Imagine a shop front in a great location in a busy commercial centre; there’s lots of people traffic and the store sees many passers-by during the lunch period and early evening. This position has popular cafes, fast food and lunch outlets either side and on the opposite side of the street and it is probably losing money judging by the higher business volume the competing fast food stores enjoy.
Problem / Opportunity
Our shop is in a profitable location, with lots of competition, from substitutes and new shops frequently come and go (see: Porter, 2008). My comment, is that people can be a lazy when it comes to exploiting a good position.
When many people are making money selling buttons, it is smart to sell buttons too and “get me some of that“, when there’s lots of customers and not too many button sellers. In this example, the competition sells more buttons (or take-away food, in this case). What do you do?
I like to make sure there are options and contingency plans, so I always look for more than one pathway forward. The first thing we do is analyse the people-traffic, and imagine ways we can create our opportunity.
- Make your niche: We establish distinct benefits that make us an attractive alternative. In the take-away space, plan to be a favourite rather than exclusive. We can boost success by offering variety in our shop, so the customer doesn’t need to check the other shops to get more choice.
- Move sideways: In our example take-away precinct the options are to move up-, left-, back-, right-, or down- market in this location. A new rustic feel cafe just opened a couple of doors away.
- Outside the box: Is by definition, something completely different like an aquarium & gallery with pretty fish and stunning art for sale.
- Compliment the area: With many take-away shops nearby the area is ready for a complimentary offering like a place to check your email, listen to yor iPod while you eat.
- Clothing or fashion: After eating shoppers like to browse.
- Break the mould: Companies like Fruitopia have demonstrated that people want better, healthier take-away eating choices. In our take-away precinct there are lots of the expected options like burgers, chips, noodles, etc. This is a specific kind of side-ways step.
- Express your self: Think of a retail space like any other resource, its value is the cash flow it can bring in. In this example the basic features of location, people traffic, predictable visitors/time profile. And it’s a good bet it is loosing money now, so the price could be right. Ask yourself what can you do with that kind of opportunity?
There can be many ways to make your customer happy especially when he or she has comes to you — That’s the value of location. To benefit from a location, we need to look at how to translate existing features into customer value. The short list above takes a customer focus to look at this shop’s situation.
There’s no reason we can’t improve the existing operation the same way. The important things are to think fresh, do the right sums and meet the customer, avoid attempts focusing on the customer meeting you … In the way all the shops in that precinct focus on the customer engaging them.
(“Very Small Business“, ABC, 2009)
There is a saying:
“The only good deal is one where both sides are happy.“
Place is a very old concept, I wouldn’t mind putting money on the possibility that place is the first part of marketing, Place or location, stems all the way back to our origins before agriculture, way back to the hunter gather period.
I also think that this goes as much for buyer and seller. For the most part I believe the ‘buyer‘ is tapping into primal urges to return with food. ‘Sellers‘ seek buyers and need to find their products & services. That’s good news, isn’t it? I mean, if my guess works in practice.
In practice then, how does this benefit you? Every fisherman knows that you need to be where the fish are, and you need to use the right bait. Every hunter knows that you need to understand the habits of your prey so that you can anticipate their location and capture them. Finally, everyone of our ancestors knows how important it is to know where to find the bush with the best berries and greens with the most richest leaves. The clarion call is: Location, location, location. Put your self, your products, your services, your brand together with your customer.
Your customer is the same. She knows where to find what she wants or where to look when she needs to find something new. As the long time successful advertising campaign once puts it, she know … “Where do ya git it?!”
If you can’t be everywhere like Coke a Cola, the next best thing is to be where your customer goes or where others offer your type of product.
“Where are you customer?“
- Creativity and Innovation
- Engaging with Social Media [Promotion]
- Sharing the Love [product]
- Customer Engagement [place]
- wiki marketing [promotion]
- i-marketing [promotion]
- Great Location [place]
- Optimal Customer Service [product]
- Me vs Shop [promotion]
- Sales isn’t Marketing [personal]
- Are you free? [price]
- Where are you [place]