Right Product Wrong Market?

By: Dan Kennedy on: November 2nd, 2010 7 Comments

Right Product, Wrong Customers
Right Customers, Wrong Product

Do you remember the episode of one the prior year’s ‘The Apprentice’, where each team was given an empty shell of a restaurant, a chef, and one day to get open, get customers, serve meals, and win a Zagaat survey competition.

The woman leading the losing team got fired and left, never getting the point made to her several times — her restaurant’s interior and cuisine were both terrific.

Environment beautiful, stunning, if stark. Cuisine clever Asian fusion. And she and her women teammates elegantly attired in long, black evening gowns.

Unfortunately, as Trump’s assistant stated, it was all a terrible mismatch with the demographics of the customers.

An hour spent on the sidewalk observing the people who lived and were walking around the neighborhood would have sounded the alarm bell.

But the team made all their decisions in the vacuum of what they wanted to do, their own creativity. In classic dysfunction, they built their product first, then hoped they’d have a market for it – instead of “building to suit” the market.

There was nothing “wrong” with what they did. It was just in the wrong place.

Even Trump is capable of this sort of error. I saw him on QVC once, selling a collectors’ edition of his book, “How To Think Like A Billionaire.” He sold a couple thousand books in 30 minutes, but in reality, the QVC customers are not the best matched buyers for this book.

There was a way to fix it, and probably sell 10,000 books, but, incredibly, neither the host or Trump did it. The book should have been positioned and sold as the ultimate gift for the businessperson in your life. It should have been sold as “gift”, not as “book”, and less time spent discussing its contents, more time spent discussing the kinds of people who’d be thrilled to get the gift.

What I teach as MESSAGE-TO-MARKET MATCH really is not rocket science. Yet the vast majority of businesses, ad campaigns, products and projects seem to move forward with total disregard for this principle.

Odd, huh?


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

7 Responses

  1. Very odd indeed , but not unexpected given the fact that most people are just little chidren in full grown bodies…no maturity past age 12 when I want , I want , actually meant something to their parents(even though it should’nt).

  2. Scott says:

    fascinating advice on how QVC should have sold the Trump book as a “gift” and focusing on the “who” should by it, rather than what was in the damn book.

  3. Charles says:

    Very interesting article. Your insight is awesome, but as you said, it’s not rocket science. I will definitely re-evaluate the presentation of my services and products as to who they are designed for. Thanks, DAN!

  4. I never saw that episode!
    Oh how I wish I could instant que all the past seasons of Apprentice on Netflix!

    Thanks for the article!

  5. Absolutely right Bill… I was just reading one of Bencivenga’s bullets and he mentioned how in virtually every single case, whenever he specifically targeted his copy to the EXACT person he was trying to reach (in really specific detail)… he got controls.

    Jeremy Reeves

  6. I just got here, because I’m reading your book “The Ultimate Sales Letter”, I’m really thrilled by the crystal clear way you explain things. The Trump book story is just another example of how a good market understanding is key to improve your “message” (sales pitch, copywrite, sales letter). I really liked your “10 Smart Market Diagnosis and Profiling Questions”. Should Trump have asked them, probably he’d come out with the right sales approach of his books.

    BTW, the http://www.ultimate-sales-letter.com link doesn’t work. :( Anyway, your book is terrific.

  7. […] aside on this topic, here’s a link to a great article by Master Marketer Dan Kennedy, titled Right Product, Wrong Market. Go have a read – it might be an important eye opener for […]

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