What segment are you targeting?
In a general sense, I would classify my products as appropriate for customers:
In multiple segments
In the high-end segment
Somewhere in the middle
In the value segment
So, we're fairly diversified this week, which I sort of expected. It just goes to show, I guess, that there's room for a variety of players, even in a crummy economic environment. Below are some reflections from readers, sparked by the poll itself, but branching out into general observations of what's happening to the segmentation of the industry.
One long-time industry observer (who, I feel compelled to share, started his email in the following way, giving me a giggle one early morning: “By the way, it isn't polite to ask a fat guy to ‘weigh in.’ Anyway, on to the weigh in…”) pointed out that while retailers may find it useful to focus their businesses in one segment, manufacturers and suppliers in the industry have been doing exactly the opposite. For years leading up to the current market, the largest manufacturers in the country have been diversifying like crazy, scooping up other companies in the new construction, remodeling or commercial markets to round out their dinner buffet and help insulate them from residential market dips. “I think that from a manufacturer's standpoint, diversification is really the way to go now and into the future,” my reader writes. “However, the window and door dealers may not have as many opportunities to diversify as do the manufacturers, so focusing on one market segment and doing it well may very well be what gets them through these tough times.”
Another company representative in Florida touched base to talk about how the storm protection market, with products selling at a premium price, is feeling the squeeze as homeowners deal with not only a crummy economy, but tough homeowners insurance situations as well. “It's tough for small business in Florida right now, Christina. For small companies that don't have the knowledge, desire or capital to take on more risk and diversify into a new field, all they can do is market wisely and make the best use of their resources. Concerning our strategy changes for next year?? Hang in there! (Just like the poster of the kitten hanging from the tree branch!)”
I love that poster. I think I need to go spend some time on E-bay.
Keep the emails rolling!