Category Archives: Marketing

Yet, another niche market

On the quest of indentifying niche markets -purely generated by the individual needs of consumers; One, might wonder if there is any place left for innovation. The answer is: Yes, but could it be affordable enough for an entrepreneur to undertake? Not really.

In a world where big companies run the field, it is crucial to build your penetration strategy to complement, rather than, compete with the big boys.

Take MacDonald’s/or Burger King for example; whatever the branch next to you serves, they have paid for that royalty! Thus, serving a Breakfast Menu means that they are adding more cost to their business. What if you can turn that into an opportunity!! Here we go:

  1. Identifying the Gap: the main components of a Breakfast Menu are eggs and sausage; all other components are available of the main (basic) menu.
  2. The Gap, in Concept: treat Eggs and Sausages as an added condiment like Cheese, Onions or Mayonnaise.
  3. The Gap, Functional: what do you need to make it work? Any functioning restaurant should be equipped with a grill and a freezer at minimal; all you need from your side is your Eggs, Sausages and an employee/per shift.  
  4. A Requirement: getting your Eggs and Sausages certified/ approved by the mother company being Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc.
  5. Who’s your Customer? Any restaurant that hopes to save cost on their menu i.e., cutting on royalties, increasing competitiveness by offering All-day Breakfast without any added cost, etc.
  6. A Win-win approach: While you can easily charge 40- 60 cents per added condiment being Egg or Sausage, the actual cost is almost half; a decent profit margin when dealt in volume.
  7. The benefits: a) Thousands of employment opportunities could be generated. b) Customers could enjoy their breakfast meal whenever their day starts. c) Restaurants will cut on another cost and probably much more.

So, if their Eggs and Sausages weren’t out of this world, and they weren’t so greedy; companies such as Burger King should have no problem certifying you as a supplier, then you can put an employee at every one of their branches so a customer could enjoy a Western BBQ Cheeseburger with a nice fried egg on top; a combination like no other, served all day long, with absolutely no extra charge to the business 🙂

Another example on niche markets could be borrowed of the Coffee chains; each trying to compete under an obsolete business model based on: ‘coffee is how Italians drink it’! Thus the old-same variety you find everywhere!

A little of dried Cardamom grinded with coffee beans, then percolated would make for a great Arabian Coffee; the same dried Cardamom/ or even Sage boiled in water then used for your Tea lowers blood pressure and helps digestion, not to mention the amazing taste. Both additives are purely natural, could be found at any supermarket and truly cheap!

In cities with Middle Eastern taste, such varieties would sell high in volume, but it would require a spirit of change, to drop the old understanding and go global; about time 🙂

Until our next niche; Merry Christmas

Firas

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If I were the Marketing Manager

Niche Market is today’s every market; Blue Oceans are not sought, they are created; Online Marketing is a must and it needs to be Spot-On or you’ve just wasted your money!!

As a supplier/ manufacturer, you have two types of consumers to deal with: the ones who enjoy shopping and the ones whom do it because they have to; A simple and straightforward segmentation.

From a consumer point-of-view, an admirer of advertising, a person whom worked in the retail business and a guy that shops for the fun of it; I have listed few cases below, of companies that could do better, much better if they connect with their customers the right way…

  • Febreze – the Wrong Marketing

Sadly, Febreze is a product that could only be appreciated when smelled, not, seen! TV and other printed commercials would tackle the wrong sense i.e., the eyes, not the nose.

A proper marketing strategy should be based on reaching the nose(s) of consumers, impressing those noses would trigger a much cheaper and more effective marketing technique: Word of Mouth!

Sponsoring aroma is much cheaper than investing in advertisements; allowing for product awareness to grow would gradually build brand credibility consequently, providing the brand with enough power to suggest and link Aroma-to-Colour, and this is when TV and other forms of printed advertising could –efficiently, convey the intended message.

–         Concept Design: Associating Smell to Quick Mart → Associating Smell to Colour.

–        Attack Strategy: Identify Aroma Preferences (Zoning) → Generate the sought aroma within the targeted market i.e., Convenience Stores (Promotion/
Sponsorship).

–         Corner Stone: spreading the Aroma within small shops (Convenience Stores) is more efficient, it requires lesser units and the owner(s) would be
more than welcoming to have a nice smelling shop for free! Plus, they receive a high volume of customers with longer working hours; hence, further product [real life] exposure.

–         Tools: Market Research: Survey (What sold Where), and Focus Groups (Product Development and Customization). Paint-work and Design would
be required when executing the Colour phase.

  • DAVIDOFF Instant Coffee – Jameson Irish Whisky; The Unnoticed Opportunity  

In this case, we have two products, appreciated yet, by another set of senses, Taste and Smell; which brings us to the question: Have you ever tried this
combination before?? Boy, as if those two were meant to be together, live forever in perfect harmony. So Poetic 🙂

Sharing A Prestigious Brand Recognition would allow for a flexible product positioning; additionally, both could achieve big savings if/ when logistical resources were shared. A Joint Venture might even be a good idea!

–        Brand/ Image: Equilibrium/ Reasonably Happy.

–        Concept Design: Instant Mix → Pre-bottled Mix (Microwavable).

–        Attack Strategy: Introduce Jameson through DAVIDOFF (Non-Alcoholic Dominant Product) → Link Day-to-Component (Jameson-Night/ DAVIDOFF-Morning) i.e., drinkable throughout the day → Promote within two boundaries: at Bars (as Standalone-drink) and Restaurants (an After-Meal choice).

–         Corner Stone: The taste and aroma of this combination is notoriously good; it speaks for itself, just serve the first one!

–         Tools: Outdoor Printed Material: positioned and displayed to reflect the luxurious nature of the product; Indoor Printed Material:
at High-end Bars and Restaurants. Focus Groups (tasting) must be considered to support Product’s development (Lifecycle).

  •   Nestle -Getting it Wrong   

I have been blessed with great taste buds –a big nose too, allowing me to memorize the taste and smell of any food that I have consumed throughout my life!

As a result, I can tell you for sure that Nestle has committed a big mistake when changing the taste of Lion Bar back in the 90’s; transforming a quality chocolate into another commercial piece of candy! But that’s not the issue here.

Nestle, in their effort to dominate the Islamic market, started certifying their food as Halal, a smart move if it was implemented correctly!! Sadly, what they did was actually offend any Muslim with a brain when they read Halal on –for instant, Onion Soup!!

Probably, Nestle was trying to say that this soup/product has no pork in it –since, Onions are Halal anyway. What we see here is an example of a company relaying on textbook marketing rather than actually understanding their targeted costumers and how they perceive Halal thus, convey the right message and build trust.

  • IKEA -Not Listening      

When you think IKEA, you think: Nice, and IKEA is truly nice. The problem with IKEA is almost unnoticed yet, it is preventing IKEA from reaching its full potential!

The company has failed to establish an open, two-way communication with its customers, while relaying solely on its innovative designers to develop the solutions, being the furniture of course.

How could IKEA talk to us? There are several ways to do so, some of which could be:

–      Attach a drawing sheet by the end of every section of their annual catalogue -distributed for free in most countries, a
sheet that could fold as a letter (postal paid); they will be astonished with
the designs their customers will develop.

–       An actual annual competition, with the winning designs put to production; involve the customers by allowing them to vote for their
favourite design with the opportunity to win something.

–      Dedicate a wall for their loyal customers, a virtual online wall/ or an actual one based on domestic regular purchases/ visits.

–      Enrich the dull-looking website and add an easy to use: Your Opinion Matters section. Any feedback should be gathered
and analysed while thanking the people for offering it.

–      Gather the recent/ expected trends in the market to support IKEA’s concept development by: Conducting drawing activities
at schools (Kids furniture); Surveying office workers (Office furniture); Interviewing Couples (Living room, Kitchen, etc.).

Imagine, if IKEA is to open their ears and listen, they might –for example, stop making girls rooms in pink and shift to blue-purple being Justin Bieber’s favourite colours 🙂

As always, all of the above reflects my own personal opinion and my hope is, it was useful 😉

Firas

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