2.1 Portfolio Reflection 9-12
2.2 Marketing Plan Reflection 12-14
Boyle, M. (2017, August 24). Costco is playing a dangerous game with the web. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-24/costco-is-playing-a-dangerous-game-with-the-web.
In Costco is playing a dangerous game with the web, Boyle explores the marketing attitude of the retailer towards e-commerce. In spite of an overwhelming evidence of increased returns resulting from the exploitation of digital marketing tools, Costco wholesale appears sluggish in increasing its online presence.
At the core of Costcos marketing strategy is the emphasis on shopping customer experience and low prices. The retailer uses its strong position in the market to negotiate for low prices with suppliers which, in turn, enables it to fix lower prices for its products compared to competitors such as WalMart, Target, and Amazon.com. Amazon.com is the leader in online business. The companys concentration in electronic commerce has increased its sales volume significantly. On the contrary, Costcos revenue generation through online platforms accounts for a paltry proportion of the retailers annual revenues since it heavily relies on customers appearance in their stores. For instance, in 2017, revenue through online sales grew by 11% compared to that of Wal-Mart which increased by 63%. The companys strategy fails to recognize that the company has the potential to offer better value to its loyal customers by exploiting the digital space.
The issue of the minimal use of online marketing strategy at Costco Wholesale has been occasioned by the companys corporate culture. Costco operates based on the philosophy that keeping the prices of its goods and services low and offering top-notch customer service will always encourage customers to visit their stores. Besides, Costco consider customers membership fees as an important source of revenue hence the company has not found the necessity in wooing more customers.
Stakeholders in the situation are the companys customers and competitors. Customers desire for high-quality products that satisfy their needs. Besides, the goods must be affordable. Since Costco offers excellent customer service, the customers can be expected to exhibit exceptional loyalty to the company. For the competitors, they are likely to exploit their leadership in online business at the expense of Costco Wholesale in the long run.
The appropriate response is to the make an immediate investment in online platforms as other companies have done. Customer tastes and preferences are unstable. Today the Costco may have a strong client base but this does not offer guarantees for business in the future. The best marketing strategy is to evolve alongside the market. Boyles report indicates that WalMart is raking in a substantial amount of its revenue from online marketing. Boyle also reveals that recent surveys show that there is a significant customer overlap between Costco and Amazon.com. The survey indicated that half of Costcos members are Prime Members of Amazon. This dangerous considering that 14% of Costco members were Prime Members of Amazon five years ago. Danger lurks in the sense that, with Amazon acquiring Whole Foods, Costcos market position is at risk. This is because Amazon could leverage on its new acquisition to offer bulk products at low prices. Since low prices and bulk purchases are the primary drivers of revenue at Costco, any move destabilizing this strategy would hurt the companys primary source of revenue. This situation may be even worse considering that the two organizations share members, but unlike Costco, Amazon has a heavy online presence.
Wood, Z. (2017, October 4). Tesco vows to keep Willow Farms brand despite chicken scandal. The Guardian [London].
Woods article about Tesco highlights a brand issue. The retailer has been caught with egg on its face after reports of the undercover investigation reveal of a serious issue about hygienic conditions in which chicken food was prepared before it was put up for sale. The scandal, which affected its trademark brand Willow Farms, has put the company in the spotlight regarding its ability to remain a market leader in the food industry.
The issue came to the fore following undercover investigation reports that revealed of the inadequate hygienic conditions in which food was being prepared. The decision by the undercover investigators to focus the Tesco appears to have been motivated by insider information that all is not well with the marketing the companys products was concerned. Evidently, the issue arose as a result of the lax application of hygienic standards by the employees of the organization.
The stakeholders to this issue are customers, shareholders and employees. Customers are likely to keep off some of the food products offered by Tesco. In the footage revealed by undercover journalists, employees are seen altering the source and slaughter date of poultry in one of the sites of the retailers West Bromwich plant. This is a dangerous practice in the sense that customers may conclude that foods supplied by Tesco are a health hazard. On the other hand, shareholders are likely to demand responsible leadership. Such demand has the potential of changing the top leadership of the company. For employees, it can be a source of lessons for them to learn from regarding the maintenance of hygienic standards at all times while at work.
As intimated by Wood, retraining of employees is critical and constitutes one of the marketing issues that face many organizations today. Retraining of Tesco employees would reemphasize values of the organization and the need to protect such values at all times. For instance, the incident highlighted in the articles touches on values. Therefore, emphasis on this would act as a reminder for employees about the purpose of the organization and the need to protect its image as their employer.
Another way of responding to the issue is to urge customers to make returns that had been purchased in recent times. Although this strategy can be challenging due to fact that food does not last long for some customers, it can be pursued and its implementation accompanied by refunds, a public apology for what has happened, and an assurance that internal investigations would be done to ensure that the incident is not repeated. This is critical in order to protect the image of the organization as well as prevent an exodus of customers to rival firms.
Reuters. (2017, November 17). U.S probes 415,000 Volkswagen vehicles for air bag problems. The New York Times [New York]. Available at https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/11/17/business/17reuters-volkswagen-safety.html
The article authored by Reuters News Agency raises a question of design for Volkswagen vehicles. Regulatory authorities have discovered that the airbags could not deploy in case the cars are involved in an accident. As a result, 415, 000 vehicles have been recalled. The decision to recall cars depicts a deeper marketing problem that had affected Volkswagen since 2014 when the company fitted a device that cheated authorities regarding their compliance with air quality standards. This situation has been caused by the German automakers marketing strategy that seeks to increase its sales in the US market through questionable methods.
Stakeholders to this issue are Volkswagen, its potential and existing customers, and the US government. Another scandal could discourage the purchase of Volkswagen vehicles in the US market. This implies considerable losses in terms of revenue for the company. Further, the company can be expected to incur hefty fines from the federal government due to noncompliance if it is found to have violated road safety regulations in designing of its cars.
Recalling the cars can be an appropriate response to avoid liabilities which may arise as a result of accidents. Already, the company has followed this approach. Recalling of the cars is critical in the sense that it that will save the company liabilities that may be claimed from vehicle accidents. A recall is also an important step as it will demonstrate to American authorities that the company is doing something to mitigate the problem. Moreover, the image of the company is at stake because it has come out of another scandal. As such, it is imperative that efforts are seen to be made to redeem the companys brand.
Passy, J. (2017, November 8). Why Apples iPhone X is bad for the environment. MarketWatch. Available at https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-apples-new-iphone-is-bad-for-the-environment-2017-09-12
The market issue at the center of the article is the satisfaction of customers needs. Apple has been the global leader in the manufacture of smartphones. Through innovation, it continues to come up with new products to sustain its position leader in the manufacture of phones. The companys new design of Phone X has the potential to pollute further the environment.
The marketing issues in the article have come up as a result of the interplay between competition and innovation. The smartphones market has become so competitive that companies in the industry have to innovate on a continuous basis for them to sustain their business operations. This has come at a hefty price on the environment.
Stakeholders in the issue featured in the article are consumers, the company, and the global public. Reactions to Apples new design cannot be expected to be harmful to consumers who have shown great enthusiasm for the companys phones. Due to the limited awareness of the environmental impact of the mobile telephony sector, people will continue buying trendy Apple phones with little regard to the long-term effects such elements of consumerism could pose on the environment. Since it is meant to enable the company stays ahead of other players, it can be expected to invest more on the product in question.
An appropriate response to this is to focus on the durability of the phone. According to the information provided in the article, the phone breaks easily. Also, the screen of the new phone is more difficult to replace compared to its predecessors. Such features imply that many of these phones will be abandoned at a higher rate, causing pollution. For this reason, enhancing the recyclability of the phone can be an escape route through which the number of phones in circulation could be reduced.
Taylor, K. (2017, September 21). Pepsi CEO defends controversial Kendall Jenner ad: 'I looked at the ad again and again and again' and didn't see what was wrong. Business insider. Available at http://www.pulselive.co.ke/bi/strategy/strategy-pepsi-ceo-defends-controversial-kendall-jenner-ad-i-looked-at-the-ad-again-and-again-and-again-and-didnt-see-what-was-wrong-pep-id7353961.html
The issue in the advertisement that Pepsi was running is that it was interpreted as trivializing the Black Lives Matter campaign. Many viewers saw the ad as an effrontery to the struggle of black people in America . In other words, the ad appears to suggest that all as well in the American society in so as people of color are concerned. Since this is debatable especially among black communities, the ad caused...
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