Thursday, September 28, 2017

Customer-Centric Brand Strategy

Too many companies still think of marketing as the thing to do to sell more products. The products are a given and marketing plans are created and executed to sell more of the products the company produces. In this way, marketing is a tactical afterthought. 

But what if the purpose of the company was to meet (and even anticipate) the needs of one or more specific customers? What if that company focused on a limited number of very specific customers with very specific needs? And what if that company used research to better understand (and again, even anticipate) those needs? And what if the company's focus was to meet more and more of that customer's needs through additional products and services?

What do I mean by focus? Bass Pro Shops focuses on people who fish. Orvis focuses on people who fly fish. Arena and Speedo focus on swimmers, and especially competitive swimmers. Lane Bryant and Avenue cater to plus-sized women. Paul Smith's College is for students who love the outdoors and especially the Adirondacks. Brigham Young University caters to LDS college students. caters to musicians. 

But what if their growth strategies were not focused on targeting new markets for the same products and services but rather, creating new products and services to better serve their specifically targeted core markets? To become invaluable to a specific set of people creates tremendous brand loyalty and even advocacy.  And, more importantly, it insures that the brand remains current and relevant leading to a much longer life. Specific products and services can become obsolete over time. Meeting important customer needs in an ever increasing and evolving set of ways does not. 

Instead of a product-centric strategy, consider a customer-centric strategy. 

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