Marketing Strategy - Key Areas
To have a good marketing strategy, we must consider these 4 areas (4Ps) and they are the product, price, place, and promotion.
Product refers to the goods or services that a company offer. No one will manufacture a useless product or offer a meaningless service. Every product or service have it's own selling point.
Some products popularity are based on season, such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, etc., Some products are of short span of trend. Once the trend is over, the product value drops drastically. Understand your product characteristics and plan/market accordingly.
Pricing of a product is the selling price of a product. However, in the eyes of the consumers, the listed price is their cost price.
A high priced item may turn away many potential buyers. Lower pricing products will be much easier to sell as more consumers have the spending power. But then a lower pricing may make the company or the product look less impressive. See Branding.
Cost Price (manufacturing) + Profit (desire) = Selling Price
How much to earn? Of course, profit shall be as high as possible but that will bring up the selling price. So the question changed to "Who will buy?"
To determine the right pricing, we will need to consider the following factors:
To earn more profit, beside rising the selling price, we can look into reducing the production cost.
Place refers to where your clients can buy your product.
Choose a good shop location to sell your products:
And not forgetting, the online platform.
In this digital era, how could a company not have any foot print on the web?
Unless you are only dealing with neighbourhood clients, perhaps then the online presence is not that essential for your business. But as the world is going digital who knows one day no matter how small or what your business is, everyone need to be online.
Promotion is to make your product well known to the consumers, increase/maintain it's popularity. Promotion are carry out through advertising, public relations and sales events.
The goal of promotion are not always about profit making, on contrast some companies even spent huge amount. Looking for long term benefit, getting the brand well known is more important than a short period of sales boost.
Companies now relies more on online social media such as Facebook, Instagram, etc., Social media provide more interaction with large numbers of consumers and furthermore it allow company to target their audiences; based on characteristics such as age, sex, etc.,
What is Branding?
Branding is a procedure to define the company and is tied closely with her marketing strategy.
1. What is the quality of services or products being offer?
2. Was the pricing high or low?
3. What are the top values the company emphasise on? Of course, we want to have all good values. But then we are talking about the top values that we emphasise. 3 qualities shall be good enough.
How Are Your Company VS Your Competitors?
Compare the quality and pricing of your products or services with your competitors.
From there, you will know where is your company's market position. This concept is known as positioning in marketing.
We can use the SWOT analysis to help in creating our branding and discover our brand position.
There are four parameters to examines in this analysis:
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Strengths: The advantage of the company and it's products over its competitors.
Weaknesses: The disadvantage of the company and it's products over its competitors.
Opportunities: Ways to develop the company or it's products.
Threats: Anything that could hinder the success of the company.
Paradox Of Choice
More options do not means better. So in the case of listing products, as well as telling others about the company values, we don't list so many products and values to confuse others.
A few good points will create a better impression than a list of points. That few good points will be what others remember your company for, which is your brand.
Our daily routine will be like waking up, cleaning ourselves, drink a cup of coffee, going to work, returning home ... going to bed again. Our brain recognise these daily patterns. These patterns are also known as mental shortcuts. Our brains are constantly looking for mental shortcuts. Which means our brain is storing pervious experience for helping us in dealing with our future stuffs.
You might said these are habits. We sat at our favourite spot to watch television program, drinking coffee instead of tea ... Yes, branding is kind of developing living habit.
Branding- Creating Pattern Recognition For Consumers
A successful branding is when we think of certain services, products or events, we immediate thought of that particular company. This is how branding shall work. If this direction is set up right, the company will be on their way to brand themselves perfectly.
Brand = Identity + Connection
Connect your brand identity to certain activities or object, so as to make your brand name catchy.
Important Points For Brand Building
To Do List
Singlish time again:
Prata - Roti Prata, one popular Singapore dish, where the dough is flipped a few times. In this context means like flip-flopping.
Don't Do List
Example of Good Branding
Example 1: Coffee Culture Connection
Consumers can relate Kopi 'O' with Chinese Kopitiam and Cappuccino as Western Cafe. Branding is connecting the company to certain values, products or sevices.
Some may like to include as many products as possible to increase revenue.
How about combining these 2 beverage shops? Having both Kopi 'O' and Cappuccino, sound like a awesome idea, offering clients with more choices.
But the shop will lost both the authentic of Nanyang Kopi and the "Ang Mo" feel.
Is not totally impossible to combine the east and the west but it is difficult. This may even end up backfire.
Anyway, my point here is not on combining different cultures. I am talking about not to blur the focal point of your company direction.
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Singlish:
Kopi 'O' - Black Coffee, basically is just coffee with sugar, no milk.
Kopitiam - A place that sell Singapore local beverages and foods.
Ang Mo - Westerner
Example 2: Antique Shop
Specialisation Vs "Have It All"
An antique shop sell genuine goods at high price.
They had gained public trust that they do really sell historical, memorial items. This seem to justify for the high pricing.
Hoping to increase revenue, the shop owner then decide to sell replicate items at low prices.
All items' details are clearly stated with their respective prices displayed on the shelves. A honest boss indeed. But he might still lost the public trust.
Doubts might still arise. Does he really selling antique? Is it worth trusting him?
With lower pricing products in his shop, buying from him will no longer have the royalty feel. High pricing of the real antique, don't seem to be as justify as before.
"Don't Run Your Business Like A Provisional Shop Unless it is --- Alan Lee"
Lets Sum Up
From the coffee example, we see that culture can be part of a brand. The antique example show us that product and pricing affect the brand too. There are lots more things that affect a brand, such as logo design, packaging ...
In short, anything that identify your company is your brand.
Need Further Help
There are professional that can guide you through this branding process. Their pricing are usually high. But looking at the bigger picture, branding can help your company grow progressively, will worth it's cost, bringing in returns in no time.
Anyway, this is a one time charge for decades. No one will like to keep on rebranding.