The performancewear category of decorated apparel continues to be driven by the usual suspects, including resilient fabrics that are sustainable, cared for easily and available in trending styles and colors.FULL STORY
Build Your Business: Trends
Keywords Can Add Value to Your Products
I recently needed to purchase a pair of new athletic shoes and, after visiting several major shoe retailers, I couldn’t find any that would fit.
As I left my local shopping center, I saw a high-end retailer (famous for women’s shoes) and thought I would give it one last try. I was hesitant to shop there, as I thought the prices would be too high. But as I peered into the men’s section, I saw some good athletic shoes. Lo and behold, the retailer had a size and width that would fit me. Because of this, and the fact that the service was good, I purchased the shoes, even though I thought the price was a little steep. When I got home, I compared the prices online to what I had paid at the store and found that they were the same.
At that point, I wasn’t feeling so bad about buying the shoes. Then came the “added value” part: As I showed my wife the purchase, I opened the box to find that the new shoes had a simple tag attached that read, “100% Made in the USA.” That little tag changed my perceived value of the shoes. I initially thought I had gotten a good deal on a pair of quality shoes that were made in the United States. This simple, yet smart, tag added value to the product. I went from feeling good about the purchase, to feeling better about it, to thinking, “Wow, what a great purchase!” — all because of a simple tag.
How can you grab this and add value to your product? The answer is fairly simple: keywords. A decade ago, everything was about “going green.” Then came words and phrases like “sustainable,” “environmentally friendly,” “organic,” and “carbon footprint.” Were these words tangible? I don’t believe so, but they sounded nice and made people feel good about purchasing products associated with them.
Can you use them today? Yes, but for maximum impact, I suggest using the newest trending keywords. Today, there are a ton of keywords that you can add to your product offering. It is not hard to find these keywords; just look around where you shop. From the grocery store to street vendors, trending keywords are everywhere.
Don’t think that you can’t do this, as it can be very simple. I bought a cookie the other day and it looked as if it was hand-wrapped (it probably was) with the nutritional value tag in the wrapping. Upon eating it, I noticed on the backside of the tag was a simple slogan/keywords: “Hand-Made with Love.” It probably cost the company a penny to add that line to the back of the tag, but it made me feel good to eat a hand-made cookie imbued with love. It also ensured I will buy that cookie brand again in the future.
Adding value to a product is simply the practice of increasing its perceived value by differentiating it from that of your competitors. Although you can do it in many ways, this often can simply be achieved by marketing the product a little differently, using taglines and keywords that appeal to consumers’ feelings. I notice it all the time with newspapers, magazines, emails and such. You will see folks use taglines and keywords such as “Help the environment”, “Save paper”, and “Recycle.”
Think about how commodity foods, such as apples and eggs, are being differentiated by some suppliers who add their tagline stickers or company stamps to each piece. It tells the consumer that each piece was inspected for quality, passed the test and was good enough to be branded with the supplier’s name on it — “just for you.”
With all that said, I now must go out and buy a pair of “Free-Range, 100% Organic, Gluten-Free, Cage-Free, Made-with-Recycled-Material, BPA-Free, Lead-Free, Non-Phthalate, 100% Vegan, Dairy-Free, Hypoallergenic, Not-Tested-on-Animals, Made-with-Real-Sugar, Non-GMO and Eco-Friendly” socks for my Made-in-the USA shoes.
Mark Brouillard, International Coatings’ product manager, has considerable experience in formulating and manufacturing industrial compounds. For the past 16 years, his focus has been on the formulation and product development of textile screen printing inks. Brouillard coordinates the company’s product development efforts and deployments. For more information, visit iccink.com and read the company’s blog at internationalcoatingsblog.com.
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