Would you admit to owning a Snuggie?

SUMMARY: Have you seen those commercials for Snuggies? Somebody has taken something as simple as a blanket, cut holes in it, gave it a cute name and created some creative advertising. I love it. It’s innovation. How can you take your boring product or service and turn it into a selling sensation? 

How many of you own a Snuggie? Come on, admit it. You know what I’m talking about. Those oversized fleece blankets with sleeves. You’ve seen them in TV ads.

Have you seen the TV commercials? They are cheesy. In fact, they are so bizarre, it’s practically an art and widely entertaining. The TV ads show people wearing Snuggies at sporting events, cheering and high-fiving each other while dressed in Snuggies.

Even the Snuggies’ website is corny yet wonderful. “The headline reads: Join one of the latest pop-culture phenomena.”

The website continues: “Feel the Snuggie warmth and snuggle up with your significant other! Blankets are OK but they can slip and slide, plus your hands are trapped inside. The Snuggie Blanket keeps you totally warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands!”

How’s that for a great website! When I first saw the Snuggie, I thought it was a joke. One of the secrets to marketing is to identify problems and solve those problems. Snuggies takes it even step father. They talk about problems I never knew I had.

For example, I didn’t know my other blankets were a slipping and sliding. I’m glad Snuggies pointed that out. And I didn’t know I didn’t have the freedom to move my hands. I never realized just how incredibly difficult it was for me to get my hands out from under a blanket! Help! I didn’t know my hands were trapped inside!

Have you ever seen an entire family wearing one of these at the same time. It would scare me. I would think the family was part of some medieval weekend retreat or Star Wars fans. Quite frankly, it looks like a great product, but I wouldn’t be caught dead going outside in one of these.

I shouldn’t laugh. According to USA Today, four million Snuggies have been sold.

How come Snuggie is so successful?

One word: innovation. To me innovation is taking an old idea and adding a new twist. Or it’s making something common into something uncommon. Or it’s taking the obvious and making a lot of money like Snuggies did.

The fact is, most companies are just flat out boring. They copy each other; they do the same thing that everybody else is doing. They don’t break out of the mold. Yes, your company may provide great services and great products but have you ever thought of differentiating yourself?

Every once in a while, a product transcends advertising and becomes a part of pop culture. Snuggies is one product and the Hula-Hoop is another. Do you remember the pet rock in the 70’s? Who in their right mind would have paid $10 for a rock in a little box with a name and some shredded up newspaper?

Snuggies is the newest craze. Somebody has taken something as simple as a blanket; cut holes in it, gave it a cute name and came up with some creative advertising. I love it.

Can you believe that more than four million of these Snuggies have been sold! Neither can I. I bet the owners are laughing…all the way to the bank!

What’s really nice is that because it’s such a unique product it has gotten so much free advertising. Ellen DeGeneres spoofed them. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.

The Snuggie concept is really not new, nor is it the only product like that on the market but the Snuggie proves once again that an attractive price and clever marketing can really boost your sales.

I love the story of Snuggies. And I bet you can be just as successful.

Here’s your challenge: I hope you will take your common product whatever you sell and add a twist to it. If you want to have a product that stands out above the crowd, how can you put a twist on it to make it appear different or better than anything else. It could be your offer, it could be the product itself, and it could be your marketing. That’s innovation.

What does your product do and who’s it for?

This is what’s known as “positioning” your product. vw

It’s how to be seen and heard in an overcrowded marketplace.

It’s all about communication. It reminds me of the

phrase “What we’ve got here is (a) failure to communicate” a quote from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke staring Paul Newman.

Personally, I’ve never seen the movie, but the phrase captures the basic of marketing and advertising: communication.

You must “position” your product. Positioning is simply communicating what your product does and who it is for.

Look at this ad for Volkswagen. How do you advertise a strange looking car that seats basically looks like a rolling egg?

A marketing pro named Bill Bernbach had a challenge. How do you position a German-made car against the vulgarity of Detroit cars?

Every product has a position? Proctor and Gamble knows this concept. Did you know that P&G owns Tide, Cheer, Gain, Dreft, and ERA laundry soaps?

Every one of their products has a different name and different position.

What is your position?


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