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-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

Strawberry Fields Forever

MTV Computer Games are bringing the music of the Beatles to a new audience via a computer game. Listen to the track here
It is a new development for Sir Paul McCartney, Apple and Harmonix. It is a first time, the Beatles music has been released in a digital format. It really is taking the music into new genre and is a fun development for all concerned.

Computer games have used other bands such a The Who and Bon Jovi. It is innovative and uses the equity in the brand to extend into the future and current technology is being used to create.

The Marketing Lesson is to refresh and move with changes. Yet not to reduce the value in the brnd by over streteching

Cadbury’s Retro Marketing

Cadbury is going back in time and giving some old brands a retro refit. Curly Wurly and Freddo were launched in the 70s. Fudge originated in 1948 and that too is making a come back. They are getting some new packaging which will be a nostalgia trip for those of us who are old enough to remember. Often retro tries to remind us of good times. Look back at the Cadbury’s packaging and it is easy to see the colours and style that have evolved but it is easy recognise the original design and logo.

Some brands are much older than we realise, WH Smith for example was established around 1700. Yet Google and Amazon rank much higher in the top brands, according to Interbrand. So longevity is a real challenge for brands.

Cadbury’s are not alone in using the nostalgia theme. Mini was a classic return for the icon that was so popular in the 60s. Mini has become a style statement this time round and attracted a new audience. It is more sophisticated and has all the modern gadgets. Even a sexy, soft top

The marketing lesson here is to build the brand heritage and yet to move with the times and to be on trend. Cynics might suggest that it is cheaper than new product development.