Every business has a product or service to offer the market. However, the difference between a successful business and a flop is very often how the product or service is positioned in the market. Understanding how positioning works is the only guaranteed way to remain in business for a long time.
Here are some strategies that can help startups to position their products better and show you what you are doing wrong.
The hallmark of a business is no longer what they bring to the market place. Timeliness and innovation are important recipes for success. Your products don’t just need to solve problems anymore, it must be innovative in doing so.
Can you get it to the market a little faster? A little smaller? Make it a little more convenient and easier to access? Can it be made and sold cheaper? These are the make or break questions that must be answered intelligently.
VALUE CHAIN DISRUPTION
While you produce, it might equally be useful for you to create good distribution channels that can help get your product or service right to the doorsteps of your consumers. Or better still, you can shorten the process and time required for the product to get to the consumers. This will help put you ahead of the pack and plant you and your brand firmly in the hearts of the market.
RESEARCH TO KNOW
This has become an invaluable skill that every business must have, especially startups. Use the local library and the internet to research your market and find out what the experts are saying and what fundamental changes are taking place in your industry.
In more specific cases, you can issue out questionnaires to elicit certain responses from your customers so as to know what they want and how you can best provide it for them.
Listen to the unvoiced responses of your customers about your product and services. This can help you make adjustments even before they know or say it.
Some entrepreneurs happen to be the only ones excited about their products and services. There is nothing wrong with believing in the value you bring, but if the market disagrees with you on this, make a switch and offer them what they want. It should be about the market and not the marketer.
Observe market responses and adjust according to demand. Change can also come in the form of pricing, packaging or promotion. Just make sure you offer the best according to market needs and opinion.
IMPORVE YOUR USE OF THE 4PS
A wise startup and even a mature business would do well to adopt buyer orientated strategies that follow the 4P rule of thumb:
- Sell a solution and not a product. The product is all about the business but the solution is all about the buyer.
- Consider the cost not the price. Any business that wants to be around for a long time should think about how the cost of a product affects potential buyers. Your product might be cheap in the market but if it is more expensive for the consumer to use, access, store, etc., they will always judge the product with these metrics irrespective of the price.
- Communicate to relate not to promote. Nothing can be more annoying to a consumer than a promotion that is out of context. Most businesses don’t care about the needs of the market, their only concern is to make sales and turn in revenue. Businesses should always be mindful of this and all promotional efforts should focus on communicating to understand and relate with the needs of the market. Be the market’s best friend, not the best promoter. Let people know you care first before knowing what you sell.
- Offer convenience not just a place. A lot of market psychology should be considered in a business choice of place and location. This includes all your contact points and every place your goods and services are to be located.
Business success has a lot to do with strategically positioning the product to serve the customer. And the most effective way to achieve this is to put the market and the consumers’ preferences first before anything else.
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