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Direct Response Marketing

In Production: Still Looking for Great Solutions

1 Mar, 2013 By: Collette Liantonio Response

Consumers who got used to saving during the recession are still looking for simple value from their housewares products


As the economy has steadily improved in recent months, one thing hasn’t changed — consumer demand for housewares products that provide high-quality, simple solutions at a value price. While this has long been the case, consumers’ desires for the best possible buy ratcheted up during the Great Recession that began in 2008. And, even though today they may no longer be facing a job downsizing or housing foreclosure, they learned that finding that kind of product is still desirable.

No one is better at defining that kind of value in the housewares space than DRTV marketers. As a DRTV production company, we are constantly driven by our marketer clients — and our own knowledge of what truly makes consumers buy — to define the true value of each product. Nothing is more crucial to getting consumers to pick up the phone, open their Web browser or head to their closest big box outlet.

Two of our earliest DRTV hit products were housewares products that became industry legends — the Contour Pillow and the Smart Mop. Both products were top quality. They both made life easier around the house. And both were great values for the consumer.

Fast forward to today: many consumers are beginning to find their checkbooks balancing with a higher total in the register at the end of the month. Yet, they’ve also discovered during the rough times in the recent past that they can get great products that solve household problems at better prices. There’s no need to begin spending big dollars for problem-solving products.

Take a product like the recent hit Mr. Lid, a patented kitchen-storage container with an attached lid. The product is featured in 60-second, two-minute, and five-minute spots starring today’s top DRTV pitchman, Marc Gill. “The key to the product was illustrating the unique benefits of having an attached lid on our container. But a value-based piece count of 20 for only $19.95 put the sale over the top. The reaction of consumers to Mr. Lid has been simply tremendous,” says Chris Rebholz, CEO of Norman Direct.

Another recent winner in the DRTV housewares space is Café Cup, a reusable coffee cup that takes the place of single-serve coffee pods for popular coffee making machines. “We are thrilled with Café Cup’s TV and retail programs,” says Bob Khubani, vice president of marketing at Spark Innovators. “It is by far the top item in Spark Innovators’ history. This success is mostly attributed to the highly effective TV spot and media campaign which are driving sales at retail.”

The key selling feature was the comparison to the expense of the competition pods. Again, it is the value proposition that convinced the consumer to buy.

In the case of both Mr. Lid and Café Cup, the product was built for DRTV demonstration. Each was a simple solution at a great price. While consumers now have more budget, they know they can stay on that budget — and perhaps give themselves a nice night out — by finding the types of housewares solutions offered by DRTV marketers.

While each of these products found a sweet spot on the housewares chain, the capabilities offered by a top-notch production house in the direct response space have been crucial to their success. Any successful DRTV campaign is built around amazing product demonstrations that cut through the clutter of a crowded television landscape and turn ever-skeptical consumers into customers. But not only must your production partner understand what works on camera — they also must have a network of leaders in the DR space to connect you to other capable vendors.

With the right producer — one that understands your product, its competitive set and its visual advantages — your product stands a much better chance finding a home with those value-conscious consumers. ■


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