Low Hanging Fruit - What You Need to Know

I was reading an article on concepts of “Low Hanging Fruit in Marketing”. The story of the hungry fox and high hanging bunch of grapes came to my mind. Not being able to pluck the grapes, the fox claimed that the grapes were sour.

business perspectives of low-hanging fruits

What if the bunch of grapes had been hanging low! 

The fox would have filled the stomach. The expression “Grapes are sour” or “sour grapes” would have to wait for any other incident.

What if the low hanging fruits had been aplenty in the jungle!

The fox would have grown lazy and unaccustomed to exploring and working hard to fill her stomach. In dearth of low hanging fruits, she would have died of hunger.

Now let's discuss the "low hanging fruit" strategy for a business. There are many views on the reasons for applying or not applying this strategy.

Businesses use Low Hanging Fruit Business Strategy
  1. to acquire new customers fast
  2. to maintain cash-flow consistently, and
  3. to set easily achievable short-term goals.

What is low hanging fruit (in business perspective)?

  • The phrase low-hanging fruit references the sweet, easy-to-reach fruit at the lower end of a tree's branches. Orchard workers and homeowners appreciate the ease with which this fruit can be picked, in contrast to the effort required to reach the fruit found higher in the tree. - F. JOHN REH

  • Low-hanging fruit (in business terms) refers to the tasks, actions or goals that may be most easily achieved. The expression low-hanging fruit is used to describe an action that takes almost no effort. - GRAMMARIST

  • In sales, it means a target that is easy to achieve, a product or service that is easy to sell, or a prospective client who seems very likely to buy the product, especially compared with other, more reluctant prospects. - WILL KENTON

How do I use low hanging fruits for new clients who are not sure of scope of digital marketing?

To my clients who are new to the concepts of Digital Marketing, I advise them to use ‘Low Hanging Fruits Strategy’ first. I do so to make the client trust in Digital Marketing and its ability to contribute to the growth of their business.

A suspicious business person has different type of notions about digital marketing-

His/Her business does not need digital marketing.
It is costly.
It is a long process.
it needs a team of experts.
It is, therefore, for big businesses.

Their concerns are reasonable because they have not tested the taste of new age marketing. I have to convince them to taste it. I propose to run a low cost paid campaign for their products or services which are massively in-demand or the cheapest.

Once the clients start to get traffic, leads or sales, they begin to trust the medium. They readily increase the budget and efforts to maximize return on investment (RoI).

10 examples of low hanging fruits strategy for small businesses

  • For a saloon, beard setting or shaving is a low hanging fruit.
  • For a beauty parlor, facial or waxing can bring frequent customers.
  • For a dentist, teeth whitening can qualify for this strategy.
  • For a real estate agency, renting is a low price service to establish its identity.
  • For a travel agency, flights or railway ticket booking best fit in this category.
  • For a digital marketing agency, setting up a 1-page WordPress website is easy to offer.
  • For a Chartered Accountant, filing Income Tax Return can bring several new clients.
  • For a Lawyer Office, affidavit for different purposes is always in high demand.
  • For a grocery store, milk packets can fetch walk-in customers.
  • For a pan shop, gutkhas or cigarettes is a mass selling products.
In simple terms, these are the most common products or services that people often or frequently buy. These are comparatively low priced. Brand or trust factor does not affect buying decisions in these cases.

Strategically these are the very basic explanations of the term. Low hanging fruit is used in different perspectives. Mostly we can study this term in 3 aspects.
  1. Product/ Services which have high sellability.
  2. Customers which can be easily convinced and converted.
  3. Goals which can be easily achieved.

Benefits of low hanging fruit for a small or new business

It is okay for a new or local or small business to focus on their low hanging fruits. They don’t have a large capital or promotion or advertising budget. They have a small team to run the business. They don’t want to scale in a spur.

Their business mostly runs on customer relationships and retention. So they focus on existing customers who have already purchased from them.

Selling low cost and high in demand products or services help to acquire new customers in volume. Obviously such products have low profit margin. But by selling in volume can makeup on the revenue front.

They strategize to establish their business and identity. Therefore they set short-term easy-to-achieve business goals. They go slow and cautiously. They don’t take unnecessary risks.

Low Hanging Fruits strategies for established or growth-oriented business

Above strategy can not be used for a business which has large capital and funds to invest in promotion and advertising. They cannot solely depend on small business strategies. They have a large team and have to scale fast. They have to make money fast.

Take the example for a travel agency. It has a large product mix to offer. Even if it sells flights or railway tickets, it cannot make a goal dependable on this service. Ultimately it has to sell international and domestic tour packages. It deals in highly priced services which generate higher profits in a very competitive industry.

A travel agency can use a low hanging fruit strategy to make new clients whom it can sell their high end packages ultimately. but in a limited way.

Once a customer makes a purchase, he knows your business, your practices and your customer care services. So it is easy to sell them again.

A large business should use low “hanging fruit strategy for sales” to make new customers and to train new employees. It can also use this strategy to test new markets and new marketing or advertising platforms. But it should never use it in the goal of the organization.

Don't go before reading this summary. I am aghast to share with you a summary of a report which will make you rethink what I said above.

In this article Customer Acquisition vs. Retention Costs - Statistics and Trends, Mr. Khalid Saleh emphasizes on this statement - “The first rule of any business is to retain customers and build a loyal relationship with them, and thereby avoid customer acquisition costs”.

Here are the 6 main points of this report-
  1. It costs five times to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
  2. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% - 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%.
  3. Comparatively existing customers are 50 percent more likely to try new products and 31 percent more likely to spend more money on your business.
  4. Increasing customer retention rate by 5% can increase the profit by 25%- 95%.
  5. About 70% respondents of this survey accepted that it is cheaper to retain than to acquire a customer.
  6. Despite these facts 44% businesses are focused on customer acquisition. Only 18% of businesses focus on customer retention.
Low hanging fruit can prove to be a very useful and tactical strategy for any business. You can not ignore the mass appeal and easily achieve financial targets. But in a larger context, an organization cannot and should not be dependable only on this strategy.

You can not ignore high demand, low priced segment of your product mix. Sell such products to acquire new customers.

You should not let go your existing customers after one sale. You have to understand the value of a loyal/returning customers. Surprise them with offers they can't ignore.

A business has to grow, a business has to have a strong relationship with its customer and a business has to have both short-term and long-term goals. You have to be smart enough to mix low-hanging fruits in your overall growth plan.