by DW Green — February 16, 2010Wikipedia defines positioning in this way: “…Positioning is something (perception) that happens in the minds of the target market. It is the aggregate perception the market has of a particular company, product or service in relation to their perceptions of the competitors in the same category. It will happen whether or not a company’s management is proactive, reactive or passive about the on-going process of evolving a position. But a company can positively influence the perceptions through enlightened strategic actions.”
OverviewRight about now, you may be thinking, “Our stores are strategically positioned; what can this guy tell us that we don’t already know?” But it’s all in how you define strategic positioning.Strategic positioning means different things to different people. We define strategic positioning as the creation of a unique and valuable position, supported by a system of activities distinct from those of your competitors. The key words here are “unique,” “activities,” and “distinct.”Anyone can claim they’ve positioned their store. But is it really a unique position, or just a knock-off of your competitor’s? What is your unique position? Your competitor’s? And is your strategic position supported by every activity the supermarket carries out, from pricing to signage, produc...read more
by DW Green — February 6, 2010The primary goal of effective advertising is to attract an audience and motivate them to action. The goal is to drive customer traffic. The goal is to differentiate your store and your ad from your competitors and to always support your stores strategic position. Effective ads do all of these things. The result is advertising that not only achieves the short-term goals of increased sales and customer count, but advertising that becomes the building blocks of tomorrow’s success and prosperity as well. Advertising store attributes often pays off in profitability even when it doesn’t immediately increase sales. It reinforces a stores differential status from competitors and reinforces many past and present experiences with satisfied customers. Indeed, image is often the only basis of comparison between similar but different alternatives.
Create Ads that people will read and respond toThe reality is most folks don’t read supermarket ads — maybe two out of 10. And of the folks who do read ads, they normally read the ads of the store where they regularly shop. So why do most supermarkets insist on putting their name and logo on the top of their ads? If the reader does not like the store, they will not read the ad, regardless of the benefit the ad is offering. The supermarket industry routinely violates this basic principle of effective advertising. Look through an issue of USA Today or The Wall Street Journal and c...read more
by DW Green — January 18, 2010The generational longevity of a company.The manager of a living company understands that keeping the company alive means handing it over to a successor in at least the same health that it was in when he or she took charge. To do that, a manager must let people grow in a community that is held together by clearly stated values. The manager must place commitment to people before assets, respect for innovation before devotion to policy, the messiness of learning before orderly procedures, and the perpetuation of the community before all other concerns.Living companies are willing to scuttle assets in order to survive. To them, assets—and profits—are like oxygen: necessary for life but not the purpose of life. These companies know that assets are just means to earning a living. A company run according to a different model scuttles people to save its plant and equipment, which it considers the essence of its being. If such a company were in the car rental business, for example, it would see itself as existing to rent cars. The company’s fleet would be considered its primary asset, and its purpose would be to make profits for shareholders. If such companies find themselves in trouble, they get rid of people. I believe that employees are a company’s primary asset and that a company’s purpose is survival which means developing and nurturing their employees potential.Managers must decide how to position the human element in their companies. T...read more
by DW Green — January 11, 2010With Wal Marts, COSTCO, Trader Joes and Limited Assortment formats, the tougher the price competition in a market, the more important quality of service is to sustainable success. Why? Because without differentiated quality, without a superior total experience to offer customers, a company has few, if any, non-pricing options when key competitors cut their prices.Achieving increased loyalty from customers and potential customers goes hand in hand with a focus on customer service. Delivering on a promise to provide outstanding and exceptional service to all customers, internal and external, is best accomplished when the promise becomes deeply rooted in the company culture. Providing exceptional customer service is aspirational. It begins with desire and is rewarded through the self-satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing by doing right for others. The benefits can be measured in small assurances or large returns. Smiling faces, exceptional morale, increased productivity, enhanced customer loyalty, and lower employee turnover rates are all tangible benefits of an exceptional customer service program.Customer service has to do with the customer’s perception of the level of service she or he expects. Exceeding customers’ service expectations can be the defining factor in distinguishing a company from its competitors in the eyes and minds of consumers.To customers, great service is an...read more
by DW Green — January 5, 2010I’m an ardent proponent of product and service guarantees. A guarantee is a promise or assurance that a company will stand behind the quality of products it sells or services it performs. Guarantees build trust and loyalty with consumers. In a sense, a guarantee is a company’s commitment to the well-being of its customers. Wow, what an intriguing approach to serving the customer. Imagine a conscious intention by company leaders to enhance the well-being* of a customer. Is that possible?
5 Reasons Why A Guarantee WorksFirst, it pushes the entire company to focus on customers’ definition of good products/service, not an executive’s assumption. Second, it sets clear performance standards, which boost employees performance and morale. Third, it generates reliable data (through payouts) when performance is poor. Fourth, it forces an organization to examine its entire service-delivery system for possible failure points. Last, it builds customer loyalty, sales and market share.What is a good guarantee? It is (1) unconditional, (2) easy to understand and communicate, (3) meaningful, (4) easy and painless to invoke, and (5) easy and quick to collect on.Cheating. Fear of customers cheating is a big hurdle for some when considering offering guarantees. Sure, there will be cheats—the handful of customers who take advantage of a guarantee to get something for nothing. What they cost the company a...read more
by DW Green — December 28, 2009
In the marketing classic Positioning, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout, probably the world’s best-known marketing strategists wrote that it is unwise to use initials for a company name. They have coined the practice the “no-name trap”. While there are successful exceptions to the initial rule, Ries and Trout warn against using the letter “w”. As “dou-ble-U” is the only letter in alphabet with more than one syllable. Unfortunately I didn’t read the book until after I had named my company…unknowingly falling into the “no-name trap!”
I named my company DW Green after myself. It is easy for me to remember and I wanted to honor my parents. Neither is named DW, though DW is my father’s initials. Ries and Trout might still approve because DW Green is only 5 syllables long! And green is a popular word now.When I incorporated DW Green, way back in 1988, my choices from Alaska’s Corporation Commission were Corporation, Inc., or Company. I selected company because of its many positive connotati...read more