*ENTIRE* Marketing College Course Condensed Into A Single Article – Product Vs Offer

If you’re looking at creating a new product in the marketplace, the absolute core thing you need to appreciate is that the standard marketing mix (4 P’s) is not really going to be much of a help.

Microsoft have been selling Windows for ~$100 for decades; during that time, Linux and a number of other operating systems have also been available… for FREE. According to common marketing doctrine, this would instantly make Linux far more attractive to the end-user. Not so.

The reason for this is something called the “offer”. The offer is never really discussed in “traditional” marketing circles; it’s basically the “USP” (Unique Selling Point) of a product, but with more depth. The main issue is that “USP” (to most people) is just a feature that may be unique (for example “it has more colours than the competition” etc).

Whilst the USP is important, it’s a symptom of a successful product, NOT the cause. The cause is what the product is able to “do” that others cannot (hence why Windows is so much more successful – it’s compatible with all other systems that businesses end up using).

The RESULTS the product is able to create is the underlying “offer” that it provides to the buyer. This is best evidenced with “weight loss” products:

  • Whey Protein (product) // Rapid Muscle Growth (offer)
  • Red Tea Detox (product) // Lose 5lbs In 7 Days (offer)
  • P90X Workout Routine (product) // Beach Body in 90 Days (offer)

The way to determine the effectiveness of an “offer” is to create a guarantee.

If you’re offering a product to someone, make a guarantee based on the results the product is meant to deliver…

“We guarantee our analytics platform will give you +50% new leads in the first 60 days or your money back”…

“We guarantee our technical support solution will integrate all your digital infrastructure into a single, central, service management system which will decrease software errors by 80% in the first 5 weeks”.

The reason this works is down to a simple human trait – people never buy products, they buy results. Whilst the type of result may vary, the way it’s created and delivered is basically where the offer comes in. Product = what is it; Offer = what it does.

If you’re looking at positioning a new product, the way you do it is by creating as lucid an offer as possible. If you don’t *have* an offer, the key thing you need to do is make one. It will form the basis of your product & its effectiveness in the world.