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

Basic Rules to Build your Brand

Just a few simple steps to develop the brand in difficult times. This shows best marketing practice for building the brand

Focus on the long term and where you want the brand to be positioned in the future. Focus on that be careful about short term tactics of price reductions. That can cause long term problems as it devalues the brand and alienates loyal customers

 Maintain the investment in marketing. In tough times the brands that continue to develop as the ones that are stronger and take  market share from  weaker rivals

 Be real and do not try to be too funny, too cool. If your business is about offering serious advice you must be seen as credible and avoid the temptation to go for gimmicky promotions. That will devalue the brand and decrease your ability to extend into new areas in the future

 Branding is about so much more than advertising. Build the brand from inside out. Focus on fabulous service and that comes from the employees. Everything your business does builds the brand, delivery and response to customers is key

Don’t just promise, prove that buying from your business will solve a problem for your customer. Make it simple and show the value added to the customer. Do not under deliver and over promise that is the fastest way to alienate customer and devalue the brand

Marketing Case Study. How o2 Expands

In marketing there are so many marketing case studies that talk about brand stretch. It is a popular topic in marketing exams and assignments.  Current marketing practice is to build brands.  The importance of branding cannot be under estimated. Kotler famously said that ‘without brands products become commondities’. One of the key tasks of any marketing manager is to build the brand. This is equally important in all sectors from the popular consumer goods such as Coke Cola, to banks to branding people. For example building X Factor as a brand, Simon Cowell as an individual and the latest in the family is Cheryl Cole.

Once the brand is built the level of brand equity develops. That gives the business opportunities to expand. We have seen that followed by the likes of Tesco. From a start of food retailing the brand how expanded into clothing, electrical goods, financial services and so on.

One of the latest businesses to stretch the brand is o2. From a mobile phone business which was originally part of BT it has built the brand from scratch. It has grown to be the largest mobile phone provider in the UK. The consumers are across the spectrum but it boasts a large number of younger customers. These are difficult to access for marketers. This customer base is now so valuable and o2 are now able to offer more to these customers. They can see the needs of the customers and that is the key for marketing managers.

The expansion for o2 is into financial services with the latest card. The benefits are that you are able to manage your cash and be alerted , by text of course, when the balance on the card falls. This is really helpful and offers a personalised service. Visit www.o2.co.uk for details. The question in any brand stretch or expansion is how far can it go? If it is over stretched it loses the equity in the brand. Some of the exclusive brands offer diffusion lines and low cost items but it is an aspiration to own an expensive product. If it becomes too available it loses the very reason for purchase. The marketing lessons and best marketing practice is to carefully select the markets to enter and to ensure that the brand equity is built not reduced

Marketing Case Study- New Brands for Marks and Spencer

Marketing students have seen for many years that Marks and Spencer is a marketing case study that has built its’ entire business on it own brand. Marketing the brand has been taken many years of dedicated effort. It has a range of quality suppliers who manufacture all of its’ ranges. Due to the price pressures M & S hit the headlines when companies in the UK were closed in order for the products to manufactured more cheaply in a range of different countries. This affected consumer confidence and some would say, that in the early stages the quality suffered. This is an example of marketing practice and how it is constantly developing.

The next development was into convenience type stores and offering only food. Simply Food can be found in some high streets but also in railway stations and motorway service stations. Often the simpler the idea the better. This has helped to revitalise the business. It has focused on customer needs. Built specific ranges for the different target customers.

For any business to succeed it must get the marketing basic right. Simply need to decide on the customer, really get under their skin and understand those needs. So, we are driving home and want something easy from Simply Food. No effort when we get home was a master stroke and a clever brand extension. It seems that Waitrose is about to offer a similar stripped down shopping experience.

The latest development is now to offer branded products. This is a total change in brand policy and is a calculated risk. The advantage is that it will extend the M & S brand into new areas and offer customers the opportunity to buy the brands and own labels at the same time. The challenge is to ensure that these brands compliment the current range and not compete.

Marketing lessons and tutorial. Be specific about the brand position and ensure that the brand values are clear and the brand is not over extended

Marketing Case Study-Ferrari – the World’s Fastest Rollercoaster Ride

When you think of Ferrari it conjures up images of sexy red sports cars. Racing round the Italian mountains with sparkling blue sea in the background. Driven of course by the best looking guy.

The brand is loved by those who may not be able to afford the car but can buy the merchandise. Marketing students have seen the classic brand extension into clothing, sunglasses and so on. There are 28 stores around the world where the brand fan can indulge their passion. So far all pretty traditional brand extensions. Common in the automotive industry.

The latest extension of the brand is a big change. Ferrari are opening a theme park in Abu Dhabi. The roof is in the shape of a side of the Ferrari GT body.

The car maker says the theme park will host over 20 attractions, “each designed to bring to life a different part of the Ferrari story”, including the world’s fastest rollercoaster and rides for children. (Marketing Week Oct 09)

This really takes the ride of your life to a whole new level.

Lessons for marketing students are to build the brand so that it has real equity and that links to the relationship it has with the consumer. Once that is established the brand then extends into new areas. The risk is to ensure that it is not stretched too thinly or it will devalue the brand.

Marketing Case Study-P & Gs Secrets to Success

When we think about big global businesses Procter and Gamble is right up there. It has recently changed the way in which it develops strategy. It is starting from the inside out. We preach in marketing to be externally focused, so is this a contradiction?

If we look at the P&G ideal it is driving values in the business, which focus on care of the customer. The starting point is to build the culture of the business. Everything that the business does is aimed at making the lives of the consumer better. If this is achieved the profits will follow. Many of the items are relatively small ticket e.g. razor blades. The secret is scale. Do the maths. P&G have 7 billion consumers who spend $14 pa (HBR 09). If this is increased by just a few dollars per consumer per year the increase in profits is huge. Spending an extra dollar per year, per consumer is a juicy prospect

So, how will P& G achieve this? They spend more on innovation by some distance, than its competitors. They conduct more than just lip service market research. They really get under the skin of the consumer and understand how they live. 10 years ago the P&G business in Brasil was dying. The product were top of the range yet in relatively too expensive by a long way.

‘In a recent article by Moss Kanter When the first basico products were launched (women’s hygiene, diapers, and “greener” laundry detergent), demand immediately outpaced supply. They quickly captured market share through small neighbourhood shops, substituting colorful store displays for costly TV advertising. Premium products were lifted too. The business in Brazil became a profitable global growth model, and not just for emerging countries. Tide Basic was recently introduced in the U.S ‘( HBR 09)

This gives great benefits to the consumer but also to the business. It showed how the team could re-engineer the way in which the products were developed. Each tiny element was examined to find a way to decrease costs. That helped to gain synergy across the business and create a sense of belonging for all of the staff. They gained a great deal of satisfaction from challenging accepted business processes.

This process has seen similar improvements in India. The majority of shaving is done in barbershops. Not home or in the car as in other countries or on the train on the way to work. Again the P&G products were too expensive for the lower incomes. So the manufacturing processes had to be taken apart and new products developed. One of the benefits was bringing the business together to think outside of the usual business silos.

Lessons

Create a vision

Challenge the accepted way of doing business

Get inside the skin of the consumer. They shave, yes but how do they live? Look in depth not just think about developing another better product and doing the same just a bit better.

Uncover new markets. E.g Asda sells a great deal of Indian food. Customers demanded more and one of those demands was for clothing. This week in the UK Asda, which is owned by Walmart will launch the first high street range of Indian clothing.

Be brave and challenge, before someone else seizes the opportunity

Building the Manchester City Brand- Free Marketing Tutorial

Nouveau riche Premier League club Manchester City has been splashing Abu Dhabi United Group’s cash this week as if it was burning a hole in their considerable pockets.

Tevez and Mark Hughes
The last seven days have seen City bring in Carlos Tevez from neighbours Manchester United, all but sign Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor and an audacious attempt to prise Chelsea captain John Terry away from Stamford Bridge – all moves that signal the club’s on-field ambitions.

Off the field, the executive team is also looking to capitalise on the team’s increased exposure with marketing nous.

The latest stage of rebuilding brand Manchester City came with the appointment of digital agency iCrossing to manage all natural, paid search and social media for the Eastlands-based club.

The appointment followed the June relaunch of their new Poke created website, which will feature video content developed by Big Brother producer Endemol.

Personnel wise, the club has been gearing up for a marketing push by hiring Chris Kay, former head of account management at Fallon, as head of marketing and former Aegis man David Pullan to lead brand development.

City were also quick to snap up a global brand as shirt sponsor, signing a reported £40m deal with airline Etihad earlier this year, after incumbent Thomas Cook decided not to renew.

Pullan says the recent appointments are about “employing some traditional marketing rigour”, adding the club needs the “key marketing elements in place” to build global recognition of the brand.

To this end, the club has also appointed strategic marketing consultancy Flamingo International to explore, Pullan says, how City can “connect” with markets around the world.

Julian Ireland, planning director at iCrossing, says its task is “maximising worldwide interest” in the club’s “assets” such as newly signed Argentinean Tevez.

City have some way to go to match local rivals Manchester United, widely recognised to be the benchmark in this area. Manchester United has “official partnerships” with brands around the world with the aim of maximising global revenue. The Reds also have a number of superstores selling branded merchandise in South East Asia and this week announced the opening of their first café in India.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have diversified into hotels, restaurants and a travel company using the Chelsea Village brand since the West Londoners became the last English team transformed by a billionaire’s benevolence in 2003.

Antony Marcou, managing director of sports marketing agency Sports Revolution, says although the club “has been making all the right noises” by appointing marketing expertise, it still has considerable ground to make up on the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United when it comes to international recognition.

“The club needs to build the brand on the ground through opening retail operations in places such as South East Asia so fans can get close to the brand,” he says.

The latest Deloitte football rich list confirms the mountain City have to climb. The club generated £82.3m in revenues during the 2007/2008 season, significantly behind English rivals Arsenal on £209m, Chelsea on £212m and Manchester United on £257m and way behind leaders Real Madrid on £289m.

City are busy building a roster of on-field marketable “assets” that in turn should bring on-pitch success, which Pullan recognises as the “key driver” to building the Premier League club’s global appeal. The club’s paymasters are certainly not lacking in ambition or resources to achieve their previously stated aim to be one of the “biggest football brands on the planet”.
Source Marketing Week

Marketing Lessons Building a brand is essential to differentiate an organisation and sport is not different. Man City are now building the equity in the brand. They will thne be able to extend into a wider range of merchandise. This will all help to boost revenue in a very competitive industry

Multi Media Tasking- Free Marketing Lessons

As consumers increasingly watch TV and use the internet simultaneously, marketers must think creatively to get their brand messages across to the surprisingly wide spectrum of media multitaskers.

Picture the scene. We are on the sofa, watching tv on an evening. This is unlikely to be our only activity. We maybe playing a game on the Wi, or emailing, Twittering etc. We have the attention span of a nano second. The days of watching an advert on tv and giving it our full attention are long gone

We are much more likely to buy online and use comparison websites to tell us which hotel to stay in. We tend to believe Trip Advisor etc much more than the corporate site of the hotel.

The media multitaskers buy more online compared with those who do not media multitask and are more likely to change their mind about a brand following online research. The EIAA calls this generation of multitaskers “super consumers”.

This is not just for the younger age group. Media multi taskers has increased dramatically in the 45-54 age group. This groups are more internet savvy, they join groups, shop, chat, and play games such as bridge

‘Media multitaskers’ minds are ripe for moulding, according to the study. Almost half (48%) of multitaskers admit to actively changing their mind about a product compared with 36% of non multitaskers’. Marketing Week

This consumer changes their mind but is also more open to new ideas and brands. So the marketers need to focus on the brand building and benefits to the consumer. The more involved the purchase the more difficult this becomes. We might happily try a nee fmcg product but tearing us away from a brand we might have bought over and over such as a car.

Use of multi taskers and multi media are key to the success in marketing in the current climate. Research is conducted in much greater depth and we chat on line. Happy to pass on our views and share the good the bad and the really ugly, in glorious colour

Marketing Lessons For a marketing assignment or marketing exam, build the multi media strategy, focus on delivering the brand values, don’t just promise fabulous experiences, make sure that happens. The online presence the growth of social media simply cannot be underestimated. Companies that manage this well will surely reap the rewards

Marketing Strategy Tutorial

We all know those rainbow coloured plastic shoes. Ugly they maybe but they are worn by young and old alike. Indestructible is the name. So, why did Croc use reality TV- the Apprentice in the USA to campaign to donate crocs to charity?
Let’s look at the growth of the business first. The company is young and in 7 years sold 100 million pairs globally. A success indeed but the challenge is not to sell the first batch of products but to build the business. It is all in the value offered to the customer. The problem was that Croc went mass market. They were copied, rapidly becoming a  cheap commodity. Croc lost £113 million last year and cut jobs. It has generated 1.4 million Facebookers who are campaigning to abolish Crocs.

Ugg boots faced a similar issue. They have managed the brand better and moved to focus on a niche and refresh with new boots, which fortunately for Ugg need replacing.

Marketing lessons. For the marketing assignment you could examine that Croc needs to think long term about the brand and how it can be positioned to offer value. It could have focussed on the childrens market and moved into games and toys or clothing. That would have removed the ability to commoditise the product so that it is copied in every pound store around the country. For the marketing exam use the segmentation aspect to show how Croc needs to target its market