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Starbucks does almost zero advertising.  They focus on changing their product, constantly, to delight their ever-changing customers.

It’s too easy to change your marketing and not your product when sales slows to simply put a “new coat on the same old dog”.  Now, I happen to like old dogs.  But if you haven’t changed, improved, overhauled, tweaked, blown up, or otherwise monkeyed with your product in the last 12 months, well, it might be feeling like the same old dog to your customers.

Blow it up
If everything about your product “blew up,” if you couldn’t offer what you offer now and your goal was to create, from the ground up, a replacement product, an AWESOME replacement product, what would it be?  T-h-e   u-l-t-i-m-a-t-e   p-r-o-d-u-c-t!

Write it down.
How can you change what you have now, given today’s realities, to more reflect the features you imagined in your replacement product?

Your product is at the heart of your marketing.  Changing it is your most powerful marketing tool.  Think about it:

Everything, all your marketing and sales efforts, are designed to “sing the praises” of the product you offer.  Maybe your product simply is beginning to fall out of favor with your target customers.  All the changes in the world to “everything else” won’t completely stop people from deserting your product if this is the case.

“We buy products and resell them as is, there’s nothing to change. . .”  Maybe, but what can you add?  Free installation?  Bundle the product with something else; an extended warranty, a service contract, a related product or service?  In 20+ years I’ve never seen a situation where a product couldn’t be changed or improved.

Don’t be afraid to throw changing your product into the mix of things that can be changed when sales start to go south.  Probably the single most powerful change you can make to your marketing is to change your product.  Move with your market.  If they want smaller, lighter, more durable, and your product is big and heavy, change it!  Or introduce another model that is smaller, lighter and more durable.

Blow it up in your mind, dream a little, write it down — all that’s very innocent.  Then, given reality, what can you do to change your product?  Probably quite a bit.  Now, get started!