Products I Love – February 2013

by G.B. Oliver

I love smart and innovative product design for many reasons. One, it is inspiring. Two, it always gets publicity. Three, social media followers love spreading the word. Four, it sells!

I went over to one of my favorite shopping blogs, Outblush, and found some of their recent picks that I think are brilliant.

Deep Tea Driver Infuser

Deep Tea Diver by Kikkerland from Modcloth
Deep Tea Diver by Kikkerland from Modcloth

How great is this $15 tea infuser from the online store, Modcloth? Even the name is smart. I love this because it is just so clever. How could you not want to buy this, whether you drink tea or not? Now, granted, you have to use it with a glass mug or it kind of defeats the purpose, but you have to admit it is just makes sense.

Recipe Writing Rubber Stamps

Recipe Writing Rubber Stamps from Paper Cookie
Recipe Writing Rubber Stamps from Paper Cookie

I love these stamps (4 for $24.95) from the Paper Cookie. This is a practical product that appeals to the person who still wants to write out their recipes the old-fashioned way, but made a little easier by the stamps. The stamp market is a big business, and it is nice to see a company finding a new, creative use for them.

Constellation Lamp

Constellation Lamp from Urban Outfitters
Constellation Lamp from Urban Outfitters

What kid is not going to love this lamp ($49) from Urban Outfitters in their room at night? Plus, it’s educational. Educational + fun always sells!

Teacup with Wood Saucer

Teacup with Wood Saucer from Scandinavian Brands Online
Teacup with Wood Saucer from Scandinavian Brands Online

Smart product design is when you solve a problem for the user. That is why this teacup with wood saucer ($28) from Scandinavian Brands Online works. It solves two problems – needing a saucer for your tea when you are drinking it and keeping it hot when you are not. Plus, it looks good.

You Got Your New Dog Kit

Got Your New Dog Kit from Uncommon Goods
Got Your New Dog Kit from Uncommon Goods

This New Dog Kit ($25) from Uncommon Goods is smart for so many reasons. The obvious is that it makes the perfect gift, and gift sets are big business and dog gifts are big business. But if you sell a variety of pet products, why not package them all together as a great way to up-sell your other products. This kit includes practical items like doo-doo bags (their words, not mine), a training clicker, dog treats and a quick start instruction card for the new owner, which to me acts like a very effective business card so the gift receiver knows exactly where to get more.

Be like these online sellers and take your business to the next level! I offer a variety of helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop, the best advice to market your small business!

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Latest Google Search Tips

by G.B. Oliver

I was doing research of a particular Google search for a client when I noticed some subtle differences on how people search for products that may change how you phrase your headings, subheadings and keyword tags.

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Fact # 1 – Not Many People Use Apostrophes Correctly When Searching

Maybe because we are all in such a hurry these days, but it appears that people very rarely use apostrophes when searching.

For example, they don’t search “men’s shoes” they search “mens shoes“. The exact phrase “men’s shoes” pulled up data of 58 searches a month compared to 60,500 for the exact phrase “mens shoes“, without the apostrophe. That’s quite a difference and it was consistent with other terms as well.

The exact phrase “kids clothes” showed 45,000 searches per month, where the exact phrase “kid’s clothes” showed nil. Now the phrase “kids’ clothes” (where the apostrophe is at the end) also pulled up 40,500, which showed me that Google ignores the apostrophe when it is at the end of a word, but not when it is in amongst the letters.

So if grammatically incorrect can pull in higher searches, do you wrestle with the dilemma of writing your product copy according to keywords or opting for the correct grammar?

Fact # 2 – Plural versus Singular Can Make a Difference

People also vary in their searches as to whether or not it is more common to add the plural. For example, the exact phrase “throw pillows” pulled up 18,100 searches per month, whereas the singular “throw pillow” was dramatically lower at 2,400. However, it was the opposite for necklaces. The exact phrase “gold necklaces” pulled up 2,900 searches monthly compared to 12,900 for the singular “gold necklace“.

As adding the plural seems to vary by product, it means you really have to research both singular and plural with your product keywords to see which is more commonly searched. Tedious, but it could make a big difference.

Fact # 3 – Gender Isn’t Always Implied

Another thing I noticed is that when you are looking for an item by gender, it appears there are more searches specific to “mens” then there are to “womens”. For example, “mens jewelry” showed 5,400 monthly searches compared to only 1,600 for “womens jewelry“. “Mens shoes” showed 60,500 searches compared to 49,500 for “womens shoes“. Now, I would think more women are searching for shoes online than men, so is it that women just type “shoes” or “black shoes” or “high heels” and just naturally assume the search will know they mean women’s? If that is the case, it may not be worth your while to include women’s in your description or keywords, and instead focus on other adjectives such as color, style or material.

Remember, these facts are not really specific to Google, these are specific to human behavior. That is why you really  have to test all variations of your keywords to see how your target market mostly commonly uses them for search.

Marketing_Ideas_Etsy_Jewelry

I have many more search tips and advice in my PDFs (because I save my best tips for there!), Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work, available here.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Marketing I Love! LuLu.com’s Clever Product Names

by G.B. Oliver

The other day I was on a clothing site called LuLus, whose fashions are obviously aimed at young women. I was looking at the purses and noticed that they were all labeled with very creative names. For example, Seven Year Itch Quilted Stitch Purse, In Hot Purse-uit Purple Purse, and Weave Got Your Back Brown Tote. Cute, right?

creative product names

LuLu’s In Hot Purse-suit Purple Purse

As I was reading these I was reminded of the names cosmetic companies give to lipsticks and nail polish colors. Back in the day, shades were just given a number. But due to growing competition in the makeup industry, clever lipstick and nail polish names became a way to show personality, create an image and set their brand apart. A clever lipstick name can actually get publicity just because of the name.

So what is the point of these witty names besides making a lot of work for  the marketing department?

I have to be honest, these cutesy names were attention getting and kept me on their site longer. I kept reading each product name more out of interest than anything. So maybe that was the intention, if not the result.  Creative product names and copy writing can keep people on your site longer and make them actually read the product descriptions instead of just scanning for bullet points. It also made them look like a cool, hip site which I believe is the image they are trying for.

I have always been an advocate of clever writing because it evokes a sense of personality, and when potential customers can get a better sense of who is selling to them, it helps them to feel like they know you a bit better and that helps to get them to trust buying from you. It’s also a great way to establish an identity against competitors who are a little more standard.

FINAL WORD: Think about your product names. Now, I’m not saying you need to go out and rename them all, because that may not suit your brand, and it depends who you are targeting. Obviously for a younger market, it can be quite effective. And we’re not talking cute here, we’re talking clever. Product names that show who you are as a brand. It can get attention.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.