First the Image, then the Marketing!
Image and marketing are two phenomena that have to be posted at the beginning and the end of a street in order for an enterprise to form its character. Many firms have, although not very clear, a general understanding about how marketing is done. Yet many have a difficulty in formulizing what they stand for. They are not fully aware of what image they reflect, or what kind of impression they make towards their audience.
Although image and marketing go hand in hand and often overlap, I have put below a few questions to help you better distinguish these.
Questions that define my image:
- What characteristics do I transmit? What kind of impression do I make as a person and as a firm?
- What do my customers, employees, competitors and local residents think of my company?
Questions that define my marketing strategy:
- How do I make my customers aware of my products or services?
- What is my main product or service?
- Who is my customer at the center point?
- How wide should my product selection be?
- What pricing policy should I follow to reach optimal profit?
- What should I do as a business leader to encourage my employees to master sales?
- How do I further develop my customer base?
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Traditionally, a brick-and-mortar shop would concentrate on the product or the service itself. A restaurant must have good food, a shoe maker must make shoes that fit and not tear apart after some use. In the modern marketplace, the potential customer expects more than a simple item: The feeling and experience in the shop or the website has become vital for a business to distinguish itself.
A simple, but to the point website is a good starting point for businesses of any size. The prevailance of smartphones have made web presence a necessity, since everybody who does an online search, expects decent information be available about a service or a product. Many businesses are not located in the city center and the only way for them to reach out is by being “online”.
What good is a great location with wonderful furniture if the people working there do not own the value of it. If someone brought an expensive watch to a repair shop and the representative handles it like it was a tomato, it would certainly make the customer think twice before he or she visits the place again. Your staff is “you” in different shapes and forms. Teach them and train them.
You have spent thousands to design a new item, set up a supply chain, made all the needed changes to follow state rules and regulations. Now it is time to sell. Do you just quietly add the item to your online catalog, or do you create curiosity and advertise the item beforehand in popular magazines or your storefront? How you introduce a new product or service will determine the level of interest.