Elevate Your Market Segmentation Approach with Demand-to-Growth Landscape: Three Strategic Examples
Learn how Prophet’s Demand-to-Growth Landscape can help inform strategic decisions across portfolio, brand and product levels.
For consumer brands, China remains one of the most attractive lands of opportunities, despite the disruption from the pandemic. The rise of a huge middle class with enormous spending power makes the market a must-win, but not necessarily an easy one. Different generations of consumers are developing vastly diverse lifestyles, needs and preferences, and competition between local and international, startup and traditional companies is increasingly intense. Regional differences require highly nuanced go-to-market strategies beyond adapting to the local digital ecosystems.
To navigate this environment effectively, companies need to answer two fundamental questions: Where should they play to unlock growth? And how can they win with differentiated and relevant value propositions? These seemingly straightforward questions can be daunting as they require careful and holistic considerations regarding the entire business – how to structurally define consumer opportunities with so many forces and fast-moving trends at play? How to drive organizational alignment around key growth spaces? How to develop a high-level strategy with concrete actions across brand, product and channel execution?
Introducing Demand-to-Growth Landscape
At Prophet, we partner with leading consumer brands to answer these strategic questions through a comprehensive analytic method called the Demand-to-Growth Landscape. In a nutshell, Demand-to-Growth Landscape is a systematic study that examines the key dimensions (e.g., consumer segments, consumption occasions, etc.) influencing consumer demand for a certain category. By drawing a map with these dimensions, we define and synthesize consumer growth spaces, and thus blend value lenses and consumer lenses to decode each opportunity.
There is no one universal formula for how companies should utilize the Demand-to-Growth Landscape. However, those that succeed often follow three best practices.
1. Customize the map.
Although consumer segments and consumption occasions are commonly used, particularly by companies in the consumer packaged goods category as key dimensions to build the Demand-to-Growth Landscape, companies have to think through what works best for their category and the intended usage of the tool. For instance, price tier can be applied as a dimension for the fashion category as it’s often a key factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions.
2. Enrich with human insights.
While the quantitative study is helpful for identifying and profiling growth spaces, companies will benefit from deep listening to gain a thorough understanding of their consumers’ motivations and experiences to inspire actions.
3. Create and sustain competitive superiority.
Once companies have decided which growth spaces to focus on, they have to build a competitive advantage. They can learn from the Superiority Model, initially developed by P&G, to define the most critical levers for their category, and be diligent in applying the framework to guide actions and track results.
Source: Proctor & Gamble
How Your Company Should Utilize the Demand-to-Growth Landscape for Different Strategic Objectives
The Demand-to-Growth Landscape can help inform strategic decisions across portfolio, brand and product levels. Below, we outline three tried-and-true applications of the approach, each with a client story to illustrate how it can positively impact the business.
Develop Brand Portfolio Strategy
Demand-to-Growth Landscape provides foundational insights for developing a brand portfolio strategy. Leaders who oversee large portfolios should ask:
- Which are the growth spaces to prioritize?
- How many brands are required to win these spaces?
- What is the role of each brand?
- Is there any opportunity to rationalize the portfolio or tap into white space?
Our work with sportswear and lifestyle group
Our client is a global leader in sports and lifestyle products with a diverse range of apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment. Its business needed to scale but was facing difficulty, as several of its brands were playing on top of each other.
Prophet was engaged to help the client gain a better understanding of its key global markets, including China and the US, and provide strategic recommendations for go-to-market actions. We started by uncovering eight consumer segments, which were prioritized based on spending power, category engagement and brand perceptions. We then built a Demand-to-Growth Landscape based on these consumer segments and occasions, highlighting growth spaces to expand the business with the current portfolio of brands. To tease apart the individual brands’ growth strategies, Prophet defined clear swim lanes on the landscape, aligning on “centers of gravity” for each brand to prioritize investment and brand building.
Define Brand Target and Positioning
Demand-to-Growth Landscape offers critical consumer insights to help inspire a unique brand positioning. CMOs seeking to elevate their brands should ask:
- Who are the consumers in the target growth space?
- What do these consumers need the most, and how can my brand connect with them?
- What are the functional benefits required to support the emotional value?
Our work with a leading CPG company
Our client, a global food and beverage giant, sought our expertise to help reposition one of its key brands following a successful collaboration on its China brand portfolio strategy. In recent years, the brand has become staler, facing challenges in attracting young consumers.
To reinforce the brand strategy, we thoroughly examined the previously established Demand-to-Growth Landscape data in order to identify the most critical consumers within the brand’s target growth space. We delved into demographics, including age group and city tier, as well as their life motivations and category attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, we conducted deep listening research to capture micro-stories that brought the brand muse to life. Leveraging these insights, we identified a potent brand positioning territory that deeply resonated with the younger generation’s yearning for genuine connections, especially within the home environment following the pandemic.
Identify Product Portfolio Opportunities
By combining Demand-to-Growth Landscape with Superiority assessment, businesses can gain valuable insights to uncover product opportunities. Marketers who own a vast product portfolio should ask:
- Where does the brand have potential product gaps on the demand landscape?
- Where do the brand’s existing products fall short compared to competitors?
- Where does the brand have competitive products but need to improve its messaging or product availability?
Our work with a leading apparel company
Prophet was appointed by a leading apparel and footwear company to accelerate its transformation from a product-driven to a consumer-centric approach to its brand strategy in China. The company had diverse products, each with functional benefits, however, they often overlapped and lacked a distinctive focus in messaging.
Through the Demand-to-Growth Landscape approach, we delineated each growth space based on opportunity size, price tier, consumer profile and goals, and desired product drivers. Subsequently, we collaborated with the client’s product experts to objectively map their product portfolio and those of key competitors onto the landscape, conducting a thorough Superiority assessment. This exercise enabled the client’s senior leadership team to achieve alignment and make commitments to a series of product growth initiatives, bringing confidence to revitalize their growth momentum.
With increasingly fragmented consumer segments and intense competition, companies need to continuously evaluate their priority growth spaces and evolve value propositions to stay relevant. Prophet’s Demand-to-Growth Landscape approach helps leaders navigate these challenges in a systematic yet nuanced way beyond traditional consumer segmentation. Through different use cases, the Demand-to-Growth Landscape can provide indispensable insights into strategic decisions.