brand shine.
A great way of staying authentic in your branding content is referring to your internal sales assets. For example, making use of competitive battle cards and emphasizing on product’s benefits can better present product features without being salesy.
Host a Q&A
If your product or service is so complicated that people don’t understand it, host a Q&A to tackle some common questions. This can work for both boring and practical products, like accounting software, and embarrassing or NSFW products, such as personal hygiene products.
There are many ways to approach Q&A, such as live Q&A on social media, Ask Me Anything (AMA), webinars, or interviews.
Connect to Lifestyles
Connecting a product to a lifestyle or business need can position a product or service in a way that gives it ideals, aspirations, or aesthetics that resonate with the target audience. Brands that take this approach are marketing their products as part of a way of life for the audience and create an immersive experience.
This goes beyond selling a product or service – it’s selling an ideal. If you think about it, many athletic brands use this approach. Nike is famous for selling its products as a way of life, as is UnderArmour. Sure, they make good products, but the brand loyalty comes from customers who eat, sleep, breathe, and sweat the ideals.
Use Marketing to Create Interest
Not every product is inherently exciting, sleek, or flashy. Most companies, both B2B and B2C, don’t have those products. These companies just have to put more work and creativity into selling their products in a way that’s more interesting and exciting.