Changing Car Industry- Strategic Alliance

In marketing practice, one of the key srategic decisions revolves around building relationships. Today Daimler, Renault and Nissan have announced a very interesting alliance.  They aim to share production but also to keep exisiting relationships with Volkswagen. This means that costs of development and generate common parts and technology given the green agenda.

The challenge for all car companies is to meet the challenge of the environmental pressures. This is costly and incurs a high level of risk. Good marketing practice suggests that reduction of risk is key.  Therefore this alliance has a number of really positive potential benefits.

This will build scale and offer huge opportunities for the future. Marketing practice suggests that this in difficult to implement in terms of brand. It will help the partners to increase competitiveness given the costs of innovation. This will push volume and generate lower costs.

“If you have scale but you don’t make scale work for you through sharing platforms and sharing engines and making smart decisions locally, geographically, scale is just complexity and confusion,” Ghosn the CEO of Nissan told a news conference in Brussels.

The brand of Mercedes needs to maintain quality and the use of Renault engines could confuse the market. So the alliance will need careful managment to avoid the problems Daimler encountered when it merged with Chrysler, which ended in 2007

Marketing Practice-Competitive Strategy and Brand Position

Good marketing practice tells us that the foundation for a marketing strategy  is to position clearly in the market. This is something that determines the whole of the marketing tools. If your business is positioned at the top end of the market, consumers expect more. The market size maybe smaller,  more value must be added. This will determine the price and that requires careful calculation to ensure that the costs of adding the value are not higher than price the consumer is prepared to pay.

The market dynamics are  also  ever changing. Using  Starbucks, as an example. They orginally occupied the top end of the market. Then moved into the mass market with lattes on every street corner. That market looked attractive and along come the likes of MacDonald who repositioned to compete by offering lattes and healthier options.

So how does Starbucks respond? They are now testing the top end of the market and offering more value adds. Interesting to see how that is received and how the competitors respond. Best marketing practice suggests that clarity and being able to differentiate is key to success.

Consider how your marketing practice in your business can use this idea. Think about the way in which the current assets are used. You might want to offer a streamlined version e.g express, or essentials.  Marks and Spencer, Waitrose are examples of businesses that have offered a simpler version of their main business as an example of good marketing practice.

Another example is Only Men Aloud, the popular Welsh Choir who won a television competition and have gone onto enjoy successful concerts and record sales. They are now offering a slimmed down version for special parties and events. Not everyone has the space for a full choir so Only 4 Aloud. Clever use of the brand and being able to tailor the assets of the business, in this case the choir to the needs of the customer. A really good example of marketing practice at its best

If you are sitting a marketing exam this is a really good example of competitive strategy, positioning and branding. It shows how marketing practice builds the profitability of the business 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6330NJ20100404

Revitalising an iconic brand

Building a brand is no easy task, many have tried and failed. So iconic brands stand out. There are new pretenders who attempt to knock the old guard off their spot. Namely the likes of Google, Amazon etc. These companies are seen as examples of best marketing practice at the moment.

The challenge for the icons is to stay at the top. Brands will die if they fail to move with the times. If a brand had clear values it can also be seen as a double edged sword. For classic read dull, for established read boring.

Levi’s and the jean we all recal is the 501 is working to revitalise its brand

http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=65275896

Google Cool Tools

The structure of a blog is something that we take for granted. However if you think about reading a newspaper or magazine there are specific places on the page that are more expensive to advertise on. The right hand column is usually prime space. This has been determined by watching eye patterns on a page.

In a similar way best marketing practice suggests that some places in the front page of a blog attract the eye more naturally than others. For blog/website designers designing the front page is usually reliant on a theme. Lots of themes have the traditional two or three column format. Yet research shows that the centre of a page is the hot spot on a blog or website.

Check out this link and think carefully about your front page.  Let me know what you think

http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/internet/google-heatmap-2.htm

If you see the wordcloud below it looks cool. You can now build your own and it can be used to show the values of your brand or company. Good fun and so effective.

http://www.wordle.net/