Sunday 12 January 2014

Scent Marketing: Part of the extended marketing mix.

Using scent to help reinforce the brand and to create impulse purchase is becoming a popular way to sell a product within the retail environment.  Scent can be use to help evoke a happy memory, and can be used to subconsciously sell a product. Think about when you walk into the store, are you likely to stay longer if there is a pleasant smell ?  The extended marketing mix includes  process, people and physical environment. The shopping environment is an important part of the final purchase transaction, it makes sense that your customers are comfortable and happy when they shop. Using scent may make them feel even more comfortable and may influence their purchase. Certain smells maybe used during certain times of the year. Grass for summer, cinnamon for Christmas. Hope you found this short blog useful. Thank you.


Friday 30 March 2012

Blackberry says goodbye to consumers and welcome back to businesses

Blackberry’s manufacturer Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) made $125million loss in the first quarter of 2012 as consumers abandon Blackberry in favour of Apple’s iPhone and smart phones running Google’s Android system. Following the loss media reports have been suggesting that RIM will leave the consumer market and refocus on the business market. RIM however are refuting such claims, RIM’S Patrick Spence managing director of global sales and regional marketing has asserted  “Whilst we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments".
Whether Blackberry will abandon the consumer market completely or scale back its involvement, a change in segmentation strategy seems imminent. RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins said “We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment”..…”We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody's darling and all things to all people” . As Heins acknowledges, it’s not possible to sell your product to everyone. Firms need to decide who they will like to aim their products at. This involves dividing the market into segments based on what the firm feels is appropriate for example age, gender, social class, consumers, businesses, professionals, 

Whilst RIM is reassessing its segmentation strategy, Nokia is preparing to crack the US market on the 8th of April with the launch of its Lumia 900 handset. As Nokia's Lumia range uses a Windows operating system, it brings even more competition into the smart phone market. Undeniably people like smart phones, who is going to get a large slice of this lucrative market? And who is going to be left with the crumbs?

Friday 16 March 2012

No money transfers in and out of Iran - How does this affect International Marketing?

SWIFT the organisation in charge of transferring money between banks in different countries, has announced that from Saturday 17 March it will not be making money transfers to and from banks in Iran. SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) said that the ban reflects international sanctions imposed on Iran. As the majority of international bank transfers are undertaken by SWIFT this is going to make business difficult for anybody (outside Iran) who wants to sell to or buy from companies based in Iran. This is because payment for goods would normally be through an interbank transfer. How does this affect international marketing?

The answer depends on who is involved and what is being traded. For example many countries have said that in line with UN sanctions they will not buy oil from Iran. China and India still want to buy oil from Iran and as Iran is willing to accept payment in gold, they may be able to do so. Although countries may be able to transact in gold, payment in gold is not a practical solution for businesses, especially if they are based outside Iran.

SWIFT's ban demonstrates the importance of carrying out a full PEST analysis ( before starting international marketing activities. The international marketing environment needs to be carefully examined to minimse wasted resources.Obviously not all events can be predicted but if you can deal with the ones you are aware of you'll have a good start.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Virgin Uses Brand Equity to Promote New Acquisition Northern Rock

In November we discussed Virgin Group purchasing British bank Northern Rock. We asked if Virgin would retain the Northern Rock name or rebrand the acquisition as Virgin Money. Recent television adverts aired in the UK suggest that the new business will be rebranded as Virgin Money. In fact Sir Richard Branson visited the first newly rebranded branch of Northern Rock, in Northumberland Street Newcastle, on the 9th of January. There are 75 Northern Rock branches to be rebranded.

Virgin Money TV adverts are centred on the Virgin brand and its history. This is an example of a business using its Brand Equity to launch a new business. Virgin is an established international brand which began life in 1970. They now own more than 300 companies around the world. Use of the Virgin name for a new business is designed to reassure consumers that they are dealing with a company they already know and trust. It also sends out a message that they are versatile enough to make a new business stream successful. The attached article provides more information on branding including brand equity and branding strategies .

We hope you enjoyed this blog and see you again soon

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Has Nokia lost the smartphone battle?

Nokia’s smartphone operating system Symbian has failed to impress consumers who have chosen Apple and Google’s Android system as market leader. This has contributed towards a 9% drop in sales for 2011, including a 21% drop in sales (or a €950 million operating loss) in the last quarter of 2011.

A report by the Boston Consultancy Group (the group behind the popular Boston Consultancy Group Matrix) predicts that the economy generated by the internet will be double its present size by 2016. The report states that the main driver behind the increase will be the use of smartphones. Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) asserts that by 2016 eighty percent of global internet usage will be through smartphones.

If correct, BCG’s predictions render Nokia’s need to conquer the smartphone market even more critical. In October 2011 Nokia launched Lumia handsets which use Microsoft Windows software (the replacement for Symbian). The Lumia range includes models capable of running the latest super fast broadband 4G. Nokia have also reduced handset prices to compete with cheaper smartphones such as Android.

Only time will tell whether a change in software and a reduction in prices will lure consumers back to Nokia. Through the touch screen iPhone, Apple was the first to successfully capitalise on the opportunity presented by the merging of computers and mobile phones. Nokia’s predicament highlights the importance of responding to the changing needs and demands of consumers. As P.Tailor of asserts 'Marketing is not about providing products or services it is essentially about providing changing benefits to the changing needs and demands of the customer (P.Tailor 7/00)'

Monday 9 January 2012

Electronics Industry Part 3

Hello There

Welcome to the final blog on how to overcome the challenges of an industry in a downward spiral. If you have followed the advice in our previous blogs you will have:

a) To Minimise the impact of factors that affect your business adversely i.e. decrease sales, make it difficult to trade
b) To maximise all opportunities that increase business and help your business grow.

a) About what you would like to do with your products                               
b) About what you would like to achieve through your plan

If you are still unsure about your objectives and strategy the following article may help you This article defines a marketing plan and includes advice on strategy and evaluating your progress. Whilst will help you ensure that your objectives are
are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timescaled).

Write Your Plan
Now it’s time to write your plan. A typical plan will have the following headings

-                      What (Objective)
-                      How (Strategy)
-                      Where
-                      Who
-                      By when/Deadline

It may take several actions to achieve one objective. Decide whether it will be useful to list each objective or if they need to be summarised as one objective. It may also be useful to group similar objectives together

This is the section that you list the actions that make up your strategy. Do not confuse this with objectives; those need to be listed under what.

This is self explanatory i.e. where you are going to carry out the actions for example at a particular office or nationwide. Alternatively you may decide that the plan does not need to specify where, as the tasks are not location specific; they can be completed anywhere. 

For each task decide the best person to complete it. List their name and job title in this section. It is worth including a job title just in case the person listed needs to be replaced. Review your list and make sure that the tasks are spread fairly across your team. When allocating tasks you may also need to consider each employee’s other commitments as well.

By When
Decide when each task needs to be completed by. Build in some contingency (extra) time just in case something unexpected comes up. Will the amount of time it takes to complete a task depend on a third party e.g. an external supplier? Head office approval? If so build the amount of time you will need to wait for the third party (to complete something) into your deadline? Ensure that the tasks will be completed in the correct order for example; do some tasks need to be completed before others? Can some tasks be completed at the same time? Once you’ve filled in all of the dates. Review each one, is it realistic? Is there enough time to complete the job? Amend your dates based on the results of your review.
Formalise Your Plan and Give Your Plan Clout
Now that you have a plan it’s time to decide how you will make sure that it achieves its objectives. There are a number of things you need to consider when deciding how to do this.

-           Do you need a project manager? A project manager is responsible for implementing the plan. They need to review progress on the plan and let everybody know what is going on. A project manager needs to have excellent interpersonal skills as they need to motivate and persuade people.
-          Who will the project manager or team report progress to? If progress is regularly monitored by another person (usually a senior employee) it is more likely to stay on track.
-           Do you need a project sponsor to give you clout?  A project sponsor is usually a senior manager or director so that their status/position can be used to persuade “reluctant” people within and outside the firm
-           Communication – Who does the plan need to be communicated to? If people are aware of the plan, it will help when you need them to complete a task for you. If the plan involves a situation that is important to the firm communicating the plan will reassure and motivate people. For example carrying out business in an industry that is struggling in the current economic climate. Communicating the plan to the firm’s employees is also a good opportunity to gain feedback about your plan and revise it if necessary.

We hope you enjoyed the final edition in this series of blogs. Good luck with your plans and remember to tell others who might find the blog useful. Please visit again soon.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Hello There

Last Tuesday (15 November 2011) we discussed the first steps in overcoming, the challenges of an industry, in a downward spiral. We used the electronics industry as an example of an industry struggling in the current economic conditions. The following analysis was suggested

  1. Porter's Five Forces model to review the five forces that impact on your business
  2. PEST analysis to manipulate factors in your external environment
  3. A stakeholder analysis will reveal micro environmental factors that are holding your business back. And
  4. A detailed competitor analysis to help you analyse what your competitors are up to
Once you have completed the suggested analysis, you will have a list of items within (internal factors) and outside (external factors) your organisation that impact on your business. The next stage is to think about the things that will be included in your plan to turn the business around.

To increase the effectiveness of your plan you need to ensure that you adopt a strategic management approach. If you do not have a clear strategy, you will end up with lots of objectives, which do not work together and lead you in lots of different (or competing) directions. The attached article will talk you through strategy and how it is different from objectives

You may also like to refer to Michael Porter’s generic strategies article. Porter’s Generic Strategies provide guidance on common strategies and warns against the danger of trying to do everything for everybody. Ultimately your strategy should:

1)   Minimise the impact of factors that affect your business adversely i.e. decrease sales, make it difficult to trade And
2)   Maximise all opportunities that increase business and help your business grow.

Once you have decided on your strategy (or strategies) it is time to focus on your product. Based on your analysis decide what you would like to do with your product. It is useful to take your products through a BCG matrix before deciding what to do with them. A BCG Matrix will help you identify which products are generating money and which products are “dogs”. Do you stick with your existing product offering or is it time to stretch the line? The following article on product objectives will help you consider your options

Next time we will discuss how to turn your strategies and objectives into an effective plan which will help you start to tackle the challenges posed by the current economic conditions.

Thank you for reading this blog, we hope you enjoyed it. We look forward to your next visit.