companies market management business strategies

Market Research

To handle competitive forces and intense competition from the rival firms, it is important for the company to do the following:

a.    Know the U.S. market share in the target market(s).

b.   Understand the import tariffs and mark-up structure and the retail price point the products will sell.

c.    Know the legal structure of the distribution system.

d.   Know the useful division of sales through several channels and the end-users of the products.

e.    Develop a marketing plan that caters to the target market(s).

Marketing strategy differs from country to country.  It is important to consider the practices unique to the country’s culture.  What works in the Philippines may not necessarily work in Germany.  This is particularly true in the advertisement of the product. One must treat the market separately not uniformly.

 

Sometimes, product modification is necessary in order to meet the requirements or preferences dictated by a particular culture.  Foreign distributors have to cope and follow local regulations on safety and security also import limitations.

 

Coca Cola makes use of market research to be able to maintain its spot at the top.

 

 

A. External Analysis (Porter’s Five Forces Theory)

 

Porter’s Five Forces Theory

 

Porter’s Five Forces demands that businesses should consider the possible factors that influence the course of the business, in this instance, wine exporting business.  The five forces (QuickMBA, 2004) include: customer power, supplier power, competition from new entrants, competition from substitute products and intensity of the competition.

 

Other factors needed for the company to become competitive in the market involve a careful study and implementation of the following:

 

B. Internal analysis

Identify Strengths and Opportunities

 

 

The external analysis requires the limits and opportunities brought about by the company’s environment. The internal analysis demands that the organization pays attention to its strengths and weaknesses.

 

Part of knowing the company’s strengths and weaknesses is scrutinizing each aspect of company’s operations without being overly critical or too lenient. Honest self-assessment is the key to proper identification of strengths and weaknesses without getting too emotional about it.

The most valuable way to do an internal analysis is to carry out an “audit” of operations. The result of the evaluation produces a structure of the company that can be compared to a similar organization.  However, no two establishments can be the same so it is important to focus on the similar stages of growth they undergo.

Perhaps one common denominator found in widely successful companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Coca cola, Intel, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Mini / BMW and  Gillette is its ability to identify the Strengths and Weaknesses in their existing marketing strategies, Opportunities and Threats, and issues which requires to be deal with.

 

Their ability to see a challenge and respond accordingly in a prompt manner is what put them at the helm.

 

D. Segmentation

 

 

Porter’s Generic Strategies

 

Another set of strategies that could help the company in generating more sales would be Porter’s generic strategies which consist of three: segmentation strategy, differentiation strategy and cost leadership (Porter, 1980).

 

Cost leadership strategy pertains to mass production of standardized products to lower the cost.  Manufacturing the product in high volumes or by bulk would lower the costs of the product because fixed costs are maximized.

 

Differentiation strategy means creating products that are being packaged as unique.  Customers believe that the features of the products are incomparable and superior compared to others hence the reason for its uniqueness.

 

Segmentation strategy means products are focused on few, selected market or the specialized markets.  The company creates the product to suit the tastes or demands of a specific market.

 

 

The company could choose to implement any of the three strategies that would best promote the product at the same time usher in more sales. Of course, before choosing the strategy it is important that the company chooses the target market first and clearly define their objectives.  Choosing the best strategy could spell the difference between success and failure in the business market.

 

Coca Cola  uses segmentation to be able to remain competitive. It diversified into various products starting in 1960 when it acquired Minute Maid Corporation, producer of Hi-C fruit drinks.  It also merged with Duncan Foods Corporation.  Then in 1969, it bought the Belmont Springs Water Company Inc. which produces bottled spring water. It also acquired Aqua Chem Inc and Taylor Wines Company and other wineries. Aside from diversification it also expands its product line by producing Fanta, Sprite, TAB, Fresca and diet colas.

Perhaps an antithesis to segmentation and diversification is the Unilever and Proctor and Gamble’s move to downsize, instead of increase, on its product lines.

Unilever implemented its year-old marketing strategy which is to trim down its focus on 400 “master brands” instead of the usual 1,500.  To remain true to its campaign, Unilever focuses on promoting its three fabric-care master brands – Wisk, All and Surf.

Proctor and Gamble also downsized some powder detergent brands last year , just like Unilever, to be able to focus on its core products Tide.

Lenovo is able to develop into a top brand by using segmentation which means producing catering separately to cost-conscious and premium customers.

 

Struggling company Levi Strauss has to embark on globalization in order to address its decreasing sales.

 

 

E. Brand building

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA) a brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers”.

 

 

A good brand should be able to meet the following objectives:

Convey the message clearly
Validate your credibility
Relate to your target prospects in the emotional aspect
Encourage the buyer
Creates User Loyalty
In branding, it is essential that the needs and wants of the business’ customers and prospects should be taken into consideration.

A strong brand is important to remain competitive. Time should be invested in researching, defining, and building the company’s brand. It should be given due importance since the brand serves as the focal point of the company’s marketing communication.

 

 

Skoda makes use of branding to be able to develop into a powerhouse.  Advertising has made its brand widely perceived as a car that offers great value of money. Due to this, car sales have increased speedily through the years.  The proper branding and the appropriate perception it created on its target market allowed Skoda to rise from the multitude and a company to watch in the future.

 

At the opposite end of the pole we see recovering megabrands M&S, Sainsburys and Burberry that suffered reversal of fortune from once being at the top of food chain to acquiring losses.

 

The brands are perceived to be VFM or those that provide value for money. Unfortunately the perceived value for money changed and standards were seen to be deteriorating for the three companies.  It became apparent among surveys conducted within the companies and outside, from customers.  Another fatal error was the top managers were not able to take swift action to address the matter.   Good thing though that they were able to wake up just in time before M&S, Sainsbury and Burberry sank to the bottom.

 

This serves as a lesson to those who want to embark on business to stay alert to customers and employees feedback.

 

Advertising campaigns made by Gap designed to increase Hollywood celebrity excitement into the Gap’s floundering brand image did not go as expected. This, according to industry analysts and the retailer’s own decreasing sales show.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions/Recommendations

 

Embarking on business venture is a huge undertaking for a first-timer.  Therefore, every step, every decision matters and should be weighed carefully.  There is a huge market which could possibly translate to more sales and profit waiting for the business. The local and international market opens a lot of opportunities at the same time but it is also laden with a number of risks for a business.  Going into business is no small feat.  It is not something to take lightly. For a business to succeed it requires an amalgamation of factors – effort, money and time.  Learning how to maintain competitiveness also enables the company to acquire necessary rudiments to keep their advantage at the local market.  To be successful, the best strategy for the company would be to weigh risks against the possible benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

Knowledge at Wharton. 2006. Selling to the local Chinese market. On-line. Available from Internet, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1575, accessed 7 January 2007.

 

Arts Manager. 2007. Strategic management. Available from Internet, http://www.artsmanager.org/strategic/primer/chapter4_page2.cfm

accessed 7 January 2007.

 

About. 2007. What is branding? Available from Internet, http://marketing.about.com/cs/brandmktg/a/whatisbranding.htm

accessed 7 January 2007.

 

Carpages. 2007. Skoda’s marketing Success from strength to strength. Available from Internet, http://www.carpages.co.uk/skoda/skoda_marketing_success_17_12_02.aspaccessed 7 January 2007.

 

Porter, M. E. 1980. Competitive advantage: techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. New York, Free Press.

Porter, M. 1980 Competitive Strategy, Free Press, New York, 1980

QuickMBA. 2006.  Strategic Management.  On-line. Available from Internet,

http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/porter.shtml, accessed 7 January 2007

 

 

Wikipedia.  2006.  Strategic Management.  On-line. Available from Internet,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_management, accessed 7 January 2007

 

Wikipedia.  2006. Porter 5 Forces Analysis. On-line. Available from Internet, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_5_forces_analysis, accessed 7 January 2007

 

Wikipedia.  2006.  Porter Generic Strategie”. On-line. Available from Internet,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_generic_strategies, accessed 7 January 2007

 

Wine Vision. 2003. Exporting 101. On-line. Available from Internet, http://www.winevision.org/globalexporting/Export101.html, accessed 7 January 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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