What is strategy? The original intent of the strategy is to plan and guide the overall war. Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, known as the “father of competitive strategy”, once said: “Strategy is to create a unique and advantageous positioning that involves a variety of different operating activities.” The strategy he talked about, more From the perspective of strategic positioning, choosing a suitable location to obtain a more favorable competitive space is similar in meaning to the ecological niche strategy discussed in this article.
What is a niche strategy? Since niche refers to the role and status of each species in a biological community or ecosystem, when applied to the enterprise level, it is an enterprise’s presence in the entire market (ecosphere) or industry system (ecochain). Among them, the strategy of establishing one’s own role and position. Of course, this kind of role and status are not static. In dynamic market competition, as the company’s competitive advantage evolves, the market share occupied by the company and the resources controlled and used will also change.
How to develop a niche strategy that suits you?
1. Use STP theory to formulate corporate niche strategy
“Father of Modern Marketing” Philip Kotler, based on the concept of “market segmentation” put forward by marketing scientist Wendell Smith, summarized the core STP theory of strategic marketing, namely market segmentation (Segmentation) , Target market selection (Targeting) and market positioning (Positioning).
Market segmentation: Different customers have different needs. According to the attributes of their products, companies can find customer groups that match their products and carry out marketing activities. Companies can segment the overall market based on dimensions such as gender, age, income, region, ethnicity, belief, and cross-categorization.
Target market selection: The company must find the part of the market and customers that can meet the needs from the mass market and customers, and the best is the right one. The target market selection must conform to the principle of “non-optimal, but most suitable” in an attempt to please all customers. In the end, it is possible that no type of customers will be caught.
Market positioning: This is the foothold of the strategic planning of the corporate niche. Which customer groups should the company focus on? High income or low income? Old people, middle-aged people, young people or children? What are the beliefs and customs of the customer group? And so on, companies can portray their customer groups.
2. Master the “trilogy” of niche strategy formulation
Companies should not complain about why customers do not pay for their hard work. Instead, they should ask themselves what value they provide or create to the market that satisfy customers? Whether online or offline, as an enterprise, it must do the following three things:
Choice value: The value that the company can provide to customers, including physical value and spiritual value. This value should be unique or exclusive, and it is not easy to be copied or “copycat” while understanding and satisfying customer needs. This value is embodied in the right products, the right price, non-sensational promotions, and continuous service within its capacity. Choosing value is the first and most critical step for an enterprise to establish its ecological niche strategy.
Providing value: Providing or creating value is a prerequisite for the existence and development of an enterprise. Enterprises must provide customers with one-stop, personalized and even customized products as much as possible through forward-looking product design, unified and large-scale procurement, competitive product prices, non-exaggerated sales methods and efficient logistics and distribution services.
Nowadays, new retail, live broadcast delivery, scene marketing, etc. are in full swing, in fact, they have created different ways or channels for value provision.
The emergence of Internet marketing has made it possible to separate production and sales, as well as online and offline. “The road is heading towards the sky, each going to one side.” Everyone does their own thing, with division of labor and cooperation, and while maximizing the value provided, they can obtain their own share of income.
Both Apple and Xiaomi have no factories but only brands, technologies, marketing and services. They focus on both ends and put the middle (manufacturing link) to do what they do best, and each creates a good and win-win “ecological field”. This can be regarded as a better model for the strategic value selection and value provision of ecological niche.
Integrating promotion value: it means integrating all the resources that can be integrated, including people, finances, things, oneself, others, etc., market-oriented, customer-centric, through the product itself and advertising, promotion, public relations, connections, community, word of mouth Etc., to maximize the promotion of brands and products. In this way, they occupy a favorable position in the ecological field, expand the amount of resources occupied, and even integrate the industry chain for their own use, change and stretch their own ecological niche, and continue to expand the space for enterprises to move in the market.
Li Ziqi’s “online pastoral” is actually a reflection of the value of integrated promotion. Through the formation of a team, scene design, video recording, and then use the multiplier effect of the Internet platform live broadcast to attract and expand traffic, while focusing on the eyeballs, the ultimate goal of bringing goods is realized.
Every time an e-commerce company delivers goods to customers, it always attaches affectionate messages from shopkeepers, sorters, delivery staff, etc. to a letter to customers. Customers can also feel it when they receive products and reminders The store’s strong care and consideration is actually part of the integrated promotion value. The more the value provided by the business meets the needs of the customer, the stronger the customer’s stickiness.
How can we better implement the ecological niche strategy?
Finding a suitable ecological niche in the complex ecological environment is only the beginning of a healthy development of the enterprise based on the industry. In other words, companies have only found their own “occupation”, and how to make the position stronger, and even expand their own ecological circle, is an element that companies must pay attention to in an environment where new and old species alternate. To this end, the following three points are indispensable:
1. ARS strategy expands the corporate niche
The products of some companies seem to be rich in varieties and categories, and the regional market covers a wide range. There are even a lot of distributors. But in the market, they float around like ghosts and ghosts. “One place”, I can’t find my place, and my performance is stagnant. There are many reasons, but the most important thing is that the company’s ecological niche strategy is unclear, and you want to do all products; you overestimate your own strength and want to occupy any market; even if you do, there is no intensive cultivation and the market is relatively fragile. Finally, neither the market nor the customers really grasped it, and the company’s performance naturally lacked a strong foundation.
Companies can adopt the ARS (Area Roller Sales) strategy to resolve the confusion of unclear ecological niche strategy. The ARS strategy is an effective strategy for organizing efforts, controlling the terminal, enhancing the value of customer relationships, cultivating and developing the regional market, and concentrating efforts to obtain a comprehensive competitive advantage in the regional market, becoming the first in the regional market, and ultimately the first in the entire market. And method. Enterprises can divide and judge regional markets according to their own resource conditions. Through comprehensive market research, market analysis and market forecasting on market capacity, development potential, competitors, consumers, products and other factors, we can find key regions and markets suitable for our own operations, and then focus and integrate resources to strive to become the No. One. Then continue to summarize and replicate the successful model, rolling sales, and finally achieve the effect of “points and faces” of “a single spark can start a prairie fire”, becoming the first in a larger area.
2. Categorized management of core customers to stabilize the corporate niche
To maintain, stabilize and expand the corporate ecosystem, it is necessary to encrypt market actions and strengthen business management on the basis of the ARS strategy. The first is customer classification and effective management of core customer groups; the second is terminal network management, including offline terminals and online terminals.
Regardless of whether it is regional market customers or terminal channels, they can be managed according to the “Twenty-eight Rule”. In terms of customer classification management, starting from the market contribution or sales ranking first, the cumulative total is about 80%, referred to as category A customers; 80%-95%, referred to as category B customers; the remaining 5% are category C customers. In terms of market investment, about 80% of resources are used for 20% of core (key) customers who can generate 80% of profits (sales), and good steel is used on the blade. Allocate the best resources to the best markets and customers, and promote the conversion of category C customers with potential and high willingness to cooperate into category B, and category B into category A. Terminal management refers to store management, including online and offline store style design, decoration, promotion, as well as product coverage management, online and offline price control, salesperson skills and services, logistics library management system coordination, online and offline information Collection and feedback, implementation and evaluation of promotional activities, etc.
Only when customers and terminals are stabilized can the company’s ecological position be stable and can have more energy to open up a larger ecological space.
3. Database marketing creates and extends niche
The new ecological field has a three-dimensional market space. Enterprises can give full play to their imagination and creativity, innovate and “intelligently build” in terms of time, space, and customer groups, and use platform big data to better understand and tap customers Real demand makes products and services more in line with customer needs; companies can also use the market logic behind consumer behavior to accurately study consumer trends. At the same time, on the basis of database collection and analysis, with the help of new media platforms such as WeChat, Douyin, and Flash, as well as online shopping platforms such as Taobao, Tmall, and JD.com, we will interact with customers, maintain customer relationships, and guide and expand products The scope of services to better realize the ecological niche strategy.
In addition to reconstructing “people, goods and fields”, Hema Xiansheng also makes full use of the database for precision marketing. Hema is a supermarket, a restaurant, and a vegetable market. Consumers can buy it at the store or place an order on the Hema App. One of the characteristics of Hema is fast delivery: within 3 kilometers of the store, it will be delivered within 30 minutes. Hema uses big data, mobile internet, intelligent Internet of Things, automation and other technologies and advanced equipment to achieve the optimal matching between people, goods and fields. Hema Xiansheng needs to download the Hema App to order shopping. It only supports Alipay payment, and does not accept any other payment methods such as cash and bank cards. The purpose is to conduct big data on user consumption behavior (purchasing power, consumption structure, consumption preference, customer unit price, etc.) In-depth mining to track consumers’ buying behavior from time to time. Leveraging big data makes it easier for companies to make scientific decisions and increase online conversion rates. This is also the result of new technologies, big data, and big finances spawned by new retail and new scenarios.
One apparel company adopts the “three links” model to better serve customers through big data. The first is product pass, including price, inventory, logistics, online and offline the same price of the same model, real database virtual database data sharing, retail stores can also allocate and deliver; the second is membership pass, including common account, common points, and customer behavior Record sharing, convenient for online and offline data collection, better digging and analyzing the application data; the third is the service connection, including the unification of pre-sales, in-sales, and after-sales services, unified online and offline services, focusing on efficiency, and realizing comprehensive resource sharing Complement with each other and recreate a good niche environment.
Under the dual influence of online and offline, traditional sales and modern marketing, ecological niche strategy is a strategy that companies have to think deeply and accurately locate in order to seek long-term development in the future.