Target Markets, Positioning, and Segmentation

Not everyone likes the same cereal, restaurant, university, or movie. Marketers therefore identify distinct segments of buyers by identifying demographic, psychographic, and behavioral differences between them. They then decide which segment(s) present the greatest opportunities. For each of these target markets, the firm develops a market offering that it positions in target buyers’ minds as delivering some key benefit(s). Porsche targets buyers who seek pleasure and excitement in driving and want to make a statement about their wheels.

Offerings and Brands

Companies address customer needs by putting forth a value proposition, a set of benefits that satisfy those needs. The intangible value proposition is made physical by an offering, which can be a combination of products, services, information, and experiences. A brand is an offering from a known source. A brand name such as Apple carries many different kinds of associations in people’s minds that make up its image: creative, innovative, easy-to-use, fun, cool, iPhone, and iPad to name just a few. All companies strive to build a brand image with strong, favorable, and unique brand associations.

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