I spent 12 months working with one of the largest international clothing brands in the world. The fact that they had been in business over a century got my blood pumping. I was going to see the inner workings of an industry leader. How were they able to always stay on top in a very competitive industry? How were they able to survive for over a hundred years, even through the Great Depression?
I learned two very important principals in business. They have held true my entire career. I use them in my own marketing business.
1. Observe first, then improve.
2. Guerrilla market share.
OBSERVE FIRST, THEN IMPROVE
I was expecting to see the creative process that engineered the latest trending designs. It didn’t exist. I was shocked. This brand had a totally different approach and it was not creating new designs from scratch. They observed the trends of competitor designs. Once a design was gaining traction in the market, they would take the design and start to improve upon it. This process of observe first, then improve allowed them to immediately have winning products when they hit the marketplace.
In my younger years I spent many late nights trying to come up with the latest and greatest idea. Looking back I realize this was a huge mistake and I’ll never get that time back. What I should have been focusing on are people, and businesses, who were successful. Learning what they did and how they did it. Then figuring out how to make it better. They are successful for a reason so why not speed up the process of success.
In marketing, I am constantly researching competitor’s ads. What format are they using, how are they shaping their message and what type of creative are they using. Facebook has a resource called Facebook Ad Library where you can see everyone’s ads. It is an invaluable resource to a Facebook Marketer.
GUERRILLA MARKET SHARE
I went to dinner with the head of this clothing brand. My plan was to ask questions and then keep my mouth shut. Listening is a skill and I planned to use it. The economy at the time was showing signs of decline, massive decline. I wondered how this would affect a company that relied somewhat on discretionary spending by consumers. I was nervous to even ask the question as I was sure it would change the mood in the room. I needed to know, so I asked the question anyway.
To my surprise, an unbelievable smile came across his face. I do believe I was able to see every single tooth in that man’s mouth. What was happening? I was definitely confused, but I stuck to my guns and kept my mouth shut. What I learned has completely changed my view on business.
He went on to explain that the company plans for the bad times in the economy. Consumers will pay more for a quality product from a brand they trust when money is tight. It is through this economic cycle that their competitors collapse and they gain market share. This is how they have survived and grown over the last century.
I view guerrilla warfare as moving out from behind the bushes, hitting your enemy and then moving back behind the bushes until another opportunity presents itself. Well this strategy is kind of like guerrilla market share. Businesses will even have an even greater need for marketing when the economy declines. The question marketers, or any business, needs to ask themselves is will they be stable enough to survive the decline and have a strategy to jump out from behind the bushes.
I hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to join my free Facebook group to learn more about the Facebook Pixel and Facebook Advertising here http://bit.ly/UFLGROUP
Best of Luck,