You are here

Five ways to make the ordinary extraordinary

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

You are selling yourself short. You can do this. You really can sell. You really can make money from this idea that you have. You can earn enough to make life better for yourself and your loved ones.

Back in the 80s when bottled water was all the craze I remember thinking this is nuts. Why would I pay for what I can get out of the tap? If you live on Montserrat or have ever tasted our water then you know that you’ve never tasted anything sweeter and more refreshing straight from the tap. But now we think nothing of paying for water in a bottle, even on island.

The idea to bottle water actually began in the eighteenth century and it is now the second most popular beverage sold commercially in the United States.

In the mid-1970s Perrier launched a major campaign to revive the bottled water industry. They didn’t target remote African villages with no running water or wells. They were selling to people who already had access to water in their homes. So why did they think it could work? How did they make something that seemed very normal into something we would want to spend money on?

I need you to get the message that your product or service is not so out there that it can’t be sold at the right price and to the people who need it. We each make decisions daily about what we will invest in. Our time, our money, our emotions, our energy. All we need is for you to connect with us on the level which allows us to buy into the idea that we need what you have on offer.
Consider these five ways to make what some may think is an ordinary business extraordinary.

Association. They made us want it by associating it with a lifestyle and people we admired or wanted to be like. The stars were all drinking Perrier and you heard the actors ask for it by name in the movies. So even before we really knew what it was and whether we preferred the sparkling version or the still, we were already associating the idea that this bottled water was something we needed to have if other people thought it was a must have.

Packaging. Perrier Water was sexy looking and the green bottle is as recognizable as a can of Coca Cola. Take the time to make your business place look professional. Clean up the bleached out articles in the store window. Put fruits and vegetables which are running out of sell life on sale. Don’t let your place be known for having stale produce and old-looking goods.

Style it. We eat with our eyes. Presentation is key so understand how to position food on a plate to create an appealing effect.  Yes you could paint the sign yourself but if you have zero or minimal design skills, it is worth it to invest in a professional to deliver you the result you need.

Out of sight…out of mind. Coca Cola is already popular and I don’t know if there is a place on the planet that you won’t see those red cans so why do they still spend millions annually on a global advertising campaign. They are not holding much faith in your ability to stay loyal based on last year’s campaign. You must stay front and centre in the minds of your customers. Stay in touch. Use a website, email campaigns, social media, radio ads, and television and newspaper promotions to get the word out. Switch it up. The ad campaign from 2005 is no longer valid. Get new commercials, posters. Update your Facebook page please.

Exclusivity is attractive. Whereas Coca Cola wants everyone to drink it. Perrier wasn’t marketed as a drink for the masses but for the classy, the refined, and the very rich. Depending on your product or service, positioning it as an offer that only a few can afford and creates a sense of “if you have to ask you can’t afford it”, can work to your advantage. Look at the different ways you can market your product. If we consider Caribbean fashion designers who don’t have the market to necessitate ordering 1000 pieces of a dress or T-shirt from China, to try to position a line as clothing for everyone is counterproductive. You actually create more demand for your line when it is presented as one of a kind, top of the line, and expensive. This means it won’t be on sale in the general store but in a well-branded store with the full effects to sell the idea.

This is not the time to give up on your product or service. Take it apart and look at new ways it can be repackaged to fit different markets. The winners will be the entrepreneurs who can see an ordinary business and make it extraordinary in its service and product delivery.                  
Nerissa Golden is an award-winning Media Strategist, Business Coach and author who helps her clients accelerate their business growth by leveraging high impact communications solutions and income generating strategies. Get tips on starting and growing a business at Follow her on Twitter @trulynerissa.


User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff.

Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.

Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments.

Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.

Before posting, please refer to the Community Standards, Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy

User profiles registered through fake social media accounts may be deleted without notice.