People who have worked on marketing generally know an important method. This method is to segment the target market and customers. It classifies consumers and adopts different strategies. It can also help them win consumers with various preferences at all levels. For example, why do IBM’s laptops have so many series? There are practical R series, thin X series, high-end business T series, etc. This is because consumers have different choices with the price and functions. Therefore, IBM has developed a variety of series for different consumers. Those laptops can even be replaced with configurations to meet the specific needs of consumers.
One of the secrets of success for many successful companies is to segment the market perfectly. For example, L’OREAL owns branches like LANCOME, HR, etc. P&G, just in the line of shampoo, has Rejoice, Pantene, Sassoon, etc. Armani, only in clothing, has Giorgio Armani, Armani Exchange, Armani Jeans, etc.
Afterward, we can learn the importance of segmenting target customers through a case of P&G.
Case 1: Multi-brand strategy of P&G segment
P&G is a well-known manufacturer. Its headquarter is in Ohio, USA. It is the world’s largest daily necessities company. It took the 6th place in the Fortune 500 in 2008. Moreover, it’s one of the top 10 most acclaimed companies in the world.
Few people can use nothing of them, especially office workers living in cities. Even if they don’t have OLAY or SK II, they definitely need shampoo and shower gel. P&G has Rejoice, Sassoon, and Safeguard, etc. If they want to brush your teeth, there are Crest and Oral B. If they don’t use any of these, do they need to do the laundry? P&G has Tide and Ariel washing powder. Men may use Gillette and Braun’s shaving products. For women, there are also Anna Sui makeup, perfumes of GUCCI and D&G. They also need Pinkcess in their period. Families with children may need Pampers’ diapers. There are also TEMPO paper towels and Duracell batteries. Pringles chips also taste good.
P&G’s products penetrate every aspect of our lives. It is absolutely rare for an industry to be as successful as it is. What we have to learn are its tactics and positioning strategy. It is also its most successful place.
Let’s take shampoo as an example. Why does P&G do so many brands? Can’t it be able to do a perfect product combining all functions together? In fact, this is technically possible. However, consumers have different preferences. How can it make sure that this product can satisfy all consumers?
Therefore, the multi-brand strategy is to segment market better. Thus, P&G can target the development of customers better. It is for achieving the maximum output. This is what we often say about differentiated marketing.
For developing different shampoo brands, putting different logos on them is not enough. Instead, we should pursue the differentiation between different brands of the same kind. Advertising and packaging design must focus on a distinct personality for each brand. Therefore, it will not cause an overlap between markets and consumer groups. This can develop customers with different needs to a maximum extent.
Rejoice focuses on the softness of the hair. Ads in China generally choose young and unknown beauty from the neighbor. Simple black hair, elegant and natural, gives people a kind of natural softness. This meets the need of many young girls.
Head & Shoulders has always taken the feeling of fresh and cool as the core content. Head & Shoulders’s ad is different from that of Rejoice. It prefers stars to endorse, advocating brand and product quality. Later, it invents a shampoo designed for men. And it invites kung fu superstar Donnie Yen to endorse, conveying a kind of strength and masculinity. It has also developed new high-end products at the Japanese Research Center. It is another strategic breakthrough.
Sassoon is a critical product that stresses professional. P&G continues to stress that it is a professional shampoo. It aims to give consumers the feeling that they can enjoy barbershop service at home as well. Sassoon usually chooses foreign beauty to advertise. This not only emphasizes the internationalization of products. It also makes a distinction with the existing series.
Pantene has always focused on the nourishing care of hair. Thus, its advertising and brand promotion focus on nourishing the hair and scalp. This gives the impression that if the hair is dry, Pantene will help.
Clairol stresses the fusion of natural plant extracts with alpine spring. This shows the impression of natural purity and pollution-free. This product has won the favor of many consumers. What’s more, it was a key thing acquired by P&G from Squibb to beat Unilever, Henkel, and KAO.
It can be seen that P&G has done a lot of work in branding and has met diverse consumer demands. The premise of it is to make an accurate distinction between target markets and customers. Then, it develops diverse consumers through different product images and focuses. From this point of view, P&G is one of the most successful companies in the world.
What can we learn from this case? The answer is to segment target customers and develop them in a targeted manner. This also applies to the foreign trade industry. It is because export is a type of sales. Also, it has to deal with various buyers and deal with customers in different countries too.
Market segmentation may be too far away for most exporters. They are currently only in the early stages of foreign trade. So, they are doing sales, not marketing. Only when there is a great advantage in a certain market can a specific market strategy be planned according to the target market.
Most companies are still developing customers one-on-one. They are striving for orders with products and their advantages. Sales, in this case, needn’t to segment target markets. But it needs to segment customers. It is necessary to make an assessment as the basis for development. The assessment should be based on the condition of customers’ country and market potential. Meanwhile, it is essential to understand the relevant trade policies, transportation costs, and relevant testing standards.
This method requires strong search abilities and connections. Salesmen need to get more information through various channels. So, they can have better comprehensions of target customers. Then, they can develop in a targeted manner and thus win customers one by one. Besides, language ability is critical, especially English. Many customers’ information or related materials need to be searched from overseas networks. These materials can give salespeople a more direct concept.
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