How do you compete with huge accounts that seem to have bottomless pits when it comes to advertising and media buys?…Smart internet marketing! The average buyer decides if a web site is right for them in 3 seconds to 1 minute. As I shared some time ago: you have a minute to win it when it comes to online sales. How do market leading companies insure buyers find what they are shopping for quickly, stay on their website and buy? I found a new company that clearly understands how to sell products online: Buffalo Head Leather.
As I watch retailers scrambling for position in the minds of buyers for black Friday sales I can’t help but be somewhat amused by the poor branding and positioning. Do these retailers who now sell online not understand marketing and positioning or they have become so lazy and complacent they just hope throwing it on the wall to see if it sticks is good marketing? Are they now aware that up to 60% of the buying process is completed online before a buyer interacts with your company?
When I look at the ads and the visual imagery chosen to sell a particular product I often wonder what if any consideration occurred for the brand of the retailer and the product when designing the communication? Who are their buyer personas? How well do they know them? The ads that now fill my newspaper, television and websites I visit are all the same. They have dumb-ed down their marketing, positioning and branding as if they assume “everyone “could be a customer.
So imagine my delight in finding a new company online: Buffalo Head Leather. This new company makes and sells leather belts, wallets, key holders and accessories made from buffalo hides. When you visit their website they clearly understand the importance of imagery to support your brand and positioning. In addition this site loads fast. More searches are now done on mobile devices than desktops. I have read studies that share you web site has 3 seconds to load or a consumer will quickly bounce to the next site listed in their Google search. This site loads quickly and it was designed to be mobile friendly. Web sites that are not mobile friendly are quickly becoming invisible as I shared in a post titled; Is your web site invisible.
When I found this new company they obviously have done their homework in terms of marketing specific to branding, positioning, their ideal customer and buyer personas. The imagery found on this site says to me;
- We make a high quality product that is competitively priced
- Our research shows to target men
- Our products for successful people who value quality
- We did research and it showed consumers have a concern that Buffalo’s are endangered
- The shopping experience is easy and fast
- We believe in creating images and content so our customers can easily share us
- We are not the cheapest
This site reminded me how new companies often execute better than companies who have served markets for years. New companies understand the market today and do their research. New companies take the time to define their buyer personas and their imagery and content supports their brand and positioning. I just ordered a book titled Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper (and what to do about it). I look forward to reading this book and discussing this topic future posts.
I was so impressed by marketing strategy well executed and the quality of their products I reached out to the company. I spoke with one of their owners who has experience in marketing buyer personas and visual imagery. I asked if my perception of what he was communicating online was correct and I think he was surprised how much I knew about his brand after just a few minutes on his website.
Below are a few of the questions I asked:
Any challenges in his market verification stage? He shared that when they tested their messaging prior to launch a common concern buyers expressed was a perception that buffalo leather was stiffer than cow hide leather and actually the opposite was true so he directed me to a web page that shares the difference and how products made from buffalo are actually softer.
I noticed you are not the only site or the first site, how do you plan to compete? Authentically sharing who we are, what we represent and everything we do is about a total quality experience. We are committed to knowing are targeted buyers and helping them buy , helping them shop.
Why pinterest and instagram when your buyer persona is successful men who value quality products? Our research showed men want quality products, accessories if you will. Some shop searching for imagery and clicking pictures that match what they are looking for hoping the image brings them to a site to purchase. More importantly, we found successful men are hard to buy for, and women often shop for gifts for them on line. So based on how many women use pinterest and instagram we had to establish a presence there.
How about your web site?
Does the imagery speak to your buyer personas?
Does your web site proactively speak to concerns your buyers have that interrupts their buying process?
Is your web site mobile friendly?
Is your company at risk of a branding and positioning savvy new competitor entering your market and being 10 times better and faster?
Does your website imagery and content clearly convey your brand promise?
Congratulations to the buffalo head leather team for doing your market work prior to launch and positioning your products. It is time we all take the time and clearly understand our markets, buyers and buyer personas. We must create content and imagery that quickly resonates with our targeted buyers or they will find another site that does.