- Writing a Business Plan
- Financial Statements
- Business Forecasting
- Business Checklist
Positioning & Image Marketing
The term positioning refers to the selection of a target market, and the methods through which you focus, promote, and gear your product towards that select group of consumers. A company's positioning can be demonstrated in various manners - ranging from the store atmosphere and the type of products they sell to the sales and marketing techniques that they employ.
Markets for consumers may be segmented to focus on a particular gender, age group, income, lifestyle, cultural background, family size, or geographic origin. Breaking down and further specializing your markets in these or other various ways is sensible for the reason that no one marketing strategy will effectively target all potential groups of consumers. No one strategy will be effective, but it is important to choose one single message which you wish to convey to the consumer. The more unique the identity which you attempt to achieve through positioning, the more attractive and successful it is sure to be with your potential consumers. To achieve successful positioning, you must ensure that it is a direct and unchanging long term effort in the presentation of your business. An especially effective way to ensure that you have a focused positioning plan is to construct a 'positioning declaration' which includes what your company is, your category of work, who your target market is, and what your key, differentiating benefit is. Using this declaration in all of your marketing and advertising will promote a successful and organized impression of your business.
The success of your company and product is most dependent on repeat business from former customers. It is also from these customers that word of mouth advertising may spread. Once you have served a customer, it is easy to subtly solicit them in ways they will appreciate by means of reminder calls, birthday cards, and thank-you notes. Important for this continued attention and soliciting is obtaining contact information from your customers; ensure that you have their addresses in order to encourage repeat business. Upon determining where your consumer is most likely to purchase the product, you may decide upon a system of distribution, and upon determining what your consumer feels is a reasonable price range, you may decide upon your pricing. Obtaining the particulars about your consumers, through market research, for example, reveals solid information which helps you to identify who and where your potentially successful markets are.
Two very important parts of advertising are thus knowing your target market (which we have addressed), and knowing your competitors. Only through sound knowledge of your competitor's service, product, advertisements, claims, and prices will you be able to provide better service and products at a comparably competitive price. For this reason, it is important to try your competitor's product, watch who they target, measure the effectiveness of their advertisements, and frequent their stores. Depending on new competitors that enter the market, you may be required to refresh your approach on positioning. For example, you may need target a more specific audience or consumer, or may need to put extra emphasis on the results and benefits of your product in order to achieve or maintain the status of a leader in your field. Remember, the main result and benefit that you offer must be attractive enough to encourage consumers to select your business and product over those offered by your competitor.
Statistics say that for every good experience or product you have had, you tell three people. By contrast, you tell ten people about bad experiences, services and products that you have encountered. It is thus imperative to make a positive first impression and to please the customer with your product. The impression and perception that a consumer has about your product and company are formed through your positioning, and can either greatly increase or decrease the success of your business. The perfect first impression can be achieved with the effective combination of color, sound, or diction, and by using the proper sales techniques, attitude, people skills, and promotional devices. The right combination of these things can ensure both repeat business, as well as effective and flattering word of mouth advertising.