The subscription box market has been one of the most interesting to watch and study. According to Forbes, this sector has expanded by nearly 900 percent since 2014. But alongside this considerable growth also comes significant customer churn – McKinsey & Co. noted that while 15 percent of all online shoppers have signed up for at least one recurring subscription, 40 percent of these subscribers have canceled at one point or another during their customer lifecycle.
This means that subscription box providers have their work cut out for them, and must ensure they are properly supporting their service. If your offering is seeing high churn rates, or you're looking to bolster market leadership, it might be time to rethink your brand positioning.
Leadership still up for grabs: Identify gaps in the marketplace
The good news for subscription companies is that in many niches within this sector, market leadership is still very much in flux.
"[T]he leadership in the market is still up for grabs, consumers are not acting in traditional loyalty patterns and players who are not leaders today can still emerge and command the market in the long run," noted Forbes contributor Richard Kestenbaum.
Using this to their advantage, brands should look to complete in-depth market research to identify any gaps not currently being served in this sector. Finding and shifting brand positioning to address these gaps could be just the thing a company needs to achieve market leadership. What's more, filling service gaps can also bring a certain cachet to the brand, making it the "only provider" of a specific subscription offering.
Look internally: SWOT analysis
In addition to seeking brand positioning insights externally, it's also important to turn an eye inward. SWOT analysis can enable brand stakeholders to analyze elements inside their business, as well as the potential options or issues that could impact the brand from the external marketplace.
As Cratejoy noted, the SWOT framework encompasses analyzing:
- Strengths: What is the brand currently doing very well? What does it provide that customers can't get elsewhere, and/or what drives subscribers to choose the company over its competition?
- Weaknesses: What elements could be improved upon internally? Is there customer feedback pertaining to what customers don't like that could be drawn upon for insights here?
- Opportunities: What trends, industry innovations, events or research could the brand be taking advantage of?
- Threats: What obstacles or issues does the brand face? Are these things that can be fixed internally?
This analysis can provide the stepping stones for purposeful and beneficial repositioning.
Make a connection: Tell your brand's story
Once marketplace gaps and internal improvements have been identified and capitalized upon, it's time to make a personal connection with current and potential customers. Marketing firm Montreal 360 suggested telling the brand's story, or how the company came to be created. This helps form a bond with customers and can help boost loyalty – a goal that's been very tricky for subscription box brands thus far.
To find out more about subscription box brand positioning, and how seamless order management can contribute, connect with the experts at SFG today.