Brand System – The Offer

The first step, in building a brand as a system, is at once the most important and sometimes the most difficult. The business has a product or service to offer, in many cases more than one of each. Each product or service must be carefully studied to determine what is special about it. Once the firm has done this, it must deal with the underlying question of why people should buy from this business rather than some other. What does this firm do that is singular or unique, that sets it apart from all other firms? What constellation of skills and resources does it have that gives it the potential to do other things as well?

The products or services the firm has are the most obvious constraint on what markets it can reach. These are followed closely by the range of skills and other resources available within and external to the firm. These are the basic parameters to finding the Target Market, especially for a growing company.

There is an additional perspective that must be added here. It is important for the firm to view its product or service within the context of the total business operation, as a collection of assorted services and related benefits, such as credit, delivery, custom colors, special handling, or others, in addition to the primary product or service when defining the target market.

It is this unique combination of product skills and resources that allow a smaller firm to differentiate itself from its competitors, large or small, and to identify target market segments that it can serve especially effectively, frequently, far more successfully than larger firms with more resources, who are less focused!

This kind of comprehensive conceptual analysis of the firm will allow you to begin to identify your true marketing advantages and benefits. It is the reason most firms, even smaller firms, that sell a standard product or a fairly standard service can have a unique appeal to some particular customer group. The smaller firm must recognize this unique capability and not feel compelled to compete on a direct, head-to-head basis with its bigger competitors. Typically, it is not necessary to do so, even if the smaller firm could marshal the resources required to compete directly.

Before the firm can consider whose wants or needs are best satisfied by its product or service, it must determine how the product or service can satisfy. What needs does it meet? What wants can it fulfill? This step permits the product or service to be viewed from a slightly different angle. Any given product or service will probably satisfy a variety of wants or needs. The business should list all it can possible identify. The more useful applications you can identify for your product/service, the greater the potential market dimension.

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