pigYou’ve heard the old saying “you can’t put lipstick on a pig.”  If sales are slipping, as you focus on changing your marketing —  the amount of lipstick to use and the color — remember to include your product on your list of possible things to change.  It just may have turned into a pig without you knowing it.  Which leads me to GM.

By now you’ve heard about GM’s 60-day satisfaction guarantee.  Drive one of the eligible cars for 60 days.  If you aren’t happy return it and get your money back.

More lipstick?

Probably, but they don’t have much choice until they can bring out more fuel-efficient cars.  You know, the type of cars people actually want to buy?  Which gets to the core of GM’s self-inflicted problem:

GM has too many cars people just don’t want to buy; they need to fix this; and it takes years to develop a new car.

You, however, don’t have this problem.  That is, the problem of years required to develop a new product.

Your Product is Central to Your Marketing

While this seems obvious, it isn’t.  Subaru made money in 2008.  Toyota is selling as many Priuses as it can make.  GM and Chrysler are on the edge of extinction.

The difference, class, anyone, anyone?  Subaru and Toyota have cars people want to buy.

Your Product. . .a Pig?

It’s a pig if the needs of your target market have changed and your product hasn’t.

Wait a second you say, I can’t change my product, my product’s my product.  Everything you do is your product.  How you ship, terms, quantity discounts, service, support, it’s all part of your product and all of it can be changed.  It could be as simple as changing what you say about your product.  Are you highlighting quality when you should be talking about a low annual cost of operation?  And it could be a difficult as actually changing your product.

Please, remember, a slick new ad, a cool new brochure is nothing but lipstick if people just don’t want your pig product.