Steal market share by analyzing markets

Know everything about a market


analyzing marketsCompletely analyzing markets starts all good advertising. Consider the competition, the customer, and the advertiser. Thatt market analysis begins the process of creating a brand and the advertising that steals market share from the competition.

To increase market share, however, you must begin with the creative brief, a strategic blueprint that defines objectives.

The overall intent is to give the creative team as much strategic traction as possible. Help them understand the brand, the target audience, and the marketplace. To prepare a brief that steals share, take this approach one step further into a complex realm. The experts at Stealing Share use a process in analyzing markets. It relies on the ageless wisdom of Socrates and the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes.

Socrates knew what he was doing when developing strategy 

Analyzing that market means looking at your own brand dispassionately

Steal share or die

Borrowing from the Socratic method, we ask intuitive questions to discover hidden messages, meanings, and opportunities. This is key in analyzing markets. The creative brief starts with a brand audit, an assessment of the current meaning of a brand within the context of competing brands.

Make as few assumptions as possible. Existing marketing wisdom is based on nothing actually important or meaningful to the customer. After the audit, the share-stealing strategist defines the brand, deciding what the brand has permission to do and who customers believes they are when buying into the brand. Begin this definition by plotting the brand landscape as the marketers see it (inside-out view) and again as customers see it (outside-in view).

When it comes to stealing market share, the outside-in perspective is more important and profitable. To get proper insight, we ask ourselves basic questions. Why does the customer care? What emotions do they bring to the decision-making process? What are their assumptions? Who do they believe they are when they use the category brands? What other brands accomplish the same result?

When the questioning process is done right, the market seems fresh and new. Opportunity prevails when we find differences between customers’ emotional needs and the market’s promises. Then, we position the brand to advantage of a mismatch.

Developing a strategy and brand promise by analyzing markets

Often, when analyzing brand messages, we find benign and meaningless brand promises. They are the same as a restaurant category’s promise of “we sell food.” The customer cannot distinguish one brand from another. So they surrender and choose the market leader. (Read an example of a valuable brand promise here).

Analyzing that market requires looking closely at the competitive messages

You don’t need a looking glass. Just discipline.

The next step in analyzing markets is examining the category messages. Being different and better Being different and better is one of the hard rules in stealing share.

The temptation, however, is to copy the market leader. After all, haven’t they been hugely successful? However, market leaders are often not enjoying their success because of other factors than their current messages. If the advertisers are all selling category, the market leader wins because it is the default choice.

It is a fatal mistake to attempt to “out-Intel” Intel. If I need “Intel Inside” to feel complete, I won’t feel the same level of satisfaction buying something that says “AMD Inside.” The meaning of AMD must be felt before I place AMD inside my PC. You can’t beat the market leader by shadowing. Choose a brand position that has meaning to the customer and can out-maneuver the leader.

Position against the competition

Know how the market is being informed before you can clearly characterize what the advertising is intended to achieve. Find the single most important thing that causes target audiences to change their minds and buy the brand.

To do this, we plot the existing messages.

Link to deeper market analysis

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We look at the genres and understand trends. Are they using humor? Slice of life? Testimonial? Exaggeration? Irony? Are they building the brand through music, imagery, or wordplay?

Being different requires knowing where everyone else is the same. When the creative staff is finally briefed, the process is anything but brief. They should leave the briefing room as experts on the brand, category, messaging, advertising, and, most importantly, the target audience and its emotional and physical needs. Armed with this knowledge, creatives are ready to produce work that steals share.

See more posts in the following related categories: brand strategy Creative brief market research
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