Archive for October, 2011

October 21, 2011
Jeffrey Heilbrunn

The 5-4-3 of Marketing

In the wake of the success of the 9-9-9 campaign of candidate Cain, I propose a new formula for my marketing students to remember, the 5-4-3 concept. There is no doubt that there is an ease to remember ideas placed in such a format…and I am often asked about the basics of marketing from people with little understanding of the field. Hence, the 5-4-3 concept may be of use to you.

FIVE…. Branding helps us to differentiate our offerings in the marketplace. This is known as positioning for the hearts and minds of potential customers. And there are five foundational ideas useful in considering how to brand a product, service, candidate or what have you. The five elements can be used individually or in combination. They are: 1) Value, building a brand based upon a feeling you are getting more for less. Dunkin Donuts provides a great cup of coffee for far less then their chief competitor. Value = Benefits received minus costs incurred. 2) VALUES, these are what we stand for, our beliefs. At Starbucks, the firm stands for taking care of people, who in turn take care of the customer. 3) Attribute, what a product is, such as Gatorade and the electrolytes in the drink 4) Benefits, what the attributes do for you, such as the electrolytes giving you the ability to exercise more (Gatorade). 5) Persona, the personality of the brand, the idea that the brand has human characteristics like Brawny, or Ford Tough. Virtually every brand can be decomposed into these five elements and as you might imagine, most brands can be composed from considering these five.

Four … The Famous Four P’s of Marketing. 1) Product, the item that actually satisfies the needs of the consumer. This covers physical products, services, as well as the use of services to enhance physical products. 2) Price, the way we assign a cost to the consumer in light of the idea of perceived value, competitiveness, and other issues. 3) Promotion, or marketing communications to include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, internet marketing, etc. And finally, 4) Place, which is the concept of distribution, and logistics, getting the product from manufacturing to the customer.

Three … Marketing is a process that starts with Segmentation, works through Targeting, and continues with Position. 1) We first look at all the possible segments or groups of potential customers. Who are they? What are the characteristics that define the segments? Next 2) we consider which of the segments we will go after first. We use a variety of criteria that might include the size of the market, the inclination of the segment to want to purchase, the ability of the segment to purchase, the accessibility of the target and our ability to communicate effectively our message. And once we have chosen the targets, we then 3) position using the branding process discussed above. Segment—Target—Position is the process of marketing that gets us to our intended target with the right message.

5-4-3 …. Committing this to memory should be as easy as 9-9-9 ….. and with this information, you can perform marketing tasks and be able to conduct a great cocktail conversation about marketing. For more, check out the Library of Articles on each of these subjects at
Jeff Heilbrunn, October 21, 2011