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Chapter 13
Product and Distribution Strategies
5 List the stages of the new-product
development process.
Explain marketing’s definition of a
product and list the components of
the product strategy.
2 Describe the classification system
for consumer and business goods
and services.
Distinguish between a product mix
and a product line.
Briefly describe each of the four
stages of the product life cycle.
6 Explain how firms identify their
Outline and briefly describe each
of the major components of an
effective distribution strategy.
8 Identify the various
categories of distribution
channels and discus the
factors that influence
channel selection.
Product Bundle of physical, service, and symbolic attributes designed to satisfy
buyers’ wants.
Classifying Goods and Services
Classifying Consumer Goods and Services
• Convenience products are items the consumer seeks to purchase frequently,
immediately, and with little effort.
• Shopping products are those typically purchased only after the buyer has
compared competing products in competing stores.
• Specialty products are those that a purchaser is willing to make a special effort
to obtain.
Classifying Business Goods
• Five basic categories
• Installations Major capital items, such as new factories, heavy equipment
and machinery, and custom-made equipment.
• Accessory equipment Includes less expensive and shorter-lived capital items
than installations and involve fewer decision makers.
• Component parts and materials Become part of a final product.
• Raw materials Farm and natural products used in producing other final
• Supplies Expense items used in a firm’s daily operation that do not become
part of the final product.
Classifying Business Services
• Classified as either B2C or B2B
• Like goods, can also be convenience, shopping, or specialty products depending
on the buying patterns of customers.
• Unlike goods, they are intangible, perishable, difficult to standardize.
• From buyer’s perspective, the service provider is the service.
Marketing Strategy Implications
• In B2B, greater emphasis on personal selling for installations and many
component parts.
• May also involve customers in new-product development.
• Advertising more commonly used to sell supplies and accessory equipment.
• Also a greater emphasis on competitive pricing strategies.
Product Lines and Product Mix
Product line Group of related products that are physically similar or are intended
for the same market.
Product mix A company’s assortment of product lines and individual offerings.
• Ongoing assessment to ensure company growth, to satisfy
changing consumer needs and wants, and to adjust to
competitors’ offerings.
Product life Four basic stages—introduction, growth, maturity, and decline—
through which a successful product progresses.
Stages of the Product Life Cycle
• Introduction stage Firm tries to promote demand for its new offering, inform the
market about it, give free samples to entice consumers to make a trial purchase,
and explain its features, uses, and benefits.
• Losses are common due to relatively low sales and high costs of promotions,
establishing distribution channels, and training the sales force about the new
product’s advantages.
• Expenditures necessary for later profit.
• Growth stage Sales climb quickly as new customers join early users who now are
repurchasing the item.
• Company begins to earn profits on the new product.
• Competitors enter the field with similar offerings, and price
competition appears.
• Maturity stage Industry sales eventually reach a saturation level at which further
expansion is difficult.
• Competition intensifies, increasing the availability of the product.
• Firms concentrate on capturing competitors’ customers, often dropping prices
to further the appeal.
• Firms promote mature products aggressively to protect their market share and
to distinguish their products from those of competitors.
Decline stage Sales fall and profits decline.
• May become losses as further price-cutting occurs in the reduced overall
market for the item.
• Usually is caused by a product innovation or a shift in consumer preferences.
Marketing Strategy Implications of the Product Life
• Marketer’s objective is to extend the life cycle as long as product is profitable.
• Common strategies include
• Increasing customers’ frequency of use
• Adding customers
• Example: Zippo Manufacturing marketing new uses for its products.
• Finding new uses for product
• Example: Arm & Hammer marketing baking soda in toothpaste and
other products.
• Changing package sizes, labels, and product designs
• Example: Sony PlayStation Portable
Stages in New-Product Development
• Expensive, time-consuming, and risky.
• Only about one-third of new products become success stories.
• Each step requires
a “go or no-go”
• Stage 1: Generating ideas for new offerings.
• Ideas come from many sources, including customer suggestions, suppliers,
employees, and competitive products.
• The most successful ideas are directly related to satisfying customer needs.
• Stage 2: Screening
• Eliminates ideas that do not mesh with overall company objectives or cannot
be developed given the company’s resources.
• Stage 3: Concept development and business analysis phase
• Further screening occurs and assessment of potential sales, profits, growth
rate, and competitive strengths and whether it fits with the company’s product,
distribution, and promotional resources.
• Stage 4: Product development
• Functioning prototypes or detailed descriptions of the product may be
• Designs are joint responsibility of the firm’s development staff and its
• Stage 5: Test marketing
Test marketing Introduction of a new product supported by a complete
marketing campaign to a selected city or TV coverage area to examine both
consumer responses to the new offering and the marketing effort used to support it.
• Stage 6: Commercialization
• Product is made generally available in the marketplace.
• Firm’s distribution, promotion, and pricing strategies are all
geared to support the new product offerings.
• Success is not guaranteed until product finds customer acceptance.
Brand Name, term, sign, symbol, design, or some combination that identifies the
products of one firm and differentiates them from competitors’ offerings.
• Brand name Part of the brand consisting of words or letters included in a name
used to identify and distinguish the firm’s offerings from those of competitors.
• Trademark Brand that has been given legal protection granted solely to the
brand’s owner.
• Includes design logos, slogans, packaging elements, and product features
such as color and shape.
Selling an Effective Brand Name
• Good brands are easy to pronounce, recognize, and remember.
• Should be appropriate for the cultural context, reflect the right image,
and be legally protectable.
Brand Categories
• Manufacturer’s brand Brand offered and promoted by a manufacturer
• Examples: Tide, Jockey, Gatorade, Swatch, and Reebok.
• Private or store brand Brand that is not linked to the manufacturer but instead
carries a wholesaler’s or retailer’s label.
• Examples: Sears’ DieHard batteries and Wal-Mart’s Ol’Roy dog food &
Member’s Mark brand
• Family branding strategy A single brand name used for several related
• Examples: KitchenAid, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, and Dole
• Individual branding strategy Giving each product within a line a different
• Examples: Procter & Gamble products Tide, Cheer, and Dash.
Brand Loyalty and Brand Equity
Brand Loyalty
• Measured in three stages.
• Brand recognition Consumer is aware of the brand
but does not have a preference for it over other
• Brand preference Consumer chooses one firm’s
brand over a competitor’s.
• Brand insistence Consumer will seek out preferred
brand and accept no substitute for it.
• Web sites can help build brand loyalty.
• Brand loyalty becoming more important in B2B
Brand Equity
Brand equity Added value that a respected and successful name gives to a
• Brand awareness Product is the first one that comes to mind when a product
category is mentioned.
• Large companies have typically assigned the task of managing a brand’s
marketing strategies to a brand manager or product manager.
• Category manager Oversees an entire group of products and have profit
responsibility for their product group.
• Assisted by associates, usually called analysts.
Category advisor Vendor that is designated by the business customer as the
major supplier to deal with all other suppliers for a special purchase and to
present the entire pack- age to the business buyer.
Packages and Labels
• Important in product identification and play an important role in a firm’s overall
product strategy.
• Choosing right package is especially important in international marketing.
• Labeling plays an important role.
• Must meet legal requirements of all countries in which product is sold.
• Universal Product Code Bar code read by optical scanner.
Distribution channel Path through which products—and legal ownership of
them—flow from producer to consumers or business users.
Physical distribution Actual movement of products from producer to consumers
or business users.
Distribution Channels
Direct Distribution
• Direct contact between producer and customer.
• Most common in B2B markets.
• Often found in the marketing of relatively expensive, complex products that may
require demonstrations.
• Internet is helping companies distribute directly to consumer market.
Distribution Channels Using Marketing Intermediaries
• Producers distribute products through
wholesalers and retailers.
• Often used for products that sell
inexpensively to thousands of consumers
in widely scattered locations.
• Often lowers costs of goods to
consumers by creating market utility.
Wholesaler Distribution channel member that sells primarily to retailers, other
wholesalers, or business user.
• U.S. has more than 450,000 wholesalers.
Manufacturer-Owned Wholesaling Intermediaries
• Owned by the manufacturer of the good.
• Two main types:
• Sales branch which stocks products and fills orders from inventories.
• Sales office which takes orders but does not stock the product.
Independent Wholesaling Intermediaries
• Represents a number of different manufacturers.
• Merchant wholesalers Independently owned wholesaling intermediaries that take
title to the goods they handle.
• Full-function merchant wholesaler Provides range of services for retailers or
industrial buyers, such as warehousing, shipping, and even financing.
• Limited-function merchant wholesaler Takes legal title to the products it
handles, but it provides fewer services, such as warehouse products but not
offering delivery service.
• Agents and brokers Never take title of the goods they handle, working mainly to
bring buyers and sellers together.
• Manufacturers’ reps Act as independent sales forces by representing the
manufacturers of related but noncompeting products.
Retailer-Owned Cooperatives and Buying Offices
• Set up to reduce costs or to provide some special service that is not readily
available in the marketplace.
• Buying group Negotiates bulk sales with manufacturers to achieve cost savings
through quantity purchases.
• Cooperative Retailers share functions such as shipping or warehousing.
Retailer Channel member that sells goods and services to individuals for their
own use rather than for resale.
• Final link of the distribution channel.
• Two types: Store and nonstore.
The Wheel of Retailing
• New retailers enter the
market by offering lower
prices made possible
through reductions in
• New entries gradually add
services as they grow and
ultimately become targets
for new retailers.
How Retailers Compete
• Retailers must choose merchandising, customer service, pricing, and location
strategies that will attract customers in their target market segments.
Identifying a Target Market
• Evaluating the size and profit potential of the chosen market segment and the
current level of competition for the segment’s business.
Selecting a Product Strategy
• Determining the right mix of product categories and product lines.
Selecting a Customer Service Strategy
• Determining the right level of customer service to maximize sales and profits.
Selecting a Pricing Strategy
• Based on the costs of purchasing products from other channel
members and offering services to customers.
• Can play a major role in customer perception.
Choosing a Location
• Depends on the retailer’s size, financial resources, product offerings,
competition, and, of course, its target market.
• Planned shopping center Group of retail stores planned, coordinated, and
marketed as a unit to shoppers in a geographical trade area.
• Growing shift to to smaller strip centers, name-brand outlet centers, and lifestyle
centers, open-air complexes containing retailers that often focus on specific
shopper segments and product interests.
Building a Promotional Strategy
• Advertising and other promotions to stimulate demand and to provide
Creating a Store Atmosphere
• Store atmospherics Physical characteristics of a store and its amenities
• Should align closely with merchandising, pricing, and promotion
• Firms face two major decisions about distribution channels:
• What specific channel will it use?
• What will be the level of distribution intensity?
Selecting Distribution Channels
• Market factors greatly affect decision. Generally:
• Complex, expensive, custom-made, or perishable products move through
shorter distribution channels involving few—or no—intermediaries.
• Standardized products or items with low unit values usually pass
through relatively long distribution channels.
• Start-up companies often use direct channels because they can’t
persuade intermediaries to carry their products.
Selecting Distribution Intensity
• Distribution intensity The number of intermediaries or outlets through which a
manufacturer distributes its goods.
• Intensive distribution Firm’s products in nearly every available outlet.
• Generally suits low-priced convenience goods such as milk, news- papers,
and soft drinks.
• Requires cooperation of many intermediaries.
• Selective distribution Limited number of retailers to distribute its product lines.
• Can reduce total marketing costs and establish strong working
relationships within the channel.
• Exclusive distribution Limits market coverage in a specific geographical
• Retailers are carefully selected to enhance the product’s image
to ensure that well-trained personnel will contribute to customer
Logistics and Physical Distribution
Supply chain Complete sequence of suppliers that contribute to creating a good
or service and delivering it to business users and final consumers.
Logistics Activities involved in controlling the flow of goods, services, and
information among members of the supply chain.
Physical Distribution
• Activities aimed at efficiently moving finished goods from the production line to
the consumer or business buyer.
Customer Service
• A vital component of both product and distribution strategies.
• Customer service standards Measure the quality of service a firm provides for its
• Warranties Firms’ promises to repair a defective product, refund money paid, or
replace a product if it proves unsatisfactory.
• Internet retailers have worked to humanize their customer interactions and deal
with complaints.