segment of the workshop was presented by Pat Shanahan. For further
information, please contact her at:
Ms. Pat Shanahan,
Strategic Planning &
Your Product and Market
What is your product?
- Traditional commodity
- Value-added commodity
- Value-added branded
salmon is comes in three overall product classes. The
first is the traditional commodity product form. We
often think of this as fish in the round or head and
gut. Perhaps even can salmon qualifies under this category.
second category is value-added commodity. Many people
think that because they sell a boneless/skinless fillet,
they are selling something special. However, given the
incredible glut of farm salmon on the market, entering
the country as boneless/skinless, that product form
has really become a commodity.
third category is the value-added branded product. This
a product that has some level of value added processing;
however, the seller also took the time to brand the
product. The branding effort conveys a message of quality,
consistency, and uniqueness to the consumer that sets
it apart from your basic value-added commodity category.
- Most marketing today
is niche marketing
- Alaska has been "niched"
- Generic product niche:
wild, natural, sustainable
- End user
- Distribution level
- Customer size
marketing today is niche marketing. Niche marketing
may be defined as targeting, communicating and selling
to the heaviest users of your products.
salmon has been niched in the market today. It carries
the connotation to the consumers of wild, natural
and sustainable. It is the job of salmon marketers
to target and communicate with the market segment that
care about these features.
- The right size for
- Should match your ability
to source and service
defining your target market, there are a number of facets
You determine the end user that best fits the attributes
of your product. Similarly, you must determine the product
that best fits the desires of your end user.
on your operation, consideration must be put to what
point of the distribution chain you will sell to.
customer size must be determined. You may have selected
an end user that cannot absorb all of your product,
leading to reduced prices. Conversely, you may not be
able to service consumer demand which might lead to
increased consumer dissatisfaction.
marketing requires determining what level of service
you intend to provide. Quite often it requires constant
availability to service complaints and concerns.
geographic range will dictate the volume requirements,
nature of distribution and cost of marketing efforts.
- What does the market
- What needs are not
- Is there market demand
for what we want to produce?
- What is current pricing?
part of identifying your market is to gauge whether
it is the right size for your operation. If you typically
move 1,000,000 pounds of boneless/skinless salmon, you
need to target a market that can handle that much product.
sure not to target a market that will exceed your ability
to source and service. Aside from having adequate product
volume, you also need to have enough manpower to handle
customer complaints and other problems.
- The most important
phase of any marketing
- Doesn't always have
to be formal
- Visit, look, and listen
- Be ready to hear what
the market is telling you
to plunging into a detailed marketing program, be sure
to ask the following basic questions?
does the market want? Does your market appear to demand
the product? For instance, would it be wise to market
sea cucumbers to the US Midwest?
needs are not being fulfilled? Look at your target marketing
and see if there are things that they want that are
not available. Perhaps the retailers in your market
require a quality control program.
there market demand for what we want to produce? If
the market appears unwilling to accept the existing
product line, is it possible to adapt the product line?
is current pricing? At expected prices in an area, will
your operation be profitable? For instance, will selling
Premium boneless/skinless sockeye fillets to a developing
country provide the highest price for your efforts?
Sources of Supply
- Consistency is the
key in the marketplace
- Need to come up with
creative solutions for wild harvest fluctuations
the one area people forsake in a marketing program is
market research. Dont eliminate this important
activity. It is the most important thing to do.
research does not need to be formal. You can do things
as simple as call up customers and ask them what they
want or what they think about your products.
sure to go where your product is being sold. Understanding
the environment that your buyers are required to operate
in provides you better insight into what their concerns
take criticism personally. Different markets will want
different things. It is important to learn from feedback,
not resent it.
- What does the market
- How can packaging add-value
to the product?
- What are the best in
the business doing?
of the greatest quandaries about selling wild Alaska
salmon is that consistent supply is difficult to come
by. Some producers have solved this by selling only
frozen product. Obviously the can product was one way
of dealing with the ebb and flow of nature.
you play up the uniqueness of scarcity, or find a product
line that can be maintained throughout the year, be
sure to accommodate for Alaska salmons inconsistent
- Must be customer-driven
- Don't test on your
- In order to be successful
it has to offer something more or different that what
is already out there.
sure you develop packaging that meets the markets
expectations. If your competition is using an attractive
vacuum packed wrapper, dont send your product
in a bread bag.
your packaging can add value to the product. Using vacuum
packaging is an obvious example. Attractive packaging,
or packaging features that lend to convenience for the
consumer, are important items to consider.
out your competition. Check out the best in the business.
Consumers react positively to innovative and convenient