Tag Archives: competition

What Products and Services Must Do to Flourish: Increasing the Odds at Profiting in a Competitive Market

By James D. Roumeliotis

Image result for increasing chances of product success

Following three decades of personal business experience in three countries, as well as through constant observation of successful businesses, for products or services to increase the rate of triumph, they should perform at least one of the following:

  • Solve a problem: Whether for the B2C or B2B market, focus should be on building a “must” have not a nice to have product. Consumers are overwhelmed with a plethora choice on daily basis. Attention spans are getting shorter and only few products are getting noticed. As a result, a product or service should be doing something different and better to succeed by being in demand.

Examples: Amazon simplified online buying and selling. Poo-Pourri solved the stinky bathroom problem, Spanx solved the comfort of leggings.

Also consider inventing any product in the health & wellness sector which diagnosis and prevents any potential diseases such as colon cancer etc., or in the privacy & security domain protecting consumer data on personal devices.

  • Make lives easier – offer convenience

Examples: The invention of the GPS (replace paper maps), wireless charging (did away with power cords), voice-command devices such as the TV command remote (eliminated having to use a plethora of buttons), smart wireless home (remotely control various factors of the home environment), Blue Apron (a meal experience that customers create with the original recipes and fresh, seasonal ingredients that are included in every box.)

Fintech: “Computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services.” It is “one of the fastest-growing areas for venture capitalists.” According to Forbes,  examples of Fintech-related companies or products include: Payment infrastructure, processing and issuance such as services provided by Square and Stripe; Stock trading apps from TD Ameritrade and Schwab; Alternative lending marketplaces such as LendingClub, and OnDeck.

Also, urban farming — growing commercial ready fresh, sustainable and local vegetables with no pesticides. Examples are La Caverne in Paris, Badia Farms in Dubai or Lufa Farms in Montreal to name a few.

  • Disrupt an existing well-established business/product/service. Disruptors create a way of doing things which displaces the existing market leaders (a product or service), and eventually replace the original players in their sector.

Consider Uber (taxi industry), Airbnb (hotel space), iRobot (vacuum cleaning chores), Beyond the Meat (looks like and tastes like real meat though plant based).

  • Sell hope – after using these products and services, lives will be easier, better, and changed somehow.

Examples: Cosmetics, skin enhancement injection services and products such as Botox, financial planning products for a comfortable retirement.

  • Offer a lifestyle enhancement

Examples: Red Bull (“gives you wings”/vigor), Vans sneakers, Apple products, and recreational lifestyle pharmaceutical products such as Viagra and Cialis.

  • Provides a social status: Think (authentic) luxury products and services or green products.

Examples: American Express Platinum charge card, Business and First-Class on airlines etc.

Green status products may include the Prius hybrid automobile and the Tesla (ditching the ubiquitous internal combustion engine with its use of fossil fuel).

  • Offer a better version of an existing (generic) product or service (“Premium”) – upper mid-to high price range appealing to discerning/very demanding consumers. This business model seeks a higher profit margin on a lower sales volume. Services and subscription models are a much more sustainable than physical products.

Example: Nestlé has its Nescafé line (various types) of coffee but also offers its top of the line Nespresso line (a separate company division).

  • Sell niche, exclusive or viral products online:

-Reach an audience with a shared identity regardless of location.

-Exclusivity has its devotees and offers the illusion of scarcity.

-There are several factors that influence the virality of a product and they range from the emotional impact to the visibility that the product delivers.

Examples: Keto(genic) foods, vegan foods, Matcha tea, all natural pet food and/or accessories with a fashion statement, bamboo toothbrushes, yoga/health retreats, specific branded apparel and footwear are just a few good ideas mentioned.

In addition, if choosing to deal strictly with B2B, what is recommended as businesses are:

  • Act in a capacity of a Consultant or Broker (services, with no inventory to purchase, store and sell) but preferably with unique knowledge and exclusivity respectively;
  • Be a wholesale supplier of specialized raw materials, parts or ingredients rather than focus on the retail space (CPG or CE domain). Building a brand in the mind of a consumer is a lengthy and costly affair.

In the end…

…with any or several categories of the above recommendations, as an entrepreneur, your product or service  has a great shot at profiting in a competitive market. A contrarian with  innovation tendencies can make a difference. Never think short term and always consider adding value if you want to truly succeed in business.

_____________________________________________________

Request your TWO FREE chapters of this popular book with no obligation.

EntrepreneurialEssentials - FrontCover Final

Leave a comment

Filed under 1, Business, business development, business model, business plan, Business success, business vitality, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship success, launching a business

The Formidable Company: How to make your business highly competitive

by James D. Roumeliotis

Going against your competition — especially a large and established one is not a wise approach. Being nimble, positioning your product to a new and uncontested target market, and offering a delightful experience (rather than focusing on price alone) are the tactics to apply in avoiding competition.

Kindly click the image for the details.

How to Beat the Competition Presentation Image

Click image to view slides/pages.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

____________________________________________________

Request your TWO FREE chapters of this popular book with no obligation.

EntrepreneurialEssentials - FrontCover Final

Leave a comment

Filed under 1, blue ocean strategy, Business, competition, Marketing, marketing strategy

Small Brands vs Big Brands in the CPG Space: How to Cleverly Outdo the Complacent Mammoth

By James D. Roumeliotis

Sumo wrestler being pushed.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Using the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands as the main topic for reference in this editorial, we dig into the dilemmas of the leading consumer brands such as Kellogg’s, Nestle and General Mills to name a few in the food sector.

Small, nimble and niche brands, most notably start-ups, are beginning to chip away at the market share of many leading consumer goods firms. As a result, these small companies are growing rapidly to the detriment of the big brands but to the benefit of the consumers. This has to do with big brand complacency, bullying and arrogance along with the desperate need for short-term results to satisfy the insatiable expectation their shareholders’ have for quick profit and stock price increases – but with little regard for today’s consumer. As such, it is no surprise that shoppers have become more savvy, see through much of the nonsense and have helped turn this tide whereby. Consumers trust and are more confident with the small brands over the traditional ones their parents were accustomed to.

Welcome to the new generation of CPG choices and mentality.

Big ship vs Fast Craft

Large well-established companies have several advantages over smaller ones mainly due to their imposing size, their brand recognition as well as for their plethora of cash and human capital. However, despite their deep pockets and plethora of resources, they are risk adverse, bureaucratic in their decision-making process and to some extent, disengaged from their customers. Moreover, if they are a public company, their initial allegiance is to their shareholders.

Start-ups and smaller businesses, on the other hand, have less money and resources at their disposal to grow or even compete in the unapologetic and competitive landscape. Yet, the small business is agile, nimble and creative and possess several advantages such as a clean slate, rather than the baggage many large corporations have been carrying over the years, as well as perceived as more trusting by consumers, further engaged with their customers, and a refreshing alternative to the established brands – provided the products offer unique and attractive characteristics.

Be First, Different & Daring

It takes methodical strategic maneuvers and innovation to outdo the established ones. The good news is that many small companies seem to be doing a good job at both. As a result, they are becoming quite appealing by both consumers and the large brands respectively. At some point and under certain criteria, the latter are keen to purchase the small niche companies.

A case in point is the state of the exploding snack bars health food category. According to Euromonitor International, a market research and analysis firm, renowned food companies such as Kellogg’s and General Mills are experiencing declining market share as compared to previous years. Meantime, privately held Clif Bar, gained a one percentage point during the same period, while another small competitor, Kind LLC, increased its share by 2.1 points. Not idly standing by, last year, Kellogg’s purchased seven-year-old RXBar for a whopping $600 Million, while Mondelez International, the food conglomerate, which owns the Oreo brand of cookies and Cadbury chocolate, purchased Enjoy Life, a consumer packaged goods upstart which performed three years of 40 percent consistent annual growth. A 2015 report from Fortune magazine found that in 2014, in a single year alone, major CPG brands lost $4 billion in market share.

Reputation seems to be the culprit for this significant market share loss. Consumers perceive products from large brands as unsustainable, as well as less healthy with inferior and artificial ingredients along with a high content of sugar and salt. Younger generations of consumers are also suspicious of major corporations. For example, a 2015 study, conducted by the research firm Mintel, indicates that 43 percent of millennials do not trust traditional food companies.

The single most important advice here is that newly established brands should focus on their unique strengths to win over their large and deep pocketed competition rather than trying to go head-to-head with them. Newcomers to the CPG market are in a better position than large brands in catering to emerging consumer trends such as “clean label”, “free from” and organic/non-GMO foods.

  • Agility

Being a small company give you the benefit of being nimble and efficient in areas large ship like companies are not able to do so. This makes them slower to respond. In fact, there are times that they don’t even return calls or email inquiries. Strat-ups can implement a business model which provides value to customers while simultaneously building a lean operation which will yield a consistent profit. This can be accomplished with a limited financial capacity.

  • USP with a Niche Focus

Unlike the big companies, smaller ones can develop products which meet an unmet need. A niche market can demand a premium price which can yield respect along with a handsome profit. For large companies to offer niche product may risk cannibalizing their own existing products.

Increasingly, mass-market retailers are seeking niche brands that their clients consider as healthier. This will keep their customers from purchasing products in this category elsewhere as these large mainstream food retailers face rising competition from natural food and specialty chains such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s.

  • Trust and Transparency

Regrettably, established food companies do not practice what they state over their PR megaphones. A recent Forbes article contends, those large brands mislead consumers by giving an impression of a healthy product through their misleading labels. Consumers today are well informed and can recognize inauthentic brands, but it seems that short-cuts and short-term thinking, in the name of profit margins and increasing share prices, take precedence. According to AdAge, consumers are increasingly switching to smaller CPG companies as they are perceived as healthier and more authentic.

  • Media Spend on a Budget: Creative vs. Outspending

With a limited marketing budget, the most effective methods of reaching your target audience and to out-create your large corporate competitors is through social media, including reaching out to influential bloggers with a large audience, coupled with a select number of sponsorships and the use exposure of marketing posters, brochures etc. for maximum exposure.  The key to compelling content is to make it about your niche and  your story. If you sell good quality products and have managed to build a good online network of brand supporters, you can leverage your goodwill to bring in sizeable sales.

In a Nutshell

As change is and should be constant, the small brands should not only learn from all the mistakes made by the big brands but also offer what the consumer demands…clean ingredients, transparency and personality along with a story and an emotional connection. These elements exude confidence and trust. Moreover, smaller companies should remain nimble, use plenty of experiential marketing and continuously offer timely improvements including environmental sustainability.

Established brands please take note as you are on notice.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

___________________________________________

Request your TWO FREE chapters of this popular book with no obligation.

EntrepreneurialEssentials - FrontCover Final

Leave a comment

Filed under 1, Business, business management, cpg branding, decision making management, Food business, inept leadership, inept management, management