So what should “spring” mean for your product or business? As I thought about the question it occurred to me the “SPRING” is a great acronym for freshening up your business proposition. Here’s how it works.
Selling Idea – First, you need to take a good look at your selling idea and ask yourself a few questions. Is your primary selling idea getting you as much traction in the marketplace as it did a year ago? If not, then it might be time to reevaluate the competitive marketplace. If new competitors have come in and taken some market share, it is important to see if they are promising something better than what you can offer. In addition, they might also be marketing their idea in a way with media that more effectively motivates your target audience. How can changing your selling idea help you reestablish yourself in this competitive market?
Positioning – After understanding the competitive context, developing a new positioning (or concept) may be in order. Here you’ll identify new benefits or more compelling language to communicate your message. The positioning is the foundation for all marketing communications, so it is essential to ensure this resonates with your target. It’s best to think this through after reevaluating your selling idea.
Reality – Are you even in touch with your target audience? Any effort to reposition must be grounded in your consumer’s reality. Too often I’ve seen advertising creativity override a clearly communicated message. Rethinking your concept is not the time to create advertising; it is the time to develop the “hook” that your target audience can’t resist. Once your turn that positioning into a marketing communications strategy to create messaging, again you need to reloop with your consumers to make sure that message fits with their reality.
Individual – A marketing message needs to communicate one, individual message. As tempting as it is to load up your marketing message with everything you can promise, this won’t be memorable for your consumers. Studies have shown that people generally only remember three things about any given experience over time. Once your concept becomes an advertising message, you want to be sure that the audience remembers the most important three things: the brand, the product/service, and the benefit. If they are remembering a laundry list of features or multiple benefits, your message is likely lost.
New – Creating a new message or rebooting an old one will almost always garner a second look. Consumers often get passive about products or services over time. Think about Apple computers. As frustrating as it may be, the continual improvement strategy of offering new versions of products with cool, new features keeps many Apple fans (including me) on the edge of their seats. Right now I have “iPhone envy” because my husband is a model ahead of me. As tempted as I am to run over my phone in the driveway, he would know I’m just trying to get a piece of the action. Don’t you want your consumers hungering for more of what you offer? Try tempting them with something new.
Grow – Finally, when all the elements are aligned, the hope is that you can reinvigorate your business and grow sales, market share, and profit in the coming year. The leverage you’ll gain by rethinking your marketing plan through the first five steps will start to pay off sooner than you’d think.
Cleaning up your marketing concepts can be a lot of work. Following the steps outlined above will make it easier and much more rewarding in the long run. Good luck, and happy S.P.R.I.N.G.