Did you know the popular odor eliminator Febreze initially struggled to connect with its audience and the project was almost scrubbed? It’s true. According to The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, Febreze used to be odorless but now current commercials communicate the product has wonderful new fragrances that can overcome some awful stenches.
One test subject was a park ranger and always smelled of skunk. Her home, her truck, her clothes; needless to say this put a damper on her social life. She praised the product for allowing her to live normally again. Marketers ran with this and positioned it as the one product on the market that would completely remove unpleasant odors. Your dog would still smell like a dog but now your sofa didn’t have to was one of the early marketing messages.
Well that wasn’t enough to keep product moving off the shelves. People would buy it and shove it under the counter and never use it again. The message didn’t connect with how people were using the product. The project was about to scrubbed when another round of interviews showed how women were using the product. Febreze was the reward after cleaning their homes. They weren’t using it to remove odor, Febreze was the finishing touch on a job’s completion. That information changed the message and how marketers could finally connect Febreze and its target audience.
Finding the right message is a matter of trial and error. You’ll test, fail, and test again until you find just the right mix or blend for your marketing message. And since your audience isn’t stagnant and mindsets and circumstances change, you’ll have to review or test the effectiveness of your message periodically. Two companies recently changed their theme or appeal (you can read about it here) to better suit consumer sentiment and as a small business owner, you’ll have to do the same.
Don’t get too frustrated if your message doesn’t immediately connect. That’s why testing and research is so critical to the success of your marketing efforts.
Febreze is clearing a billion dollars in sales because it learned how consumers were using their product and crafted a message that connected the consumer to the product.
Your small business can craft a such a message too with a bit of research and fine tuning.