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    Home > Marketing

    It is a Bimodal World

    The recent holiday selling season highlighted what all marketers and entrepreneurs should always remember: it's a bimodal world.

    A BusinessWeek article (Starring Roles for Luxury -- and Discount) shows how the consumer market has two main segments — luxury and discount:

    Those market segments set the pace over the holiday shopping season, says S&P analyst Marie Driscoll, who likes Coach and Chico's

    There was good news and bad news in the world of fashion and apparel during the holiday shopping season. The good news came at either end of the price spectrum -- luxury goods and the discounters did well. For most middle-of-the-road retailers such as the old-line department stores, the news wasn't so swell.

    I wrote an article on why marketers need to look for bimodal distributions hiding in their data.

    Bimodal markets also exist in the B2B world, but they're harder to see. Frequently B2B markets can be divided into an upper tier of "high price, high quality" products and the bottom tier "low price, commodity quality" products.

    But what about companies in the middle segment selling mid-priced products that are lacking some of the features found in the upper tier products? In other words, what should companies do that sell "high value" products?

    If your company is not in the top one-third or the bottom one-third of your market, then you have two options:

    • Adopt a strategy that will put your products in either the upper tier or the lower tier segment.
    • Redefine your market so you are in either the upper tier or the lower tier segment.

    Changing corporate strategy starts with a bottom-up analysis of your customers needs, your competitors' strategies, and your position in the market. Then, a top-down decision and implementation is needed to redefine the company's mission, goals, and measurable objectives.

    It's a long process — but it's better than languishing between the twin peaks of a bimodal market.

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