Longboyssc has sent this in about the branding of villa. An horrible word but you know the point.
Now I am not a marketing expert by any stretch of the imagination but I can see some fundamental flaws in the current “strategy” being employed by the board.
All business’s rely on customers, for a business without a customer is not a business for very long. Now within this customer base there are typically 4 types of customer,
1. Fanatics / Loyalists: people that typically will buy anything marketed by this company regardless of the product (think Apple in this case).
2. Loyal but “Savvy” buyers: people loyal to the brand but need to feel that the brand is “developing / suiting their needs”. In essence these people need to see value for money to make the purchase
3. New customers: typically young and finding their place in the market or people who have developed a taste for certain brands /areas
4. Anti-fanatics: Goes without saying (again think Apple in this case)
Now our club has its fair share of No 1 type customers and they rely on them to keep the brand ticking /cash flow rolling in (Free marketing in some cases through word of mouth / wearing the brand etc). In essence these are the base life blood of the company but shouldn’t be taken for granted (there are so many times you can flog a horse!!)
The no 2 and no 3 groups though are the most important parts of the strategy (think trying to get a mobile upgrade and the typical argument over new customers getting better deals and you see the point). This is the battle ground for brand development, the people that you are looking to tie into long term affiliation for the company and this is where I think this current strategy by the company (AVFC) is very sorely lacking.
If we take the only real product on offer from the club (the style and results of the football) then this is now a tarnished product and something that is obviously not sitting well in the minds of their target audience. On top of this the company is engaging in a very strange policy of maximum silence / of secrecy whilst also playing the spin card to the nth degree at every opportunity.
Again, no marketing expert but my general take on this is that there is a distinct lack of respect for the customer, almost as far as assuming their typical customer base is somewhat dense!!! Their strategy clearly is that of a company that thinks its brand equity is infinite and that the customers will always be there (if you offer it, they will take it?).
I would argue differently, the success of any brand is the number of new customers that wish to offer their support and hence money (thus increasing the repeat order potential down the line….. Hence GROWTH).
In order to do this the company need to realise that “Spinning nice stories to the masses” won’t grow the company over the short term, let alone the long term and the only way to do this is to improve the brand on offer and that is simply the football played and the results attained.
Therefore we are left with one conclusion, change the direction of the product and more importantly change the bloke directing it……New manager please?