All marketing should be based on underlying needs. For each market segment included in your strategy, explain the market needs that lead this group to buy your product or service. Did the need exist before the business was there? Are there other products or services or stores that offer different ways to satisfy this same need? Do you have market research related to this market need?
It is always a good idea to try to define your retail offering in terms of target market needs, so you focus not on what you have to sell, but rather on the buyer needs you satisfy. As a shoe store, for example, are you selling shoes or are you satisfying the customer needs for covered feet? Are there additional underlying needs, such as style and prestige for fashion footwear, or padding for runners, or jumping for basketball players, that relate to selling shoes? Are kids buying status with their basketball shoes?
Understand and explain market trends. What factors seem to be changing the market, or changing the business? What developing trends can make a difference? Market trends could be changes in demographics, changes in customer needs, a new sense of style or fashion, or something else. It depends on what business you are in.
For example, a building supply store might note the trend toward remodeling older homes instead of buying new homes, or a trend toward more rooms in larger houses, despite smaller families, because of home offices, dens, and exercise rooms.
A grocery store might note a trend toward Asian foods or spicier foods, or toward fresher, healthier foods, or development of a new shopping area in a different part of town.
A credit and investment counselor might note demographic trends, such as baby boomers aging, leading to a greater need for estate planning and retirement planning. Look to market trends as a way to get ahead of the market, to know where it is going before it gets there.
You should also understand and explain market growth in each segment. Ideally you cite experts: a market expert, market research firm, trade association, or credible journalist.
Copyright © Timothy J. Berry, 2006. All rights reserved.