1. Research and Strategy

1.1  Industry Trends / Competitive Research

After randomly drawing a retail industry, utilize some of the  tools and resources discussed in class, among others, to find trends in the  marketplace. Use this research to develop at least three ideas for business that could compete in the industry.  Evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to your overall industry (SWOT analysis).

1.2  Opportunity Gap / Marketplace Positioning

Using white space charts, look for opportunity gaps for each of your business concepts. You will need to identify keywords during  your industry research in order to do this. What is the best way to plot competitors on a chart? Consider what opposites to put on each end of your chart spectrum (budget vs premium,  classic vs techie, etc).

1.3  Target Audience Demographics

Who is the target audience for your brand? Consider demographics of age, income level, education, profession, hobbies, personality,  lifestyles, family status, cultural background, etc. Develop at least one persona of a person who fits in your perfect demographic. Who does this person feel when they interact with your brand?

1.4  Brand Concept Statement / Backstory

Describe your business concept and create a backstory to build your brand off of.

1.5  Brand Positioning Statement / Brand Attributes

During the Brand Positioning Exercise,  you will strive to condense the essence of  what your company does into as few words as possible. You will first craft this in 16 words, then reduce to 8 words, then a succinct 4 word sentence.

There are four elements or components of a positioning statement:

Target Audience– the attitudinal and demographic description of the core prospect to whom the brand is intended to appeal; the group of customers that most closely represents the brand’s most fervent users.
Frame of Reference– the category in which the brand competes; the context that gives the brand relevance to the customer.
Benefit/Point of Difference– the most compelling and motivating benefit that the brand can own in the hearts and minds of its target audience relative to the competition.
Reason to Believe– the most convincing proof that the brand delivers what it promises.

Here’s a good template to start with:
For [insert Target Market], the [insert Brand] is the [insert Point of Differentiation] among all [insert Frame of Reference] because [insert Reason to Believe].

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