So you want to be a big company someday

Have you ever noticed how big companies like Apple or Disney or Tim Hortons or Coca-Cola are instantly recognizable?

Big companies have some great best practices that can accelerate your profitable business growth.

  1. Proactively searching for new markets and new opportunities. Safeway isn’t a grocery store, they’re a fast food outlet where you can buy hot, prepared foods that are ready to eat or packaged foods that need a few minutes being zapped in your microwave and are table ready. Convenience and ease of use can enhance your sales. If you’re not innovating…well, your competitors are.
  2. You can spend lots on advertising trying to find new customers and convincing them to buy your stuff. Or, you can approach your existing customers, who know you and love you, and sell them your new and exciting products and services that provide even more value to them. Apple continues to WOW its loyal customers and the financial markets with its amazing ability to improve its shiny products and keep their customers (like me) upgrading their cell phones long before the contract expires.
  3. What do your customers love about your product? How do they use your product? Are you watching them in action, asking them questions, and listening carefully to their emotional and logical responses? Big companies take a scientific approach to knowing their customers.

How many of these are you doing regularly in your business?

In real estate, it’s about ‘location, location, location.’ Well, in business, it’s about ‘marketing, marketing, marketing.’

Regardless of your industry or business, competition is increasing, pricing pressure is negative, and your customers are more informed about your competitors and their choices than perhaps even you are.

If you want to be a big company someday, your number one job needs to be on marketing.

Here are seven steps to accelerate your marketing adapted from SME Business Wealth Builder’s Profitable Growth model:

  1. Put your best people on the job.
  2. Give them a real budget to research your existing customers, interview your former customers, and talk to prospects to really understand their needs, wants, and emotional and logical drivers.
  3. Identify and stratify your customers based on product or service purchase, price points, and value drivers.
  4. Innovate, with no restrictions, on what products or services would delight your customers. Don’t constrain yourself to what you can do. Find out what your customers want.
  5. Then, give your customers what they want. Develop or acquire new products or repackage existing ones into branded bundles that maximize value for your customers.
  6. Price based on value, not on cost or on competitors levels.
  7. Brand everything like crazy. Leverage your relationship and technology to communicate with your customer and build your brand.

Marketing isn’t a department. It’s every one’s job. Your strength is your great customer relationship and nimbleness to respond to their needs. You can leverage your advantages to strengthen customer loyalty by providing even more value.

Marketing is about helping customers and prospects become aware of your value and then learning how to acquire it from you. It’s about awareness and accessibility.

Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych

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