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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I'm contemplating rebranding my product. Both versions would stay on the market. This is a niche market - I have 2 competitors, of which 1 can be taken seriously, the other one just doesn't show up in most of the google queries I show up.
My main goal is to increase market share and try new approaches without risk. My current website is onsite SEO heavy and has a very simple (but very functional) design.
My rebranded product would receive a very attractive website, heavy on marketing catchphrases and buzzwords.
This is what bothers me: most prospects looking for my product would find both versions in the same search query. Of course I'd change the design and the name, but it would be recognizeable. Is this a problem in your opinion? Will they think that one of the products is stolen or a shameless clone? How do people react when they realize they are trialing the previous product again under a different name?
So, you're selling the SAME product under two different skins, and pretending they're competitors of each other? Interesting concept. Not sure of the ethics of it.
I'm also re-branding and re-launching one of my own apps next year, but the old version is 100% retired and no longer publically available. Just a total fresh start with a new look and new marketing approach.
"Of course I'd change the design and the name, but it would be recognizeable. Is this a problem in your opinion?"
Whenever you find out that someone is hiding something, what's your reaction?
IMHO, anything which relies on people not finding out the truth about something they can easily work out is bound to fail.
On a more positive note, there might be a better solution to solve the issue:
It sound to me that you want to reach a different audience without hurting your current audience. From your post, I gather that there is an audience which likes the no frills, functional aspect of your offering (functional website, straight to the point, etc.) and you are wondering if you aren't missing out on the big buyers who can't live without tons of pretty pixels, the marketing gibberish and site licenses, etc.
The usual solution to this problem is market segmentation. You can have an "enterprise version" or whatever sounds good to that audience and create a special website for these very special people. Add a couple features especially for that new version, chosen for how fancy/important they sound, and stick a new price tag on it.
Unless your product has gotten a bad reputation, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to scrap everything and restart marketing from scratch with the same product on a different website.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
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