Given that as a friend and acting consultant to Tracy, who was about to establish a small business consulting company, the following responses to the indicated questions are hereby presented:
How would you advise Tracy to approach the following topics?
First and foremost, it would be imperative to note that the kind of business earmarked to be established by Tracy is a service-oriented business where instead of a product, Tracy would be offering consulting services focusing on business endeavors. At the onset, one could infer the proposed clientele would be business practitioners; or people who get to interact with various stakeholders within the business environment: entrepreneurs, customers, suppliers, investors, employees, and community members. In this regard, concepts of market segmentation are relevant to be applied. “Market segmentation is to divide a market into smaller groups of buyers with distinct needs, characteristics, or behaviors who might require separate products or marketing mixes” (Smith, 1956, p. 3). As such, Tracy should initially conduct market segmentation according to customers’ characteristics as categorized in terms of geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral factors .
Selection of a target market:
Since Tracy would be establishing a small business enterprise, her selection of a target market could depend on factors within her scope of operations and resources. After conducting the market segmentation, she could have identified that the target market is within a specified age range (25 to 45 years old); educational background (high school or university level and graduates); income level (earning minimum wage); and vicinity (within one’s strategic location).
Development of a positioning strategy:
Positioning strategy refers to “how organizations want their consumers to see their
product” (Market Positioning Strategies, n.d., par. 1). Tracy could evaluate how she would like the consulting business to be perceived by her target market in terms of how other competitors position similar services. Would she like to imitate the competitors’ marketing strategies or would be determine which strategies would be deemed most effective given a comprehensive study of the behavior of her target market. She could try offering low priced services for consultations but emphasizing high quality and value plus services.
Since one is familiar with the concept of branding and knows that because her company is new, she will have to build a brand from scratch, the following courses of action need to be done in this case:
Select a brand that would be universally easy to pronounce and remember; as well as could be associated with the service being offered. Included among the features of a good brand name, aside from the above mentioned are: being distinctive, extendable, and not bearing any similarities on poor meanings in other languages or countries . There are guidelines that would assist in incorporating relevant structural elements (brand contents and brand form); as well as classifications in terms of using either transferred or invented names . Since this is a new company, selecting and establishing a good and catchy brand image is of paramount concern to lure customers and try to patronize her offered services, retain the brand name, establish good recall, and differentiate it from other existing brands in the market. Thus, as effective branding strategy should incorporate all noted ingredients and guidelines which would ensure that the firm would be distinctly known and identified for providing exemplary service, as compared to her competitors.
Goyat, S. (2011). The basis of market segmentation: a critical review of literature. European Journal of Business and Management, Vol 3, No.9, 45-54.
Branding – definition. (n.d.). Retrieved from esp-conference.de: http://www.esp-conference.de/handouts.pdf
Market Positioning Strategies. (n.d.). Retrieved from Learn Marketing: http://www.learnmarketing.net/positioning.htm
Smith, W. (1956). Product differentiation and market segmentation as alternative marketing strategies. Journal of Marketing, 21, 3–8.