How to Get an Accurate Picture of Your Product Category

Do you really sure that you already know about your product category? If you are going to create a market share strategy you really need to have an accurate knowledge about where your product fit in your market. Product category is the general grouping of competitive products to which your product belongs. Having an accurate picture about your product category is vital since you will not be able to develop a strategy to build on and increase your existing market share. Take the tea business as an example, if you sell specialty teas, then you need to know whether you are competing with mass-market or not. You also need to decide whether or not you are going to count their sales in your market calculations and whether you need to win sales from them.

Then how to know exactly where your product fit in the market? The answer of this question lies in your customer. Your customer is a valuable resource that will give you the information that you need. Their perception of your product will help you to get a better picture in where your product fit in the market. You need to know how customer sees the category. So watch your customers or ask them to find out what their purchase options are. Learn to understand on how they view their choices then include your own choice that look similar with your customer definition of the market. 

Let us take the tea business as the example again. Are the customers choosing among all tea options, or just some of them? If you sell a specialty tea, then you will find out that most of the customers will drink the mass-market brand too which is cheaper than specialty tea. That is why as a wholesaler you will also need to fight the mass-market brands for some share in the market and also need to use total market sale as your base, not just specialty sales.

On the other hand, when you compete against other specialty teas, you will face them more closely and you will find the need to track this smaller market share number also and set a secondary objective for it. As a result you will set your marketing plan similar to this:

1. Increase the income from the total market sale from 13.5 percent to 15 percent
2. Protect your market share in specialty tea market by stay at 54 percent or more
3. Stressing even more that your tea is more special than the other to avoid direct competition with much larger marketers

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