Thursday, August 14, 2008


In the August e-newletter from HSM Global, Philip Kotler shared five steps to marketing success.

Kotler has been Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management for over 20 years. He has been a consultant to companies such as GE, General Motors, IBM and AT&T, and has written some of the most important works in the area of marketing.

Here are his ideas – which could be coming to you at a very timely moment in your 2009 brand planning:

1 Come in under the radar.
The key to brand-building is to have something good that you roll out in a very intelligent way -- maybe even invisibly for a while because you want to be under the radar screen of competitors.

2 Know your customer.
You've got to understand and choose the customers you want to serve. Don't just go after everyone. Define the target market carefully through segmentation and then position yourself as different and as superior to that target market.

3 Own your branding.
We are not in a state of competition anymore; we're in a state of hyper-competition. So people are desperately looking for handles, such as functional features and emotional appeals, that will draw people to their product. We should think of owning a word or a phrase that helps to build customer retention and loyalty.

4 Stay ahead of the competition.
The worst thing is that if something works, your competitors are going to clone it and before you know it anything that you had as a differentiator is imitated by the others. So you're in the business of constant innovation. Constantly ask yourself, “three years from now, what is our differentiator?”

5 Make it an experience.
Once in a while we find someone having a whole new approach to a mature market. There's a big movement to say, “we're not just adding services to our business and our product, we're actually trying to design an experience.” We're in the experience design business.

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