The key to having a good product is to fundamentally understand your customer.
Your product is what you sell (your subscription box). While this is the most intuitive part of marketing, it’s a bit more nuanced for subscription boxes since what goes in your box changes from month to month. The key to having a good product is to fundamentally understand your customer. Here are 3 key questions to consider before you design your product:
- What needs are your customers trying to fill? Put yourself in their shoes.
- What are your customers’ shopping behaviors? Why do they shop?
- How will you be different than competitors?
Once you have the answers to these 3 questions, you can get started on the specifics of your product.
Let’s answer the above 3 questions for our glasses box:
What needs are your customers trying to fill?
From our research, let’s say we found out that fashionable people use their clothing to express and differentiate themselves. With glasses, they try to satisfy the basic need of correcting their vision and a secondary need of being fashionable and standing out. Because this is the case, we want to make sure our packaging is set apart from the competition and ensure the frames themselves are different and unique, but won’t clash with their style.
What are your customers’ shopping behaviors? How do they shop?
This young group of people prefers to shop online. The days of getting glasses at the optometrist are long gone, and with the introduction of online eyeglass retailers like Warby Parker, Ozeal, Zenni and Eye Buy Direct, buying glasses online is not a new concept. Our customers don’t like having to deal with the entire hassle of glasses-buying – getting prescriptions, picking out frames, sending prescriptions to the manufacturer, waiting for the glasses to be made, and finally receiving them. Instead, they would prefer to have little interaction with the prescription process and more interaction with picking frames (similar to shopping for clothes or other accessories).
How will you be different than competitors?
Ideally, this is what our entire business is built on. We are different in some way. For our glasses box, this was already answered above. Customers don’t like having to deal with prescriptions, and they want glasses regularly. Our subscription box model solves both of these issues for our fashion-forward spectacles aficionados. Although customers will always need a prescription to buy glasses, a subscription can notify customers when prescriptions need to be renewed, rather than forcing customers to scramble to get a prescription for a one-time purchase.
One of the most common mistakes of new business owners is mispricing their product. Price isn’t just a matter of covering costs, but it is also a valuable tool for differentiation and managing your box’s perceived quality. For more info on how you can leverage price, view our article here.
This is the closest thing to people’s first impression of marketing. Promotion encompasses advertising, public relations, social media, SEO, and brand management. The best way to get started with your promotion strategy is to manage your brand – or how your product is viewed by customers. This is where you figure out how to talk to your consumer and shape how they look at your product.
For our glasses box, we want to communicate that our product provides convenience, a changing/evolving style, quality, and novelty. As such, we’ve decided to name our glasses box “Spectacle.” First, this draws a connection to glasses (spectacles), but then adds an element of fashion and uniqueness by suggesting that they are a spectacle. Maybe we’ll add a slogan too: “Let the world see you differently.”
As for channels of promotion, we found from our research that most of our target market engage with Instagram and Pinterest. They follow a few fashion bloggers and are interested in design. In this case, we would try to invest our advertising budget in Instagram and Pinterest ads, and we would try to get our products in the hands of fashion bloggers to review. These platforms are image-based, so taking good pictures and showing people how the product looks is important.
Make sure you identify where your customers spend time and the influencers in those categories. People are more likely to buy if they trust the source. Don’t be afraid to be creative! Choose the right words, colors, themes, and images for your audience and watch your subscriber count grow!
Putting your box in the right place at the right time can make the world of difference. While all the 4 Ps are closely related, Place and Promotion have a particularly intimate relationship. Maintaining a website helps build your brand and trust, but getting on marketplaces like the Cratejoy Marketplace, Etsy, or Amazon can help reach an audience you otherwise wouldn’t be able to!
A great real-world example of the above strategy is Ikea. Before Ikea, furniture was widely viewed as an expensive, one-time investment. However, due to Ikea’s price point and overall marketing strategy, people have since let go of that view and now see as furniture as something that can be bought relatively regularly. Ikea’s marketing strategy is a perfect example of how the 4 Ps work in harmony.