Ohmae defines strategy as “the way in which a company uses its relative strengths to meet the needs of customers better than its competitors. To do this, you must examine your customers, your company and your competitors to determine who you expect to serve, what their relative strengths are, and how it will serve them better than the competition. It turns out that this is exactly what needs to be done to lay the foundations of a brand strategy. With that as a starting point, you should define who your customer is and what their unmet needs are.
The mistake most companies make is to start with the product with the “build it and they will come” mentality. This is the equivalent of looking for a solution to a problem. It's best to start by understanding the problem and then work on the product. And the only way to gain that understanding is through conversations with customers.
What follows below is a set of exercises designed to help you with the three C's. They will help you identify and understand your customer, assess the relative strengths of your company, and assess the competitive landscape. They will help you lay the foundations for the articulation of your brand strategy. A good marketing strategy is a must, especially for a small business with a limited number of followers.
To truly build brand loyalty, you must attract your customers and, at the same time, remain loyal to your company and take your competitors into account; in other words, follow the “three C's” marketing model. This model focuses on three key factors that every marketing strategy must prioritize. Here's how to use this method to boost your business. Start by defining the mission of your company and creating a brand that accurately represents it.
This way, people will understand who you are and what to expect from you, and you'll have more confidence in your marketing messages. By doing so, you're reminding your customers who you are beneath the surface, which is crucial in today's socially responsible business climate. However, consistency is a key factor, said Daniel Foley, director of Assertive Media. Your customers are the reason for your business and the driving force behind everything you do.
It's important that you communicate with them in a personal way, rather than simply buying advertising space or promoting your products and services. This is especially true on social media, where many customers examine companies before investing. You can get to know your customers by interacting with them on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. However, creating a social media account shouldn't be something you just check off your list.
To really benefit from it and connect with your customers, you'll want to dig a little deeper. It's crucial that you know your customers where they are, rather than just waiting for them to come to you. Find ways to express your appreciation and support them on their shopping trips. No matter what industry your company is in, you'll always have competition, and that's a good thing.
You're doing something right if you have direct competitors, but you'll want to understand how they promote themselves, as well as any gaps they fill and you don't fill. To really differentiate yourself from the competition, personalize your messages whenever possible. Storytelling is an instant way to connect with your customers, says Modkins. Often, companies have difficulties in this area.
They throw different (and inconsistent) messages against the wall to see what stays. Unfortunately, this confuses your customers and leaves your company plagued by identity and brand recognition issues. Conversely, when your target customers hear the same main message multiple times, they're more likely to spread it the way you want. Your customers find you and interact with your company in a variety of ways, including public relations, social media, websites, videos, email, sales meetings, and events.
However, your efforts across all marketing channels should have a coherent story. Instead, take your customers on a trip. Tell them the story of how your company can help solve their problem and make sure that each story has a beginning, a development and an end. Don't reduce your brand stories to just marketing materials or sales pitches.
Rather, treat them as opportunities to let your brand's personality shine through and connect on a deeper level with customers. For B2B companies competing in today's rapidly changing digital economy, the customer can seem like a moving target, constantly moving between myriad channels and displaying an incredibly diverse range of behaviors and preferences. The three C's of marketing will help you develop strong engagement strategies and highly identifiable content to capture attention, effectively increase your market share and dominate your industry. Many firms are beginning to see themselves as the center of the business universe for which the customer “needs” them and not the other way around.
Without them, and without reaching a sincere understanding that no company exists or continues to exist without them, the business (organism) will cease to prosper. Some might think that a business plan is something that large corporations need or an upstart business effort, but the reality is that business planning is for everyone. Especially if your original plan only led you to start a business. We'll return to some of the details when determining the strategy, but for now, let's take a quick look at what I consider basic requirements for a business plan.
And for the purposes of this blog, I'd like to finish by addressing what most will immediately see as finance, but, in accordance with the “C's” of business planning, I'll describe what's next in terms such as currency. Whether yours is an existing concern or an idea that's been hanging around in your mind, a business plan is almost a necessity. As with any discussion of business plans and money, here too, a plan must address how the uses of funds and the sources of funds will be managed. And what's to come is the result of some difficult lessons learned (deficiencies in planning) for a few business efforts that could have been much more successful if you had spent more time creating detailed plans rather than general business plans.