The bad news is there isn’t a jet-black Roadster parked in my driveway yet.
The good news is “transformative” product marketing doesn’t restrict you to this topic. As you may have gleaned from this series, it’s a stage on which companies of all ages and spaces eventually perform to stay relevant. A brand—and its journalist—may be tempted to think it has nothing else to prove after it makes a name for itself. This is somewhat true, but mostly misleading.
Although entrepreneurs can come up with sustainable ways to present their worth to the community, they’re never truly out of the woods. Once a business starts to succeed, it descends into the same mainstream from which it originally wanted to differentiate itself. This is why you creatives are so important—you’re constantly polishing the x factor that made your employer great in the first place. To do this, you need to consider both how the brand will interact with its competition and something Tesla has made abundantly clear: The degree to which a brand succeeds may depend on the mainstream.
Consider the following:
At this point, we can agree that great companies don’t just know what they do; they know who they are. In order for this to last, however, they must also be able to do the above. Today’s health and wellness professionals are a perfect example.
To prove the first one, we’ll examine the product marketing of our friends at STACK.
There are nearly half a million intercollegiate athletes in the United States, “and just about all of [them] will be going pro in something other than sports”—a claim you might recall from a yearly commercial by the NCAA. Considering how our community idolizes Division I football and basketball, it’s easy to forget the players are just kids, training with the same athletic department that also supports student athletes lacking professional talent (one of whom may or may not have gone on to write this article). Nonetheless, many sports brands continue to pursue unique celebrity endorsements that, although aspirational, can make a person’s fitness goals feel further away than they actually are.
STACK chose to view this ongoing stigma as a challenge: How can we bridge the “information gap” that misrepresents the potential of amateurs? Through the voice and expertise of the athlete who has “been there,” the company publishes multimedia content that spotlights other brands’ featured all-stars and turns their drills, diets, and workout regimens into scalable training advice for the ill-advised competitor. In doing so, the business injects transparency into sports that don’t spend enough time educating the less gifted but equally dedicated population.
What does this mean for your own career? Don’t try new things in spite of your generation; try new things in light of it. Creating flashy, “celebrity” content may earn you eyeballs in the short term, but the best brand identity comes out of product marketing that offers a solution grounded in the real world.