A Solid Business Footing: The 7Ps – That’s Right, Seven! (Part II of IX)

From last week…

“Let’s be serious, Zoot,” Marka said. “We have to pinpoint what products and services FEI offers to the marketplace. Our future market research, promotional and branding activities depend on this.”

Now, on to part two of this nine-part series. Remember, fire = print.

“But we are selling fire,” Numo said seriously, lowering his bifocals and aiming his coal black eyes directly at Marka. “Right?”

“Yes, we’re selling fire,” Marka responded. “But that doesn’t mean much to marketers like yours truly. Fire is a broad category—it’s not segmented. We don’t own any product categories by saying we sell fire.

“We sell fire lighting services,” Zoot offered, raising his thick eyebrows.

“Be more specific,” Marka prodded.

“Our runners carry torches and light new hearth fires,” Zoot said.

“What else?”

“We relight extinguished hearths,” Numo said.

“Excellent!” Marka said.

“These are both basic functions of fire, yet they’re different services with different target markets!” Org blurted.

Marka smiled. Org’s excitement was all the approval she needed.

“How about selling new ways to light fire? Flints are outdated.” Lucy suggested. Lucy, a recent grad from Olympus U summa cum laude, had only been with FEI two months, but Zoot and Marka had already noticed her innovative ideas and advanced her from sales runner to product development manager.

“Yes!” Marka agreed. “Lucy is working on self-starting fire sticks that will revolutionize the fire industry. But more on that later.”

Zoot stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Fire as entertainment? Fire can be pretty, with all the reds and oranges and blues. If only there was a way we could make fire ‘work’ as entertainment.”

“Great idea, Zoot.” Marka said. “Lucy, let’s work on that one.”

The newly-energized tribe discussed fire for cooking, fire for heat, fire products, fire as decoration, fire for medical products and even fire safety and fire management training.

“All of these represent potential market segments and different revenue opportunities,” Marka said. “Now do we all understand the importance of breaking up FEI’s product and service offerings this way?”

“I’m on board,” Zoot said. “It sounds like FEI’s product offering always has been—and should continue to be—more than bringing torches to hearths.”

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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