In almost any discussion of branding a business, Apple is held up as an example of an outstanding brand. Everything from the company’s advertising and website to its product packaging and the design of the products themselves drive home the promise of a brand that simplifies and streamlines your life.
Because of its strong brand, Apple can command premium prices. That’s why some analysts are already viewing the company’s recent lower-end smartphone, the iPhone 5C, as a failure. MediaPost recently reported that the company had reduced orders for production, that the demand for the 5C was “tepid” and that some resellers were discounting the phone shortly after its debut. Critics say the iPhone 5C doesn’t mesh with Apple’s brand positioning as a high-end consumer product.
What lessons can you learn from the iPhone 5C’s struggles? Here are four lessons to take away.
SCORE mentors can help you identify, develop and market your brand. Don’t have a mentor? Visit www.score.org to get matched up.
Each successful business, despite its many forms, is essentially a value engine with three stages:
If you consistently attract or retain more customers than you lose, you have an engine of growth. (Costs/Profits are also important but here I am focusing on a marketplace perspective.) Looking at these three numbers helps you quickly diagnose where you should be focusing your energy. And if you are developing a new business, you ultimately discover whether you have a viable business model or not.
Here are some examples of these three important indicators by industry:
|Ecommerce||Search effectiveness||Conversion rate to sales, Shopping cart abandonment||Repeat purchases|
|Saas/Mobile App||Sign-ups for free version||Freemium to paid version||Paid churn (% of customers you lose each month)|
|Marketplace/Distributor||New sellers, New buyers||Shopping cart size (no. items and $ amount)||Top sellers, Top buyers|
|Professional services||Prospects in funnel||Contracts or Engagement letters||Additional contracts|
|Retail store (bricks and mortar)||Store traffic||Sales per week||Repeat customers|
|Consumer product||Distributor agreements||Sales per distributor||Repeat purchases|
|Online Publication||Number of readers, number of advertisers||Clicks per ad||Repeat reader visits, Advertiser churn|
These three numbers provide a quick actionable snapshot of your business.
What key numbers do you look at regularly? Share in the Comments section below.