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Transcript of Competitive Map
BUS 310 - Assignment One
03 October 2012 Competitive Map Owns and operates its own print shop; is able to offer other products “from full color business cards and brochures, menus, personalized placemats, books, labels and gift certificates, to postcards and flyers.” Unique Features Competitor #1 - The Placemat People Because of their ownership of the print shop, they are able to deliver their products quicker and cheaper than their competitors. Delivery of Product “We have produced hundreds of thousands of placemat ads for local businesses. Many of our customers are repeat customers. Their confidence with our incomparable value, along with our dedicated team of salespeople, designers and support staff, has helped our business grow into one of the largest of its type in America today.”
Presents placemat advertising as one of the “most effective forms of daily exposure” for local business owners.
Advertises free placemats for restaurant owners explaining how the process works and why the placemats are free.
Presentation of Services Expertise, quick delivery, cheaper prices Company Guarantees Competitor #2 - Betterway Print Competitor #3 – Placemats Plus Service Competitor #4 – Placemat Advertising Manual Creates two versions of each placemat to be displayed in the specified restaurant, allows customers to pick ad placement pending availability, and only advertises one of each type of business per placemat. Unique Features First, the website sells the importance of placemat advertising: “Placemat advertising is the original guerrilla marketing. We all read the placemat advertising while waiting for our meal at the local diner, or pub. This is more than you can say about nearly all print advertising, nowadays. But that's only part of the value. Placemat advertising has the REPETITION Factor that all wise advertisers know is essential.”
It then goes on to show how choosing Betterway to create placemats is the best option.
Presentation of Services For the five businesses listed in this competitive map, these four areas will be discussed: unique features, presentation of services, product delivery and lifespan, and company guarantees Competitive Advantage Target Market Defining the Industry Competitor #5 – Budget Placemat Ad Business proposal: Design paper placemats that will offer local small business owners the opportunity to advertise their product in a nearby restaurant. The restaurant owner will agree to put out the placemats containing surrounding businesses' advertisements in the form of either discount offers or general business information. The goal is to help surrounding businesses increase their customer base and receive repeat customers. This placemat business would benefit the restaurant owner as well by offering an incentive for customers to eat at the establishment in order to get discounts from other businesses in the area; providing the restaurant with free placemats; and giving the center advertising position to that restaurant so the customer can leave with a reminder to return.
According to the NAICS Association website, the code for this industry would be closest to 541850 - Outdoor Advertising. The description for this industry is as follows: "This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in creating and designing public display advertising campaign materials, such as printed, painted, or electronic displays; and/or placing such displays on indoor or outdoor billboards and panels, or on or within transit vehicles or facilities, shopping malls, retail (in-store) displays, and other display structures or sites." The biggest competitive advantage I would have in starting a placemat advertising business in Pasadena, CA. is that there are no other online competitors that specifically cater to this area. While placemat advertisement design is not an uncommon industry, the businesses tend to remain fairly localized. While researching placemat design businesses, I found that there are many who have started this small business, but they make it clear that their services are only intended for specified counties in states like Florida, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. For the purpose of this assignment, I included several of these out-of-state businesses as competitors, examining their unique features, how they present their services (advertising, self promotion), when they deliver (how long their product lasts), and what guarantees they provide customers.
After discussing these four categories in the competitive map, I analyzed the businesses' strengths and weaknesses. What features can I apply to my own business to encourage its success? Are there features the competitors offer that I would be unable to supply? How might their success threaten the success of my business?
My first target market will be small business owners in Pasadena. The first step has to be finding restaurant owners willing to put out the placemats. When a restaurant agrees to the proposal, I will gather research about the number, demographic, and regularity of customers in that restaurant. I can then present this information to surrounding business owners within a 10 mile radius of the restaurant in order to convince them that it would be beneficial to advertise on placemats. The surrounding businesses cannot be restaurants for that would present a conflict of interest for the restaurant displaying the placemats.
Once advertising in the Pasadena area becomes successful, I could consider expanding to neighboring areas such as Altadena, La Crescentia, San Gabrielle Valley, etc. By that time, I would have placemat examples, a website, references, and experience which would make it easier to break into surrounding markets. The time required to design the placemats would also be decreased as a result of experience and repeat customers. The author advertises this potential business with the following list of benefits: “Very low start-up costs, almost zero competition, easy business to learn, gender neutral – men and women are equally successful, work full or part time, excellent family business, program is tax deductible (see your tax advisor), work from your own home, you are your own boss, no evening or weekend work, a very highly respected industry, unlimited no-charge consultation for one full year.” Unique Features Most of the content on this website contains different types of sales pitches for why people should start a placemat advertising business, why placemat advertising is effective and important, and why people need the manual to be more successful at this business.
This is one of the main arguments to convince people that placemat advertising is the way to go. “The restaurant placemat business allows small businesses to target their advertising budgets to the people they are trying to reach.”
Presentation of Services Customers can download the manual after the author receives the payment. The product is effective for as long as the customer makes use of its materials and there is a year of free consultation provided by the author. Delivery and Lifespan of Product One year free consultation to those who purchase the manual, the profits are yours to keep, the business is easy to learn, “you can realistically earn $6000 to $7500 or more monthly.”
“If you are not satisfied with this program for any reason, I will refund your money. You are not required to return it. Just let me know that you feel it is not as advertised, and I will refund the full amount of your purchase.”
Company Guarantees Betterway Print placemats stay in one location for six months. According to the business, “Your ad is not ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’” Lifespan of Product “Only Betterway Print makes sure that its placemat advertising is varied and interesting throughout their duration for enhanced readership... and read them your audience will!” Company Guarantees They “offer placemat layout, ad and coupon design and placemat printing services of high quality and at very competitive design prices and rates.” Unique Features “Budget Placemat Ads is a placemat advertising ad design and placemat printing company which provides full support of ad and placemat design
and placemat printing services for start up and established placemat advertising businesses.”
Presentation of Services They print and deliver the finished product. Delivery of Product They offer “full service support for placemat advertising industry.” Company Guarantees A “unique feature of Placemats Plus Service is that you will receive contract exclusivity. This means no other advertiser in your service category will compete with you on that placemat for the term of your contract. You will also be extended the opportunity to renew prior to the acceptance of another advertiser in your category.” Unique Features “What makes Placemats Plus Service a unique advertising alternative? Think about the last time you were in a diner. When you looked around, who did you see?
•Friends sharing a cup of coffee
•Business people meeting over lunch
•Mom, dad and the kids having Sunday breakfast
•Couples on a date grabbing a bite to eat before the movie
•A professional couple meeting for a quick dinner after a long day at work
•Seniors catching the early bird special”
The website goes on to detail how placemat advertising is a low cost way to reach a targeted market as well as potential customers.
Presentation of Services The run time for each placemat is six months. Lifespan of Product Placing an advertisement on one of the placemats they design will help your small business reach “target clients in a very influential way.” Company Guarantees