The lemonade and its qualities, key features, benefits, ingredients, packaging, styling, even amount or quantity. It refers to nutrition content, whether organic or not, whether the lemons are homemade from real lemons or made with lemon powder. It also refers to how much you put in a cup and how big your cup is. How many cups are available (small, medium, large)? How much sugar do you put in it or whether you use Stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrisweet, Sweet N Low, etc? How much Vitamin C and Folic Acid does it contain per serving? Will people pay their hard-earned money for your cup of lemonade? Why would your customer choose lemonade from your lemonade stand over the other lemonade stands out there? Every little thing about your product is essential especially if that little thing will set you apart from the rest.
Price is very important not just because it is the amount of money that is equivalent to your product’s value. The price will determine your target market, how your business compares with regards to your competition, how much profit you’re going to make. It also segments the market into those who can afford your product and those who only wish they do. The setting of price requires strategic analysis and comprehensive study. How much did I spend making the lemonade? This includes ALL expenses like the ingredients plus overhead expenses that are easy to miss like electricity bill for the freezer that makes the ice and your transportation expenses when you went to the farm to pick the lemons. How much time did I invest making the lemonade (including the lemonade stand, the sign boards, etc.)? How much is my time worth? How much will I pay the people who will sell my lemonade? What other extra expenses will I incur?
What methods will you use to get your product out there? How will you expose your lemonade to as much people as you can? Will you use flyers, word-of-mouth, telemarketing, or social media? Nowadays, you are not limited to traditional advertisements like radio, TV, and newspaper. The world is your oyster when it comes to spreading the word.
The place pertains to how and where you sell your product. In real estate, they always stress that location is key. It’s actually the same thing in selling. Where are you going to sell the lemonade? Are you just going to setup a stand right outside your door or are you setting up a booth in the circus or are you selling lemonade in a very busy movie house? Place is very important because this determines your market, the way your product is perceived, and the price that your consumers are willing to pay for your product (a cup of lemonade will cost more than double if sold at a high-end mall in Singapore as compared to a wet market in Thailand – even quadruple if economic standing is considered but that is another story altogether).
Marketers have debated over the years whether ‘people’ should be included as the fifth ‘P’ of marketing. Personally, I think it should be number 1 because if there are no consumers, producers, and marketers – which are all people if I may point out – marketing won’t exist in the first place. Who will make the lemonade? Who will buy the lemonade? Who will advertise the lemonade? Who will plant the lemons in the first place? The people are the differentiators. If you think about it, there is very little difference between selling a sprawling mansion and a glass of lemonade. If you take away the house and the lemonade, it’s just pure honest-to-goodness selling. People will buy a house because they need it or want it and people will buy lemonade because they’re thirsty or they just like the taste of it. The difference will lie in the people – the consumers in their needs, wants, preferences, the marketers in their style and ways of making something tempting for the consumers whether they need it or not.
The main question to answer here is who is my target market? Who will buy my lemonade? Is it the moms with active lifestyles who have just gone out of their yoga session (think sugar-free-but-no-artificial-sweetener kind of market), or the thirsty kids after ballet school (think pink-lemonade kind of market) or the construction workers after a full day’s work (who would really prefer whiskey if given the choice). On the other side of the fence, who are selling my lemonade? Are they knowledgeable on the product? Do they have experience in selling lemonade? Do they even like what they’re selling? Are they creating a positive experience for your customers (or are they the ones drinking your lemonade?) Customer service is one very important part of Marketing. This is one of the things that will determine Customer Retention – whether they will come back for more or they will go to the next lemonade stand.