Every brand travels through three stages to become mainstream. The first is the recruitment stage, when you are acquiring new, first-time customers. Before you can persuade people to try your product, you have to introduce it to them, and tell them why they should try it; what its benefits are, and what it can do for them.

The idea is to throw the widest net to acquire those customers who will go on to become regular, loyal users.

Stage two begins when the majority of your market is familiar with your product and its benefits. Then you focus on communicating the benefits of your product to particular segments or sub-groups within your market. This ‘second-pass’ may involve product variants and extensions, and will bring you additional new customers while reinforcing the purchase behaviour of existing customers.

Finally, at stage three, when your product and its benefits are pretty well universally understood, you use brand reminder advertising and new product variants to revitalise buying habits and maintain your market share.

The trick is in knowing at what stage of evolution your product is at with each market segment you target, so you can run the most appropriate kind of marketing and advertising: new product introductory ads, feature and benefits ads, or brand reminder ads.


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