Marketing in the UK Clothing Industry

Background of research

Marketing is vital in all types of organizations and in order to be successful, there is the need to incorporate the marketing mix. The marketing mix elements are product, price, place and promotion. The product is main attraction of customer and the product features make it stand out from its competitors. Launching the product requires one to have to a look at place, i.e. how the product will reach the consumers. Good strategies for products should also consider the price.

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This study is aimed at analyzing the consumer behavior towards the clothing industry especially in consideration men and women in United Kingdom. Fair trade is concerned with the production of endorsed clothing in the UK. Most consumers in the world today are concerned with the features of the product as they form most important factor in determining the consumer behaviors to toward a product. Take for example of products of clothing fair trade for men and women. The industry is involved in the manufacture clothing. Due to increase and growth of consumerism, the clothing industry should come up with clothes that make men and women move with times thus increasing consumption and production.

Consumer behavior in the UK especially in consideration to clothing is influenced by culture factors, social factors, Personal factors and Psychological factors.

Research Objectives

The answers to this question will enhance help my client launch her products in the UK market at same time increase my knowledge and competence in many ways. As a professional I will understand factors influencing consumption in the UK especially clothing industry and will enable me make recommendations on ways to make improved in marketing for the client and increase the market share. The answers to this question also will assist me as a professional by motivating me to ensure that that I work improves my clients business. The objectives will be:-

  1. To review literature on clothing consumption behavior and the factors influencing in the UK.
  2. To compare and contrast the buying behavior of men and women in UK regarding buying of endorsed/fashion clothing.
  3. To identify the key factors influencing the buying process of fashion/endorsed clothing in men and women in UK.
  4. To provide recommendation to H&M of fashion/endorsed clothing launch in UK.
  5. Determine the Competitors in the fashion/endorsed clothing in the United Kingdom.
  6. Choose a proper target market for launching of the product.
  7. Consumer attitude towards new products in the market.

Scope of the study

The scoop of the study follows literature review of factors influencing. The researcher manages the entire gamut of processes from initial stage of identifying the problem to final stage of report writing. The capabilities required by the researcher in this research in managing the entire project and providing real time for information sharing, decision synchronization and research optimization to H & M. What are necessary attribute required by a researcher to manage the dynamics of marketing based on the requirements by industry. However, this study assumes that other factors like family background financial, stability of the family place of birth, race, have impact on the consumer behaviors towards endorsed clothing.

The proposed study will be used as a supplementary framework to focus entirely on the competence of the research. The objects of the study will include; Experimental, Correlation, Survey, Grounded theory, Ethnography, Narrative, Mixed method and Action research.

This study will be based on a process based on experiment using practical’s as a platform to develop method which will be used as evaluation criteria for the research and researcher in this research question and future researchers

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Literature review

Collection of Secondary and Primary Data

In this research internet sources, books available for the topic have been used the computer lab has played an important role in accessing scholarly written sources available on the internet. Therefore the process of gathering articles and other forms of literature was done by frequently visiting the university computer laboratory and the library.

Consumer behavour

Consumer behavior in the consumption of any product any where in the world is influenced by culture factors, social factors, Personal factors and Psychological factors.

Culture factors

In world today culture is one of the most fundamental determinants for one when deciding the product to consume. This is because of a wide range of products and services. Most of the people due to their cultural influence have started preferring certain products. Children growing up will learn the culture of parents or peers thus preferring specific values that are crucial to a determining consumption. One of the values they like most is comfort. These values common in children remain in them even if they grow up.

From the culture, somebody may develop certain spending patterns is not something strange. A child growing up in specific culture is exposed to achievement, success, beliefs and other cultural factors that influence behavior towards consumption. Cultural factors real influence a consumer behavior. Where people believe in values like efficiency and practicality it will influence their consumption is such a situation products that are known to be very efficient in their operations will be preferred.

Each culture consists of smaller subcultures that provide more specific identifications. To its some people consist of racial groups such as the Africans, Americans, Europeans and Asians each have good distinct cultural styles. They are known to prefer products for example consumption of pork may be rare in middle east because culture and religion.

Social factor

Another factors consumer behavior is greatly influenced by social factors like statuses, family and reference groups. When once goes to the market to purchase a product he will take consideration to his membership groups, social class and family. These are groups having direct influence to once buying decisions. These are the groups one associates with most of his time.

We have some groups like the upper class prefer buying some products which are not preferred by lower class. Since companies produces many types of products that fulfill needs this groups and attracts many people. The influence of a family is very great. These families using specifics brands greatly encourage their family members to also consume similar products. Co-worker also influence one’s buying decision. If a boss buys a given commodity the juniors will also try to buy the same.

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People are also influenced by reference groups in three ways. Reference groups usually expose a person to a new behavior and lifestyle. One can belong to a group whose lifestyle believes at consuming a certain product. If a company produces high quality brands it stands at a better chance of making more sales to such reference group. Reference groups also influence one’s attitudes because their desires fit in these groups. People may prefer some products from a certain company, hence once could like to join his friend or family member towards belonging to the same social class by buying a that product. Also reference groups influence similarity and conformity that may make a person to alive at a specific decision. So doing one will eventually buy a product similar to that of his friend.

People who are in the same social class share similar values, interests, and behavior. For example there is upper class people who are social elite with a good family background.

Personal factors

Age and life cycle stage greatly influence consumer buying behavior of almost all products from all industries. Most Bachelors tend to prefer specific brands associated by most youths. But those who are newly married, young and better of financially prefer buying consume different products.

In making the final decision of buying a product one’s personal characteristics like his age and life-cycle stage, lifestyle, occupation, economic circumstances and personality will influence his choice. Companies take much consideration to personal characteristics of various groups of people before coming up with a product in order to meet the needs and demand of its people.

A child growing up and exposed to some values like material comfort, external comfort and achievement and success will be influenced by those characteristics to consume. For example in America people like buying products that gives them external comfort. People in various professions like occupation managers, school heads, senior government officers, mayors, engineers, lawyers and physicians usually buy some products with the most recent technology. Economic circumstances also influence once buying pattern. Most people especially those who are highly paid with good saving and with good personnel incomes buy expensive products.

The lifestyle of a person influences his or her buying pattern. People may belong to the same occupation, social class and subculture but leading different lifestyles usually prefer products that feed that group.

Personality and self-concept: Personality and self confidence also influence consumers buying behavior products and services. For example expensive car, which are electronically controlled and having four wheel drive systems are associated with people who have high Self-confidence.

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Psychological factors

Motivation: some people get satisfied when they buy specific products. People feel that they have satisfied specific needs by buying certain goods and services.

Perception: once a person has been motivated he is willing and ready to act. Most people to be motivated in order to act will depend mostly on their perceptions of the situation. Two people in the same motivated state may act differently depending on how they perceive the situation. A product may appeal to the perception of a specific customer. For example various colors that cars are attractive giving customers a good picture of the real quality of this car.

Beliefs and attitudes: most people follow some set of belief when making a decision on the type of product to consumer. A belief about a certain product will also influence consumption. These beliefs make up brand images and most people have been proved to act on these images. People always have good attitude towards specific products and if this product meets the performance according to the needs, desire and attitudes consumption will be influenced.

The five Ps of strategy

Strategy as a plan is a consciously intended course of action, a guideline to deal with situations. For example, strategy as a plan in management is a unified, comprehensive and an integrated plan designed to ensure that the basic objectives of the company are achieved. In order to use a strategy to achieve a company’s objectives, a ploy is required to achieve the said objectives. For instance a multinational company wants to expand its market in another country in order to prevent the threat of competitors’ entry that market. So the real strategy as plan is the threat of entry and the strategy as a ploy is the expansion of the market.

Viewing strategy as a plan or as a ploy illustrates that a strategy can be either general or specific. These perspectives of explaining what strategy is means that strategies are intended, of which they are not only intended but also emergent. Therefore, there are another ways in which strategies can be defined. Strategy as a pattern is as a stream of action, that is a consistent behavior in which things are done in an organization and this consistency in behavior can be intended or not( Ackoff, R. L. 1979).

This perspective indicates that strategy can also be emergent. Furthermore, strategy can be seen as a position, which is a means of locating a company with its environment. This means that referring to this perspective, strategies are used as a mediating force between the company (internal context) and the environment (external context). Strategy as position aims at matching the internal to the external, but strategy as perspective concerns the internal context of an organization. That is how members in the organization share their perspectives to other organizational member through their intentions or actions.

PEST

Pest analysis is analyzing internal environment of a business. It involves political environment, economic environment, technological environment, and social environment.

Political environment

Politics is what forms a government of the day, and the government influences the activities of businesses operating in there territory. It has been argued that the government influences the society directly by means of laws that are set as well as providing some services which influence the business activities in the country. Businesses are affected by the government through many ways such as; laws of the land, regulations to be followed by businesses and many others.

The business manager must be able to estimate whether the government is involved in conducting business in that country. Political environment as it were is a major factor affecting the competitiveness of the business.

Economical environment

Interest rates and exchange rates have an impact on consumer spending and can affect the profitability of the firm. There are many economic indicators which determine the environment of the business. This include;- effects of affluence, depression, inflation, shortages of product in the market, effects of research expenditure, research costs, buying power index, consumer ability and willingness, price elasticity, and cost of distribution affects the business. Other economical factors that affects business environment include;- the long term focused by the government, macro economic projections of the government and the financial stability of the state.

Social environment

A consumer is influenced by the society he lives in, if a person is of a particular religion, nation, tribe or population grouping he will adopt the culture of that grouping, and the culture of a grouping is as a result of the influence of the language of the people, beliefs, knowledge, values, habits, and laws of those people. This means this affects the consumer in question in terms of his lifestyle to the extend of what he consumes.

At times it is difficult to a person to consume some products even if he as a large disposable income because of his culture. It is important for managers of various companies to look into the influence of culture before introducing a product into the market. Just imagine how powerful cultural environment is and what it can do to a particular product. In essence culture plays un important role in consumption of an individual.

Therefore the company should try to influence a person in terms of what he consumes in order to be able to get the market. Changing the consumer’s way of living at the same time, his needs, perception, attitudes, and purchasing patterns is one of the most difficulty decisions the management of an organization will need to make. Most perceptible social trends in Western societies thus relate to woman’s changing role in society, the importance of time, the desire for more leisure time and consequently the emphasis on convenience, care about the ecological environment and the protection of the consumer. The culture of a particular country is not absolutely homogeneous, and sub-cultures based on nationality, religion, geographical location and different population groups exist.

Technological environment

Technological environment is one of the best environments which have influence on the lives of a product. It is common in the world today where there are technological changes for managers to know technological innovations taking place in market in product development. The technological environment is responsible for drastic changes in product development. The introduction of computers and other machines as made marketing and production of a product to be easier.

Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

Buyer Power

The companies face the threat of buyers shifting their loyalty to other rival companies’ products while operating in a certain market. This phenomenon according to porter is referred to as backward integration. To curb this threat, the companies operating in the market have to come up with three generic strategies to counter this threat.

Cost leadership

It the companies have to reduce the price of there products. Cost leadership provides the best method of companies and remaining competitive in the market.

Differentiation strategy

The Companies in a specific industry have to come up with alternative products that are differentiation of products from the rival firms. These products should be economic and are environmental friendly in terms of pollution and acceptance in the market in question.

Supplier Power

Companies is faced with the threats of the suppliers being able to control the price of some of the materials they supply. Some may form curtails and come up with stringent price control measures that will affect the performance of the industry. The labor laws are also stringent and the workers are so unionized that treating of employees in a fair and equitable manner is inevitable. To counter this force, the companies extend its supplier chain making the prices of materials.

Barriers to Entry

The other force challenging the businesses is entry of new companies with similar products or even more products. This would pose the threat of neutralizing the company’s profits as well as its market share. The generic positions that the companies have taken has been cost leadership. Through lowering their production costs and increasing operational efficiencies, companies have been able to lower its products prices while maintaining its profitability. This has deterred potential investors/ entrants into the market.

Rivalry

This force emanates from other companies within the same industry. The threat here is that these companies capturing the market. However, the company’s framework/ strategy should be to reduce prices whenever faced with such a threat.

Threat of Substitutes

From the economist point of view, threat of substitutes arises when the demand of that good is likely to be affected when the price of the substitute changes.

Methodology

The purpose of the market research was to investigate whether to launch product in UK and which target market. It is also to investigate the factors influencing consumption of endorsed clothing industry in UK as well as who are the competitors.

In this chapter the researcher is discussing the:

  • The Research Approach.
  • The Research Design.
  • The Target Population.
  • Sample Size.
  • Sampling Procedure.
  • Instruments for data and continuous prose collection.
  • Data analysis.

Research Approach

The researcher used quantitative approach. This approach leads into events and describes them. Since the main research was on whether to launch the endorsed clothing in UK, this approach guided the researcher to collect information on what people consume or peoples attitude towards endorsed clothing. The researcher will go physically to the consumers using the Questionnaire to collect information.

Research Design

The researcher used Survey Method as a technique of gathering information on the market research. The researcher used the research design method because it is the best in collecting information from people on the ground, i.e. consumers of the fashion/endorsed clothing.

Target Population

The target population of the study will be the endorsed clothing consumers in the UK.

The size of the sample

To be statistically reliable the sample should be large enough to be truly representative of UK. The statistical reliability of the sample, however, lays less in its actual size than in the guarantee that the sample reflects that composition of the total universe. Thus, to be representative the sample should be composed as far as possible according to the universe. Alternatively, the units must be represented in more or less the same relationship in the sample as in the universe.

Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that the size of the sample is by no means the main source of sample errors, that large increases in the sample size are necessary to have small increases in statistical reliability; that in the mathematical determination of the statistical reliability the universe size is not a factor to be considered; and that he sample size is often determined by such practical considerations as time, costs, administrative work, the reliability and accuracy of the information, the number of cross tabulations desired, and the method of sampling.

Sampling Procedure

The researcher will use simple random procedure to select the consumers from each urban centre. Basically the marketing researcher can choose between two kinds of methods; probability methods and non-probability methods. Probability methods are those whereby all sample units of the universe have a known positive chance of being drawn and which are not drawn according to a plan but at random. This means that the choice of the sample units is independent of the marketing researcher who undertakes the investigation. The principles of the probability theory can be applied to these methods.

Non-probability sample methods are those where each sample unit of the universe does not have an equal chance and is not drawn at random. The selection process thus takes place according to a plan and is, partially at least, subjective. Sample units are often selected according to a plan or specific prescriptions, usually by the field the interviewer or the investigation planner. The principles of the probability theory cannot be applied to these methods.

The stratified sample

Essentially stratification is the division of a heterogeneous universe into smaller groups or strata, which are homogeneous as far as possible. The underlying ideas are that the strata should be formed so that the units within a stratum differ as little as possible and the various strata differ as widely as possible. A sample of units is drawn from each of these strata in relation to the proportion of units in each of each stratum in the universe.

The cluster sample

An example of this is the area sample. The marketing researcher might decide to interview the whole street blocks or to draw a sample of units from that street block. The underlying idea is that he various clusters (first the larger city blocks and after that the smaller street blocks) which are so formed must differ form each other as little as possible. Thus a probability sample of cluster is drawn form the universe (city) yet the proportion of units in each cluster in the sample is not necessarily in relation to the proportion of units in each cluster in the universe.

Tools

The researcher will use a questionnaire and interview for five consumers. This is because it is the quickest cheapest and safe means of getting the information.

The observational method

With this method the market researcher collects information by direct observation of the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event or the conduct of a consumer or respondent. No questioning is involved unless the observer wants to clear up a specific point or collect further information. For example, it is observed that the consumer buys a specific brand and he is then asked why he does so.

Questionnaires

The data that will be used in this report will be collected through questionnaires. This research will employ two categories of questionnaires. The first category of questionnaires will be structured or close ended. Here I will offer a list of all possible alternatives from which respondent best describes the situation. They will be in form of multiple choices. A question will be asked and below it will be a list of all possible alternatives will be provided.

Unstructured or open ended types of questionnaires will also be employed to make this research a success. These types of questions will give the respondent freedom of response and permit an individual to respond in his or her own words. Through this type of questionnaires we will be able to get more information. These questionnaires were researcher administered. The researcher went with the questionnaires himself and administers the questions by himself.

Interviews

The data to be used in this research will also be collected through interviews. An interview is an oral administration of questionnaire or interview schedule. It will involve a face to face encounter schedule. It will also involve a face to face encounter. This interview schedules will be in two forms, structured and structured questions or semi structural questions. Responses during interviews was recorded by note-taking.

Data Analysis

There are several steps that will be involved in the analysis of data and these steps are; understanding what qualitative data analysis is all about. The major core of qualitative analysis lies in giving a good description to the phenomenon, classifying the phenomenon and finally seeing how all the concepts interconnect (Roselyn, 2000). The computer SSPS 10 was used as a main data analysis tool. There were several aspects that needed computers in their analysis and at this point the computers will come in handy.

The following step in the procedure of data analysis will be finding focus. In fact this should have been the first step. The researcher should always have his focus right in place. In finding focus the researcher can use the available resources to make sure everything is in the right place. Then after the focus finding, data management will be the next one. Any good analysis will require that the researcher should have good management of the data found. Information found can best be managed by filing them and giving a good access to the filed information.

The processing of the survey results

The processing of the survey results need not to wait until has been completed, but can begin as soon as the first questionnaires are received. The main steps are;

  • Editing; the correctness and completeness of all questionnaires are checked and if necessary, adjustments are made and useless questionnaires are discarded.
  • Coding. Nowadays the computer is used widely to process information. For that reason it is often advisable of code the information or even uses a pre-coded questionnaire to facilitate the necessary processing and calculations.
  • Punching. Subsequently the information can be punched for computer purposes.
  • Raw tabulation. With the aid of a computer raw tables may be compiled. These tales are often only preliminary and may serve as guidelines for further analyses and condensed into possibly more meaningful tables.
  • Statistical processing. With the previous step as a basis the information can be processed further until it yields objectives and clear answers to the problem or opportunity which is being investigated.
  • Visual presentation of the results. It is often advisable to summarize the information in short tables, graphs and other figures. This not only presents a clear overview of the findings, but also facilitates their interpretation and evaluation with a view to reporting.

Results and Discussion

Presentation and Analysis of Data

The research tried to investigate the potential market of endorsed clothing, competitors in the fashion industry and factors affecting consumer in endorsed clothing industry. The research questions were of different categories and they focused on the following themes:

  • To investigate and establish the target market for endorsed clothing
  • To determine the likely price to launch the endorsed clothing.
  • To find out the attitude of consumers towards new product in the UK.
  • To find out who are competitors.

Presentation data

Presentation data.

The sample was five people where men 2 and female 3. Four responded to the questions three ladies and one male. Among the four one did value fashion clothing as of great value.

Presentation data

From the tables we realized that only 50% of the respondents who were influenced by price while making purchase for their fashion clothing while the other 50% were influenced by the price. 75% of the respondents will go for endorsed clothing from a new company depending the celebrity endorsing while 25% of the people were loyal to a specific company products.

Discussion

4PS

Product Service/Features

There are products & services in clothing industry that are among endorsed clothing in the UK thus a competition. The main products which are being sold by this company in the world market include men’s clothe, women’s wears and kids wears. Men’s wears include belts briefcases clothing cufflinks and tie clips shirt dresses, jewelry, shoes, swimming kit, under wears wallet sun glasses, watch and many others. Women clothes include belts, clothing, handbags, purses, accessories, jewelry shoes, underwear sunglasses, swimming kid, wallets, watches, and many others. The kids wears includes, toys, cloths, accessories, belts, shoes, swim wears, watches and many others.

These products, are designed to cover all market segments of almost all income levels and the form of packaging that the product enjoys give the customer a motivation to come back to the company to buy the product. Therefore, through product mix of this company they are able to create attention of customers get new customers who patronizes business buy and consumes the product. The product takes all the needs of the family from the age of one month to the age of 100 years.

This is because of product mix decision that they have employed. They have more than 1000 items in store to sale to the customers and these products are in different lines. Men’s clothe, women’s sloth, shoes to mention a few of the product lines employed by this company.

They have stocked high quality products with well known brands that has given the company good image in the world market. The product is displayed for purchase of customers. the store has build a packaging and labeling of their product in a such a manner that the customer have the confidence of choosing the product they want this is done through self service and making the customer to have a consumer affluence that is willing to pay more for the convenience of the service appearance of the service dependence of the company goods and the prestige of packing. Self service can be seen clearly form their online shop and the physical store. This has given the company a good image thus creating a good brand name.

In developing the brand policy, they have grouped individual items or precuts into different products lines based on the quality feature and design this has given arise to a difference pricing strategy.

Price

Pricing is one of the best decisions that a firm can make on order to remain competitive in the market. The company has priced her products based on quality and market segments. A high quality product will have high price the same way a medium quality product will have a medium price while a low quality product will have a low price attached to it. the company has segmented the markets while setting their prices this is aimed at making profits at the same time capture the market. The main aim of setting the selling price is able that stimulates market growth. At the same time be able to remain competitive and make profits.

They have considered the factors that affect market segment while coming up with the pricing strategy. Some of the factor they have considered in setting various pricing strategy include the value attached to the products as viewed by specific market segment. Availability of a substitute in certain segment the amount spends in production of the product, the quality of the product fixed cost and inventory being held in store. All in all the pricing strategy is above the fixed cost that is after considering the contribution of a certain product.

Being a market leader they maintain their prices and profit margin. This when

  1. it would lose too much profit if reduced its produce;
  2. it would not lose much market share; and
  3. it could regain market share when necessary.

This price maintenance is dangerous because competitors may take the market and gets more confident as its sales increase.

Promotion

Promotional mix is important in this case because good advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and publicity skills should be employed to enhance the sales for clams and expand the market. This will ensure that the bundle of benefits a customer gets from a product serve the purpose for which he bought it. This will also assist the company to alert customers to be aware of the product i.e. in advertising. There are many ways of advertising.

Communication that can be used on clams are visual adverts- newspapers, magazines, e.t.c. other ways are audio-visual- T.V, videos and cinemas and audio where advertisers use the radio. Another very good form of promotion to use is via the internet where clams products can be placed online for customers to be aware of and purchase. This company exploits all this avenues in marketing their products.

Good promotions aimed directly at the customers can also enhance sales just like direct mails, fliers or posters that can keep the customer updated about the product. For this case of clams where the product is sold in stores and distributors selling is essential but there is need to employ effective sales people to sell the product and explain the important product feature.

Advertising

The company advertises in the local press (newspapers, mail, magazines) commercial television, billboards, Use of Travel agencies, brochure, Word of mouth (personal selling),Out-door hoarding, transport advertising by the taxi (cabs) and Celebrity endorsements.

There will also be a sales promotion which will involve; Temporary price-reduction to attract new consumers and also retain the old consumers that the company would have captured.

Publicity

The Company entails, getting involved with the community developments by offering.With this social responsibility, the company is able to be boosted in terms of publicity of the company, hence created more awareness.

Place of distribution/positioning

The position of the company is located at a great city as well in the online shop where there is always influx of human flow and hence ensuring there is a ready target group. The company is located in the busiest streets in major and while other stores are situated in a mall which is a bonus point to the introduction and success of the company products.

Competition

The company faces direct and indirect competition from its competitors in the country and outside the company. The business serves customers all over the world and in the world there are more stores thus having a stiff competition.

The size of the business is for medium and high class in relation to its competitors. The location and size of the business is of great benefit than those of the competitors. Hence the business covers a wider market.

The business being able to cover a wider market and sells a wider range of products apart from men’s clothes to its customers.

Conclusion and Recommendation

The endorsed clothing launch will be successful and promoting the product it will be easier in the UK market. At the beginning the target market will be female consumers, hence ensuring the product has a long life cycle and expansion of the target market later in life.

With the paradigm shift in the consumption and the increased competition endorsed clothing has become the most respected clothing for people in UK regardless of the price. It has taken a lot of transformation to make sure the customers get guaranteed and the best clothes in the market therefore the company should follow suit. The company should be able to administer and manage modern strategies in marketing at low cost hence providing the customer with optimal value making the customers feel satisfy.

Lastly the company should enter into the UK market since there is already target market willing to consume the products.

Work Cited

Armstrong G. & Kotler P. (2007). Consumer Markets: Influences on consumer behavior, Principles of Marketing.

Kotler, P. (2005) Principles of Marketing. New York. Melbourne Press.

Schaik J.L., (2002); The Task of Marketing Management; J.L. van Schaik (Pity) ltd.

Wickham p (2001) Strategic entrepreneurship 2nd Edition, financial Times. Prentice hall.

Winer, R.S. (2007). Marketing Management, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

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