market share

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Chipotle raised prices last year on its beef burrito 4-6% and consumers didn’t blink. They happily paid. Why is that? The Bain and Boston Consulting nerds might say Chipotle has great price elasticity. I say Chipotle offers great ROS, return on strategy. One of the best ways to measure return on strategy is to poll current customers about price. “Would you continue to buy Hoegaarden if the price were raised 5%?” a market question might read. If the answer is yes, one might follow up with “Why” or “What is it about Hoegaarden that makes you such a fan?” The answers to the questions are influenced by marketing. And brand strategy – defined as an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.

When a brand has a codified organizing principle, marrying what the product does well with what consumers want most, it has a strategy. Only then can return on that strategy be measured. In market share. In dollars. And in sense (sic).

As you market your products and services, please don’t forget to measure return on your strategy — not just the return on your tactical investments. Peace!

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The best thing that can be said about a marketer or a marketing agent is that s/he has grown a market.  The marketing and advertising mantra “sell more, to more, more often, at higher margins” is a terrific end-game, but one can do that and simply be redistributing market share. Growing markets is what’s up. So here’s a way to grow the men’s apparel market.  (I was at Fashion Institute of Technology yesterday, and tons of kids were walking around classrooms with bolts of fabric a la Project Runway – ergo the fashion interest.)  Replace the tee-shirt.

I was thinking of all the shopping I do each year and no one’s really making a living off me.  Maybe the grocery and the beer stores.  I buy a two pair of jeans once a year(ish); maybe some mulch for the wifus.  As for dress shirts, I don’t buy them unless I spill coffee on myself before a meeting. And somehow they just appear in the closet or in Christmas boxes.  Tee-shirts, on the other hand, are flowing out of my bottom drawer.  And the drawers of most men.

The Gap or Amazon or a smart designer with online chops should design a shirt for men that is flattering, comfortable, fashionable and functional.  And I’m not talking about that $70 tee-shirt in expensive fabric.  A new look shirt. Men love their tee-shirts but we’ll give them up if there’s something better, even if it costs more.  Then how will people know I love the Ramones??? Hmm.

Come on marketers, think about growing your markets. Peace.

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Technologies, less than a year old, is making it so just about anyone can carry a video camera.
The Flip costs $120 and is the equivalent of a point and shoot camera.  But easier. As David Poque of the NY Times says, this camera is not burdened with “feature creep,” so anyone can master it. Or as we like to say at Zude the market extends “from geeks to grandpas.”  When you make something easy for everyone to use (read Nintendo Wii,) market share follows. The Flip already owns 13% share. The Flip has no tapes or disks. No menus. No settings, video light, special effects, headphone jacks. It just works…and works well.
The instructions read: Recording videos: 1. Press record button to start/stop. 2. Press up/down keys to zoom in/out.  Playing videos: 3. Press play button to start/stop. 4. Press left/right keys to play previous/next.
Technology companies are beginning to catch on that simplicity is in great demand. Now everyone can play a video game. Everyone can make a video. Everyone can build their own website.
As more and more Flip Videos make it into pocketbooks, backpacks and pockets, we are going to find that video recording of events will grow exponentially. Unit sales will soar, the universe of buyers will increase, and we’ll see some things that will make your hair curl. 

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