As marketers, we’re so familiar with what we sell, we have tunnel vision regarding how our customers use our products. We could give lectures on their buying habits, wax poetic about their demographics and write War-and-Peace-length dissertations on how to get them to convert.
But memorized pitches change if we look outside of our norm market. Finding new customers is crucial for any business, and finding customers with differing uses for your product can be a big boost for your brand.
An excellent means to reach an entirely new market segment is to find alternative ways for your product to be used.
For example, Pedialyte. Traditionally marketed to parents with children not growing at a normal rate, Pedialyte discovered adults were using their drinks to recover from intense workouts, give runners a boost and help those that indulged a little too much the night before.
Identifying this alternate use for their products not only allowed Pedialyte to distinguish an entire second market, but also develop an additional product line specifically aimed at adults.
Similarly, when Taco Bell realized their food was popular as a late-night meal for college students after a night of partying, they created the “Fourth Meal” campaign aimed at a younger demographic.
You may not think there are alternatives to your product, but consider these steps first.
Look for User Groups of your Brand Online
Social network tribes are becoming increasingly more important when reaching out to your customer base, as well as determining needs for future users. Try finding niche, social websites within your market and read what consumers are saying about your brand.
Pay Attention to Social Media
Your customers may be talking about how they use your product on your own social media pages using your hashtag. This is a great way to garner a general sense of how your customers feel about your product.
Talk to the Professionals
Professionals in your brands’ field may have great suggestions. Have a cooking product? Talk to a few chefs. Selling hair care? Salon stylists may have great ideas even you couldn’t have dreamed up.