Retail Marketing Effects on Global Events

Introduction

Retail marketing has over the past few years increase significantly as firms fight for survival and growth within there respective industries. Firms also strive to remain international in scope and these businesses are faced with many challenges in their current business undertakings and there is a need for them to fight for their survival that results from global events and competition which affects them either positively or negatively.

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Description of the retail company

This paper will examine in details the business activities of Dairy Farm International Holdings Limited which is widely believed to be among the largest Asian retail companies and has its main headquarters in Bermuda. This retail company mainly deals with a range of products that include; food stuffs, comprehensive food supplier and individual hygiene goods and it has dominated Asia and particularly China. This retail company is an affiliate of Jardine Matheson Group which is among the quoted companies and it is recorded to be performing well in Bermuda, Singapore, and London stock markets. This retail company has achieved the status of being a market leader in its industry and this study significantly looks at the analysis of internal and external influences in modern business and with particular regards to Dairy Farm International Holding Company based Bermuda.

Pricing

For the success of any organization including this retail Dairy Farm Holding dealing with a range of products, pricing is very important tool in achieving there goals. Pricing can be simply defined as the physical practice of allocating prices to products in order to sell in a given market. This retail company should be keen enough in order to come up with prices which will foster the performance of the business in terms of increasing sales thus achieving high productivity. They should therefore carry out extensive research related to these dairy and hygiene products and they should consider following factors: Dairy Farm International Holdings Company should consider the prices of the same products offered by its competitors.

The business should be keen not to charge high prices because it might lead to realizing low sales and at the same time not to charge too low because these may affect its level of profitability and thus continuity of the business in the long-run. Another component is that of what is termed as zone pricing which means that the retail holding may decide to sell its products at different prices in different locations. The retail holding should also consider the factor of cost before pricing the products. It is advisable that the company should choose a price estimated appropriate or optimal by the management to be appropriate and it should reflect the cost of producing these drugs. Prices set applied should ensure that the cost of producing the products is recovered at the same time ensuring profitability of the retail company. However, according to the latest research, reports revealed that the pricing systems of the company have been fair and that is the reason it has dominated its industry. (Cullen and Parboteeah, 2005).

Advertising

Advertising is the key ingredient for the success of any company in terms of increase of sales and this Dairy Farm International Holding Company has utilized this concept and thus has gained a larger market share as compared to its rivals. The Retail Company’s advertising strategy has propelled the firm to another level with particular regard to the response of its products consumption by the customers. The retail company has utilized mostly advertising campaigns through the use of media, for example the company does a lot of constant reminding advertising through television and radio presentation which has enabled the company to achieve a strong and wide customer base. The retail company has utilized the use of bill boards and has also launched a website where potential customers can get to know the products that it offers in its attempts ton increase its market share.

Customer relationships

The retail company is large in size and has subsidiaries mainly in Asian countries and its responsibility has been to satisfy the customer needs and satisfaction as well as attracting new and retaining the old customers. Dairy Farm Holding International Limited Company has established a customer care centre which has fostered the success of the company. The centre has been responsible for handling grievances from the retail company’s customers and taking any suggestions that can be made. The employees of the retail company according to the latest research reveals that they have been well trained on how to handle the company’s customers without discouraging them in any way. (Thomson and Rampton, 2003).

Brand image

The retail company has a strong brand name which helps the organization to have a competitive advantage over the other food and hygiene products producing companies. According to latest research, the company has investments in Asia and pacific regions, which has led to the success of the company. The food and hygiene products that the retail company deals with are considered to be of high quality and are affordable thus the brand name of the company is considered to be excellent particularly in Asian countries. This excellent brand name of the company has been considered a strength that the retail company has over its main rivals in the retail business because its products have been doing well in the market in terms of increased market share and exploring new markets as well as dominating the market. (Collins, 1998)

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Competitor activity

The retail company with its competitors is engaged in a kind of market structure called perfect competition market because there are a number of retail companies who deal with the production of food and hygiene products. Since perfect competition translates to too many sellers and many buyers in the market place, competition is stiff and sometimes the rival retail companies’ practices unfair competition in order to gain a larger market share in the market place. For example every retail company will strive to increase there sales of the food stuff and hygiene products among other products through practicing cut throat competition techniques and thus for a business to succeed it must employ good competitive strategies that will contain the competitors forces, foster growth and ultimately that enhances the success of the business. In perfect competition the market forces determines the prices of the products and services therefore the retail company have had to come up with strategies that conform to this market structure. Under this the forces of supply and demand takes the centre stage and prices are determined at equilibrium point. (Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders, and Wong, 1999).

Information management

For any organization to succeed, record keeping is very important and the Dairy Farm retail company does it through both manual and computerized techniques and methods. According to research, the retail company’s recording keeping is superior in that its system of recording is simple and makes retrieving of information needed easy thus avoiding wastage of time. However the retail company’s activities are computerized and this has led to accuracy and efficient production, for example the financial transactions of the firms have been computerized thus minimizing the risk of manipulation of any information by the untrustworthy staff and the risks of any shortages. The management of the company has also adopted a structure or culture whereby all employees are involved in decision making process thus has propelled the dissemination of any information to all employees. This in turn has minimized the risks of conflicts between the management and the workers of the company and thus has promoted mutual understanding. (Hill, 2005).

Supply chain management

The retail company is extensively accredited with the best marketing network i.e. supply chain that have made the company to do well both domestically and globally. Dairy Farm Company has opened many subsidiaries in many countries for example; it has many branches in Asia and pacific which sells it brands. Research shows that this retail company is quite global in nature. The company has the best distribution channels in the industry which has been a strength that has significantly helped the company to dominate the market for a long time. Due to the present of such distribution channels, the retail Company have had the ability to identify the market segments and hence the competitive position of the company and has in the process developed workable marketing strategies This retail company has got core operating units that have helped it to have a very firm structure. (Daniels and Caroline, 1993).

Recommendations

The retail company’s performance have not been the best and the management need to come up with strategies that will help the company cope with any competition as well achieve the position of being a market leader in terms of producing and supplying food and other hygiene products. The company therefore should utilize the concept of generic strategies as advocated by Michael Porter. A business competitive strategy requires the company to make a decision whether to compete across the entire market or only in certain segments of the industry and also whether to compete through low costs and prices or through offering differentiated product change. Dairy Farm Company has chosen to adopt the strategy of competing in certain segments in the market as they have focused in mainly in Asian and Pacific countries and not worldwide and this has proved to be successful as it does not require a lot of funds. The idea to compete across the entire market or in some market segments results to the following four probable strategies:

Cost leadership

Under this the company has the desire to become an overall low cost producer within the market place. It does this through reduction of prices of its products.

Product differentiation

Under this the retail company may wish to make different its goods in order to be unique from its rivals. The variations may either be genuine or fantasy although the main issue is the sensitivity of divergences. The retail company can take advantage of modifying its products then charge high prices than that of its competitors. (Maund, 2001)

Focus

Under this the strategy can be designed for any of cost or differentiation strategies. The strategy is usually directed to some market segments where company’s products are perceived to perform well. So the retail company can choose whether to specialize in costs or differentiated focus in terms of its undertakings.

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The above competitive generic strategies can be illustrated in the figure below;

Indicating competitive generic strategies
Figure 1. Indicating competitive generic strategies

After determining the generic strategies the retail company can use Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix to develop its portfolio plan. It can be illustrated in the diagram below;

Indicating strategies in developing a portfolio plan
Figure 2. Indicating strategies in developing a portfolio plan

The star is considered to be the most important SBU with high market share in a growing industry. The basic objective can be to maintain the firm’s cutthroat advantage as rivalry increases in the market place. A star is said to be making considerable profit but needs large quantity of assets to finance prolonged growth of the company. Market share can be sustained or augmented through further promotion and enhanced distribution channels. As industry expansion slug down a star eventually becomes cow. (Maund, 2001).

Cash cow is said to be the leading SBU with high market share in a comparatively decreasing industry. It has a reliable and a well-known client base. Because sales are moderately stable devoid of soaring marketing costs, a cash cow produces additional revenues or profits than is necessary to keep hold of its market share in the market place. Profits and revenues from such SBUs may be used to sustain the expansion of further SBUs considered to be low performers and requiring more resources in order to gain large market share. Under such circumstances the organization’s marketing plan is directed towards constant prompt promotion, intermittent price discounts, and preserving high-quality distribution channels.

Question mark/problem child is said to be an SBU which has made less impact in the market place in a growing industry. According to research this problem child requires considerable resources in form of finance in order to increase market share if rivalry is high in the industry. The organization’s management has to make decisions on whether to augment advertising budget, enhance product quality, trim down prices of the products or even discard the branch market in question. Dog/cash trap is considered to be an SBU with small market share in a mature industry and it is difficult to salvage its collapse. Regardless of sufficient time given in the market position a dog will not be capable of drawing a large number of consumers and is at the back of rivalry with particular reverence to product sales, reputation or picture of the company, outlay composition, and growth. (Blythe, 2001).

After carefully conducting portfolio analysis, the organization has the options of strategy below to manage its SBUs or businesses: Build strategy which is considered appropriate for a star and may be problem child e.g. the management of Dairy Farm International Holding Company can decide on to continue building its successful branches and those that are potential to become a star. Another strategy is that of hold whereby it is considered suitable for the cash cow in order to utilize the constant revenues collected. Example is that of Dairy Farm Company maintaining its branches that are doing well in terms of revenue collection. (Gronroos, 1994).

Another strategy is that of harvest which is considered suitable for all SBUs except the star. For example the company should harvest from its branches that have high revenues and those that are deemed to fail in the failure. The other strategy that should be considered is that of divest which is considered suitable for problem child and dogs. This is because they are no longer profitable and cannot be tolerated. For example Dairy farm Company should do away with branches that are not profitable despite committing enough time and resources. (Brassington and Pettit, 2000).

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Conclusion

The management of any company including that of Dairy Farm International Holding Company must identify the ways it will cope with other companies and what it perceives as a basis of competitive advantage. The business strategy adopted by a company is essentially a method for creating and sustaining a justifiable position in a particular market. Usually a firms profit depends on the nature of the strategy and on the inherent profitability of the industry in which it operates.

Any company may perform poorly in a profitable industry if it employs unsuitable marketing strategies. Research indicates that there are many things a company does but it should always concentrates on what it can produce best. The internal analysis facilitates the formulation of strategic plan which requires a clear understanding of the internal strengths acquired over time and any weakness that adversely impact on performance. Distinctive competencies are things that give a firm an advantage over similar businesses. Research also indicates that no matter how attractive an opportunity may be the business must have the competencies to capitalize on it. An opportunity without the competence to capture it is no really an opportunity to the business. (Thomson and Rampton, 2003).

Reference

Brassington, F. & Pettitt, S. (2000): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edition., New York, Prentice Hall. Pp 69-80.

Blythe, J. (2001): Essentials of Marketing, 2nd Edition. New York, Prentice Hall. Pp 88-100.

Collins, J. (1998): Built to Last-Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. New York, McGraw Hill. Pp 55-70.

Cullen, J. & Parboteeah, K. (2005): Multinational management. A strategic approach. 3rd Edition. Thomson South-Western. Mason. Pp 59-97.

Daniels, J. & Caroline, D. (1993): Global Vision– Building New Models for the Corporation of the Future. New York, McGraw Hill. pp 77-88.

Gronroos, C. (1994): From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing. Towards a paradigm shift in marketing. Management decision, vol. 32. Pp 55-79.

Hill, C. (2005): Global Business Today. 4th Edition. New York. Graw & Irwin MC. Pp 45-90.

Kotler, P. Armstrong, G. Saunders, J. & Wong, V (1999): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edition New Jersey. Prentice Hall. Pp 34-154.

Maund, L. (2001): An Introduction to Human to Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice: Macmillan, Palgrave. Pp 54-56

Murray, A. (1989): Top Management Group Heterogeneity and Firm Performance. Strategic Management Journal. vol. 10, Pp 34-38.

Thomson, C. & Rampton, L. (2003): Human Resource Management. New York. Melbourne press. Pp 47-87.

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