Category Archives: Price

5 Proven Ways to Create a Successful Niche Business

Too many business owners fish in the widest and deepest pools’ trying to be all things to all people. Offering a broad range of products and services to a broad audience and never really create the waves that lead to tremendous profits. By positioning yourself at the top of a smaller, well defined pool (or niche) you will set your business apart from the competition and create a profitable business.

Here are five proven ways to create a profitable niche business.

1. Define Your Market

Research the needs and challenges of your target audience and capitalize on those needs. Understand the community and develop solutions that appeal to a specific group. For example – Understanding Social media in Small Business is a need of the small business community, a niche market would be to develop a product or service that teach small business owners how to use social media in their business.

2. Create Your Product or Service

Based upon the needs of your target audience, you want to create a product or offer a service that addresses those needs. Many start with developing their products first without researching if there is a market for it. First define your audience and establish there is a demand for a new product and then develop it.

3. Create Your Brand Promise

The brand promise is a statement of what your customers can expect every time they engage with your company and is the center of your business. When a brand stands out with a strong promise that deliver value consistently, the value of your offering increases and customers will be willing to whip out their wallets and pay for your products.

4. Become the Expert

Position yourself as an expert in your niche and become the “go to guy” for this product of service. Showcase your knowledge and expertise by writing articles, participating in forums and providing tips, techniques and strategies in short, succinct messages via popular social networking sites.

5. Create specific messages direct to your niche

Business is conducted on an emotional level. Now that you have identified your market, built a community around your offering, you must communicate with your target market frequently. Develop specific messages targeted towards your niche market appealing to their emotions and demonstrating your benefits. It takes 7 times before somebody is comfortable enough with you and your expertise to buy from you so be specific, be credible and offer extraordinary value.

No matter if you are a retailer, service professional, internet marketer or mom and pop shop, you stand for something. There is a reason that you went into business and a reason why you want your business run a certain way. Building a brand starts with defining what is your core purpose and the inherent promise you are making to your customers and delivering value every time. Isolating your niche in your area of expertise and bringing solutions to a targeted group will keep the cash registers ringing every time.

Source: Nicebusinesssecretsrevealed.com

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The Marketing Mix – The Official 5 P’s of Marketing

The major marketing management decisions can be classified in one of the following five categories:

The Marketing Mix – The 5 P’s

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place (distribution)
  • Promotion
  • People

The Marketing Mix


Product 
 
People

Place 
 

Target
Market
– The Consumer  

Price 
 

Promotion 
 

These variables are known as the marketing mix or the 5 P’s of marketing. They are the variables that marketing managers can control in order to best satisfy customers in the target market. The firm attempts to generate a positive response in the target market by blending these five marketing mix variables in an optimal manner.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Product

The product is the physical product or service offered to the consumer. In the case of physical products, it also refers to any services or conveniences that are part of the offering. Product decisions include aspects such as function, appearance, packaging, service, warranty, etc.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Price

Pricing decisions should take into account profit margins and the probable pricing response of competitors. Pricing includes not only the list price, but also discounts, financing, and other options such as leasing.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Promotion

Promotion decisions are those related to communicating and selling to potential consumers. Since these costs can be large in proportion to the product price, a break-even analysis should be performed when making promotion decisions. It is useful to know the value of a customer in order to determine whether additional customers are worth the cost of acquiring them. Promotion decisions involve advertising, public relations, media types, etc.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

People

People decisions are those related to customer service.  How do you want your workers to appear to your customers?  There are a range of service profiles from service with a smile – McDonald’s, to classier Nordstroms, to plain rude – Ed Debevic’s.  The function of people to present an appearance,  an attitude, etc.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Place

Place (or placement) decisions are those associated with channels of distribution that serve as the means for getting the product to the target customers. The distribution system performs transactional, logistical, and facilitating functions. Distribution decisions include market coverage, channel member selection, logistics, and levels of service.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A Summary Table of the Marketing Mix

The following table summarizes the marketing mix decisions, including a list of some of the aspects of each of the 4Ps.

Summary of Marketing Mix Decisions

Product People Price Place Promotion
FunctionalityAppearance

Quality

Packaging

Brand

Warranty

Service/Support

Service

AppearanceUniforms

Attitude

List priceDiscounts

Allowances

Financing

Leasing options

Channel membersChannel motivation

Market coverage

Locations

Logistics

Service levels

AdvertisingPersonal selling

Public relations

Message

Media

Budget

Source: facweb.eths.k12.il.us

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Case Study – how market research supports the new product development process

Market research is the process by which businesses find out about customers’ needs, wants and desires. It makes possible the successful development of new products.

This study shows how an international company, Beiersdorf, combines market research with new product development on its NIVEA Deodorant brand to provide exciting new products that better meet consumer requirements.

Beiersdorf has a clear goal – to be as close as possible to consumers, regardless of which country they live in. Developing superior consumer insights is fundamental to the continued future success of Beiersdorf and its international brands like NIVEA, Eucerin and Atrixo. These are the result of more than 120 years of experience in research and development.

Beiersdorf has launched many new brands and products into a variety of countries and categories. Being an innovation leader has allowed Beiersdorf actively to shape its markets and set new trends. These product launches have led to long-term global growth.

THE KEY STAGES OF MARKET RESEARCH AND NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Market research involves the systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about customers, competitors and the market. This links marketers to consumers by supplying essential information to solve marketing challenges and help with marketing decisions.

Market research helps a company create and develop an up-to-date and relevant portfolio of products.

Creating new products

Beiersdorf’s international Market Research team is based at company headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. The team’s objective is to be the voice of the consumers within the organisation. High-quality market research has helped secure the long-term future of the business. Analysing and understanding the data gathered on consumers’ behaviours, needs, attitudes and opinions minimises the risks involved in making marketing decisions.

Market research in a global organisation needs the help and support of the company’s overseas affiliate companies. Most affiliate companies (in the UK for example) have dedicated Market Research Managers. how the npd prosses worksThey help the central research team in gathering and interpreting consumer views. These views provide information or insights that ultimately result in the development of new products suitable for a global market.

This case study follows the development of a new NIVEA Deodorant called Pearl and Beauty aimed at young women. This case study will give you a clear picture of how market research has helped New Product Development (NPD).

IDENTIFYING CONSUMER VIEWS AND PRODUCT NEEDS – WHERE TO START?

Market research should start with the consumer and serves two purposes:

1) To inform companies about consumer needs and desires. What are the trends in the market? What do consumers want?

2) To give consumers the opportunity to talk to the providers of products and services so that their views are taken into account.

questions that need answering

Businesses exist in a fast-moving world with increased consumer choice. It is essential that a company knows its market and its consumers before developing any new product. Lots of questions need answering.

Consumer insights drive New Product Development. This information takes into account their behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. It is an expression of their wishes and desires. Businesses use consumer insights to create opportunities for their brands. It is the starting point that enables brands to fit meaningfully into consumers’ lives.

Across countries, consumers are different in terms of culture and lifestyle. NIVEA’s challenge was to find similar insights from consumers across different countries. This was used to optimize product development.

Secondary research

In the deodorant category, NIVEA used many secondary research sources to discover consumers’ views and their need for deodorants. These related to different markets and were supplied by local country market researchers. These included:

i. A consumer Usage and Attitude study. This had been conducted a few years earlier across various markets (UK, France and USA).

ii. An external study by Fragrance Houses. This covered the importance of scent and fragrance to people’s well-being and mood.

Primary research

The research team felt therefore there was not enough recent knowledge about the consumer in the secondary research. They commissioned some primary qualitative research in key markets (Germany, France, UK and USA). This was aided by the local Market Research Manager. The aim was to understand the motivations for using deodorant amongst the female consumer.

Primary research is used when there is no existing data available to answer your questions.

The research involved small discussion groups of females. This helped researchers understand the beliefs and motivations of this group. There were several main findings:

  • There is steady growth in females shaving. They wanted to look after their underarms throughout all seasons (not just in summer).
  • Women cared increasingly about the condition of their underarms.
  • Women desired attractive, neat underarms. This symbolised sensuality and femininity.
  • The deodorant segment remained focused on functional rather than beautifying products.

Results of the research

The market research revealed an unexplored market potential for NIVEA Deodorant. The brand did not have a specific product that addressed ‘underarm beauty’ for the female consumer. No direct competitor was offering a product to meet these needs. So there was a clear opportunity to develop a new product. This would fit across different markets and with the current NIVEA Deodorant range.

TURNING CUSTOMERS INSIGHTS INTO PRODUCT CONCEPTS

Consumers showed a need for a ‘beautifying, caring deodorant’. The team generated ideas on how to address the consumer need.

From these ideas the marketing team created ‘product concepts’. These describe the product benefits and how they will meet the consumer needs. Several concepts were written in different ways. These explained and expressed unique product attributes.

The company needed to know which concept was preferred by prospective consumers. It carried out market research to test whether the concepts would work. The research was conducted amongst the desired target market. For Pearl and Beauty, the desired target market was 18-35 year-old women who were beauty-orientated, followed fashion and looked for products with extra benefits.

Quantitative research on the concept was carried out in two test markets (France and Germany). An international company like Beiersdorf must test products in more than one market to assess properly the global appeal.

The concepts were tested monadically. Monadic testing means that the respondent of the test is only shown one concept. This stops the respondent being biased by seeing many variations of the same product concept.

A number of criteria were used to test the concepts:

1) Deodorant category performance measures. These included wetness, dryness, and fragrance. The new concept must deliver generic core benefits.

2) Product attributes specific to the new product and NIVEA core values. The new Pearl and Beauty product has additional benefits to a ‘regular’ deodorant. For example, it leaves your skin feeling silky and gives you beautiful underarms. Consumers needed to understand and see these benefits.

3) The product needed to be relevant and motivate a consumer to purchase it.

The team chose the ‘winning’ concept. This best conveyed beauty while remaining relevant to the deodorant category and NIVEA brand.

Next the research team tested various name ideas for the product and developed different designs for the packaging. Packaging design plays a very important role in helping to communicate the image of the product. Pearl and Beauty needed to communicate femininity and sophistication. Pink was a natural colour choice for the packaging. They also used a soft pearlescent container to emphasise the ‘pearl extracts’ in the product.

Various design ideas were tested using quantitative market research. In addition, this helped to predict the volume of the new products that would be sold, the optimal selling price and the level of switching from existing NIVEA Deodorant and competitor products.

TESTING THE PRODUCT, BRAND POSITION AND ADVERTISING

Testing

The stages described so far produced a product concept that consumers felt was relevant and which they were willing to buy. The next stage was to test the product on actual customers. Many product launches fail, despite great advertising. A big reason is because the product fails to live up to the promises made.

The Market Research Team conducted a product usage test. A de-branded sample of the proposed new product was given to the target consumer of females in several countries. De-branded means the deodorant was in a blank container so that the consumers did not know who made the product or what type it was. Very often consumers form opinions about products and services from advertising and packaging. This can sometimes be very strong and creates a bias in what they think of a product before trying it.

The consumers were asked to use the new deodorant for a week. They kept a diary of when they used it and scored the performance of the deodorant against a list of criteria. These included:

  • Did it keep you dry all day?
  • Did you have to reapply it?
  • Did you like the fragrance?
  • Did it last all day?
  • Was the deodorant reliable?

Consumers applied the ‘de-branded’ deodorant under their right armpit and continued to use their current deodorant under their left armpit. This helped the users gauge if it was as good as or better than the brand they normally used. This gave a measure of how likely the consumer would be to swap brands.

The results of the test were very positive. Most consumers loved the fragrance and the feel of the product on their skin. They felt it performed as well as their current deodorant. Most said they would swap their brands after trying the product.

Brand positioning

Now the marketing team had a new product idea that consumers liked. It had a name and packaging design that were well received. They now needed to check how this fitted with the rest of the NIVEA Deodorant brand positioning and range.

The brand position is the specific niche in the market that the brand defines itself as occupying.

The NIVEA Deodorant Pearl and Beauty adds a touch of feminine sophistication and elegance to the NIVEA Deodorant brand’s personality. This built on the core deodorant positioning. It made NIVEA Deodorant more appealing, modern and unique to trendy, young female consumers.

Using qualitative research to inform advertising

The next stage was to brief an advertising agency to develop communication to support the launch of the new product. Through market research the team could check whether the advertisements positively supported and communicated the new product.

The company conducted qualitative research on some advertising ideas amongst various groups of the target consumers. It presented ideas in the form of ‘storyboards’ of what a TV advert could look like. The objective was to evaluate which were the best ideas in terms of:

  • Did they stand out as exciting or different?
  • Were they relevant to the consumer?
  • Did they communicate the right things about the new product?
  • Did they persuade the consumer to want to purchase the product?

Evaluating success

Once the product is launched and the consumer can actually purchase it, the research process does not stop.

Continuous consumer tracking can be carried out to find out consumers’ views of the new product. This involves interviewing people every day to find out whether they are using the product, what they think of it and why they would purchase it.

Beiersdorf uses other, secondary data sources such as consumer panel data and EPOS (electronic point of sale) data. These monitor the sales effectiveness of the product throughout the launch phase and through the product life cycle.

CONCLUSION

New product development should start with an insight based on consumer needs.

Throughout the NPD process, market research is a valuable tool for Beiersdorf to check viability and minimise the risk of the product launches.

Being an international company, it is essential that Beiersdorf develops new products using the insights of consumers across markets and cultures. This ensures the products are relevant to a large number of global consumers and will deliver the maximum return when launched.

This maximises return on investment for the company and results in happy, satisfied and loyal consumers


Source: thetimes100.co.uk

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5Ps Marketing Mix Theories: Price, Place, Promotion, Package & Product VS Product, Price, Promotion, Physical Distribution & People

5P theory thinks that Marketing Tactics includes Price, Place, Promotion, Package and Product.

According to survey data of transnational corporations,there are 63% consumers do a product decision according to the packaging and decoration. For the housewife who would be attracked easily by the perfect packaging and decoration and their consume would be more than the originall 45%.Thus,The packaging acts a important role in the marketing practise.So,we make Package as the fifth P of 4Ps marketing theory and make a team called 5Ps

The Package Tactics of 5Ps marketing theory

Package and Products

*For  The characteristics of cotton f, strengthen packaging of wrinkle-free, mildew, moisture storage function to extend product life;
* To make the product emergence into products, in packaging design fully integrated into the commercial information, trade mark, functional descriptions and instructions such as essential elements;
* Combine features of the product attributes (size, raw materials, selling point), select packaging materials, targeted to selected internal and external packaging.

4P theory emphasizes the traditional angle from the enterprise product, the inverse of the new marketing 4P theory emphasizes products from the consumer angle. For packaging, from a consumer point of view we need to consider the following:

* Similar packaging for consumer awareness mode (packaging appearance, color, layout, materials, specifications, etc.), what you want to design custom packages to meet consumer awareness to save the cost of information dissemination;
* The face of market information and interference, can rambled to make creative packaging, but only fully express product attributes for consumers to see that this is what the creative product packaging

Package and Price

Packaging materials costs and design costs: different materials, specifications and workmanship direct impact on cost. Stall design and different design is not a fee, but do not compress to reduce costs, design costs, because no matter how the price of packaging materials costs, the costs must be reflected through the design and its value; * production costs and logistics Cost: both are made by hand or machine and cost of production are inseparable, and packaging finished products, its transportation costs in the logistics can not be ignored;

In fact, good packaging does not necessarily require high cost, and good packaging design for the goods often add a lot of commercial value, the following package for the goods described on the simple ways to add value:

* Meet the consumption habits of creative cognition packaging (shape, color, layout, materials, specifications, etc.) is to add value to commodity prices means the most; * design of packaging a consumer’s perspective, to facilitate the use of portable, to facilitate their with post-processing; * ingenuity and consistent brand idea of packaging design and brand value for the brand Zengtian culture; * Packaging is not equal to high-value high-cost packaging, and environmental trends to meet the green packaging design for the unique charm of goods;

Package and Place

* In order to save costs and distribution logistics consumption, it is necessary flow of time compression and packaging sectors. In the strength permitting, you can set up their own logistics center and distribution center;
* Flow of goods in the process of channel has its own into a fixed amount of packaging, do not ignore the “big package” role, in order to channel business point of humanity (such as for the removal), and brand design “big package.” This is also the channel for dissemination of company brand to one of the ways.
* Sincere, open and objective provider to receive channels on the packaging of the proposal to allow commercial and enterprise channel through thick and thin, masters;
* Through channels to receive the consumer packaging business evaluation, timely adjustment of packaging strategies.

Package and Promotion
Marketing in the new theory of the inverse 4P, promotions, and consumers understood how to communicate effectively. In packaging, is actually to communicate with the market as an important vector.

* For different types, different grades of product sales mix, through a unified package;
* In the package purchase promotional gifts or interest coupons, and strengthen consumer spending motivation;
* Into a simple market research questionnaires, interactive communication with consumers in a timely manner;
* Place the fashion information booklet, to enrich the brand of soft spread;
* Place simple and practical combination of the products and other goods using small volumes; (such as socks match shoes, pants, skirt)

5Ps Marketing Theory

Other opinions about 5Ps Marketing Theory

5 P’s to Effective Marketing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You’ve done everything right in your site design. Your navigation is clear and simple to use, graphics load quickly and the design is pleasing as easy to look at. Even the best design cannot guarantee your site success. If you want to succeed and stand out, you will need to incorporate important marketing elements into your site’s design.

The essential elements of marketing are easy to remember and include the following:eb product, price, promotion, physical distribution and people.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Product
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Identify what it is that you are really selling. Don’t worry about complicated schemes, just focus on making it clear what you are selling. Start by identifying the benefits of your product. Be sure to point out the things that your customers can really identify with. It is a good idea to focus on how the product solves problems and adds value for your customer base.

Once you’ve identified the benefits and values, take a step back and ask the hard question, “So what?” This forces you to uncover the core benefits of your product and anticipate your customers’ concerns. You will also discover even deeper benefits and value that you never even thought of for your product.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Price
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What numbers can say about your product. Internet buyers are more price sensitive than traditional consumers. Why? Because they can easily shop around for competitive pricing and features. Your pricing should be competitive, yet still allow you to turn a profit. Your pricing structure can say a lot about your product.

If priced too high, it can drive customers away, while a price that is too low may leave potential customers wondering what is wrong with the product. Find ways to create values. Justify your pricing. Spell out what customers get. If it is 24/7-customer support and weekly updates, let them know.

A low price shouldn’t be the only competitive edge your product has. While the price may motivate customers to buy, don’t forget to back it up with features and value because if price is the only thing that entices your customers, rest assured that someday, someone will beat your price and nab your customers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Promotion
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Promote on your site. Don’t spend all the time and effort trying to attract visitors without promoting your products and services. Motivate your customers to positive action by adding call to action statements throughout your site. List testimonials and customer statements about the value of the product. If your product is related to other Web sites, list links to those sites for customers to look at. Case studies are also a good way to demonstrate how your product produces results or solutions in a variety of situations. Don’t overlook the traditional promotions that tout “saving up to 15%” or getting added support. Offer value-added services.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Physical Distribution
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Distribution beyond product delivery. The distribution of your product goes beyond just getting the product to your customers. Don’t forget to make it easy for them to not only receive the product, but also use and return it if necessary. If the product requires assembly or installation be sure that clear concise instructions are included and even available online.

Have a clear return policy indicating time limits and any other conditions well in advance. Make them aware from the beginning instead of surprising them down the road. In the end, even a customer who returned a product can still be a satisfied customer-based on their experience in dealing with you and your site.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
People
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Provide customer service. Two-way communication can help you build relationships with your customers and result in more closed sales. Internet shoppers are fairly independent, but can become easily disillusioned with your site and product if the information they need is not accessible.

Even if you have a small operation, customer support is fairly easy to implement. Have clear links to support information throughout the site including the purchasing process. Any place where transition is required should have clear links just in case customers need help.

Make support policies clear. If you plan to offer support only for certain hours of the day, indicate that on your page. Set expectations. Let your customers know when you’ll get back to them. It takes you an average of 3 hours to respond to an email, let customers know. People, in general, are easier to work with when they know what to expect ahead of time.

The 5 P’s of marketing can help you improve your site where it matters most-in the content and overall customer satisfaction of your site. By combining the elements of product, pricing, promotion, physical distribution and people with your site’s design elements, you’ll be on your way to more success on the Internet.

Source: onlinembawiki.com

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The future of 21st Century – Fashion Marketing

From selling to selling the right product, from just capturing more customers to having a satisfied customer, from luxury to sustainable luxury, from customer exploitation to customer awareness – the turn of the century saw a lot and has much more to come.

Selling the Right Product

With improved consumer consciousness and a higher level of education there has to be more concentration on product rather than the media communication. More importance is placed on capturing and retaining customers that promoting the right product. It is important to have a right product before have the right advertising. Right product does not just stand for quality and value for money but also the appropriateness of the product at a particular time.

The product should target the right customer base and should keep in consideration “the mood of the people”. For example at the time of recession, luxury should not be emphasized on in terms of advertisement. Such an advertisement could result in boycott of the brand. Concentration on getting the product right will not just result in satisfied customers but also will eventually attract more customers. Innovation of the product to build marketing into the product is the next step.

With increasing emphasis on ethics and corporate social responsibility the performance actions of a company that influence a consumer to buy the product are to change from the famous “4 P’s of Marketing” by Professor Neil Borden of the Harvard Business School to a new concept of “5 P’s of Marketing”.From Product, Promotion, Price, Placement to Product, Promotion, Price, Placement and Principle.

Principle – The code of conduct of the company, the social responsibilities and ethics will hold an important stand in the consumer’s decision of buying a product. More environmentally conscious products will penetrate the market. A customer would not like to buy a product if it is made by workers who are not paid sustainable wages or buy a product which is not dyed with eco friendly dyes. If a company is known for malpractice the consumer will put aside other factors and make a wise choice to stand against the product. Strategies like “one rupee to rural education on purchase of this product” will gain popularity.

With fashion moving from a common foundation for all at a certain period of time to individualism, targeting a common market could result in depriving the customer of choices and mass rejection. The customer would be more bold and independent; hence catering to customer preferences at a fast changing pace will be a necessity. The famous fifteen days lead time of Zara, the 300 new styles every week of Hennes & Mortiz are good examples to state here. Fashion symbolizes change; hence the common lead time of three to six months will gradually become unacceptable.

A concept of “by the customer, of the customer and for the customer” is emerging. An example of this would be “www.threadless.com”. In this one can design a shirt and put it for public view. The public can vote for the best design and that shirt would go into production. This gives the consumers satisfaction in terms of choice and also a sense of control. There is a dire need of innovation of processes that will allow the customer to choose their product or service.

Marketing on the internet started with online consumer surveys and moved to online retailing. A lot in this is still unexplored. In reference to the pace of technological advancements, in the later half of the century a 3D virtual shopping experience is a possibility. With the internet fast becoming a popular channel of retailing, the concept of e-tailing (electronic retailing) in fashion is captivating the consumers. Internet is catering to the convenience of the consumer. With e libraries, online catalogues and made to order the customers have a lot to choose from. With increasing value of time over money, a customer prefers to pay a little extra for delivery at doorstep. This is a topic of intense research in garments because for new customers fit preferences are difficult to infer.

Customer segmentation should not be based on differences but on similarities. The popularity of online social networking could help define a different league of customer segregation. With likeminded people forming groups and communities on Facebook, Orkut and other social networking sites a method of customer segregation could be devised based on the groups and communities.

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Google Boutiques.com, a World of Fashion

Google unveils a new shopping portal, Boutiques.com. It showcases the power of search in the world of fashion. You can shop and choose from a variety of styles, designs and collections of famous designers and stylists. Shoppers can easily catch up with the trend because it allows users to save likes or dislikes in the site.

Shopping is the watchword today. Almost everyone around the globe is on a Shopping spree. Google understands this and thus, has launched a new shopping portal entitled Boutiques.com to add on to its almost full kitty of world class products and services. The portal, as they say, combines the goodness of both social and search. It allows for finding and discovering styles and fashions collections that have been put together by renowned celebrities, designers, stylists and fashion experts, to name a few.

Through this site, Google will be able to analyze the tastes of consumers by ways of a number of clicks, Google Trend data, computer vision and machine learning technology and ultimately, letting them know the entire world of fashion. As is the case with Youtube,  whenever a user logs into his/her account, the site would know the user’s taste for fashion and recommend those results that suit the taste.

Google got the technology from its acquisition of Like.com, along with which came the technology team behind it. They were already working hard on that and had also launched a site of their own called WhatToWear.com. The team at Google now consists of PhDs in Computer Science and Fashion Designers and Stylists. In fact, it is an amalgamation of computer nerds and fashion nerds. Altogether, the team is working on creating a new route to browse, find and buy world class fashion under one roof.

Source: Marketingconversation.com by ROBIN PANGILINAN

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How to Define your Target Market

To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.

With the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.

Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some may say they target small business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.

Targeting a specific market does not mean that you have to exclude people that do not fit your criteria from buying from you. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.

For example, an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35-65 with incomes of $150,000+ in the Baton RougeLouisiana, market. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.

With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company. Here are some tips to help you define your target market.

How to Define Your Target Market: Look at Your Current Customer Base

Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.

Dig Deeper: Upselling: Dig Deeper Into Your Customer Base

How to Define Your Target Market: Check Out Your Competition

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

Dig Deeper: In Praise of Niche Marketing

How to Define Your Target Market: Analyze Your Product/Service

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits they provide (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high quality design services. The resulting benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high quality design is to gain more customers and make more money.

Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.

Dig Deeper: How to Conduct Market Research

How to Define Your Target Market: Choose Specific Demographics to Target

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

    • Age
    • Location
    • Gender
    • Income level
    • Education level
    • Marital or family status
    • Occupation
    • Ethnic background

Dig Deeper: Why Demographics Are Crucial to Your Business

How to Define Your Target Market: Consider the Psychographics of Your Target

Psychographics are more personal characteristics of a person, including:

    • Personality
    • Attitudes
    • Values
    • Interests/hobbies
    • Lifestyles
    • Behavior

Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will they use the product? What features are most appealing to them? What media do they turn to for information? Do they read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?

Dig Deeper: Understanding How Your Customers Think

How to Define You Target Market: Evaluate Your Decision

Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

    • Are there enough people that fit my criteria?
    • Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?
    • Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?
    • Can they afford my product/service?
    • Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

Don’t break your target down too far! Remember, you can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche market. If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find that there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.

You may be asking, “How do I find all this information?” Try searching online for research others have done on your target. Search for magazine articles and blogs that talk about your target market or that talk to your target market. Search for blogs and forums where people in your target market communicate their opinions. Look for survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own. Ask your current customers for feedback.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your zipcode, you can send only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.

Dig Deeper: How to Find New Customers and Increase Sales

Source: Inc.com By Mandy Porta

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