Saturday, December 19, 2009

PRICING THE PRODUCT

The two basic components that affect product pricing are costs of manufacture and competition in selling. It is unprofitable to sell a product below the manufacturer’s production costs and unfeasible to sell it at a price higher than that at which comparable merchandise is being offered. Other variables also affect pricing. Company policy may require a minimum profit on new product lines or a specified return on investments, or discounts may be offered on purchases in quantity.Attempts to maintain resale prices were facilitated for many years in the different parts of the world but in most countries these laws have been nullified,thereby prohibiting manufacturers from controlling the prices set by wholesalers and retailers. Such control can still be maintained if the manufacturers wish to market directly through their own outlets, but this is seldom feasible except for the largest manufacturers.Attempts have also been made, generally at government insistence, to maintain product-price competition in order to minimize the danger small businesses.

Direct selling

When advertising reaches mass audience or personal direct selling it becomes very expensive but also very effective.Because direct selling has become expensive the use of sale staff has also changed.Simple trascation are completed by clerks,salepeople are only used when product is very complex and requires cetain amount of explaination.Personal selling involves much more than convincing a customer of the products benefits.Persuasion is part of job but the most important is problem solving.Because the selling process has become more complex the training of a salepeople has become very important.Now all the big companies provide training to thier salepeople about matters such as company history,presention,selling skills,use of company products and the most important about customers.Moreover because sale staff has become such important factor on selling process companies provide ongoing training to them.With increasingly complex business problems companies now even use sales teams.

Don't get 'misled' by food labels

In some previous class session, we discussed Nestle juices and their positioning of the product (rather consumer brainwashing). Many of us perceived it to be healthy and pure for it labeled itself as 'pure and healthy'. While it may not be, as Chen pointed out that its all sugar water and powder flavor (correct me if I am wrong). Well, as consumers we should not be confused by these 'dubious' labels. But most the mothers get it wrong. If the rate of confusion is so high in UK, worst should be here. The news report says:
"Nine out of 10 mothers questioned in a British Heart Foundation (BHF) survey misunderstood the nutrition information on children's foods.

The BHF says mothers believe claims such as "a source of calcium, iron and six vitamins" mean a product is likely to be healthy.

However, the BHF said that - for example - Nestle's Honey Shreddies, which claim to be wholegrain and to "keep your heart healthy and maintain a healthy body", contain more sugar [13.6g] than a ring doughnut [9.2g] in an average serving.

Almost three in five respondents believed that the phrase "no artificial flavourings , no artificial colourings" indicated a healthy treat."
Read whole article here.

Marketing and selling skill

New product development

New product development is the term used to describe the complete process of bringing a new product or service to market. There are five steps for new products.
1. Idea generation
2. Idea screening
3. Concept testing
4. Marketing strategy development
5. Business analysis
First, we should form a bench of creative person who create product based on observed need. Use brainstorming and think about it. Then get opinion from employees, customers that what are the weaknesses in the existing product, they improve it. After that estimate costs of the product and they should do the market research. Then physically design the product and estimate selling price base on competition. And estimate sales volume based on the size of market. Advertise the product.

Inspiring the Team to Achieve Goals

In Business, Leadership is about inspiring followers to achieve Team or Organizational goals. You may be a Team Leader or Manager in a Business, and you may have built the respect of your Team. Your next challenge is to get them focused in the right direction, the direction that will achieve their organizational goals.

Try Listening to the customer

An Outside-In approach to customer service

(i just had to copy paste this)

When IDEO remodeled the shopping cart it went out to the customers for suggestions of how to make the cart better. Listening to the customer is VERY important, it's them we are serving.
















Almost every product has to go through this life cycle.For instance cassette player was initially introduced to the market. Then people started using it so it enter into growth stage.Further with the passage of time its market became matured. Then with the introduction and growth of CD player the demand for the cassette player vanished.

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

video

A Web-Publics of Pakistani Consumer Market

'What could be an example of "publics" (see Markt. book p. 63) on web of Pakistani consumer market?' Once I thought, then instantly the following example popped in my head: "BoltaConsumer.com - Voice of Pakistani Consumer." I don't know if how many of you have visited this website (indicate if you've by marking 'interesting' option below) specially made for any Pakistani consumer to make complaints about products or services they happily or unhappily consume. Pakistani students, I have observed, are more interested in making complaints about everything they can imagine in their minds, always trying to enter every field, especially those they've least knowledge of, e.g., politics, than genuinely critiquing consumer goods, business models or way companies conduct business. So here's a useful place where your complaints are not going to be useless, rather may result as valuable for society at large, if you're people of understanding. Post your complaints here.

most important reason of economic crisis

One of the most important reasons for this crisis in my opinion is developed countries' huge lock out of funds in arms of massive destruction which we know are thousants of trilions of dollars , now laying idle , following the race of arming.
Definintely , this would have its impact on the crisis .

Friday, December 18, 2009

Introduction Stage:

"The product life cycle stage in which the new
product is first distributed and made available
for purchase".

The introduction stage starts when the new product is first launched. Introduction takes time
and sale growth is apt to be slow. Well-known products such as instant coffee and frozen orange
juice lingered for many years before they entered a stage of rapid growth.
Maturity Stage:

"The stage in the products life cycle in which sales growth
slows or levels off".

At some point, a product's sales growth will slow down, and product will enter a maturity stage.
This maturity stage normally lasts longer than the previous stages, and it poses strong challenges
to marketing management. Most products are in the maturity stage of the life cycle, and therefore
most marketing management deals with the mature product.
Growth Stage:

"The product life cycle stage in which a product's sales
start climbing quickly".

Profit increase during the growth stage, as promotion costs spread over a large volume and unit
manufacturing costs fall. The firm uses several strategies to sustain rapid market growth as long as possible, it improves product quality and adds new product features and models. It enters new market segments and new distribution channels. It shifts some advertising from building product awareness to building product conviction and purchase and it lowers prices at the right time to attract more buyers
.
Decline Stage:

The sale of most products forms and brands eventually dip.
The decline may be slow, as in the case of oatmeal cereal, or rapid
as in the case of phonograph records. Sale may plunge to zero, or they may
drop to a low level where they countinue for many years. This is the Decline Sales.

Marketing and selling skill

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is given below:

1. self-actualization needs (self development & realization)
2. esteem needs (self esteem, recognition, status)
3. social needs (sense of belonging, love)
4. safety needs (security, protection)
5. physiological needs (hunger, thirst)

Maslow's hierarchy is one of the first theories as a basis for understanding consumers' motives for action. Marketers have looked towards consumers' needs to define their actions in the market. If producers design products meeting consumer needs, consumers will more often choose those products over those of competitors. Whichever product better fulfils this void will be chosen more frequently, thus increasing sales.

11 rules to use for effective brainstorming

There are 11 rules that will help us in effective brainstorming which are as follows:-
  1. Defer judgement.
  2. Everyone participates.
  3. High energy.
  4. Faster is better.
  5. Quantity versus Quality.
  6. Encourage wild ideas.
  7. Build on eachother's ideas.
  8. Keep on track.
  9. Short discussions.
  10. Capture everything.
  11. Organize and filter after the brainstorm.

“NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT”

A new product is not produced in a vacuum. It needs lots of cooperation and participation among the developing team members. For creating a new product you need a team of Operations, Marketing and Finance. It is proposed that the team should be cross functional, which will be easy to manage and will save time. Yes time is the most significant factor in new product development if your competitor makes it before you he will capture the market. In this case a perfect example would be Dawn Paratha and bunny’s Paratha. Dawn made it before bunny and captured the market. The last but not the least product should be made according to specifications of customers other wise it will definitely fail.

New Product Development Process Stage 8

Commercialization

Commercialization is the process or cycle of introducing a new product into the market. The actual launch of a new product is the final stage of new product development, and the one where the most money will have to be spent for advertising, sales promotion, and other marketing efforts
If market testing displays promising results the product is ready to be introduced to a wider market. Some firms introduce or roll-out the product in waves with parts of the market receiving the product on different schedules. This allows the company to ramp up production in a more controlled way and to fine tune the marketing mix as the product is distributed to new areas.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercialization
http://www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorials/managing-products/product-development-steps-6-7/


My opinion: Commercialization means launching the product by making advertisements and other promotions to fill the distribution pipeline with product.

New Product Development Process Stage 7

Market Testing

Products surviving to Step 6 are ready to be tested as real products. In some cases the marketer accepts what was learned from concept testing and skips over market testing to launch the idea as a fully marketed product. But other companies may seek more input from a larger group before moving to commercialization. The most common type of market testing makes the product available to a selective small segment of the target market (e.g., one city), which is exposed to the full marketing effort as they would be to any product they could purchase. In some cases, especially with consumer products sold at retail stores, the marketer must work hard to get the product into the test market by convincing distributors to agree to purchase and place the product on their store shelves. In more controlled test markets distributors may be paid a fee if they agree to place the product on their shelves to allow for testing. Another form of market testing found with consumer products is even more controlled with customers recruited to a “laboratory” store where they are given shopping instructions. Product interest can then be measured based on customer’s shopping response. Finally, there are several high-tech approaches to market testing including virtual reality and computer simulations. With virtual reality testing customers are exposed to a computer-projected environment, such as a store, and are asked to locate and select products. With computer simulations customers may not be directly involved at all. Instead certain variables are entered into a sophisticated computer program and estimates of a target market’s response are calculated.


Reference: http://www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorials/managing-products/product-development-steps-6-7


My opinion: This is where the rubber meets the road and you need to find out if people are actually willing to buy your new and improved product or not. Be ready to make instant changes, if necessary, including raising or lowering the price or offering other incentives to move the product.

“WORD OF MOUTH”

“WORD OF MOUTH”



Is it all the promotions that matter for the success of a product? No the success of a product is not totally dependent on the promotions. It is astonishing to know that a research showed in Japan the most successful firms do not advertise there products. There products are indirectly advertised by there customers through “word of mouth”. To explain “word of mouth” lets take an example a person goes to Pizza Hut and does not likes its service, he will start criticizing it and will stop his family, friends etc from going to Pizza Hut. Contrary to it, if the same person likes the service of Pizza Hut he will suggest his friends to go there. Despite the fact Pizza Hut must have spent a lot on advertising and other promotional techniques it can not improve its reputation unless it satisfies it unsatisfied customer. Hence “word of mouth” plays the most significant role for the success of any business.

New Product Development Process Stage 6

PRODUCT DEVELOPMEN
Ideas passing through business analysis are given serious consideration for development. Companies direct their research and development teams to construct an initial design or prototype of the idea. Marketers also begin to construct a marketing plan for the product. Once the prototype is ready the marketer seeks customer input. However, unlike the concept testing stage where customers were only exposed to the idea, in this step the customer gets to experience the real product as well as other aspects of the marketing mix, such as advertising, pricing, and distribution options (e.g., retail store, direct from company, etc.). Favorable customer reaction helps solidify the marketer’s decision to introduce the product and also provides other valuable information such as estimated purchase rates and understanding how the product will be used by the customer. Reaction that is less favorable may suggest the need for adjustments to elements of the marketing mix. Once these are made the marketer may again have the customer test the product. In addition to gaining customer feedback, this step is used to gauge the feasibility of large-scale, cost effective production for manufactured products.

Reference: http://www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorials/managing-products/product-development-steps

My opinion: Physically design and manufacture the product and produce a physical prototype or mock-up and test the product its packaging in typical usage situations etc.Foe example McDonald's combines three simple products (a burger, fries, and soft drink) into another product that is separately branded (a McDonald's Happy Meal).

New Product Development Process Stage 5

Business Analysis

A stage of the new product development process where a new product idea surviving the screening stage is subjected to a more sophisticated and detailed analysis. Because new product development costs accelerate sharply thereafter, it is imperative to eliminate inappropriate ideas at this stage. Usually, sales potentials are forecast, cost estimates are made, BREAK-EVEN POINTS are calculated, and in some cases more comprehensive decision procedures such as Bayesian analysis are used.


Reference: http://www.westburnpublishers.com/marketing-dictionary/b/business-analysis-%28new-product-development%29.aspx

My opinion: it estimate likely selling price based upon competition and customer feedback and estimate sales volume based upon size of market and also estimate profitability and breakeven point.

Types of Retailer

http://gradireland.com/retail/articleview-29a_596s_27.aspx

Retailing is a act by which goods and services provided to final consumers for exchange of money..

the above link defined beauifuly the types of retailer.. he divided them into three catogeries

1-Predominantly food stores( Discounter, hypermarkets, independent stores etc)

2-Predominantly non-food stores(departments, boutiques, Retail banking etc)

3-Non-store retailing (Online selling, telephonic selling)

All this stuff is described in a very summarized way...very easy to understand.. those of u who ae unable to remember the defference among them

Types of Brand Names

Brand names come in many styles. A few include:

Acronym: A name made of initials such as UPS or IBM
Descriptive: Names that describe a product benefit or function like Whole Foods or Airbus
Alliteration and Rhyme: Names that are fun to stay and stick in your mind like Reeses Pieces or Dunkin Donuts
Evocative: Names that evoke a relevant vivid image like Amazon or Crest
Neologisms: Completely made up words like Wii or Kodak
Foreign Word: Adoption of a word from another language like Volvo or Samsung
Founders Names: Using the names of real people like Hewlett-Packard or Disney
Geography: Many brands are named for regions and landmarks like Cisco and Fuji Film
Personification: Many brands take their names from myth like Nike or from the minds of ad execs like Betty Crocker


summary:
This is interesting information about brand names. Brand names have great impact on buying products. These were some types of brand names that I got from wikipedia.com. There is also example for each of them to understand it easily.

Licensing without Payment

We learnt in marketing that there are many different types of brand sponsorship strategies. A manufacturer can create its own brand or it can sell its product to a reseller who may resell that product under its own brand name. A manufacturer can also license a brand name when for example it wants to incorporate a technology which was introduced by another business. However, sometimes a manufacturer may incorporate the features or the technology of another product without licensing or paying for that technology. This may create legal problems for the company. For example, recently a district court in the Hague ruled that Samsung's LCD panels infringed Sharp's patent used to improve the response speeds of LCD panels. In the article which I read its mentioned how businesses cope when they get stuck in such a problem. Guys, check out the article and do give feedback.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/reuters/2009/12/18/2009-12-18T082031Z_01_TOE5BH07Y_RTRIDST_0_SHARP-SAMSUNG.html

The Power of Personal Brand Names

Branding creates many different types of advantages for businesses. If a consumer sees his/her favorite brand, he/she will hardly ever buy an anonymous product. Brand Equity according to our book is the positive differential effect that a brand name has on a consumer’s response. Such a personal brand name is the Oprah Winfrey brand name. This brand name allowed Ms. Winfrey to amass a fortune of $2.3 billion. On November 20th Oprah Winfrey announced that she will end her show in September 2011, 26 years after it first aired nationwide.
The only problem with all this commentary is that Ms Winfrey is not quitting. She is ending her relationship with a big network, CBS, in order to devote herself to an ambitious new venture, a cable-television channel to be called the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, which she plans to launch in January 2011 as a joint-venture with Discovery Communications. I think that she is got amazing plans for her future and she will easily be able to cash her brand name. Check out how Ms. Winfrey is going to use her brand name in the future to the best of her advantage and do give feedback.

http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14960200

Product-Market Growth Matrix

Product-Market Growth Matrix


Product-Market Growth Matrix is a marketing tool that allows marketers to consider ways to grow the business via existing and new products, in existing and new markets.there are four strategies of Product-Market Growth Matrix.
1.Market penetration
2.New product development
3.Market development
4.Diversification
Market penetration: selling existing products to existing market
New product development: developing new products to existing market.
Market development: extending existing products t new market
Diversification: developing new products for new market

According to my opinion, this product-market growth matrix is useful for planning and this identify basic alternative strategies which is option for a firm wanting to grow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Product Development Process Stage 4

Marketing Strategy Development

Designing an initial marketing strategy for new product based on product concept.

Marketing Strategy may consists of three parts
First to describe the target market this may involves positioning market share and profit goal for first few years.
Second part of marketing strategy outlines the product’s planned price, distribution and marketing budget .
Third part may includes planning for long term sales, profit goals and marketing mix strategy (4 P’s)

reference: principles of marketing by philip kotler and gray armstrong

New Product Development Process Stage 3

Concept Development and Testing

Develop the marketing and engineering details
Who is the target market and who is the decision maker in the purchasing process?
What product features must the product incorporate?
What benefits will the product provide?
How will consumers react to the product?
How will the product be produced most cost effectively?
Prove feasibility through virtual computer aided rendering, and rapid prototyping
What will it cost to produce it?
Testing the Concept by asking a sample of prospective customers what they think of the idea. Usually via Choice Modeling

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_product_development

My opinion: I think concept development should be done with consumers early in the development process to guide direction and provide cost savings later in the process. There are many available tools which allow us to do simple, cost-effective testing at any point in the process.

New Product Development Process Stage 2

(Idea Screening Criteria)
You can screen and qualitatively determine the technical and business merit of your new product idea by providing answers to the following questions for each of the products that you would like to develop and commercialize.

1. What compelling evidence do you have which clearly demonstrates that you are the sole inventor of the subject new product idea? Please provide copies of the recorded idea from your notebook and/or other document.
2. Which Unmet needs is the product going to satisfy? Why should a customer buy this product and not that of competition (if it exists)?
3. Is there sufficient data to substantiate that these are truly Unmet needs for the customer?
4. Are there any barriers to entry for the new product, i.e. utility or design patents; trademarks, etc., etc.? If not, how easy it might be for someone to reverse engineer and copy the new product?
Note: Please provide us with complete copies of any patents or Provisional Patent Applications (PPA) you might have.
5. Which product features will satisfy these unmet needs? How?
6. What product claims will be made? Can these claims be substantiated through scientific and other compelling evidence?
7. Are design criteria established for the product?
8. Have preliminary product, component and packaging specifications been developed? Do you have any product models or prototypes made?
9. What type of testing will be done in order to evaluate the soundness of the product design?
10. How long should the product be expected to last?
11. Does the new product have sales potential in the targeted market? If so, provide numbers, etc.
12. Who is the competition?
13. How can they affect the new product's sales?
14. What are the most effective channels of distribution?
15. What are the prices of own and competitive, similar products? What is the expect net profit (after taxes) per each product sold?
16. Which are the major factors that influence potential users? Price, quality, brand name, service, etc.?
17. What is the best way to gain exposure in this market?
18. Are there any drawbacks to selling in this market?
19. Who are the best potential buyers and representatives for the new product?
20. Are there any potential licensing or joint venture partners in this market?
21. Do you have the required experience, know-how and resources for effectively marketing /selling and distributing the new product?
22. What level of funding do you need? Do you have a business / marketing plan which could justify how these funds would be allocated?
23. Why would a potential investor be willing to fund your new product efforts? What should he /she expect in return?
24. What are your underlined assumptions concerning the viability of this business?
25. What are your "What if" scenario concerning your projected estimates for market size, penetration potential, profit margin, etc.?



Reference: http://www.technobusiness-solutions.com/screen1.html

New Product Development Process Stage 1

(Idea Generation)

Every new product and every new product development process starts with the idea generation. Idea generation is a process in which creative thinking is used to produce large amount of ideas for new products. It is very important that all ideas no matter how ludicrous or extreme may sound, to be gathered. The idea generation process should be on - going, have a specific purpose, involve the whole of the company including its clientele, use a variety of methods, have one person in charge and not evaluate the gathered ideas. During the idea generation - gathering process one should not criticize the ideas of others, should be freewheeling and generate as many ideas as possible. The management of ideas is also very important at this stage due to the large number of ideas to be selected and their diversity.

Following are the steps for effective idea generation or brainstorming:

Step 1: Setting the brainstorming team
Step 2. Setting the brainstorming process
Step3: Contacting initial individual brainstorming
Step 4. Concluding individual brainstorming results
Step 5. Conclude individual brainstorming
Step 6. Contacting group brainstorming
Step 7. Concluding brainstorming preliminary results
Step 8. Assessing brainstorming preliminary results
Step 9. Refining brainstorming preliminary results
Step 10. Send ideas to management for approving step forward to next stage of NPD


Reference: http://www.urenio.org/medicube/administration/documents/NPD%20Stage%201.html

My opinion:Idea Generation is often called the "fuzzy front end" of the New Product Development process. Ideas for new products can be obtained from basic research using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats), Market and consumer trends, company's R&D department, competitors, focus groups, employees, salespeople etc.

Product Creation and Design

The first step to creating and designing any type of a product, is to start with an idea then develop a plan that goes with that idea. Secondly plan out what item you want to market, draw it out on a piece of paper, then think of designs and colors for your product.
The first thing you want to do once you have delegated the project is to promote your product. People need to know that your product is coming and you want to get the buzz going for your item.
You should always do your research to see what the consumers want and what type of consumer will buy your product. All of these things need to be researched so you can sell to a targeted audience.
Once you have all of this ironed out you can start to physically make your product. If you are not using your own manufacturing plant than you have to do the research on companies that can create your product
Planning is the key to any product creation and design once you follow your plan and delegate jobs that you are not professional at then your product will come to completion.


Reference: http://ezinearticles.com/?Product-Creation-and-Design&id=32518

My opinion: The over process of is seem to be very simple but it is not that much simple. For example to determine needs and segmentation of customers we have to check out our product area, what type of people live in the area, what are the demographics, what stores are selling in the area, are there similar products in the area. etc. to promote product we have to considered, the graphic design, the website creation and the copywriting and advertising etc.

5 Important Strategies to Improve Your Product

1. Talk to your buyers: What is the best way to know that someone will buy a product? By talking directly to them, and asking that same question! You remove all the guess work when you ask someone about their opinion on a product or its use directly.
2. Differentiate from your competitors: In. Every. Way. Possible. The more new and different your product appears, and is, the more exciting and worth while it will be for customers. Do you want the same rehashed method for product creation or do you want a ton of new and successful ones?! The fact that you're reading this article means you're after something new!
3. Create free bonuses: Along with your main product, have a brancsah of bonus products that are meant to promote your main product. These are most effective if they are free, but you may get away with selling them for a couple of dollars. The value of a free report is something that should not be taken lightly.
4. Provide multiple variations of the product: Create a product that comes in both video and audio formats, as well as with a manual. Make a physical copy of the manual, if you can, and invest some time into actually being able to have them mailed out. It's much more in overhead costs if you are only into informational products, but the rewards you reap are worth it.
5. Provide continuous updates: Instead of just creating a product, and then offering a bit of customer support in case someone is unhappy, listen to the feedback you get and upgrade your product! Just like there are new versions of computers and software, you can upgrade and release new versions of your product. Huge leaps forward should become separate products sold separately, but rewording of text or special follow up videos addressing common problems or concerns should be viewable without another payment from the buyer.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jemila_Williams


To increase the profitability of a product and want more people to become interested in your product? Want to completely decimate competitors in your niche? etc. I hope these points will give you a few simple tips on exactly how to improve the speed, efficiency, and the end result of product creation!

Mission statement

Mission statement
A mission statement is a formal short written statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated.

My opinion: A mission statement is so vital because it will be the guidelines that will define a company. It is important because people know where company is going. It creates challenging goals for company and its members

What Does Market Penetration Mean?
A measure of the amount of sales or adoption of a product or service compared to the total theoretical market for that product or service. The amount of sales or adoption can be an individual company’s sale or industry while the theoretical market can be the total population or an estimate of total potential consumers for the product

Marketing intelligence:

The systematic collection and analysis of publicity available information about competitors and developments in the marketing environment.

Customer Buyer Behavior:

The buying behavior of final consumer—individuals and households who buy goods and services for personal consumption.

Product:

Anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a want or need.

Example:

Coke of coca cola

nestle apple juice of nestle

Market Skimming:

Setting a high price for a new product to skim maximum revenue layer by layer from the segments willing to pay the high price; the company makes fewer but more profitable sales.

Implementation:

Coke launched minute maid and its price was higher than other products but still coke was having reasonable sales of the juice.

Brand:

A name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of these intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of seller and to differentiate them from those of competitors.e.g

Product quality

The ability of a product to perform its functions, it includes the products overall durability, reliability, precision, ease of operation and repair, and other valued attributes.

Eight Rules To Brilliant Brainstorming

1. USE BRAINSTORMING TO COMBINE AND EXTEND IDEAS, NOT JUST HARVEST THEM
2. DON'T BOTHER IF PEOPLE LIVE IN FEAR
3. DO INDIVIDUAL BRAINSTORMING BEFORE AND AFTER GROUP SESSIONS
4. BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS ARE WORTHLESS UNLESS IDEAS LEAD TO ACTION
5. BRAINSTORMING REQUIRES SKILL AND EXPERIENCE BOTH TO DO—AND ESPECIALLY—TO FACILITATE
6. A GOOD BRAINSTORMING SESSION IS COMPETITIVE—IN THE RIGHT WAY
7. BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS CAN BE USED FOR MORE THAN JUST GENERATING IDEAS
8. FOLLOW THE RULES, OR DON'T CALL IT A BRAINSTORM

We discussed about brainstorming in class today so i thought to discuss the rules for any effective brainstorming. These points have been discussed in detail and you can read them on http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_39/b4002412.htm

Marketing information system:

A marketing information system consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision making. The MIS begins and ends with information users---marketing managers, internal and external partners and others--- who need marketing information. First, it interacts with these information users to asses information needs. Next, it develops needed information from internal company databases, marketing intelligence activities, and marketing research. Then it helps user to analyze information to put it in the right form for marking marketing decisions and managing customers relationship. Finally, the MIS distributes the marketing information and helps managers use it in their decision making.

BCG Explanation:

STARS :

High growth business competing in market where they are relatively

strong compared with the competition. The have a high point shares and are the ideal

businesses.

CASH :

Low-growth business with a relatively high point shares. These businesses were stars but now have lost their attractiveness.

QUESTION MARK :

Businesses with low point share but which may have a high growth rate. This suggests that they have potential but may require huge ever, a competing force extraordinary effort in order to grow point share.

DOGS :

Businesses that have low relative share and low expected growth rate. Dogs may generate enough points to sustain but they are rarely, if ever, a competing force.

SWOT Analysis:

In SWOT analysis comprises of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which are discussed as following.

Strengths:

A firm's strengths are its resources and capabilities that can be used as a basis for developing a competitive advantage. Examples of such strengths include:

  • patents
  • strong brand names
  • good reputation among customers
  • cost advantages from proprietary know-how
  • exclusive access to high grade natural resources
  • favorable access to distribution networks

Weaknesses:

The absence of certain strengths may be viewed as a weakness. For example, each of the following may be considered weaknesses:

  • lack of patent protection
  • a weak brand name
  • poor reputation among customers
  • high cost structure
  • lack of access to the best natural resources
  • lack of access to key distribution channels

In some cases, a weakness may be the flip side of a strength. Take the case in which a firm has a large amount of manufacturing capacity. While this capacity may be considered a strength that competitors do not share, it also may be a considered a weakness if the large investment in manufacturing capacity prevents the firm from reacting quickly to changes in the strategic environment.

Opportunities:

The external environmental analysis may reveal certain new opportunities for profit and growth. Some examples of such opportunities include:

  • an unfulfilled customer need
  • arrival of new technologies
  • loosening of regulations
  • removal of international trade barriers

Threats:

Changes in the external environmental also may present threats to the firm. Some examples of such threats include:

  • shifts in consumer tastes away from the firm's products
  • emergence of substitute products
  • new regulations
  • increased trade barriers

Marketing Genius

If i tried to sell an ordinary rock, do you think anyone would buy it? I'm sure your answer is a huge NO, but I beg to differ. consider the following example and give your feedback.

Inside IDEO: Designing Shopping CHart





Please help my blog

Here's a two-pennies question for you.

How to Make Decisions

Making right decisions are very important in every business. Making decisions can be intimidating and time-consuming. And while there's no easy way to just make them, here are some steps to make effective decisions: Mark out the parameters of the decision clearly. Gather as much information as you can about each alternative. Jot down a list of pros and cons for each decisions. Brainstorm alternatives. Put an end to collecting information about your decision. Avoid thinking that with just a little more time and information, you'll be able to make the one perfect decision. Remember that no decision is perfect and that all choices are made in a condition of some uncertainty. And finally make the decision.
These were few steps to make decisions. to know more steps click the link below.

reference: http://www.ehow.com/how_3838_make-decisions.html

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Positioning

Positioning
In their 1981 book, Positioning: The Battle for your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout describe how positioning is used as a communication tool to reach target customers in a crowded marketplace. Jack Trout published an article on positioning in 1969, and regular use of the term dates back to 1972 when Ries and Trout published a series of articles in Advertising Age called "The Positioning Era." Not long thereafter, Madison Avenue advertising executives began to develop positioning slogans for their clients and positioning became a key aspect of marketing communications.

Brand positioning

“Positioning is how a product appears in relation to other products in the market”

Brands can be positioned against competing brands on a perceptual map.
A perceptual map defines the market in terms of the way buyers perceive key characteristics of competing products.
The basic perceptual map that buyers use maps products in terms of their price and quality, as illustrated below:


my opinion: For positioning of their brad marketing personals make many decisions by which they try to create an image or identity their product or service in the minds of their target market. For example a product or service may be positioned on the basis of attitudes or benefit, use or application, price, or level of quality etc.

refrences:
http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/ries-trout/positioning/
http://tutor2u.net/business/marketing/brands_positioning.asp

Importance of Information

The marketing process starts with a complete understanding of the marketplace and customer needs and wants. Thus,the company needs sound information in order to produce superior value and satisfaction for customers.The company also requires information on competitors,resellers,and other actors and forces in the marketplace. Increasingly,marketers are viewing information not only as an input for making better decisions but also as an important strategic asset and marketing tool.



Reference:
principles of Marketing 12th edition

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion are short term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service. sales promotion is one of the most common strategy used in Pakistan.This strategy is mostly used at the starting time of the business or at the introduction of a new product in order to capture attention of the consumers and to increase the sales volume.example of sales promotion is "buy one get one free".





Reference:
Principles of Marketing 12th edition

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stew Leonard's Rules

Guys the most interesting part of our book which I foundwas from Ch 1about "Stew Leonard's Rules" which he made after creating "Disneyland of dairy stores"

Rule # 1:
The Customer is always Right.
Rule # 2:
If the Customer if ever wrong reread the rule 1.

These rules should adopt by every company wheather they are producer of food stuff, garments or whats ever. Customer is always right mean if coustomers say any thing wrong about ur product or company u should not be disheart, u should seem that they are giving u feed back. But if u if u dont care about them , then there is possibility that they might swith to ur competitors products. Which are already waiting for that.
2nd rule which is more important then Rule # 1. Says if u ever thing that ur customers are ever wrong then reread rule # 1. In this Rule Stew make a very smart thinking , Actually he rephrase Rule 1 in seocond rule.. he says if u ever find that customer is wrong then u should not blame him u should immidiately look into urself that, they cant b wrong there is some fault in urs hand... ,, Personally i m very much impresses by these small rules..

Richard Branson's "Student": A model we need

"Money.Cnn: What was the first business idea you came up with?

Richard Branson: I set up this magazine called Student when I was 16, and I didn't do it to make money - I did it because I wanted to edit a magazine. There wasn't a national magazine run by students, for students. I didn't like the way I was being taught at school. I didn't like what was going on in the world, and I wanted to put it right.

Of course, a lot of businesses want to reach students, so I funded the magazine by selling advertising. I sold something like $8,000 worth of advertising for the first edition, and that was in 1966. I printed up 50,000 copies, and I didn't even have to charge for them on the newsstand because my costs were already covered.

So I became a publisher by mistake - well, not quite by mistake, because I wanted to be an editor but I had to make sure the magazine would survive. The point is this: Most businesses fail, so if you're going to succeed, it has to be about more than making money."

Source.

Let's make the magazine our passion, if you cannot, don't do it.
Societal Marketing Concept
The societal marketing concept is an enlightened marketing concept that holds that a company should make good marketing decisions by considering consumers' wants, the company's requirements, and society's long-term interests. It is closely linked with the principles of corporate social responsibility and of sustainable development.
The concept has an emphasis on social responsibility and suggests that for a company to only focus on exchange relationship with customers might not be suitable in order to sustain long term success. Rather, marketing strategy should deliver value to customers in a way that maintains or improves both the consumer's and the society's well-being.
Most companies recognize that socially responsible activities improve their image among customers, stockholders, the financial community, and other relevant publics. Ethical and socially responsible practices are simply good business, resulting not only in favorable image, but ultimately in increased sales.


Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_marketing


My opinion: Policies should not be only made to achieve targets and beat competitors but they should also be made for the welfare of society. It may sound appropriate and ethical, but societal marketing concept is hard to implement as not all companies have a social conscience.

Marketing Management Orientations

The Production Concept
The production concept prevailed from the time of the industrial revolution until the early 1920's. The production concept was the idea that a firm should focus on those products that it could produce most efficiently and that the creation of a supply of low-cost products would in and of itself creates the demand for the products. The key questions that a firm would ask before producing a product were:
Can we produce the product?
Can we produce enough of it?

The Sales Concept
By the early 1930's however, mass production had become commonplace, competition had increased, and there was little unfulfilled demand. Around this time, firms began to practice the selling concept, under which companies not only would produce the products, but also would try to convince customers to buy them through advertising and personal selling. Before producing a product, the key questions were:
Can we sell the product?
Can we charge enough for it?

The Marketing Concept
The marketing concept is the philosophy that firms should analyze the needs of their customers and then make decisions to satisfy those needs, better than the competition. Today most firms have adopted the marketing concept, but this has not always been the case. The key questions became:
What do customers want?
Can we develop it while they still want it?
How can we keep our customers satisfied?

Website: http://www.enotes.com/management-encyclopedia/marketing-concept-philosophy


My opinion: At the time of 1920's, the production concept worked fairly well because the goods which were produced were mostly those of basic necessity and there was also relatively high level of unfulfilled demand. Therefore products sold easily at that time. But after 1930's sale concept came into being due to the effect of an increase number of competitors and increase in demand for products other than necessities. And after 1940's with increased income, customer’s starts demanding for such products that exactly met their changing needs.

How do you manage your relationships with your customers

http://www.iproceed.com/marketing/customer-relationship-management.htm

In this article different ways are shown that how you build strong relationship with your customers like appreciate suggestion of your customers and take action against the complains. Remain in touch with your customer and whenever you are offering new deals or offers call ur regular custmers. 

How to Write a Marketing Plan

The Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and, hopefully, well written report that many inside and possibly outside the organization will evaluate. Essentially the Marketing Plan:
  • forces the marketing personnel to look internally in order to fully understand the results of past marketing decisions.
  • forces the marketing personnel to look externally in order to fully understand the market in which they operate .The Marketing Plan is generally undertaken for one of the following reasons:
    1. Needed as part of the yearly planning process within the marketing functional area.
    2. Needed for a specialized strategy to introduce something new, such as new product planning    There are many ways to develop and format a marketing plan. The approach taken here is to present a 6-Part plan that includes:
      1. Purpose and Mission
      2. Situational Analysis
      3. Marketing Strategy and Objectives
      4. Tactical Programs
      5. Budgets, Performance Analysis and Implementation
      6. Additional Consideration                                                                                                   My opinion: I think marketing plan is very essential for any business. It describes the business purposes and how to develop a strategy for business and plan parts I have already mentioned.
          

Mission Statements

Mission statements tell us about the purpose of an organization. For example, Gillette's mission is to provide high quality shaving products which provide a smooth shave to the consumers.
Mission statements often contain the following:
1.Purpose and aim of the organization
2.The organization's primary stakeholders: clients, stockholders, congregation, etc.
3.Responsibilities of the organization toward these stakeholders
4.Products and services offered .
I think that any organization should keep a simple mission statement which describes the objective of the business quite clearly. You guys can check out the details in the book's second chapter. The book has explained the concept quite clearly.

Positioning Strategies and their applications

There are many different types of positioning strategies. The most prominent are more for more, more for the same, same for less, less for much less etc. The best example of more for more strategy is that of Gillette Mach 3 Turbo. You pay more and you receive more product features and benefits. The example of same for less strategy is Walmart. You get good quality products which are offered in other supermarkets but at lower prices. A good example of less for much less are the differnt Desi book fairs in Anarkali, Lahore where you get books which are in a little battered condition but their prices are extremely low compared to normal bookshops. What do you guys think about these examples?

Growth Strategies and their application

There are four different types of growth strategies that a business can employ to expand its operations. They are:
Market Penetration: In market penetration, the business sells more of its existing products to its existing customers. For example, in Cavalry, we have two different hair cutting shops of a same person. He did this to increase his sales in this area.
Market Development: In this type of growth strategy, the business sells its existing products to new market segments. For example, the example which i gave above, that same person opened hair cutting shops in Gulberg which is a new geographifical segment.
Product Development: In this type of growth, the business offers new or modified products to the existing market segments. For example, Gillette created a new product Mach 3 Turbo after Mach 3.
Diversification: When a business acquires or starts up a new business which is entirely different from its original business. For example, Gillette also sells deodarants and it also owns the Duracells product.
So, these are the different growth strategies and their applications.

Societal Marketing Concept

Today we were discussing in class the societal marketing concept. I was reading about it in the book. Basically, in this concept, the marketer should not only take the interests of the business and the customer into account when it is preparing its marketing strategy but it should also take into account the interests of the society as well. In this type of strategy, the business will try to maintain or even improve the welfare of the society. For example, a business can ensure that it creates minimum pollution so that the society is not harmed by the operations of the business.

In Pakistan, many factories have been relocated because they were producing pollutants and were a cause of pollution in the urban areas. However, those businesses who themselves try to take these social concerns into account are able to create a good image in the eyes of the consumers which benefits them in the long term.You guys can check out the details of the concept on the wikipedia website.

Telemarketing

Remember the first combined class we had and Sir. Mannan talked about "not" annoying the customer. I came across this cartoon which just says it out loud.

'Telemarketing is irritating"
direct sales cartoons, direct sales cartoon, direct sales picture, direct sales pictures, direct sales image, direct sales images, direct sales illustration, direct sales illustrations


Telemarketing has become a nuisance to people, as marketers tend to call during work hours, dinner time or the relaxation hours. With the image of fraud schemes associated with telemarketing, people tend to resist the promotion and if pressurized the conversation will definitely have a negative outcome.

After thought
Haven't you ever been disappointed by Warid's "down load our new ring tone and wall paper for Rs.10/ excluding tax."
Steve jobs on problem analysis


When you start looking at a problem and it seems really simple with all these simple solutions, you don’t really understand the complexity of the problem. And your solutions are way too oversimplified, and they don’t work.”

“…Then you get into the problem, and you see it’s really complicated. And you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That’s sort of the middle, and that’s where most people stop, and the solutions tend to work for a while…”

“…But the really great person will keep on going and find the key, underlying principle of the problem, and come up with a beautiful elegant solution that works.”