Marketing a Commodity

By joanne | 5th November | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Skills, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Training

Petrol, paper and milk are some of the most common ‘commodity’ products.  The principle of a commodity is that  products are the same (at least to the untrained eye) regardless of who produces them.  It’s therefore very difficult to justify paying a higher price for something you know you could pick up somewhere else locally for less money.  But, some companies that operate in this market are still thinking creatively about how they can market these products and generate ‘perceived’ value for customers.

Earlier today, I was reading ‘The Marketer’ magazine and came across an article about Office Depot, an international stationery supplier.  One of the best ideas I’ve read for marketing in the commodity arena was a campaign they did to customers who had bought printers in the last twelve months.  They sent them a sticker with all the information of the printer type and model, a phone number and a reference to quote for re-ordering.  These were well-timed, well-targeted and removed the hassle factor for customers.  An absolutely brilliant idea.

Another way to differentiate a commodity product is through the service element and knowledge of your team.  For example, a local office products specialist we know (BSS Office Products in Lancaster) emphasise how their product knowledge helps customers choose the right solution, without them having to trawl through a large catalogue.  One example of this is their knowledge of office layouts, which can massively increase efficiency.  That’s advice you simply wouldn’t receive if you purchased your stationery in your local supermarket – but it could save you thousands of pounds.

By thinking slightly differently, you can still stand out from the crowd – even in a commodity market – and you can provide a real solution for your customers.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,