Small Business Targeting and Related Branding Components

small business branding and target

Establishing a brand by defining customers and competition.

 

The building blocks of a small brand requires tracking trends, sourcing customer data and getting familiar with competitors.

Where can you get data about customer groups?

Research these eight sources to gather information on your target market:

1.  Trade associations: Trade groups typically maintain data about market trends. Search for trade associations online.

2.  Reference library: A good business reference librarian can be immensely helpful in finding what you’re looking for.

3.  Government websites: You’ll find a wealth of information at SBA.gov,  Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Bureau of Economic Research, US Census Fact Finder and US Federal Statistics

4.  Focus groups: Get a group that represents your target market—whether that’s college students or moms—together for a short focus group.

5.  Survey: Online tools like www.SurveyMonkey.comand www.Zoomerang.com offer free options for conducting surveys to ask potential customers questions.

  • Gender, age, race and marital status: Targeting “women” as a market is too broad, because not all women behave the same way. You’ll need to research specific niches within broader categories. For example, married women behave differently than single women; moms behave differently than childless women.

6.  Buying habits and behavior: What makes your target market buy? Where do they buy? (Online? In boutiques? In superstores?) What marketing tactics work best on them? How often do they buy your product or service and how much do they spend?

7.  Market size: How big is your target market? Is it growing, or is it in decline? Find data for the past three years plus future projections. Targeting a market that’s shrinking is generally not a good idea.

8.  Realistic market penetration: Just as important as the market size is how much of that market you can realistically hope to capture. This is where researching your competition comes in.

TRACKING TRENDS: What factors are shaping your customers’ behavior?

The following sources will help you keep on top of trends:

  • Newspapers: Since trends typically start in big cities and trickle down to other areas, read the leading newspapers from urban areas, such as The New York Times.
  • Periodicals: Read the magazines your target market reads—whether that’s Road & Track or Tiger Beat—to keep up with what matters to them.
  • Television: Popular shows are often good indicators of consumer trends. For example, the growth of cooking shows in the past decade has been matched by consumer spending on gourmet foods, home entertaining and tools for home cooking.
  • Internet: Set up Google Alerts for topics you’re interested in, or visit Google Trends (www.google.com/trends) to see what the most popular searches are at any given time.

Researching Competitors

  • Business model: What sales channels do your competitors use and how do they make money?
  • Size: How big are your competitors? Will you be competing against other small businesses, national corporations or regional chains?
  • Location: Are your competitors local, regional, national or overseas? Are they brick-and-mortar locations, or do they sell only online?
  • Profitability:

How profitable are your competitors? What are the average margins in your industry and among your specific competitors?

  • Market strategy: How do your competitors position themselves? Are they businesslike or informal? Low-price leaders or premium products? Do they offer hand-holding service, or a do-it-yourself atmosphere?
  • Features/benefits: What are the features and benefits of your competitors’ products or services?

How do they compare to yours?

  • Price: What prices do your competitors charge? Do they offer discounting, bundling or subscription plans?
  • Efficiency: How are your competitors staffed? How many employees do they have? Do they outsource work or work virtually? What kinds of overhead costs do they have?

Next- Knowledge of Competitors and Branding.

RELATED POSTS

4 Definitive Examples to Understand and Serve Your Customers

4 Definitive Examples to Understand and Serve Your Customers

These four company case studies have yielded success across industries Running on Innovation, A New Solution for City Dwellers, Focus on Customers. Learn from these companies that are doing it right. Recently, I attended a public forum called Healthcare in the 21st...

4 Components of Small Business Agility in a Diverse Market

4 Components of Small Business Agility in a Diverse Market

Small business leaders need to understand diversity in order to be connected and create opportunities for success   The model of how to effectively navigate business leadership is changing. For decades stability and homogeneity were hallmarks of business across...

Video Gallery

Modern version of Stoic philosopher Epictetus
A professional leads a cybersecurity training session for employees, emphasizing best practices. The photography captures the engagement of participants, showcasing the educational aspect of safeguard
Hispanic bearded male businessman trainer teaching coaching new recruitment African American female businesswoman employee in formal suit sitting studying learning company graph chart strategy
The presence of a robot using a computer. Office keyboard being typed on by machine. future IT group,.
Latino Streetwear Entrepreneur Latin Biz Today
Chef Lorena Garcia cooking with a wok
Latina Chef Loren Garcia
Latin Biz Today partner Johanna at the San Sebastián Festival

Polls

Which item currently represents the greatest hurdle in the growth of your business?(Required)

Sign Up for the Latin Biz Today Newsletter

PR Newswire

Featured Authors

avatar for Carola BraccoCarola Bracco

Carola Otero Bracco is the Executive Dire...

Social Responsibility for Small Businesses

Innovation & Strategy

Money

Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Outside investors want to understand a business' strategy as well as its financial statements.   The need to raise capital from outside investors requires a great deal of preparation across multiple dimensions. Among many things, investors look to understand...

Talent/HR

Legal

Marketing

Culture

Fashion

Food

Music

Sports

Work & Life

Mindfulness

Health & Fitness

Travel & Destinations

Personal Blogs

Pin It on Pinterest