Each and every marketer out there wants a product which the customer demands himself. The best product for a start up company can be one wherein there is automatic demand for the product. The products having an automatic demand or in other words, products for which the customers will go out of their way, are known as specialty products.
The doctor to whom you go every time you have an illness, the accountant who helps you with tax planning and your company lawyer are an example of Specialty product. These are people whom you search. They are not people who search you. Off course, there is competition in this sector too. But is there any competition for the best surgeon out there? Or the best tax consultant? No. The consumer themselves approach them.
Just like the above service products, there are several consumer products which enjoy this kind of loyalty. Imagine a BMW, Mercedes, Rayban, or johnny walker whisky. Each and every one of these brands today enjoy the specialty product status. Being a specialty product does not mean that there would be no competition. It just means that the consumer wants to purchase a product from your product category.
Building a specialty product takes time or innovation. When the light bulb was made, it sold on its own. That was an invention and it was a specialty product when it was invented. However, look at the status of a light bulb today. It is being sold as commonly as any other household product. Thus it is now a convenience product. Similarly, desktop computers were in great demand during IBM and Microsoft time. But now they are available everywhere and are more of a shopping product rather than a specialty product.
So what does this teach you? If you are a budding entrepreneur, you know that you need to target the specialty products sector. Its not possible for every entrepreneur out there to start a specialty product as it needs a thinking process which is beyond everyone’s capability. But yes, the one who comes out with the unique specialty product is the one who can generate profits for his business very soon.
Similarly, for a marketer the lesson is simple. Look at what the consumers in your product category are seeking. And make changes to provide them the same. You might have to cut down on the volume of business that you do (Specialty products rarely do high volume sales) But by cutting down the volume, you are guaranteed high margins on every product sold if it achieves Specialty product status.
As the competition rises, it is becoming difficult to stand apart from the crowd. Several specialty products over the years have become so common that they have now been demoted to being shopping products. But there is still a lot of potential left to explore, thereby providing various opportunities of growth. As consumers become technologically sound, i am sure there would be more and more such speciality products needed. That’s when you should leverage the power of the specialty products.