The 5 C's of Marketing [Definition + Examples]

Author: John Alson
Updated on May 10, 2020

5 c's of marketing

How to do opportunity analysis using the five Cs framework

The five C's focuses on the customer, competitors, company and collaborators in context of the market.

The five C's are a good guideline to make the right decisions and construct a well-defined marketing plan and strategy.


The key issue is to spot the sustainable competitive advantage that belongs to the niche. This includes capital, economies of scale, technological development, experience business and so on. If the assets belonging to the company, this may be a sustainable competitive advantage. The Variable Rare Imitable Organized model is often utilized to differentiate if a company’s assets offer a short-lived or sustainable advantage to the general business model. Let's see the main points of the model. Assets are classified in three categories – Fixed Assets, Variable assets and Innovation Assets. Fixed Assets are defined as the fixed assets which are present during the whole life of the company, such as plants, machinery, raw materials etc. The variable assets are also defined as the assets which are present at the start of the company and which are expected to be maintained during the business . The Innovation Assets are those assets which are expected to be utilized during the business and which are either unique or expected to be very rare. These assets may be either owned by the company, such as intellectual property, patents, trademarks, etc. or acquired through mergers, acquisitions and partnerships. The three categories are classified according to their utility for the business .


Determine what are the requirements of customers and from which clients you’re trying to satisfy. Research can be done for market segments, frequency of purchases, the quantity of purchases, retail channel, and customer needs depending on trends over time. Know what you can produce, and how. If you're just getting started, don't make too many promises; don't try to impress customers by making promises that you know you can't keep. The best marketing campaign is the one that delivers on the promises and expectations of the customer, not the promises of your company. Use the principles of persuasion to sell to a customer by creating a persuasive offer and making it convincing enough for them to believe it's a good deal.


Start to identify your current and future competitors. What are your competitors' strengths and weaknesses? What will be your strategies compete with them and gain market dominance? Analyze your industry and niche and try to come with a unique product or service. If you're a startup, start to think about what will make you stand out from your competitors. What do they bring that you don't? How can you differentiate yourself from them? If you have to create your business model from scratch, focus on making it unique. Create your own brand! Think about what people in the market are looking for and try to create something that meets those needs. Don't be afraid to create something that's not in the market now. Do it in a way that it's better than your competition and stand out from them.


Identify all of your business partners. Collaborators are those that have shared interests within the growth of the firm, so, if the organization enjoys profit, then they get a share of it such as suppliers, marketers. Be open-minded, be flexible. If they don't understand the core value of your company and your business, then you need to be honest with them and explain to them how they can benefit your firm. In conclusion, when I hear about "business partners" and how they are needed within the growth of the company, the most common complaint I hear is that they can't work together. And this is true. It is really hard to work together , but the most important thing to understand is the process that brings you success and the process that brings you success together .


The analysis of climate is usually mentioned as PEST analysis which can be divided into four areas.

  • Political analysis : Political analysis can be very useful in analyzing the dynamics of an individual or movement, as it provides a historical perspective on political issues, and provides a historical framework for assessing the strength and weakness of different positions within a movement.
  • Social analysis: Social analysis is a form of inquiry which seeks to understand the dynamics of social relationships, in order to provide more effective social management. The term social analysis has come to encompass a wide range of different fields of inquiry , including political economy, political theory, sociology, economics, law, history, psychology, and other social sciences.
  • Economic analysis: Economic factors are the factor that indicates the economic situation in the market such as interest rates, economic growth, exchange rate as well as inflation rate., hence, it is also called market condition. It is very important in the growth of a company to know the demand and the economy of the customers and the market. If the demand is not adequate then a company cannot be successful.
  • Technological Factors: As always with any new technologies there will be a big learning curve for business in the beginning but if the business adapts itself properly and the business becomes a part of the innovation curve then it can really take advantage of new possibilities that are now in the horizon.

Example of 5 Cs analysis

Let's evaluate how five C's applies to one of my favorite companies which is founded in 1992. Planet Fitness is one of the largest franchisers in the operators of fitness centers and the company's mission is to enhance people's lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a judgment-free zone.

So how exactly does a 5 Cs relate to planning a fitness? When considering the customer we want to focus on two key aspects customer value and satisfaction customer value is created by tailoring the marketing mix around the customer's needs. The mix is composed of the four PS and the target market the four PS include product, place, price, and promotion which all work together to produce a specific response from a target market.

Planet Fitness is known for their reliable service low monthly fees to promote multiple locations through witty advertising social media promotions and easy to use apps they address customer satisfaction through a no-commitment membership to avoid buyer's remorse.

Let's do a quick SWOT analysis. Planet Fitness strengths include offering a clean beginner-friendly environment, free training at a low cost and no wait time for machines. However, weaknesses include basic equipment that may not suit all fitness consumer needs and the company encourages bad eating habits through pizza night Monday. Threats include not offering amenities like swimming pools or steam saunas found in other locations like Anytime Fitness or Gold's Gym fat.

On its website, Planet Fitness directly asks the consumer why to join us and goes on to offer high-quality unique gym experience at an exceptional value. Also, it argues in our community you will always belong to Planet Fitness. This clearly addresses the fact that their competitors exist but follow it up with key benefits testimonials and emphasizes customer value through a sense of belonging and community at a low cost.

The third C relates to the company's resources, opportunities, capabilities, sustainable profit, and growth. Objectives are specifically customer equity and brand equity. Planet Fitness has built its brand around being an anti gym space free of gym intimidation. This differentiates them from other gyms as they focus on the first time gym user.

Collaborators are businesses or entities that help the company achieve its goals or objectives by assessing ways to increase customer value over their competitors. Planet Fitness plans to improve retention rates by introducing high-powered virtual coaches to monitor and motivate members it also partners up with merchandise companies to promote their brand.

The final C is context, it refers to external factors out of the company's control. It requires compliance with laws and regulations and other economic and social factors that affect business operations Planet Fitness uses country's economic factors such as growth rate inflation and consumer spending to forecast the growth trajectory of the organization.

Key Takeaways

  1. As a marketer we need to determine what customer needs we are trying to satisfy through research we can gain valuable customer insights so we can develop customer segments.
  2. It's important you understand your company's resource capabilities you can do this by conducting a SWOT analysis to understand your company's strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Competition is the key. Competitors who compete with your company in your industry you need to know them in great detail their strengths and capabilities.
  4. Collaborators are our key suppliers and alliance partners we partner with to add value to our product and service offerings.
  5. Climate is referred to as pest analysis pest is the analysis of the macro-environment which includes political economic social and technological impact factors.

    In summary, the five Cs are a useful framework for developing a marketing strategy and the basis of good strategy development is researching and developing deep customer insights.

If you like to learn more about marketing, you can read our article the 4 P's of Marketing.


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