Tuesday, April 3, 2012

5 Things Makers Can Learn from the Home Shopping Network (and those other late night infomercials that are keeping so many people up all night)

I used to have a big problem falling asleep

(which has turned into a big problem staying asleep - ugh)

and was kind of an expert on those As Seen on TV uber-amazing gadgets and gizmos that are so hard to resist and seem so magical at 2am.

I don't get to see this stuff as much these days, but if we're thinking this is just all cheesy stuff we don't have to pay attention to we may be missing something.

Like millions of dollars in somethings.

Now, I wouldn't suggest we turn our makings into an infomercial about the virtues of cubic zirconia, but I do think there are things we could learn and apply to our own ventures from this uber-successful selling concept.

1. The hosts create trust by really believing in the stuff they are selling

Now, I get that some of this is called acting and I'm not saying I really believe that Cindy Crawford gets her amazing skin from her skincare line (although she does make me believe she uses her products) and not from botox and collagen, but the passion these hosts have for their brands is unmistakable.

sometimes this passion comes through with an evangelical fervor that borders on the insane and it may just be the Jersey in me that isn't bothered by this, but if we don't think our stuff is totally amazing and freakin' awesome and get a little crazy about it now and then no one else will either

2. They reveal product features gradually

With infomercials it's always - wait there's more and then wait, there's more again. Whether the more is another little feature or benefit or freebie - it seems like the goodies never end and we would be a damn fool not to buy this stuff.

how can we get the - "wait, there's more" factor - into our makings? what is our "more"? how can we get our customers thinking - "holy crap this is an unbelievable combination of things and I can't live without it!"

3. They focus on solutions to problems

An example is that closet hanger thingamajig. They show you the messy closets, the frustrated woman, the sloppy kids dragging their wrinkled selves about the house. They get us thinking "Oh my God I so relate to this" - I think it's the wrinkled kids that does it. Then they slowly introduce their amazing closet hanger thingamajig that we start thinking we can't live without. It's not about getting rid of our messy closets - it's the solution to everything that clutters up our lives - it's the answer to life itself

how are our makings creating a solution for our customers - we don't have to be quite so over the top about it, our niche market may not be the 2am shopping crowd that we need to keep awake but by thinking in terms of how our makings make people's lives better we are definitely going to make stronger connections

4. They bring in experts

I am not sure exactly what the dirty carpet guy expert is an expert in - but it's clear he's an expert - who is going to argue with a guy with a three piece suit and clipboard and handful of cow manure - I mean it's clear this guy means business and knows about dirty carpets.

who are our experts - well, if you sell pillows it could be those home magazines that should be featuring you so you can be telling the world what the experts think about your stuff - find yourself an expert

5. They are like us ... only better

The hosts are always relatable to the audience ... they are just a little bit better organized, handy, good-looking, etc - but not so much that we hate them. The hosts are totally relatable to their target market.

how are we making ourselves accessible? do you wear your own makings? do you have a blog or facebook so people can get to know you? the more your customers see you as a person and not a "manufacturer" the more they will be able to relate to you - it is each of us presenting ourselves as a real person, warts and all .. well, hopefully we don't have any warts, but if we do, there's always photoshop - that makes this big old impersonal internet into a very personal place where we can get to know each other

So, the next time you are ordering a Lint Lizard or a Sticky Buddy at 2am - stop and think about what it was that made you pull out your credit card at 2am and how can you get your late night online shopper to do that, too?!

* New Polarity Locket Magnetic Wrap Bracelet because wrists need love and magnets, too
** Erupting with Awesome print by YellowHeartArt

2 comments:

KJ said...

Not that I am arguing that we need to provide a solution, as in, what do I wear to work with my white blouse and pencil skirt? But... and you knew it was coming...

I see those commercials and I think, geez didn't this person learn how to use scissors in 1st grade? or Geez, doesn't this person know how to use an oven mit (or even a handy towel)? or Geez, why is everything in that closet white and how can it take up less space when it is not perfectly vertical? or... you get the point.

Sorry, those commercials just really insult me.

By the way, I love the bracelet wrap and I am sure that the magnet provides a healing aura like other magnetic bracelets and in a much more eye pleasing way.

Catherine Ivins said...

thanks about the bracelet KJ! I know those hangers just look like a huge mess to me- everything will be wrinkled and crushed together and how much weight could they possibly hold- I do have to admit I love the gadgety stuff though- ack!

xo