My product wasn’t just good it was great.
Nobody had anything like it.
It had all the markings of success:
- Industry growing at a rapid pace? Check.
- Unique product? Yep!
- Exclusive access? You bet.
Two (2) months of living and working in someone else’s un-finished basement later, and I was ready to show it to the world!
We launched the site, and waited to move product.
Over the next few days we stared at our sales…
Take a wild guess how much we made:
. . .
I made $10.
And that was from directly selling it to a friend.
Talk about demoralizing.
So like anyone else in my shoes would do, I tried every single pivot I could think of to make it work.
- Monthly deliveries for small businesses
- Wholesale to local shops
- Selling to consumers online…
You name it…
After spending (5) years experimenting and over $1,000 in costs I finally figured out what happened!
So, what went wrong?
Well, I positioned my product so nobody else could even compete!
I had the market cornered!
I found a ‘blue ocean’ with absolutely no competition!
I dug myself into a huge hole!
Confused? Let me explain…
I read a book called “Blue Ocean Strategy.“
(Great book. But in my opinion misses (1) essential thing relating to marketing)
This one (1) principle could have potentially saved me months of work and more than one thousand dollars…
And the best way to explain this is with an analogy that the book uses: Fish and Sharks.
Oceans are filled with water.
Reefs are filled with fish.
The deep blue sea is a big blue ocean with no competition, but a few large fish like tuna.
Reefs are where sharks hang out (because easy FOOD).
Having a Blue Ocean strategy means that you’ve positioned your product in such a way that there is no competition.
“Hey, that sounds like a great plan!”
- To be a fisherman, you need fish.
- To have a successful business you need customers.
When you’re just starting out, you don’t have an audience.
So you should probably hang out where the fish already are.
This is why you’ll always find a few smaller stores right next to giant stores like Walmart.
The customers are already there, and that’s half the battle.
Will there be competition where the fish are?
Competition means that people WANT what you have.
So, what you’re selling is actually solving a pain point.
Walmart, Nike, and Apple, can do whatever they want.
Their customers find and follow them.
They can go out into the deep blue sea whenever they’d like.
The rest of us need to hang out by the reef if we want to actually catch something.
This can all be condensed into (2) very important lessons.
Lesson #1: Find an audience that already exists, or build your own. Then figure out a pain they have by asking questions. (You can do this through Facebook Groups, Quora, Forums, or any number of ways.
Lesson #2: Don’t create a product until you’re sure the pain is real. (Don’t take their word for it. Make sure they’re willing to separate with their hard earned cash)
More questions about positioning a product? Throw it down in the comments.