The marketing concept which strives to build a company around a profitable satisfaction of customer needs is the most critical key in brand development worldwide. However, the success of companies and their brands is equally pegged on well-designed marketing strategies which not only ensure a high rate of product penetration but also enhance the product competitiveness and profitability. This paper takes a comprehensive and critical analysis of the marketing strategies and promotion of Pinkberry product and launch to Taiwan market. The paper discusses in detail the promotion, advertising, media mix, message, and sales promotion of Pinkberry products.
Multi-channel marketing strategies for the launch of pink berry in Taiwan
Multi-channel retailing has been defined as the opportunity presented to the same customer to obtain the same product from the same retailer by multiple purchase channels According to Nicholson, Clarke and Blakemore (2002), this multi-channel marketing strategy attempts to foster the customer’s behavior to be multi-channel. Those companies that obtain part of their sales from two different channels can be classified as having adopted the multi-channel approach as contrasted with the ones whose entire sales volume is generated from the pursuit of a single channel (Nicholson, Clarke and Blakemore, 2002).
Many customers use multiple channels during the purchase process such as research, during the purchase process and while obtaining services (Stone, Hobbs and Khaleeli, 2002). In this regard, it has been advanced that where organizations decide to adopt a multi-channel strategy, then attention needs to focus on whether all the channels will be offering similar services or products ranges and whether they will have all the functional areas. Of paramount importance here is the need to define the role that the various channels are intended to function and the associated interactions, as this helps in the identification and facilitation of both the use and preferences emphasis for the targeted segments.
Several advantages of multi-channel strategies have been presented in the literature. According to Lawson, (2001), channels have different advantages depending on the type of interaction with the various customers. This point has been buttressed by Souza and Serrentino (2002) who have stated that customers look for different channels depending on the kinds of products, the moment of purchase, and the prevailing motivation. The researchers have broadly categorized these behaviors within three domains of retail emotion where the experience of purchasing performs a fundamental role, retail reason in which case price is the overriding factor of the purchase, and finally, retail convenience.
According to Lawson (2001), “the critical factors for the accomplishment of a multi-channel strategy encompasses the complete integration of the brand, product position, inventory forecast, price, logistics and the expectations of the customers.” As Lawson (2001) points out, the adoption of multi-channel retailing brings positive results such as increases in sales volumes, costs reductions, and increased levels of operations. Integrated channels in the opinions of Stone et.al (2002) also affects positively brand loyalty and customers’ lifetime values.
While several advantages of multi-channel integration have been advanced in the literature, several disadvantages have also been presented. According to Stone et.al (2002), a lot of companies experience heavy investments in unconvincing multi-channel strategies and technologies that result in poor returns on investments. Difficulties in reducing and abolishing organizational boundaries or problems in bringing together and standardizing data about customers or resulting interactions also abides. Indeed, the complexities of multi-channel retailing strategies have been presented as derailing a lot of companies’ performance and development. The major issues that have been noted seem to aggregate towards decisions on what prices to sell at, which products to sell, and on how to deliver the sold products. This will be more complicated in the case where an organization has to rely on professional retailers engaged in the sale and distribution of the company’s products.
The complexities of decisions in multi-channel retailing are well-discussed issues in literature. These complexities have been categorized into a 3-format structure of decision-making criteria, that is, which price to sell at, which products to sell and how to deliver the sold product. With regard to prices, the major decision to be made is in regards to whether the company should apply different prices to the same products sold in the stores and on other distribution channels (Kotler and Amstrong, 2007). The decisions on product policy are on the other hand related to the assortment and the type of product (Zeithaml, 2002). As Stone et.al (2002) have warned, clients are at times frustrated with the different assortment of the products offered in the channels. However, it should be borne in mind that companies may opt for these strategies for commercial reasons such as the costs of delivery, and the high risks of return. In other instances, the issue of professionals dealing in similar products may present a bottleneck to these companies. Stone et.al (2002) has advised that companies should start with products of high turnover and first focus on the depth of the main category of products before enlarging them with complementary products, before finally, after attaining the critical mass, introduce differentiated products.
Another option is on product positioning in the market that should ideally be wholly strategic. As Stone et.al (2002) have advised, companies that offer a variety of products may define different strategies for each category depending on the potential segment under consideration. This is especially true when it is considered that some professional retailers may make customers’ access to some products more difficult and indeed expensive than others. The information flow and the logistics in multi-channel strategies is another perspective that is seen to curtail multi-channel branding initiatives.
It has been pointed out that companies need to be aware of the aspects related to the delivery of their products as this does have a lot of influence on their perceptions about the product or service. The utilization of stores for example has been noted by Kotler and Amstrong, (2007), as increasing, given the convenience accorded and the quality characteristics attached a point that has been buttressed by Stone et.al (2002) who intones that physical stores may improve conveniences to the local customers.
Marketing strategy for Pinkberry in Taiwan
According to Kotler and Amstrong, (2007), “the marketing concept of building an organization around the satisfaction of consumer needs has helped firms to achieve success in the high growth, moderately competitive market”. The launch of Pinkberry in Taiwan requires a clear market strategy that comprehensively addresses the following marketing; selection of target market, differentiation, and positioning of the offering in the customers’ mind, marketing objectives, and a marketing mix for Pinkberry product.
Selection of target market
The market is the most important in the business of selling or buying any product (Lawson 2001). In this regard, its selection should depict thorough research to determine all the factors and market conditions that may affect the product both positively and negatively.
According to Kotler and Amstrong, (2007)
The purpose of segmenting a market is to allow marketing/sales programs to focus on the subset of prospects that are likely to purchase the company’s offering. If the process is done properly it helps to ensure the highest return for the company’s marketing/sales expenditures. Depending on whether you are selling your offering to individual consumers or a business, there are definite differences in what you will consider when defining market segments.
Pinkberry has got strategic market segmentation plans to enhance its quick penetration in the new market. Towards this, the company has segmented the market into four distinct parts. In this case, the company uses product differentiation to meet the demand of this Taiwan market. Market segmentation is quite good for capturing a wider customer base. This involves strategies such as product differentiation and packaging.
Marketing Mix and Media Mix
“The marketing mix principles are controllable variables, which have to be carefully managed and must meet the needs of the defined target group” (Kotler and Amstrong, 2007). Marketing decisions for the new product which is Pinkberry fall under the following category of; product, price place and promotion. “These four P’s the most important indicators that marketing managers use to control the decision made on both internal and external marketing environment” (Lawson 2001). In this case, the Brand name for the new product is Pinkberry which has got great quality and tastes coupled with an excellent packaging style.
The marketing mixes
According to Kotlar, (2003) the major marketing management decision is classified into the following four categories;
- “Product-In this case, the company will put a lot of emphasis on the physical appearance, packaging, service warranty” (Kotlar, 2003)
- “Price –Price decision should take into account profit margin and probable pricing response of the competitors” (Kotlar, 2003). The company plans to charge a price that is slightly below the market prices of its competitors.
- “Place-Place or distribution includes market coverage, market coverage, channel member selection, logistics and level of service.” (Kotlar, 2003). The place to launch the product in Taiwan and its surroundings.
- “Promotion – The decision promotion decision are those related to communicating and selling to potential consumers since these costs can be large in the promotion to the product price, a break-even analysis should be performed when making promotion decisions” (Kotlar, 2003). The company has programmed a number of promotional activities like a roadshow, Celebrity launch of the product, and free sample handouts to the Taiwan customers.
In the determination of the price of the new product the company will use the following strategies;
According to Kotler, and Amstrong, (2007) skimming strategy is a “product pricing strategy by which a firm charges the highest initial price that customers will pay. As the demand of the first customers is satisfied, the firm lowers the price to attract another, more price-sensitive segment” This strategy is applied when the product differentiation is so much that needs a price increase.
A Market Penetration Strategy for Pinkberry in Taiwan market
This strategy is applied when a company needs market penetration. Since there is a need for quick market penetration of Pinkberry products, the price of Pinkberry will be a little bit lower than the market leader to enhance quick penetration.
Promotion Decision of Pinkberry
Promotion plays a great role in product awareness and market penetration for both the American market and the international market (Keller, 1993). Kotler and Amstrong (2007) further highlight that the success of product market penetration is to have effective promotion decisions. In this case, the company has put in place all the resources and requirements needed for Pinkberry promotion. The product will be promoted through media, newspapers, music celebrity personality endorsements, and direct sales promotions in the Taiwan market. The promotion will include a roadshow around all the shopping centers in Taiwan.
Successful marketing cannot be fully discussed without media mix and its ultimate role as a marketing strategy. According to Kotler, and Amstrong, (2007),
The entire process of strategizing, creating, and executing an advertisement is one thing. And communicating that advertisement to the entire target segment is totally another aspect.
In this case, these tools will be directed to the Taiwan market for the penetration of the Pinkberry product.
The Pinkberry product is going to be highly advertised through media, newspapers, Billboards, Brochures, exhibitions, and word of mouth. This kind of multi-channel advertising strategy will ensure quick product awareness among the Taiwan customers thereby creating high market penetration in a short time. Pinkberry products will be advertised on radios stations, Televisions channels, newspapers and magazines. This will specifically enhance product awareness among the population of Taiwan.
Product awareness is quite necessary and in this case, a message will be directed to the Taiwanese consumer through the use of television, radio, newspaper, mobile phones. This will ensure that the customers are educated about the product and hence their interest will be enhanced. In addition, the company plans to use mobile telephone companies in sending short and catchy messages about the product to all cell phone companies’ subscribers.
Sales promotion strategies for Pinkberry
Push sales promotion strategy according to Keller, (1993), “involves convincing trade intermediary channel members to “push” the product through the distribution channels to the ultimate consumer via promotions and personal selling efforts. The company promotes the product through a reseller who in turn promotes it to yet another reseller or the final consumer.” This strategy will ensure quick product sales and promotion.
In addition to Push strategy, a pull strategy will also yield a considerable good result. Kotler, and Amstrong, (2007), illustrates that,
A pull strategy attempts to get consumers to pull the product from the manufacturer through the marketing channel. The company focuses its marketing communications efforts on consumers in the hope that it stimulates interest and demand for the product at the end-user level
Other promotional strategies for Pinkberry product in Taiwan
Pricing Comparison Strategy
This strategy is applied when the market leader is not from the company and in this case, it has set price expectations in the mind of the customer. In setting the price, the company has taken into account the pricing strategy of skim and penetration prices.
The key to succeeding in business is an organized distribution channel (Kotler, and Amstrong, 2007) and (Lawson, 2001). The company has benefitted from an already existing distribution channel worldwide to build on the new product. This includes the already existing company distributers in other Asian cities which border Taiwan.
Extended product – communications adaptation
According to Mario, (2004)
If the product basically fits the different needs or segments of a market it may need an adjustment in marketing communications only. Again this is a low-cost strategy, but different product functions have to be identified and a suitable communications mix developed.
Product adaptation – communications extension
According to (Lawson, 2001)
The product is adapted to fit usage conditions but the communication stays the same. The assumption is that the product will serve the same function in foreign markets under different usage conditions.
Given that Taiwan is a new market for Pinkberry it will be prudent to apply both product extension and adaptation so as to achieve a good result. This is because the product communication will be structured to fit the needs of the consumer in Taiwan.
In conclusion, Pinkberry is strategically positioned to benefit from its technological prowess. In this regard, it has modeled effective marketing strategies that not only address the needs of the company expectation but also capture the attention of the customer and deliver on quality.
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