Innovation: The Lowest Hanging Fruit

by Ben Perreira

Marketers get a lot of things right when it comes to generating demand for products. One of the things we don’t do as well is identify opportunities outside of the company’s traditional offerings.

We spend a lot of money marketing trucks to sports fans and cleaning products to people watching Bravo. We do this because we think these people are the low hanging fruit. They are the people who traditionally buy those products. But if everyone knows what the low hanging fruit is, will focusing on only these consumers eventually cause the company to lose ground to competitors?

In addition to continuing to court these valuable customers, we can find new ways to message our products and expand their reach. An example of this is the use of the term “all wheel drive” rather than 4×4. The mechanics are the same, but AWD is used for cars such as Subarus, BMWs and Audis. A 4×4 is tough, while an AWD is powerful

Another example is shampoo for men. American men aren’t socialized to care for their hair in the same way women are. The P&Gs of the world realized this and took the same basic product, added more masculine or neutral scents, and put it in packaging that looks like a tool box. They gave us our own commercials and in-store displays. And now we care about the shampoo we buy!

Market opportunity is, almost by definition, finding what competitors have yet to find. Whether that is a brand message, a package, a price or the product itself, there are few brands who couldn’t do a little more to increase revenues by addressing unmet consumer needs.