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The Marketing Essentials Assignment project is about the marketing strategies and its concepts and Unilever UK has been taken for understanding these concepts. The project contains the external and internal environment analysis of Unilever UK. Tools like PESTEL and SWOT are used for this analysis. The assignment is divided into two parts where in the first part, situationalanalysis is done for Unilever and its competitive advantage will be discussed, the second part chooses the product of Unilever, Surf for STP analysis and for discussing the marketing mix as recommendations for Surf to position itself in the rural and semi-rural markets of UK.
In order to meet competition in the industry of UK, Unilever has to plan its marketing strategy so that it can remain connected with the customers and provide them valuable products which increase the brand reputation of the company in UK. In conclusion, it can be said that effective marketing strategies are the life blood of the business and Unilever also need updated information so that it can develop improved marketing strategies to meet the objectives of the business.
Marketing strategy refers to the plans which are made by the companies for achieving the organisational goals and objectives. These plans are made after focussing on the product mix and a proper market research so that the company can gain maximum profits and competitive advantage in the industry. Some of the key conceptsof marketing strategy include situational analysis of organisation, competitive analysis, market research, marketing mix, etc.
This assignment is based on the analysis of Unilever, which is a famous FMCG brand operating across the world. It serves around two billion people every day and helps them to make their lives better. It has around 400 brands and operates in 190 countries to provide them sustainable life. The company is a multinational organisation headquartered in London, UK.
The main objective of the assignment is to evaluate, analyse and recommend the marketing strategies for Unilever in context of UK.
Situational analysis is a method to analyse the internal and external environment of an organisation so that the capabilities of the organisation can be understood and future strategies can be developed for business and its growth (Walker, et. al., 2015).
Here, the situational analysis of Unilever, UK can be done with the help of methods like PESTEL analysis and SWOT analysis.
PESTEL analysis is a framework with the help of which. The marketers can analyse and monitor the external environment factors of the business which have an impact on the organisation. It also helps in identifying the threats and opportunities for the business. PESTEL stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors which are known as macro factors as well (Sun, et. al., and 2014).
This shows that on what level the inference of government in the country influence the business of the organisation. This includes manypolices and legislations. The headquarters of Unilever is in London so political systems of UK are in practice.Unilever has to follow certain rules and policies which are made by the government of UK. It has to follow the Equality Act, codes and practices (Blythe, 2013).
The stability of government in UK also provides it a benefit of smooth operations of business in the country. The political relations of UK are good with other countries which help Unilever to take advantage of it and can import or export the material, labour, products and other resources. For e.g. Unilever purchases raw materials from the countries which provide it in cheap rates, it lowers down the total cost of production and increases the profit margins. Another example can be taken of recent separation of Britain from European Union known as BREXIT worldwide, it hampered the business of Unilever UK as well (Sheffield, 2016).
That is how political environment supports or hampers the business of Unilever UK (Fifield, 2012).
Economic factors have major impact on the business because they affect the profits of the business. These factors are like economic growth of the country, interest rates, inflation rates or net disposable income of the consumers (Fifield, 2012).
All these factors impact the business of Unilever UK. UK faced a major challenge in the country in the form of global recession in 2008. The financial crunch lowered down the employment in the country and also the spending power of people which impacts the demands of the products of Unilever. A global player has to be aware of any economic activity in the world because it hampers its business as well (Allen, 2016).
The company has to make future strategies keeping in mind the economic factors of the country and global economic factors as well.
Socio cultural factors are those factors which show the lifestyle, attitudes and values of people in a particular country. These factors are growth of population, demographicfactors, prefernces and choices and so on.
Unilever has taken care of these factors in UK and in any other country it operates. For e.g. Unilever has to concentrate on the changing demands of people. Nowadayspopulation of UK is becoming more diet conscious which creates a demand for healthy diet foods and organic products. So, Unilever UK has to invest more in food production of Diet and healthy foods (Kotler, 2013).
These factors impact the business profits and image in the markets.
Technology is changing very rapidly and it impacts the products and services of the business. For Unilever in UK, technology has proved as a boon because with the increase in the usage of technology, Unilever has started selling and marketing its products online through websites.
Unilever UK also uses social media platforms for the objective of promotion of its products. It conducts surveys online and encourages the customers to provide their feedbacks on the products so that improvements can be made in the products for providing better experience to the customers (Ferrell & Hartline, 2008).
Technology also provided better connectivity to Unilever which helps in it maintaining better distribution networks and continuous innovations in products.
This is the recent concept which merged in last two decades. This environment analysis has become important because of the shortage of raw materials, increase in pollution, increase in the importance of business ethics, etc.
Unilever being the leading brand of FMCG products in the market of UK I responsible for the environment and its safety. It tries to adopt such production practices which do not harm the environment. For e.g. Unilever make detergent powders which uses less water. It also packs its products in the ecofriendly packaging material. It also runs certain plans and programs for maintaining sustainability of the environment so that the future generations can be benefitted (Shankar, et. al., 2012).
These are related to the law system and legal regulations in the country. For example, health and safety regulations, employment laws, human rights, standards for advertising, etc.
Unilever has to take care of all the related laws so that its operations can be carried without any barrier. Unilever UK follows the corporate laws and standards which are required and also pay taxes on the business it does. Unilever pays the standard VAT at the rate of 20% (Unilever, 2016).
SWOT analysis is the tool which helps the organisation to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so that the future strategies can be developed on the basis of this internal environment of business.
Competitive advantage refers to that special feature, product, brand name or any other characteristic which makes a brand better than its competitors in the industry. There are many companies in UK which produces markets and sells FMCG products. The biggest competitor of Unilever in UK is Proctor & Gamble. The famous brands owned by Unilever in UK are Axe, Dove, Knorr, Lipton, Surf, Sunsilk and more while P& G constitutes brands like Ariel, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Olay, oral-B, Tide and more in UK (Unilever.com, 2015)
UK has a competitive advantage in the markets of UK because of its high brand image. It provides quality products to the customers and it has millions of loyal customers. The brands of Unilever UK are world famous and are consumed across the world. Unileveralso participates and runs many social responsibility programs which help poor people and raise awareness among the population for conserving environment.
It brings innovative products for its customers which keeps on changing in terms of features or packaging, it maintains the interest in the people to buy and use the products of the company, Unilever in UK adopts creative marketing and selling techniques which helps it in creating the awareness of its products among the consumers and this brings the competitive advantage to the company(Unilever, 2016).
Unilever prepares marketing strategies after considering the analysis of its environment. The marketing strategies of Unilever are explained over here in terms of Growth, Sales trend and profit alibility of the company.
STP analysis refers to the process which is used to divide the markets into various segments and then target those selected segments to position a brand matching the suitability of the target consumers. So, it is Segmentation, targeting and positioning which assist the businesses to achieve their set targets and bring more growth to the business. Unilever constitutes many brands in UK, one of which is Surf, which is a detergent brand introduced in 1952 by Unilever in UK (Blythe, 2013). It is also a globally recognised brand and one of the leaders in its own sector. STP analysis of Surf in UK is explained below:
This is the first step of STP process. Segmentation refers to the division of markets into different parts on the basis of various factors like Demographic factors, Geographic factors, psychographic factors and behavioural factors. Segmentation is done to value customers and to serve their needs properly. It is for identifying the correct customers of the product. Segmentation helps in determining the strategies for selling the products in the market (Kotler P. , 2013).
The segmentation of Surf in rural areas of UK can be done on the below given basis:
The above segmentation clears that Surf should segment its markets on the basis of geographical segmentation because it has to develop marketing strategies for Surf for rural population. Surf, along with urban areas need to capture rural markets because the competition is increasing in the markets and rural untapped area is an opportunity for the brand like Surf. So the company has to focus on the behaviour and demands of the rural population for selling its product in the rural and semi-rural markets (Ferrell & Hartline, 2008).
Once segmentation is done, targeting is done for the specific segments. Surf will have to target rural and semi-rural areas where most of the people prefer local products as they are lower priced. Surf has to target those customers who need quality products in spite of high prices of those products. For this, Surf will collect the information about the substitute products and what all strategies are adopted by them. Keeping in mind all these points, surf will develop strategies for the rural markets (Walker, et. al., 2015).The target market of Surf detergent is:
This targeting is done by considering the type of consumers, choice of consumers or income of consumers. The marketing strategies will be decided and made after considering the target markets (Walker, et. al., 2015).
Positioning means how the brand is placed before the customer so that it attracts maximum no of customers. It creates an image in the minds of customers. Surf targets rural people and semi-rural population of UK which are particularly the housewives and maids. Surf should position its products as a value product which provides maximum value to the customers. It should advertise its product in women magazines for catching the attention of women, it can also be advertised on radios and televisions and should design the advertisement to which rural population can connect (Sun, et. al., and 2014).
Surf can design a new marketing strategy in which it introduces a new surf product which is stronger in removing dust and stains from the clothes. The campaign should highlight the lower price of the product compared to the competitors and should highlight the features of it. It can take the help of promotional techniques like free locusassignments. discounts or extra quantity while introducing the product in the rural markets. Surf could use the concept of corporate social responsibility with its new positioningstrategy. It can initiate a program where a part of revenue from the sales of Surf products will be contributed to charities or for some other social purpose like education for poor children. This will connect rural population with the brand and they will demand for the product to contribute indirectly for the social cause (Sun, et. al., and 2014).
Surf needs to get established in the rural and semi-rural areas so that it can tap more consumers and more market share. In order to meet competition, Unilever is urging for covering every possibility and grabbing every opportunity to increase its sales numbers and profitability in the market and to become no. 1 brand in the industry of detergents in UK. The Objective and goals of Surf, UK for the year 2017 is to increase its growth to 5% so that it can have highest market share in UK (Sun, et. al., and 2014).
Marketing mix is a tool which helps in developing the marketing strategies for product or a brand by using 4 P’s i.e. Product, price, promotion and place (Borden, 2011). In this part, the marketing mix will be discussed for recommending and developing the strategies so that the objectivesof Surf can be achieved.
It can be concluded that Unilever, being the market leader in UK have the responsibility of providing the best and value products to its customers. Unilever has a wide range of products which are well known globally. To develop marketing strategies for better growth in business, Unilever UK have to do external and internal environment analysis which helps in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the company. Surf is the well-known brand of Unilever which needs to expand its market in rural and semi-rural areas. STP analysis has been done for the same and to achieve the objectives and goals of the company, marketing mix strategies has been recommended to Surf. It will bring effectiveness in the operations of Surf and it would be able to increase its market share in the rural areas and semi-rural area as well in UK.