Marketing department is a backbone of a business and the company growth is only possible through effective marketing (Lee & Carter, 2011). The marketing principles assignment report will discuss in detail about the Ben Sharman case study and how the company have recognised various marketing activities and how they need to be performed in the business.
Task 1: Understand the concept and process of marketing
Ø The marketing process consists of various elements. Explain the marketing process.
Following is the detailed discussion of a marketing process: -
- Situation analysis: it is very important to understand and analyse the situation which is prevailing in the organisation. The company should analyse the customer needs but at the same time, the customer should also understand the strength and weaknesses of the organisation (Lee & Carter, 2011). There are so many type of framework which can be used to analyse the situation. Market auditing includes environmental analysis and SWOT analysis which gave a clear picture of the situation prevailing in the organisation. Following is environmental analysis and swot analysis of Ben Sharman
- Political: political environment is related to the political environment. The company Ben Sharman has to work in various political environment because it being an international brand.
- Economic: the economic environment of the company is also very important. The company Ben Sharman is a global company and has to work with various type of economic condition. The economic condition impact the business conditions the most (Lee & Carter, 2011).
- Social: social environment is also very important and the company also work in tune with the consumer and understand consumer needs and demands.
- Technological: in today world the technological environment is also very important now because the company can only progress successfully.
- Legal: the legal environment in which the company work is also very important (Lee & Carter, 2011).
- Marketing strategy: -on the basis of the situation analysis marketing objectives should be set which can be done by making a strategic plan which consist the action plan must be formulated (Kotler, 2011). The marketing strategy involved segmentation, targeting the audience, positioning the product and in the end value proposition.
- Marketing mix decisions: -in next step some important and crucial decisions should be made in order to develop the product. This includes various processes like product development, pricing and distribution decision making and promotion (Kotler, 2011). The product should be promoted keeping integrated marketing in the mind.
- Implementation and control: - at this stage all the important processes have taken place and now it is time to implement the marketing strategies formulated and with continuous monitoring the company should keep a check on all the processes (Kotler, 2011).
Ø Businesses can develop new products based on a marketing orientated approach. What benefits and costs are associated with this approach for Ben Sherman?
These days the company philosophy is based on consumer needs and finding out the needs and expectation of consumer from the company. Previously the marketing strategies use to focus on just the selling points but now the strategy has reversed and the main motive of the company is to modify the product to meet the expectation of the consumer (Blythe & Megicks, 2010). Therefore, every marketing principles consists of a well-planned marketing campaign which takes place between the company and its customers. Following are the benefits and cost of marketing oriented approach: -
- Marketing oriented approach is based on demand prevailing in the market. It always responds and related to customer wants and needs because of which activities like guessing and forecasting the demand of product trends. When the company is well versed with the customer wants and need then the company will always be ready with the products to offer (Blythe & Megicks, 2010). This helps the company to develop the product as per customer demand and the team which is developing the product can be clearly instructed about the product. This process also enables less cost being put into the process and less investment will be made in innovation.
- Marketing oriented approach help in building the right customer value which result in enhanced loyalty from the customers and the development in the incidences of repeat visit by the customer (Blythe & Megicks, 2010). Brand loyalty in itself is a big achievement because it helps in developing a strong customer base which gives the company an edge over competitors. The image of the company is very important because the perceived image of the company help in attracting more customers also.
Ben Sharman has a strong image and effective customer base to support and this happen because of the marketing planning approach by the company (Blythe & Megicks, 2010). The company sell quality product and also focus on satisfying customers’ needs. Customer retention is another important aspect of the company which increased the overall profitability of the company.
Task 2: Be able to use the concepts of segmentation, targeting and positioning
Ø Using the case study provided, illustrate how the micro and macro environment has influenced marketing decisions within Ben Sherman.
Micro and macro environment analysis is basically related to the environment audit and this analysis is more related to internal and external environment of the business. At micro or internal level, the main balance lies in the structure of the company which can be bought with the present income of the consumer (Kobe et al, 2012). The company can be very effective because of the normal market situation. There are some essential elements which are included in micro environment which are discussed in detail as follows: -
- Provider: - these people are the supplier which provides the company with the raw material and the other normal input which helps the company to make and develop the product (Kobe et al, 2012). Suppliers are the one of the most important ingredient of any business form and they should monitor from time to time. Also, forming a cordial relationship with the supplier is also very important which results in long term trust and a relationship of mutual understanding.
- Customers trading are another most important aspect of company and micro environment. The initial point requires effective policies and objective based marketing (Kobe et al, 2012).
- Competitors are also very important aspect of internal environment of the business because on the basis of them the company formulate the strategies and also make changes in the present structure of the organisation (Kobe et al, 2012). Company with similar offering which can be easily switched by the customer are the major threat for the company. Ben Sharman is apparel brand and it can be easily switched as there are so many companies in the competitlion which can a challenge for the company.
Another most important aspect of environment analysis is macro environment. The macro environment analysis is important because it helps in guiding the major activities of the company which is needed in the society at large. The company works in a society and affect various people who are working in the society (Kobe et al, 2012). The company come in touch with various type of behaviour and main important out of which is consumer behaviour and commerce, competition in the market and the position of the government in the market and the role which government play which influences the business activities of the company and its position in the market in long run. On the basis of macro environment the company needs to formulate the long term strategies of the business.
Ø Looking at market segmentation principles, propose segmentation criteria to be used in Ben Sherman for its products in different markets.
Segmentation is very important aspects of business and marketing principles because on the basis of segmentation, the product is positions. There are number of methods in which a market is divided or segmented (Emery, 2012). A marketing manager of the company needs to understand the market and the nature of the product and decide which strategy will be best for the company. There are few basic questions which every company needs to answer while deciding the segmentation strategies which are where, who and how? Companies apply multiple approaches to segmentation and Ben Sharman in specific can use demographic segmentation approach which is well known form of dividing the market into various parts. The company needs to understand the consumers who are most appropriate and will closely identify with the product offer by the consumer (Emery, 2012). In this method, the company will first need to understand the consumer by dividing the consumers into group based on various factors like gender, age, income, social class, religion and family lifestyle. The benefit of these strategies is large amount of secondary data available at different platforms which the company can use.
Ø Select a product/service from the Ben Sherman range and propose an appropriate targeting strategy to help boost sales for Ben Sherman.
Once the segmentation is done on the basis of different group and classes, the company then need to choose a proper targeting group on the basis of which the product will be positioned (Emery, 2012). The company has range of products for men right from cloths to footwear. There are several options in clothing as well like range of T-shirts, formal shirts and suits. The targeting business strategy will be proposed for tailored made suits for which the company has wide variety of options ranging from different price option. The first thing which the company will have to do is to select a target group for this product. Ben Sharman can select concentrated targeting strategies for this product. The tailored suit for men are manufactured specifically for the people who like to wear exactly their size, high executive or people at high post in society. Tailored suits are also perfect for those people who are little oversized and cannot find their size otherwise. In concentrated targeting strategies the company will have to focus on the need and wants of consumer and manufacture the product accordingly. Also, since the target group is small in comparison to the bigger target group of people, the company will have to put extra efforts in understanding the taste of people and general behaviour of the consumer who will be interested in buying tailored suits. Ben Sharman should conduct a cost benefit analysis and all the strategies should be determined on the basis of those strategies.
Ø Buyer behaviour affects an organization’s marketing activities. Provide two examples of different buying situations within Ben Sherman.
Buying behaviour of the consumer is a process of making decisions and action of people while buying any product and then using it effectively. In buyer behaviour the company needs to understand why consumer makes the purchase particular product, what are the features which affect the consumer varied purchases and the changing trend of the society and people at large (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2012). Consumer buying behaviour basically refers it the buying behaviour of the final customer. Ben Sharman needs to analyses the behaviour for following reasons: -
- The reaction of the buyers towards the firm is very important and it makes a great impact on the company’s success or failure.
- The marketing concept which stresses mainly on formulating marketing mix which satisfies the consumer needs and wants which can be achieved by analysing the need of the people (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2012).
- Marketers should focus on predicting the consumer behaviour response towards various marketing strategies.
Following are the two buying situation within Ben Sharman: -
- Ben Sharman have range of T-shirts which people usually wear in a relaxed atmosphere or it come under the category of casual wear. Under this the buying situation is different for the consumer as they buy casual wear keeping in mind the kinds of clubs they go and the places they hang around. The company can use more style and colour in the collection and can attract the customer on the basis of the different colour, patterns and style in T-shirts. The company has recently launched polo shirts in the market.
- Ben Sharman also has a range of formal wear shirts. The collection is manufactured keeping in mind the office code which offices follow and the taste people have in this range. People usually buy formal shirts, which are little sober and subtle in taste. The company will have to take the general choices of people into consideration.
Ø Propose new positioning for one product/service within Ben Sherman.
Positioning is more related with the developing a product or services values and images in the mind of the people. It is related with influencing the behaviour of the people and creates a certain type of image (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2012). The position activities are related to improving the image of the customer in the mind of the consumer and the after sale experience which the consumer will have after using the product. The business has the capability to influence the perception of the customer by developing various activities which promotes their product and services. Effective positioning of the product is related to understanding the nature of the competitors and the benefits provided by the product to the consumer. Not only this, it also requires that the company identify the benefits of the product to the market and against the competition prevailing in the market (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2012).
Ben Sharman has produced a high quality linen shirt range for upper middle class people. For this the company will have to position this range in the mind of upper class people by pushing the range in the mind of the people.
Task 3: Understand the individual elements of the extended marketing mix
Ø Certain products develop and sustain a competitive advantage over a long period of time. Explain how one of Ben Sherman’s products has achieved competitive advantage.
In order to achieve competitive advantage Ben Sherman should work on: -
- The company should have a product oriented approach and should be clear about the target market (Menegaki, 2012).
- The company should invest in understanding the target market and modify the product or service in order to provide it perfectly. In order to achieve this, the company should work on producing a wide range of products which attracts the attention of the target segments (Menegaki, 2012). Ben Sharman has a large range of product from casual clothes to formal wear to denim, footwear and other accessories for men.
- The company have also built a strong and influential image and the brand is well known all over the world. The company focus on building every collection in a unique manner like in 2007, the theme launched by the company was related to sporting life and the marketing is done on the basis of British music and style. The company brand image is its competitive advantage and consumers have become loyal to company (Menegaki, 2012).
The company into the business for so many years and have products for all men wear and accessory range. Ben Sharman is one stop solution for the men’s wear. The brand value of the company is also very strong which gives them a competitive edge over others. The unique style, patterns and design in clothing, and varied variety of range where people can find almost everything for them makes the company quite different from others.
Ø Customer convenience is a very important concept in marketing. Using the case study, explain how Ben Sherman’s distribution is arranged in a particular way to facilitate this.
The company Ben Sharman has three important distribution channels, which are very unique in nature. These channels are discussed in detail as below: -
- The company has its own stores and as brand has a strong image so it is not very difficult to grow and progress (Kotler, 2011). But at the same time every standalone store has other major expenses like investment in property, stock and people who will run and sell the stock.
- The company also has independent fashion stores, which have a unique and very special sales operation channel and these stores also carry very limited and unique amount of stock. In this type of store the cost of processing is also very higher in comparison to normal one.
- Departmental stores are also there where Ben Sharman products are available and have been built centrally. These stores demand certain discounts if the order they ask for are in bulk (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2012).
- The company work in very close partnership with departmental stores. The basic concept followed by the company is very unique and called as shops-in-shops where the customer get the feeling that they are in Ben Sharman store while they actually are in departmental store (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2012).
- The company also have their own store all around the world in different concepts as discussed. The company is also focussing on expanding on large scale globally.
Therefore the company have arranged and made available their product from every distribution channel possible so that it remains in its customer reach from all the sources possible. The company has introduced their product on different platform keeping in mind the convenience and comfort in mind. ( see all HND Business Course Assignments)
Ø An organization’s objectives dictate how prices are set to balance and match with market conditions. Using’ Ben Sherman illustrate how this works.
The company clears about the market they are targeting and on the basis of that they set their price (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2012). There are various pricing strategies that the company uses for the product which are discussed in detail as follows: -
- The company produces product, which is medium prices and middle class people can also afford the product. The position of the company in the mind of consumer can be easily traced on the product map. The price is mixed with product and as the brand is more identified because of quality and style.
- The price is set on the company’s perceived image value. Ben Sharman uses its image value to set the price as the brand is known for its quality products and style. The company also work in accordance of market condition and purchasing power of people. If the market condition is not that good, the company introduces low range clothing as well to suit customer pockets and needs. Otherwise the company already comes in medium priced range and the company prices are completely justified.
Ø Promotional activity is essential to achieve an organization’s marketing objectives. Using Ben Sherman, show how promotional activity is integrated into marketing objectives.
Promotion of the company is just not a simple advertising as it just one part of whole process. Promotion also includes various other type of activities like direct mails which includes catalogues, newsletter which is send to customer and potential customer via mail or email. There are exhibition and events in city where Ben Sharman make its presence felt in a very strong way. Company supports various fashion events and also makes contribution and sponsors various music events. Then there are sales promotions in the form of discounts and money off coupons (Malhotra, 2010). The company also has a strong public relation where the company has direct interaction with the press and the company also participates in various charitable events. The company also has an effective product development and placement where various celebrities are contacted to wear their brand. The company has also worked on building a string image value. The company works on their layouts and interior of the stores.
Ø The marketing mix is an important concept. Analyse the additional elements of the extended marketing mix?
The extended and three important Ps of any business are physical layout, provision for customer service and processes (Malhotra, 2010). These three Ps are discussed in detail as follows: -
- Physical layout: now a day the customer expects high level of presentation and the modern look which tempts and attract customer to buy more products. Ben Sharman specifically works on this aspect and decorated every store in a unique way which catches the attention of the people easily.
- Provision for customer service: in today’s modern world customer service holds utmost importance and every company should work on this if they wanted to retain the business for the long run.
- Processes: -a process includes various activities related to customer service and other activities.
Task 4: Be able to use marketing mix in different contexts
Ø Propose two separate marketing mixes for two different segments in consumer markets, using products/services from Ben Sherman.
The two separate marketing mixes are discussed in detail as follows: -
- People: - all the activities of the company are related to people and Ben Sharman is a company that solely work for the targeted market and all the activities are related to influencing the mind of the consumer.
- Situation or circumstances: apart from people, another very important aspect of the business with which the company constantly have to struggle is uncontrollable environment condition or eruption of certain situation and circumstances (Kotler, 2012). It can be national or international laws and policies, weather conditions, social and cultural events and also economic factors.
Ø Marketing tactics used on a consumer is different to the marking tactics used for a business. Using Ben Sherman, illustrate the differences in marketing products and services to businesses rather than consumers.
The marketing for both the parties is completely different and when the company goes for B2B marketing instead of B2C marketing, the company then has to focus mainly on logic behind the product development. Ben Sharman while dealing B2B or while selling the product in bulk focus on two aspects which are how the product or service will save the time, money and resources of the buying company (Malhotra, 2010). The company is more interested in selling the product on the basis of the reason and the logic more than the beauty of the product. Ben Sharman while dealing with the other organization never base its promotional activity on the basis of emotional purchasing decisions and the company focuses on understanding the buyer and their operations in the market (Kotler, 2012). While on the other hand in B2C concept the company focuses on trend and the beauty of the product as a selling point which hit the emotional point of the customer. The company uses magazine and newspaper media to connect with people on larger platform and on personal front the company also uses direct mail to connect with customer on personal level.
Ø Marketing a product/service domestically would employ slightly different methods than those used for international marketing. Explain this using Ben Sherman as an example.
Following are the policies for international marketing: -
- Product packaging: - while selling the product at international level it is very important to sell the product which is of high quality but at the same time the packaging of the product should be of very quality (Kotler, 2012).
- Labelling issues: the marketer on international level also needs to focus on labelling in particular for multiple market and it also cater for the various differences in the market and also needs to follows the rule and regulation.
- Warranty issues and major services policies: international marketer also faces some critical issues related to warranty and service policies.
While selling the product on international platform Ben Sharman has focused on quality, style and design. The company also tried to establish themselves as high profile product in music and fashion industry that people from high profile status like to buy this brand, which set an image of the company globally (Malhotra, 2010). The company has also tried to maintain the great British culture which people all across the world like and prefer.
The report has covered all the important aspects of the marketing activities and importance of those activities in the success and failure of the business.