TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR STRATEGIC PRODUCT LINE PLANNING
Your customers are the life force of your business, which is why you have to exercise strategy. A company’s growth involves making changes in certain products lines and launching new product lines. These endeavors costs money, so you have to make each penny count.
Strategic Product Line Planning
This is an effective technique, which involves dynamic marketing research. It pinpoints the ideal set of combinations that you want to have in your product. The combinations, such as color, size, or texture, help lessen your marketing risks. They also help increase the total difference among certain items. It is important for any company to go through this process before they put money into developing and launching the product line.
Segmentation or Primary Research
In primary research, you have to determine the social demographics and the location, where you plan to launch your product.
- Social demographics and location. This involves knowing the age, gender, lifestyle, behaviors, attitudes, product appeal, and product preferences of the consumers in that area.
- Survey. To get the necessary information, you need to conduct a local survey. With this, you can determine the assumptions of your potential customers and the hypothesis you need for your product testing.
- Data Analysis. Once you are done with analyzing the data you gathered, you can go ahead and proceed with data mining.
- Segment. After all the information you received, you can already form dashboard summaries of the preferred product types. Here, you also determine the latent needs of your customers, which lead to the design guidance of the product. Different segments can result from the data mining you perform.
STP or Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning, is seen as a tactical approach in marketing. It is the most widely used marketing model today. STP considers customers. In the previous approaches, product differentiation is given more emphasis. This model creates better plans in marketing communications. It helps business owners prioritize their propositions and deliver personalized messages. The relevant messages are then used to engross various audiences.
Segmentation. This helps you identify the market niches that have specific needs. It can also help you get hold of new clients and relay more personalized marketing messages. You can segment your audience through the following:
- Demographics (age, gender, occupation, etc.)
- Life stages
- Psychographics (emotions and personality)
- Lifestyle (non-work pursuits such as hobbies and vacations)
- Benefit (satisfaction that the customer gains)
- Values and beliefs
2. Targeting. You need the following to evaluate the potential attractiveness of the segments you have:
- Size of criteria. Your market should be big enough for segmenting. If you have a small market, it may become smaller.
- Different benefits. It is expected for the segments to have different benefits.
- Money. Your profits should be more than the amount you spent on changes and additional marketing plans.
- Accessibility. The segments should be accessible to your team. They should always receive your marketing messages as well.
- Difference. There should be measurable differences in between segments.
3. Positioning. This is the last step in STP. Every time there is a missing product in a segment, a market opportunity is opened for you.
Like other major businesses, the fashion industry constantly needs strategic product line planning because of the changing trends. Make-up, accessories, shoes, and clothes need to be updated or improved, to match the preferences of various customers. It is necessary to extract valuable information from customers, if you want to provide the right products.
PRODUCT PLANNING WITH SEGMENTATION
Market segmentation is also known as customer segmentation. This process involves dividing potential clients into very distinct groups. Businesses such as the fashion industry need to perform segmentation on customers that have similar needs and characteristics in purchasing. The customers may want or need similar products. They may also have the same response to sales channels, messaging, or marketing channels.
The Approaches to Market or Customer Segmentation
Given are three major approaches used in segmentation:
A priori. This approach is considered the simplest one. It just needs to see the publicly accessible characteristics, such as company size and industry. Through this approach, you can come up with diverse customer groups in a given market. This segmentation approach is not that accurate because companies tend to have different needs, even if they do have the same size.
Value-based. This approach sections customers based on their economic value.
Needs-based. This is based on validated drivers that customers use in expressing interest in a service or product offered. These needs are then verified through the help of segments and market research.
Segmentation Focused Survey Questions
Dichotomous questions. You can only answer these questions with YES or NO, “A” or “B”, True or False, and Agree or Disagree. Dichotomous questions help in the proper segmentation of customers. You end up with two specific groups, which have different preferences.
Predictive questions. These questions pave the way to improved recommendations. Once you as the right predictive question, you can connect them easily with the right service or product they prefer. The predictive question tends to be unrelated the purchase question. This allows the customer to feel less intimidated because they can answer them easily.
Involving as Many Participants as Possible
When you have many participants, you take in a large variety of backgrounds and perspectives from stakeholders and staff. The diversity decreases the possibility of distortions and blind spots in SWOT evaluations.
How to make specific products your customers want
How to set a price on products that customers are willing to purchase
Stepping up to be the leader in product innovation versus following an already established and proven innovation
Considerations of Information Relevancy
The Quality of the SWOT analysis yields the following:
Quantity of the relevant supporting evidence
Relevance of the relevant supporting evidence
Variety of perspectives involved
Reliability of evidence interpretation
Adequacy of the competitive bench trending or benchmarking
Dependability of the relevant supporting evidence
GOST: Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics
Remember the following:
Goals are considered your general aim. It is what you want to achieve.
Objectives are closely connected to your goals. You need to achieve these, to reach your goals.
Strategies and Tactics are means to make your objectives achievable and perhaps easier to accomplish.
These efficient and effective tools and techniques in strategic product line planning are not only beneficial but necessary. Fashion brands need to section their customers, so that their specific needs and wants are attended to without any problems. Once you master these, you can easily move forward to your product launching and promotion.
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