I did an experiment last year. Every time I meet a friend of an entrepreneur I ask him:
“What do you think makes a great product? What criteria do you look for when creating or promoting a product? "
These are all seven to eight digit ecommerce brand owners.
Here are some of the circumscribed responses I have received.
- Customer research: We interview and telephone our customers. We try to find out their biggest weaknesses and how we can improve our products to address them.
- Data: Everything is based on Amazon data. We use different tools to identify gaps in the market. Where is there a high search volume but little competition?
- Reverse Engineer Competitors: I'll see what is selling well for my competition. When it is sold for them, there is already a product market adjustment in place. However, I will be working with a manufacturer to see if there is some way to improve the product so that we don't just be copycats.
- Maths: I'm looking for either a high average order value or a low purchase frequency OR low average order value / high purchase frequency. The math has to work because we operate paid data traffic.
If you are a seasoned marketer then you are sure to be familiar with these concepts.
However, there was one concept that I don't think most marketers are familiar with. This is what my friend said:
"I'm not going to put a product on the market unless there is one unique mechanism.”
So many people are focusing on conversion tactics or trying to find the latest Shopify apps. But it's a bit like giving lipstick to a pig.
The most important thing in business is to have a desirable product. The question becomes: What makes a product desirable?
It is unique mechanisms. They are the best ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and fulfill their buying needs.
I will examine what a unique mechanism is, why it is so important, and how we can use this concept.
This is one of the most important mental models in marketing.
What are Unique Mechanisms?
Whenever someone loses a significant amount of weight, our first instinct is to wonder How You did it.
The How is the mechanism.
Did you run
Do your macros count?
Take a new miracle supplement?
And you wouldn't be too excited to hear that they exercised or watched their diet. While these methods work well, they are also boring. Chances are people have tried these mechanisms before and failed.
We all hope to find secrets that will help us achieve our goals faster and cause less pain.
Imagine hearing, "I lost weight by eating steak and bacon every day." This is incredible for those who haven't heard of the Atkins or keto diets.
ON unique mechanism is a "how" you have never seen before.
Why Unique Mechanisms Are Crucial
What is the psychology that makes unique mechanisms so powerful?
First, people tried the normal means and failed. They feel guilty that they couldn't lose weight through exercise and diet.
By pointing their fingers at carbohydrates, it alleviates their guilt. Carbohydrates have been the real enemy all along.
Second, give them HOPE. This is an underrated emotion when it comes to motivation.
Just because they haven't lost weight several times doesn't mean they have given up on their desires.
If you share a unique mechanism, give it up to hope that they can still do that.
After all, people love novelty. This is why there is a Bright Shiny Object Syndrome. It is difficult for your average to focus on a project long enough to get results. It's easier to jump to another solution.
People have more choices than ever when it comes to products.
By creating a unique mechanism in your product, you can easily stand out and stand out from your competitors.
Unless you have a real differentiator, people will simply choose the cheapest alternative. If you go for a low price, it becomes a race to the bottom.
Examples of unique mechanisms
I'll go over several examples of unique mechanisms.
This should be that first stage when creating a business or product. Wondering what are you offering new in the market?
Ear wax remover. I hate ear wax. I don't want anything to get between me and Justin Bieber's greatest hits while I'm working.
That's why I've been using a combination of Q-Tips and "ear drops" for years. I saw a Facebook ad for an ear wax removal product with a built in camera!
You can download the app and see how you clean your ear!
Mental breakdown: People love putting things in their ear, but it's ineffective and dangerous. Adding a camera makes people feel more secure putting something into it.
LMNT. I love electrolyte supplements to keep myself hydrated. I take LMNT every day. Their unique mechanism is the dosage of the ingredients.
I checked out my old electrolytes. They only contained 100 mg per serving. These contain 1000mg!
Mental breakdown: It is unique in the dosage of the ingredients. You convinced me that sodium is Good for you, and they are the only ones on such a high dosage.
Meet women (or men): One of my friends was a pickup artist. He created various products to help men meet women.
While brainstorming products, he found that the market was moving towards dating apps like Tinder. The guys struggled to get "matches".
mental breakdown:: So its unique mechanism? It doesn't matter if you don't look your best. You can still get lots of matches if you create the right profile and use the right scale lines.
Peace Out Pimple Spots: People HATE Acne. My whole week would be ruined if I got a pimple in college.
And most of the products would be either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cream. One product that has been trending lately is Pimple spots. You glue them to the pimple before you go to bed.
The appeal is that it is easier than smearing cream on your face and then washing your hands.
Mental breakdown: Applying the solution to the patch is a unique way to apply it. It reminds me of supplement gums.
Development of a unique mechanism
How do you come up with a unique mechanism? One way to think about it is to use a checklist.
- A unique ingredient: Mushrooms in the coffee via FourSigmatic.
- A unique combination of ingredients: see LMNT.
- Unique dosage: Deathwish is the strongest coffee in the world.
- A unique process: Take a Facebook or funnel marketing agency. Take the process, give it a "name" and market based on it.
- Unique application: Do you want to boost your immunity? Chewing gum.
- Superior quality: Kettle & Fire uses grass-fed cow bones that have been cooked for over 20 hours.
- Technical innovation: Adidas with the Ultraboost technology in the shoes.
Every time I come across an interesting product, I ask myself, "What is the unique mechanism here?" This is an easy way to build your marketing muscles.
Now that you know the importance of a unique mechanism, how do you come up with one?
I recommend you read this article that I wrote a few months ago. It goes into some of my mindsets.
Continue reading: Brainstorm unique products in a competitive marketplace
How do you find out your unique mechanism?
I would do some customer research first and find out what their main pain points are.
There are so many ways to do this. My two favorite methods are:
1. Stay where the audience lives. Join subreddits, Facebook groups, and forums. Listen to the conversation. What are people complaining about?
2. Look up the problems of existing solutions. Read the negative reviews. Complaints = opportunity.
Your unique mechanisms must address problems. Rainbow colored protein powder is a unique mechanism does anyone care?
Now that you have identified the key vulnerabilities, it is time to assess whether you have the resources to deploy a solution.
Here is a quick example.
People want to prevent wrinkles on their faces. Common solutions are botox and various skin creams.
SOLUTION / W UNIQUE MECHANISMS:
I did some research and found that LED therapy masks are trending. This product prevents wrinkles through LIGHT therapy.
That's a unique mechanism right there. The majority of people have not tried this yet. However, you can't just sell what everyone else is selling. They have no advantage over existing products.
Instead, see how you can improve the product. I go to Amazon Reviews or YouTube Reviews to see what the problems are.
Here are the two best that show up:
- They are heavy and uncomfortable. The mask leaves indentations on people's faces.
- The design looks like something out of a horror movie.
There is a market for a mask that is lighter and has a better design. I would speak to manufacturers to understand the costs involved in creating such a product.
That sounds like it works a lot better than any other anti aging skin cream.
Final thoughts on unique mechanisms
Your customer has a problem.
They are looking for solutions. You have probably already tried the most common solutions.
You have to offer them one different Method to find out your problem.
I always try to get better Sleep. I already have most of the sleeping pills, a weighted blanket, and a comfortable pillow.
I recently bought a few things to help me sleep:
- An Oura ring – This ring measures and tracks my sleep. Most sleep trackers go around the wrist. The unique mechanism is a ring that is more accurate.
- Klova – These are sleeping patches that release supplements. The unique mechanism is the application.
I am on an endless journey to improve my sleep. Just like some people travel to be better parents or to be healthier.
Creating a unique mechanism in your product will help you stand out from everyone else.
Photo of João Jesus from Pexels.