The Business Book

(Joyce) #1

market something new, how it
presents the offering and gets
the message to consumers is an
important consideration. In planning
a launch, another valuable tool, the
AIDA Model, provides clear-cut
criteria for defining the features of
any new product or service: how it
grabs consumers’ attention, holds
their interest, generates desire, and
is perceived to be attractive.
Concurrent with developing a
specific product or service for a
particular market, creating a brand
is equally important. The goal
should be to make the brand
synonymous with a set of unique
product qualities. In the words
of marketing expert Seth Godin:
“A brand is the set of expectations,
memories, stories, and relationships
that, taken together, account for a
consumer’s decision to choose one
product or service over another.
If the consumer ... doesn’t pay a
premium, make a selection, or
spread the word, then no brand
value exists for that consumer.”

Promoting the product
Once the optimal product or service
has been developed in conjunction
with brand identity, there is the
question of how to get the word out
to potential customers. Promotions
and incentives—such as special

offers, sweepstakes, and price
discounting—can be deployed
in the short term to garner initial
interest. They can be especially
effective for product launches in
areas where many rivals fight for
shelf space, such as household
cleaning and candy.
One of the oldest strategies for
communicating with customers is
word of mouth. In the age of social
media, generating buzz about a
new product or service increasingly
relies on reaching specific groups
through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
and other online means, and
encouraging them to spread the
word. When a branded video goes
viral, the potential global reach runs
into tens of millions. If relatively
low-cost communications methods
like this are effective, it can lead
marketers to ask, why advertise?
But for long-term image building,
and for reinforcing brand values,
advertising still has a role to play.
For example, a sustained advertising
plan can take an audience from
children to adults with recognizable
slogans, jingles, and formats.

Staying on message
Businesses must carefully consider
the messages that they send to
customers and their rivals, since the
marketplace can judge them harshly.

Companies found to have acted
dishonestly or conveyed partial
truths about their eco-credentials
can be accused of “greenwashing,”
and will find it hard to win back
public opinion. In fact, no matter
how appealing a company’s sales
proposition, consumers increasingly
want the people they buy from to
have a social conscience. For this
reason, it is vital for management
to consider the role of ethics within
the organization, and to develop the
company’s code of behavior toward
suppliers, employees, consumers,
and the community. Although
shareholders may see corporate
responsibility as the least important
commercial priority, it is now an
integral part of the marketer’s
strategy for successful selling. ■


Don’t find customers for your
products, find products for
your customers.
Seth Godin
US entrepreneur (1960 –)


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