A Case Study: How careful planning (use of strategy) can generate more business and strengthen your brand (add more perceived value to your product/service)
It’s like planting a tree in 4 methodical steps.
1. Lay the right mix of soil.
What is your current business challenge? Find some new ways to reach out to your members, or customers.
This is especially true when you or your team has worked together for many years utilizing the cookie cutter strategies that bring expected results. However, why not do more? Is there a new market you can reach or way to address a current barrier? You can start by looking at your target audience segments more closely.
Add more detail (profile variables) to better define your target market:
● Demographic data: within the targeted city, in what specific neighbourhoods do most of your clients live?
● Psychographics segmentation: Do your clients carefully consider their purchases or buy compulsively?
Research and identify your target market’s problems then offer them a solution with your product or service.
Reach out to your front line membership representatives, sales and business development staff. Talk directly to them: at trade shows, conferences, over the phone, or in person. Learn more about any common gaps or problems that might exist with what you offer. Dig deeper and find out what are some big or small challenges that make it harder for them to get your product or product category in their hands when they want it. For associations: Explore how your membership benefits can include more to address new needs.
Evian water did just that. They unearthed more and created a new road to connect their customers with their product. They asked their specific audiences, “what are the barriers to consumption?” What they found was that many of their customers, when picking up groceries, would end up not buying water because they do not like carrying heavy bottles home. The marketing team used this information, this problem, and developed a solution that would motivate their target market to buy from their company.
2. Nurture your tree according to its environmental conditions.
The marketing strategy followed the corporate guidelines, branding strategy, and target market profile.
The result: Smart Drop – a WiFi-enabled magnet about four inches long, with an LED screen. It has only a few buttons so it is easy for customers to reorder bottle delivery to their home.
Frederic Guichard, marketing director at Danone Waters France described the Evian brand as having “a higher price point than other bottled water brands and has long positioned itself in the luxury space.”
3. Add new fertilizer and more water to give it the right tools to grow .
Evian supports its Brand and Campaign with Innovative Marketing:
- A mobile app for smartphones will follow
- Promotion to be introduced in Paris first (parent company is French food company, Danone)
- Magnet on the fridge: how is that for top of mind awareness?
- New website to support product branding
- Introducing e-commerce, direct delivery to client (no middle resaler)
According to the International Bottled Water Association in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corp., overall consumption of bottled water in the U.S. has increased by 4.1%. Evidently, this product category is growing. Evian understands the direction of the industry and is keen to capture more market share. The marketing strategy aims to strengthen its brand and drive business profits.
This company conducted product, industry, and target market research to identify customer problems and industry trends. It is this information that arms them with the right strategic tools to develop a solution that helps get their products into their customers hands more easily.
4. Look ahead to see how high your tree can grow and the directions each of your branches can take.
Where is your industry heading? What trends can you leverage that will draw your audience closer to you, to buy your product or drive new association memberships? Keeping your research findings current will help you plan better and achieve more results for next year.
-Sandra Hamway, marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five
Infuse Five is dedicated to helping associations and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), across North America and globally. We offer business results through innovative marketing communications strategies without the need to hire a full time senior specialist. Want more smart marketing tips? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.