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Unit 4 Marketing Principles Assignment - Unilever PLC
Task 1: In this section, the students are required to address the following questions with examples from ANY 1 brand selected from UNILEVER PLC (UL).
By using a reputable source, define marketing. You can use definitions of marketing given by CIM or AMA or Kotler and explain how these are applicable to a brand of UNILEVER PLC (AC1.1)
Defines marketing as a science and an art as well as that is used in searching, creation and delivery of value to satisfy the needs of the targeted customers. Marketing has the function to identify the needs that are not fulfilled and address them. Marketing identifies which customer segment is most profitable for the company and how can you define strategies and activities to serve them. Marketing is important as it segments customers by offering them the product and services best suited to satisfy their needs and demands.
The important processes in marketing are;
- Identification of a market opportunity
- Developing a new product
- Attracting customers
- Retaining customers and having loyal customers
I have chosen Dove for answering the questions
- Marketing of Dove - Dove was once a US based soap bar now with the use of proper and better marketing strategies it has become the biggest brand globally of Unilever’s product. It has captured new markets by launching new products such as cleansers deodorants, shampoos, conditioner, hair oil etc. It keeps moving to the niche markets that are less competitive and establish a better market position, It was ranked 4th most valuable brand of personal care products in the year 2012 by kantar’s Brands(ADBRANDS, 2013)
. With highly increasing sales figures it now serves four products groups namely,
- Bar & Body wash
- Skincare products
- Hair care (ADBRANDS, 2013)
Incorporation of the definition of marketing by Dove
How Unilever has incorporated marketing in Dove is they use marketing strategies showing woman of all shape and sizes (ADBRANDS, 2013) This makes Dove a brand that can be relatable to all. They devise products accordingly studying the needs and the demands of the customers.
Briefly explain the various elements of the marketing process applicable for UNILEVER PLC and explain how the Marketing Strategy is applicableto your selected brand from Unilever PLC(AC1.2)
The various elements of the marketing mix applicable for the Dove brand of Unilever are:
- Product - this is the tangible or the intangible element that is sold to their customers (Ibidunni, 2011). Dove has a product range from body wash, hand wash, face care, body lotion, hair care, deodorant, soaps etc.
- Price - this determines the amount of money that is spent to acquire the product and this element generates revenue to the organization. Initially the product where higher priced and not accepted in developing countries now it has lowered the prices.
- Place - this element determines the decision and the tools relating to the products and services that are made available to the customers Dove products are manufactured in many countries such as USA, Germany, Ireland etc.
- Promotion - this includes the integrated marketing communication combining many elements of promotion in order to promote the promotional message of the firm. Dove uses promotion by consumer’s magazines, television, and emphasizes on real beauty than celebrity endorsements.
Swot analysis of dove’s marketing strategy:
Strengths - Use of creative advertising and unconventional strategies, free publicity, emotionally appealed to the end customers, personal touch and advertising by real beauties made the brand appeal much stronger.
Weakness – The weakness in the marketing strategy is that it targets the upper middle class women and so this leads to the development of a notion that it is not a brand for the middle class women.
- Recently Dove has entered the beauty market of men products making men realize that beauty is accessible for them too.
- Using of a united global promotion strategy and saving costs
Threats - Have fierce competition form brands such as Olay, Nivea etc. This keeps posing threat to capture Dove’s market share (Professinal Paper Writing, 2013).
To put it all together, the above analysis shows that Dove requires a firm strategy to manage its 4P’s in order to gain maximum market profitability and also SWOT analysis explains how to achieve marketing effectiveness by using strengths and tapping opportunities, overcoming weaknesses and threats
Explain how your selected brand is using the marketing concept in their marketing activities(AC1.3)
Marketing concept: Businesses are integrating marketing function and concept to better understand the needs and the demands of the consumers and adjust and adapt to the changing marketing needs (Johansson, 2006). Dove has successfully adopted marketing concept the below points exemplify this;
- Dove has been using innovation in its promotional message to appeal the customers from the earlier USP of mildness and moisturizing to creative advertising using real beauties.
- Positing Dove as a beauty brand for Women of all sizes and skin colour
- Telecasting good Dove stories of real customers over the television
- Commissioning a booklet for skincare where queries of woman was answered by eminent Dermatologists
- Conducting researches and showing that the doctors and paediatricians recommend Dove the most mild and safe brand(E.LERN et al., 1999)
So we have seen that Dove has integrated marketing in the real sense in practice and used the concept of marketing for devising their promotional activities and establishing an emotional attachment with the targeted customers (E.LERN et al., 1999).
Identify and briefly explain the possible costs and benefits for your selected brand for pursuing a marketing orientation culture(AC1.4)
Cost and benefits consideration for pursuing a marketing culture is important in making the marketer acknowledge whether the costs accrued in having a marketing orientation is justified on grounds of the benefits. As marketing orientation leads to attain detailed information regarding the needs and wants of the customers, businesses can incorporate their strategic decisions to develop better product and service and attain profitability (Hennig-Thurau & Hansen, 2000).
The dove brand has been using the marketing culture to ensure customer satisfaction and establish an emotional connection with the customers. Dove has been spending a lot on its promotional activities to establish an emotional appeal with the customers with diversification of the products the media spending also increased for Dove (Johansson, 2006).
Right from the conception Dove’s marketing strategy has perceived it as a soap that dries your skin. In the year 1996 the cost of marketing on Dove Bar was lowered as huge funds were required to promote the Body Wash that was launched by Dove. Then the spending was increased in the year 1998 as the business grew but this strategy of using the promotional spending of bars for promoting the body wash had a cannibalizing effect on the bars as people started preferring the body wash over the bar. This advertising has a substantial costs incurred but the benefit was that Doves idea of launching the Body wash became a success ad it gained marketing momentum.
Another examples of the benefit and cost of advertising is Dove has been advertising using emotional connections with the customers this has led to high customer satisfaction and loyalty to the brand (E.Lern et al., 1999)
Task 2: In this task, the students are required to prepare a report to address the following:
Explain your product/product range feature, advantages and benefits to market your product in your selected market. (AC2.1)
In this section I have used Unilever new product development of a range of ready to eat foods by the name Eat Quick.
Core facilitating and augmented product levels:
Core productis the intangible benefits that can be derived from the product and adds value to the product (Friesner, 2014). So the core product for Eat Quick is the ease of cooking the food easily with less time.
Actual product is the physical product that is tangible in nature (Friesner, 2014). These are the different food options with the Eat Quick’s brand name.
Augmented Product is non-physical attribute to the product and includes all the value added to the product that drives the customer’s to pay premium price for the product (McDonald, 2012). For Eat Quick the brand name, quality of food and services, availability and range of products are the augmented part of it.
Development of product is done to achieve competitive advantageas customers’ needs and preferences are taken in to account. The criteria for consumer preferences and benefits are taken into consideration. New Product development should be based on anticipating the needs of the customers and satisfying them (Friesner, 2014).
This product range will have many ready to eat food products seeing consumer’s preference of these foods products as a matter of convenience to match their time constraints. This products will be cereals, porridge, yoghurt, cheese snacks and organic tofu.
I have selected to launch this product in the market of developed and the developing countries where there are working couples who do not have much to cook food and prefer such healthy and easy food options that take very less time to be prepared. Unilever is a trusted brand globally so these products have feasibility to gain market momentum quickly.
Now you have to plan a marketing mix for two different segments in consumer markets in your newly selected market (i.e.: Children under 16, Young female college students, Business executives working for a large corporation, Individuals Interested in Sports etc. (AC2.2)
Marketing mix -
Marketing mix for Individuals interested in sports and fitness:
- Product- Quick Eat will have a separate product line launched for this –Eat Quick Fit. This will include products such as protein shakes, Tofu, Dietary Supplements, Energy drinks, pre and post exercise nutrition bars.
- Place - the distribution of these products will be wide as people in many scenario and places are interested in sports and fitness so they will be distributed to supermarkets, retail outlets, to sports and fitness centre’s etc.
- Price – This will follow an economical pricing strategy product range will not be premium priced to attract more people and gain customers, Making it a brand accessible to all.
- Promotion - Eat Quick fit will have an integrated promotional strategy and will be promoted by creative TV advertising, fitness magazines, sports events etc.
Marketing mix for children under 16:
- Product – A product range for kids under the age of 16 with the name of Eat Quick Kids will be launched which will include flavoured cereals, jelly, and cornflakes of different innovative flavours, energy drinks etc.
- Place – The distribution of these products will be wide’. They will be distributed to supermarkets, retail outlets, shops, grocery chains and other high visibility locations where people buy such products such as kids stores, school canteens etc.
- Price – The Eat Quick Kids will be moderately priced.
- Promotion – This will also follow an integrated promotion using advertisement with kids, pamphlets, survey reports, magazines, newspaper etc.
Identify various distribution strategies that your product could use. What is your view on the distribution strategy adopted for your newly developed product? (AC2.3)
Importance of distribution strategy:
After the identification of the features of the product and the market segmentation the distribution strategy needs to identify where should the marketer sell his products to gain maximum effectiveness in marketing? This strategy will help the marketer to identify which channel will be appropriate such as websites, smart phones etc. for younger generation.
Distribution strategy for Eat Quick:
Having a distribution strategy will enable to sell the products of Eat Quick to customers in new sectors of the market or geographic areas that cannot be reached directly. The distribution channel can be wholesalers, internet, retailers etc.
- There should be a strategy to reach out to the customers by growing the business and reaching out to maximum customers. Internet marketing increases customer’s coverage.
- Cost –it is always wise to compare the cost of dealing with indirect channel of distribution and setting up the personal network of distribution or operating by having direct sales.
- Contribution –the distribution strategy should consider the contribution of business sales by such individual channel of distribution.
- Strategy –should consider the customer segment being addressed (LINTON, Ian, (n.d).
Explain how prices are set to reflect an organization’s objectives and market new conditions in a newly selected market. Recommend a specific pricing strategy for product which will reflect the different market conditions (AC2.4)
Defining Pricing strategy: pricing strategy of an organization reflects which income group does it intends to target. Ideal pricing is one which is accepted by the buyer and the seller. The organization reflects the value of purchasing the product and that of other competitive market offerings And the price that customers associates to it.
Quick’s pricing strategy should be based upon the idea of having maximum sales and profits and having enough of margin for marketing activities and the dealing with the overhead expenses.
Calculation of the price for Eat Quick products –
Price = Cost +Desired Profits
So the price of Eat Quick’s products will be the price of a 3000 Kcal Ready to Eat Meal would be £11.5
Costs will be around £6 and desired profits would be of £ 5.5
For determining the pricing of Eat Quick following steps should be followed:
- Market Analysis - size and composition
- Researching on the elasticity of price of the product
- Choosing the distribution channels
- Studying the life cycle of the product
- Estimating costs and overhead costs
- Scanning secondary pricing options
- Final price setting of the product
Pricing strategy for Eat Quick:
As Unilever is a trusted brand so Absorption strategy would not be needed as in this method the costs are recovered.
Contribution margin-based pricing can be applied as it focuses maximizing the profits derived from the products on the basis of the difference between the price of the product and the variable costs this can be applied as they have a wide range.
Premium pricing would not work well for a new product as the intention is to gain customers by pricing moderately.
Illustrate how you can arrange promotional activities to achieve marketing objectives.Give examples of promotional activities that you can plan to increase your awareness and image. Recommend an integrated promotional strategy by combining some of the promotional mix elements such as advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and word-of-mouth (AC2.5)
Promotional activities are very important for a new product development as these are the means to get your product known to the customers. So, Eat Quick will need efficient promotion to attain market attractiveness and customer’s loyalty.
I would recommend that Eat Quick should use an integrated promotion to appeal the
Customers by using various means of advertising such as;
Recommended promotional strategy for Eat Quick:
- Above the line promotion -this technique uses mass media to create awareness. Eat Quick can use this to create brand and product awareness by using print and TV advertising, social media etc.
- Below the line promotion -these involve one to one selling and distribution of hand bills, placards etc. Much of below the line is not needed for Eat Quick as there is great brand awareness and loyalty for Unilever products.
- Push promotion –these promotional strategies would include direct communication with the clients and pushing the products to the customers using little advertisement (Smith & Taylor, 2004). Eat Quick can use Push strategies such as exhibitions and direct selling.
- Pull promotion– in this strategy the customer are encouraged to demand a product by using advertisement and promotion and free coupons, locusassignments.of the product. Eat Quick can use this as there is brand is a factor effecting the decision and buying behaviour of customers for food product.
Suggested promotional mix for Eat quick:
- Advertising - Advertising in press by using magazines, newspapers, journals etc, or advertising in television by using an ad campaign positioning Eat Quick as a brand of convenience and healthy eating options for everyone.
- Direct advertising - this can be done by using below the line techniques such as emails, direct advertising, fax complying with the anti- spam legislation. Eat Quick can connect to wide customer rang by this as almost everybody handles an email account.
- Social Media - this has emerged as a powerful tool to attract customers and Eat Quick can use this and have customer feedbacks suggestions and interaction making it an efficient promotion measure.
Analyse how additional elements of the extended marketing can be used by Unilever PLC (UL) to enhance customer experience and improve customers(AC2.6)
Additional Elements of the marketing mix-As the market has become more customer oriented there was the need of the addition of the extended elements and the creation of the service marketing mix to deliver great services considering the physical , evidence, processes and people.
Unilever can also use the approach of the extended marketing mix to improve their customer experience and service.
- Physical Layout - These days’ customers demand a high level of organization in the physical layout of the products and service they use. Unilever can use this to attract customer by making the use of selves sizes and layout of product display to foster maximum product visibility also they can use efficient packaging and layout of the products itself to attract the customers. The layout of their website and virtual store can also be enhanced to attract customers.
- People – Customer service is the crux of all businesses Unilever can enhance people engagement by opening forums for discussing the ability and product improvements of their marketing offerings. Grievance redress forums will also lead to high customer satisfaction and engagement.
- Importance of people at Unilever – At Unilever talent is determined as the ability to succeed so they are very much concerned to get the right kind of people. For this employee training is given due importance. They encourage diversity and openness and Unilever has a participative culture that gives its people opportunity to develop themselves.
- Processes - they need to adopt specialized and better processes for handling customer complaint, processes for identifying and channelizing a customer need and handling customer order (Smith & Taylor, 1997).
- Processes at Unilever – Unilever has adopted innovative processes to make their products and services better. The new Dove bottles have 15% less plastic and are better for the skin. They have a well-developed R&D Section and uses in-depth market research to capture the wide share of market that it has.
Describe the differences in marketing products to businesses (B2B) rather than consumers (B2C). Explain how your new product could conduct its business to business marketing. (AC2.7)
It is marketing to businesses so industrial jargons make the process efficient
Use relatable marketing language to customer majority
Focus on logic and features of the product as a business buying software would be more focused on the logic and features of the software for itself
Focus on product benefits as a lady buying a skin care product would focus on benefits such as moisturising, glow, fairness’s etc.
No or very little involvement of emotion
Buying is often driven by emotional needs
Ask for lots of information about the product
They seek information only when buying high priced products many products are bought as an impulse
How can Eat Quick conduct its Business to Business Marketing?
Eat Quick and sell some of its products to businesses such as sports and fitness centres could be the potential customers of the low fat to make and sugar foods so for B2B marketing it can conduct events and shows to attract consumers and sponsor a sports event. It has to make the end customers understand very well the benefits and use of these products and answer their queries. Giving off free products for trial can also be used as a marketing strategy for B2B.
Industrial Markets – Eat Quick can conduct industrial marketing and sell their products to organisations and businesses and people who work for organisations. Example they can sell their diet and fitness products to fitness centres and gyms, and ready to eat food to cafeteria of corporates etc.
Institutional market- this market is composed of profit and non-profit institutions where Eat Quick can target their products such as hospitals, schools, government agencies and sell their food products.
Reseller Markets – Can act as intermediaries and wholesalers and sell their finished and unfinished food products to food businesses.
Define ‘’service’’and discuss the characteristics of service. Do you think your product can use the service element in Marketing? If ‘yes’, explain how it can incorporate the service element in Marketing (AC2.8)
A service is an intangible commodity that has an exchange value and ability to customers. Service have certain characteristics differentiating them from products these are Perishability, they are intangible, heterogeneous etc.
Characteristics of services:
- The selling of services takes place as it provides benefits to their end customers
- Unlike products services cannot be availed in advance
- These is a critical factor of time utility in services
- They are perishable in nature
- After the consumption of services they cannot be returned (Richards, 2014)
Service Provided Eat Quick can use the service elements to reach better to the customers. The service would be elemental in determining the customer purchasing decisions.
Application of service lament for Eat Quick:
The Physical Evidence of the products such as the packaging, store display, layout etc will determine the quality of the Eat Quick products thereby making it very important. The People involved will determine efficiency of production and development of better marketing strategies to evolve the products of Eat Quick. The process will determine how the products are made such as organic farming, low pesticides, fresh farm products, high nutrient content and innovation all this will be driving factor to affect the buying decision for the targeted customers of Eat Quick.
Yes, Eat Quick can use the service element in marketing although it is a product company but the product delivery requires efficient service strategy to reach the ends distributors and the customers. In B2B marketing of Eat Quick products the service elements are more important.
Show how and why international marketing differs from domestic marketing. Explain how your new product continues to hold its position in international markets with examples of international marketing strategies(AC2.9)
Difference of international marketing to domestic marketing
- In domestic marketing transfer of goods and services takes place within the country where there are produced whereas in international it takes place from one country to another.
- There are several barriers to international trade such as tariff and non- tariff. But domestic marketing is devoid of these barriers.
- International trade includes exchange of different currencies whereas domestic trade involves trade in the same currency
- International trade has high government regulations unlike domestic trading (Smith & Taylor, 2004).
International marketing strategies suitable for Eat Quick:
For its international marketing Eat Quick has to use integrated promotional strategies to target the market of developed and developing countries where there is a market of ready to eat foods. They have to promote the food by the use of different media to create brand awareness in international domain and use strategy of entering by leading grocery chains (Smith & Taylor, 2004).
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