Stores and websites are not a mishmash of products with no apparent organization for a reason. People want a sense of direction and a positive customer experience, even if they are "just surfing". They also want to know that they are in good hands with regard to the product category they are investigating – whether it is kitchen utensils, breakfast cereals, or winter coats.
By marketing product categories, your brand stands out from related items, so that your company's products end up in the shopping cart – whether real or virtual.
What is a product category?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a product category is "a specific group of related products".
Your different offers and customer personalities should determine the organization and grouping of your product categories.
For example, REI Co-Op offers a wide range of outdoor gear. To guide customers, they divide their products into interest-based categories such as running, climbing and snow sports. It makes more sense for fashion retailers to organize categories based on product types such as shoes, shirts, and pants.
Marketing of product categories reinforces why a company is the best choice within that product category. Why should customers choose your offer and not your direct competitors?
Achieving brand awareness and appreciation in a product category means higher returns on your marketing efforts. When consumers have a positive experience with a certain product category, this also builds brand trust, which often extends to other categories through the halo effect.
Product categories are sometimes confused with product classification. Both are organizational strategies and help with marketing decisions, but the classifications are much broader (think convenience, grocery, and specialty).
Let's look at nine product category marketing examples to inspire your own.
9 marketing examples for product categories
1. Fifty beauty
Product Category: High-end foundation makeup
Granted, having singer and business force Rihanna on top helps. But Fenty Beauty innovated the idea of foundation makeup "for everyone," and its commitment to inclusivity made the brand an instant hit.
In addition to the foundation, Fenty Beauty Face products include bronzers, highlighters, powders and concealers in shades that are suitable for everyone. The launch was an industry transformer with established brands expanding their basic color palette in response.
Marketing for Fenty Beauty Face products expands the wide range of colors available and includes models and influencers for the entire spectrum of colors.
Product Category: Dog beds
The Vermont-based retailer has been a big name in fly fishing and outdoor gear since 1856. But he has also created a product niche with dog equipment – and dog beds in particular. The brand attracts people who want comfy dog beds for their furry friends in styles that enhance their home decor.
The marketing images of dogs sleeping or lounging on Orvis beds are enough to get a nap. They made their website a resource on canine health and behavioral topics. And their social feeds are full of irresistible pictures and videos of dogs, including puppies in a hammock (!).
Product Category: Bed linen
Putting the furniture together may be a difficult task, but at least Ikea will help you relax as well. The marketing of their bedding features playful sheets and prints for the kids and a mix of bold designs and neutral colors for the adults. The bed linen product category is grouped under “Home textiles” together with curtains, duvets, pillows and towels.
A playful Ikea advertising campaign in the UK even featured bottle bedding and pillows that link the dots between good sleep and health. In the current pandemic, the company marketed the idea that comfortable bedding is essential – especially if your bed doubles as your office.
Product Category: Jewellery
For more than a century, Swarovski has sparkled in dresses, tiara, jewelry and decorative sculptures. For their jewelry product category, Swarovski brings luxury within reach with a mix of modern and classic crystal chains, earrings, bracelets and watches.
They support brand awareness with seasonal collections, collaborations with designers and celebrities such as Karl Lagerfield and Penelope Cruz, and publications inspired by pop culture. This autumn, the social media campaign #SparkDelight featured influencers who gave tips on how to enjoy the little things, as big events were not on the social calendar.
Product Category: Food essentials
Target is known for its positioning in several product categories including affordable fashion, electronics and cleaning products. Although the grocery section is smaller than most supermarkets, they cover all of the must-haves on every shopping list – from milk to salads to pasta.
In 2019, Target added its own grocery brand with its Good & Gather line, which includes frozen berries, cereals, snacks and eggs. Her Instagram Stories feature simple ideas for snacks and meals, and feature foodie influencers like TikTok and Instagram sensations Tabitha Browne and Lisa Lin.
Product Category: Skin care
Dove's “Real Beauty” campaign, launched in 2004, was way ahead of other brands in promoting body positivity and self-acceptance. Their body lotion and soap advertising campaigns have long featured women with a variety of body types and skin colors.
Buns, wrinkles, cellulite, and stretch marks are proudly and beautifully displayed on their social channels. Today, their skin care brand identity is equated with confidence, and Dove body lotions and soaps are frequent flyers on the best-of lists for affordable skin care.
Product Category: Holiday and seasonal decor
Known for home improvement, the company is also a go-to for holiday and seasonal decorations. Michael's shops transform every month or two with festive decor for Spring, Summer, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, July 4th, Carnival, and Pride Month.
Black Friday Deals = an extra happy vacation trip 🙌 #SpottedAtMichaels
📷: @vickiboutin pic.twitter.com/dxmiIq9zbC
– Michaels Stores (@MichaelsStores) November 28, 2020
Their social media and weekly ads ring in every season with ready-made decorations galore.
Product Category: Environmentally friendly outerwear
Patagonia's slogan is "We're in business to save our home planet," and the company's marketing efforts cross product lines with its commitment to sustainability. Their website encourages consumers to buy less and has a section called “Used Equipment”.
Whenever you visit their Facebook or Instagram pages, you will have to do a little searching to find posts that highlight certain products. Instead, the feeds focus on pressing issues like environmental protection and fair labor practices.
When it comes to buying a new (or used) outerwear item, consumers know they are supporting a company that is actively minimizing its negative effects.
9. Grove Collaborative
Product Category: Green household cleaning supplies
Grove Collaborative is another company that focuses on sustainability. Their goal is to make it easy and affordable for people to choose environmentally friendly household products that are non-toxic, sustainable, and cruelty free.
The company offers environmentally friendly cleaning products, including concentrated soap and detergent refills, and reusable glass bottles that are shipped in recurring monthly shipments.
Their marketing reflects their minimalist ethos, with images of their cleaning products readily available in immaculate kitchens and bathrooms. Grove uses Instagram Stories to attract new customers with product images, cleaning tips, and even humorous videos.
The company also shares ideas for holiday meals and decorations, and publishes a monthly "sustainability snapshot" of their environmental impact, such as: B. the number of single-use plastic bottles that you do not keep in landfills.
Each of these brands have made it clear where their products fit in larger retail categories. This helps them market their own value to target customers and ultimately get a bigger market share within those product categories.