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 Own Your Market Position  (8/4/2017)


Too many products try to do too many things and fail. Rarely does a product gather several audiences. It can be gluten-free, sugar free, fat free, non-GMO, etc. but does it taste good? Is it priced right? Is it appealing to its target audience?

When trying to attract a percentage of the market it’s best to concentrate on one key area. For example, gluten-free; if you can capture even 10% of the consumers that buy gluten free then you’re golden. Your product may, incidentally, also be high protein or low-glycemic, but your position is gluten-free. This is not to say that non-GMO or organic is not a good position, because it is. As a matter of fact, these days, when trying to capture the natural market your product had better be non-GMO, or preferably, organic.

A classic example of a mistake I made a few years ago: I was at a food show and decided to check out Krave Jerky. At the time I knew that high protein snacks were hot and would continue to be hot. But I also knew that paleo was very hot. So I went and tried the jerky and informed the guy at the booth that they should really try to make their jerky low sugar/no sugar. Apparently I was wrong. The fact that it was a great tasting, high protein snack, in a market that was craving (pardon the pseudo-pun) high protein snacks, was all it needed to be to be very successful.

It reminds me of a saying I learned: You can have it fast or you can have it cheap or you can have it good, pick only two. In food it can’t be high quality, inexpensive, and natural (or any other number of adjectives). There are rare exceptions. But if you’re shooting for too many market positions and trying to be the Swiss army knife of your category, chances are you’re going to the miss the mark on most of them.