In the business world, success is not an accident. It is the result of careful planning, a thorough understanding of the market and effective implementation of strategies. Two key concepts in this process are “target market” and “brand positioning”.
Target market refers to the specific group of customers a company wishes to reach, while brand positioning is how a company differentiates itself from its competitors and positions itself in the minds of consumers. Together, these two concepts form the foundation of an effective marketing strategy and can be the difference between success and failure in the business world.
In this article, we will explore these concepts in depth and provide guidance on how to identify your target market and position your brand effectively.
The fundamental dilemma: What are you selling and to whom?
Every business, regardless of size or industry, faces a fundamental dilemma at the beginning of its journey: what are you selling and who are you selling to? This is the starting point for any business and the foundation upon which all other strategies and decisions are built.
However, in the eagerness to capture market share, many companies fall into the trap of believing that their product or service is universally relevant. They think that their offering can appeal to everyone, without distinction. This mentality, while ambitious, can be counterproductive.
Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, the most successful companies are those that have identified a specific target market and have tailored their product, message and marketing strategy to appeal to that particular segment. They understand that not all consumers are the same and that different groups of people will have different needs, wants and buying behaviors.
Therefore, it is crucial to clearly define your target market. Who are your ideal customers? How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests and needs? How can you meet those needs better than your competitors?
In addition, it is also essential to understand what you are selling. This goes beyond simply knowing the features of your product or service. It’s about understanding the value you bring to your customers. How does your product or service improve your customers’ lives? What problem does it solve? What needs does it satisfy?
By answering these questions, you can develop a more focused and effective marketing strategy, one that appeals to your target market and convinces them that your product or service is the best choice for them.
The need and importance of defining a target market
In the business world, defining a target market is an essential and critical step for growth and survival. A target market is a specific group of customers that a company has identified as the most likely recipients of its products or services. These are the consumers that a company believes are most likely to buy what it offers, and are therefore the focus of all marketing and sales strategies.
The first step to business growth is to find a niche or target market. A niche is a market segment in which a company can thrive and excel. This niche can be a specific demographic, geographic location, type of product or service, or any other segmentation that makes a group of consumers unique.
For example, it can be as simple as selling fresh produce to local neighbors. In this case, the niche is geographic and the target market is neighbors who value fresh produce and are willing to buy locally. On the other hand, it can be as complex as opening an export company to transfer fresh produce across European borders. Here, the target market could be European retailers looking for high quality fresh produce for their customers.
Choosing a niche is a strategic decision that can determine the speed and direction of your company’s growth. A well-chosen niche can provide a competitive advantage, allowing a company to stand out and appeal to a specific group of consumers. On the other hand, a poorly chosen niche can limit growth potential and cause a company to struggle to attract and retain customers.
Therefore, it is crucial to devote time and resources to market research and analysis to identify the right niche and target market. This may involve conducting surveys and focus groups, analyzing sales and competitor data, and consulting with industry experts. Once a target market has been identified, a company can develop a marketing and sales strategy that specifically targets these consumers, thereby increasing the chances of success and growth.
Starting the search for your target market
To find your target market, you must consider three things: your Target Addressable Market (TAM), your Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) and your Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM). These terms refer to the totality of the market you want to address, the segment of that market you can effectively serve, and the portion of that segment you can realistically capture, respectively.
Understanding the Target Addressable Market (TAM)
The Target Addressable Market, or TAM, is a term used to describe the total potential revenue that a company can generate by selling its product or service. Essentially, it is an estimate of the maximum amount of revenue a company could generate if it had 100% share of its target market.
To calculate TAM, a company must consider the price it can charge for its product or service and the total number of potential customers who would be willing and able to buy it. However, it is important to keep in mind that TAM is only a theoretical estimate. In practice, it is unlikely that a company will be able to capture 100% of its target market.
In addition, companies should be careful not to be too general when defining their TAM. Not every product or service has universal utility, and trying to sell to everyone can lead to a lack of focus and an ineffective marketing strategy. Instead, companies should try to identify a specific target market and tailor their product and marketing strategy to the needs and wants of that group.
Identifying your Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM)
The Serviceable Addressable Market, or SAM, is an estimate of the portion of the TAM that a company can effectively serve. In other words, it is the segment of the TAM that is within the company’s geographic reach and is accessible through its current or planned distribution channels.
To calculate SAM, a company must consider factors such as its production capacity, its ability to distribute its product or service, and the presence of competitors in its target market. For example, if a company sells fresh food, its MAR might be limited to customers living within a certain radius of its production or distribution facilities.
It is important to keep in mind that the SAM is a more realistic estimate of a company’s revenue potential than the TAM. However, even within the SAM, it is unlikely that a company will be able to capture 100% of the market.
Defining your Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)
The Serviceable Obtainable Market, or SOM, is an estimate of the portion of the SAM that a company can realistically capture. It is the segment of the SAM that a company can expect to obtain, given its current capabilities and market conditions.
To estimate SOM, a company must consider factors such as its current market share, barriers to market entry, customer loyalty to existing brands, and the effectiveness of its marketing and sales efforts. It is the most realistic estimate of a company’s revenue potential and provides a useful target for sales projections and marketing efforts.
In summary, understanding and calculating TAM, SAM and SOM can help a company define its target market, develop an effective marketing strategy, and set realistic goals for sales growth.
Moving forward: The importance of consistency in the target market.
Having the first sale in a business can generate adrenaline from the excitement, as you have just achieved success after a lot of hard work.
Businesses have to be consistent to reach their niche day in and day out, and success will come. Being a business owner can be stressful and exhausting, but finding a niche will slowly but surely lead you to diversify different customers around you and expand your business over time. Starting with what you are good at can give you and your company a lot of success in the future.
The journey to business growth is a road full of strategic decisions, and none is more fundamental than identifying your target market and understanding your brand positioning. This process, which begins with clearly defining what you are selling and to whom, is the foundation upon which all other business strategies and decisions are built.
We have explored the importance of defining your Target Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM), and how these concepts can help you identify and understand your target market. We also discussed how to find your niche, a market segment in which you can thrive and stand out.