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What Is Market Positioning With An Example Of An Essay

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Marketing Strategy-Mulberry

Introduction

In order to gain the focused business approach the role of marketing strategies are huge. The principles and fundamental of marketing improve the positioning of brand and most importantly allows company to gain the competitive advantage. Here in this report the special consideration has been given to understand the marketing process and marketing orientation along with the analysis of macro and micro factors. Further the segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies have also explained along with marketing mix elements. Ahead the priorities have been given to gain proper knowledge about international marketing, domestic marketing and business marketing and customer marketing. These are wide terminologies that have been covered into the current report. For the same purpose the selected organization is Mulberry which is big name in UK’s fashion retain chain store.

Explain the concept and definition of marketing along with marketing process for Mulberry.

Marketing is a process which helps to establish the brand name and image of company within the market. It is very simple definition which is understandable by every person associated to marketing in direct or indirect manner. Another very significant definition of marketing is that it is a way through which companies and customers could comes into contact with each another where company disseminate or advertise about their brand feature and customers get sufficient amount of information. Overall to build relationships in market the role of marketing is very immense.

The marketing process for Mulberry includes these basic steps:

Marketing audit: It is one of the most basic steps which are part of marketing process. Through marketing audit the organization can definitely identify the situation of competition within the industry, recent trends, growth possibilities etc.

1.3 Evaluate the effectiveness of techniques used when developing strategic business plans using examples from Mulberry.

Environmental analysis: It is another very crucial stage that equally responsible for informing the company about their business environment within the market. But here the external and internal analysis got relevance to Mulberry.

STP: The term STP stands for segmentation, targeting and positioning that become the fundamental activity of whole marketing process. Without segmenting and targeting other strategies could never took place in entire marketing process. Further the positioning could provide competitive advantage to Mulberry in UK fashion retain business.

Marketing mix: At last the marketing mix elements are also most prioritized area of concern with respect to strengthening the marketing process. It includes product, price, place and promotional mix for the Mulberry. Thus these are four stages of marketing process for the cited organization.

Evaluate the benefits and costs of marketing orientations.

The marketing orientation is an activity in which company can understand their market, customers, trends and their habits. Further through marketing orientation the organization can make employees familiar to their marketing culture. Thus the major benefit of marketing orientation is that the employees understand the marketing culture of company and the objectives could also become clear to them. Through marketing orientation the employees can get the targets and their roles and responsibilities could be provided to them. The list of benefits that could be availed by Mulberry is that they could deliver training and development as per their requirement and the competency level of staff could be increased. The training modules could be designed as per the industry and product so the productivity of employees could be improved. Thus these are certain benefits of marketing orientation that could be experienced by the organization. The cost is related to the less positive results of the training sessions. The employee may not get proper education about customers, market, competitors then the extra cost could be occurred for the business entity.

The best marketing orientation that could be adopted by the cited organization is related to their product orientation. The sales team should get proper information about the material that has been used within the product to manufacture it. The level of quality could be explained and the target market could also be clear to staff people. The product orientation could be beneficial in terms of luxury products and Mulberry deals into the luxury segment.

Task 2

Show the macro and micro factors that influence the marketing decision of Mulberry.

Macro factors: To analyze the external environment the PEST analysis has been done. The description of pest analysis is given below:

Political factors:

Less entry restrictions for fashion retail store so there are chances of less political interventions while expanding at international level.

Tax structure is reasonable for fashion industry.

Not very strict legal aspects only general legal formalities are required to be fulfilled.

Economic environment:

They deal in luxurious segment so that impact of inflation or recession is not so high on sales of fashion retail stores.

The willingness and spending capacity of people to buy luxury apparels and accessories is increasing.

Social environment:

The luxury product has become status symbol so Mulberry has advantage to target more number of people.

People have become more health conscious as luxury apparels are good for skin

Upper middle section can also afford the luxury and branded apparels so it widen the area of segmentation.

Technological environment:

The equipments and machineries have become so advanced which enable them to improve productivity and quality both.

Mulberry has good alignment with technological aspects.

Internally the supply chain and inventory management could be managed easily.

Micro analysis: For the same purpose the SWOT analysis has been put into practice. The description of SWOT analysis is given below:

Strength:

International expansion

Company deals in luxury segment

Continue profitability bring financial stability

Investment of £ 2.9 in improving the IT infrastructure

Weakness

Poor management of inventory

Marketing strategies are weak to outrun other brands like Burberry and Gucci

Price range is very high as compare to product range

Opportunities:

Expansion in Asian market

Diversification into new kind of products

Threat

Intense competition

Technological change

The Brands like Bottega Veneta and Celine have got increased market share.

Examine the concept of market segmentation and propose effective segmentation criteria for Mulberry and targeting strategy to be used by company.

Market segmentation is an activity in which a company segregates the market on the basis of their product quality, price and other features. The segmentation is necessary with an aim of moving into right direction with respect to the marketing objectives. The marketing segmentation could be of four types for any organization. They can divide the market on the basis demographic, geographic, and psychographic and behavioral segmentation. These are the most crucial types of segmentation. Here the Mulberry can segregate their market on the basis of demography and psychographic.

In the category of demographic segmentation, further segmentation could be done on the basis of income. Mulberry is active in the segment of luxury market so there is need of targeting high income people those who can afford the luxurious brand.

Further the psychographic segmentation could be done on the basis of lifestyle and status symbol. The people who love to wear luxurious brand just to show their status symbol could be targeted by the Mulberry. It could help immensely on the ground of increasing the brand appealing factor. Thus these two (on the basis of income and on the basis of lifestyle) segmentation strategies could be effective in current scenario.

There are various targeting strategies that could be used by the company. It includes niche marketing, concentrated marketing, mass marketing, differentiated and undifferentiated marketing. Here the targeting strategy to be used by the company could be niche marketing strategy. The niche market targeting strategy is highly effective for Mulberry as it deals in luxurious segment. It is clear that with the help of niche target strategy the company can target very specific category of people and their positioning will be designed accordingly. They could never target other people who can’t afford such products. The advertisement campaigns, pricing and place strategy could also be highly designed according to the fundamentals of niche marketing. Thus in order to ensure effective targeting strategy the Mulberry should show its reliability upon niche marketing.

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Next, you want to conduct a thorough competitor analysis to understand who they are, what strategies they use or may have planned, how they may react to your strategic actions, and how your actions may influence their behavior to your advantage. Some of the data you’ll need is easy to find. Some will take time and effort to gather and analyze. As long as you understand that this process will aid the development of your own marketing strategies – and help locate needs in the market that aren’t being met – then maintaining the motivation to see the process through shouldn’t be a problem.

A thorough competitor analysis can be broken down into four subcategories.

  1. Competitor Objectives — These aren’t necessarily financial objectives, and may instead relate to market share or growth rate. If you can pinpoint one or two crucial objectives such as short-term revenue vs. investing in research and development, or whether they are investing in translation software to serve international market segments, then you can act and react accordingly.
  2. Competitor Assumptions — General, and typically unqualified data that may include past experience, market trends, and regional cultural factors, should be noted for reference against the rest of the data.
  3. Competitor Strategy — This is probably the most difficult information to uncover but also the most useful. Check press releases, white papers, shareholder reports, promotional campaigns, mergers, acquisitions, and hiring practices for deeper insight into the direction the competition is moving.
  4. Competitor Capabilities — The answers to the above three questions should outline a comprehensive story of what the competitor’s capabilities are. That information should inform an understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses lie, which will help you direct focus to where your efforts will be most effective at the end of the market positioning process.

Competitor Positioning Analysis

Michael Porter of Harvard Business School says that there are five forces of competitive position analysis that determine the competitive intensity and attractiveness of a market, and point to the place where power lies in any business situation.
Porter’s five forces are:

  1. Supplier Power — How easy is it for suppliers to raise prices? The number of suppliers, the uniqueness of their products or services, their relative size and strength in the market, and the cost of switching between suppliers all factor into the answer.
  2. Buyer Power — How easy is it for buyers to drive prices down? The number of buyers in the market, the importance of their patronage to the supplier, and the buyer’s cost of switching between suppliers can all be relevant. Suppliers with a handful of powerful buyers are usually vulnerable to the terms buyers want to set.
  3. Competitive Rivalry — How many competitors exist in the given market? The more competitors there are offering similar products or services the less attractive the market is.
  4. Threat of Substitution — How many similar products exist in the market? Where an abundance of similar products exists, the likelihood of price-driven brand switches runs high. Suppliers have less power in saturated markets so those markets are less attractive.
  5. Threat of New Entry — How profitable is the market? More profitable markets attract newcomers, eventually eroding profitability unless there are barriers to entry such as patents, economies of scale, government compliance issues, etc.

The competitor positioning analysis will help you understand the factors that influence profitability in the market where you wish to compete. The resulting data set will also help inform decisions concerning whether to enter a specific industry or not, whether to increase capacity in a specific industry, and how to go about developing competitive strategies.

Competitor Compare and Contrast

Now gather together your company’s version of the same set of information that you sought out in the competitor analysis and the competitor positioning analysis. Hold the two data sets up for comparison. It should become pretty evident where your market positioning strategy should place its focus. Market positions that allow you to take full ownership of a niche are rare but valuable.

Develop a Unique Positioning Idea

Once the ideal market position is identified the goal is to create a unique impression in the mind of customers that associates something specific and desirable about your brand that is distinct from the other competitors in the space. With all this information in hand, you should be able to clearly and specifically state who you are as a company, who you are not, what problems exist in the market, how you solve for those problems, and how to cater to the customer base that will benefit from the solutions you offer. Will you need to translate website copy into other languages to serve the most promising market segments, for example?

These facts form the basis of the market positioning statement. It’s now time to draft a formal statement about those facts.

Drafting a Positioning Statement

The formula for the market positioning statement will probably look very familiar. It might even seem simplistic. But, all the investigation and data analysis you’ve done up to this point should indicate that a positioning statement is far more than just a chain of hollow platitudes. Every word of the positioning statement is deliberate and backed by the data you have gathered. It is from that process that the authority and credibility of your brand should be built.

The positioning statement, which becomes the basis for subsequent advertising and communication initiatives, first identifies who the company is and what it stands for. From that point it identifies the target customer, what their needs are, and then states how those specific needs will be addressed by the brand. Then the positioning statement transitions to a statement of distinction that sets the brand apart from the competition.

Here are a couple of examples of positioning statements:

Amazon.com

Amazon used this positioning statement back when it almost exclusively sold books:

“For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection.”

Zipcar.com

To urban-dwelling, educated techno-savvy consumers, when you use Zipcar car-sharing service instead of owning a car, you save money while reducing your carbon footprint.”

The four steps to creating a positioning statement are:

  1. Identify target customers — Draft a concise summary that describes the demographic, primary attitudes, sensibilities, and tastes that your brand is attempting to appeal to based on the findings of the previous steps.
  2. Define the market — Between the category a brand is competing in and the context in which it executes its initiatives lies the concept of brand relevance. That idea of relevance must be established in the mind of the target audience. The data collected up to this point should have revealed a niche for you to occupy. Choose the exact right words to define it.
  3. Make a Promise — Whatever is the most emotionally or rationally compelling benefit your brand provides to the target customer base should be something you can take full ownership of.
  4. Present Evidence (reason to believe)Compile evidence that proves your brand delivers on its promise to suit the wants and needs of the target audience. Without a promise you can reliably keep then the market positioning statement really will be just a set of hollow platitudes.

Once you have completed these four steps, you are ready to draft a positioning statement. Begin with the following formula, and edit down to the most simple concise statement that maintains the full measure of substance. In each of the (parenthetical) categories try to be as granular, and specific as possible.

  • For (target customer) who/that (statement of need/want), the (product or brand name) is a (product category) that/which (statement of benefit). Unlike (competitor), our product/brand (statement of distinction).

Reference the Amazon.com and Zipcar.com examples to get an idea of how the positioning statement should look. Take a second to notice how brand positioning statements differ from taglines or slogans. Where taglines and slogans are the persuasive language of advertising directed outward to a target audience, positioning statements are established for internal use, at least as the primary reason for creating one. Positioning statements guide the key marketing and advertising decisions that positively impact the customer’s perception of your brand.

Testing the Effectiveness of the Final Brand Positioning Concept

Positioning concept tests are the final step in the process. You’ll have to build your own testing model according to your industry and target audience. Generally speaking, testing methodology should include a combination of qualitative and quantitative data gathering which may include focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews, ethnography, polls, etc. The core questions revolve around the planned purchase of the brand or product (given its implicit positioning), the image projected by the brand, the planned frequency of usage, pricing expectations, distribution expectations, potential problems, and so forth.

Based on the findings of these tests, a winning positioning concept can be solidified. This winning positioning concept then becomes the blueprint for the development of all creative advertising assets and marketing plans and materials (packaging, promotion, pricing, brand name, distribution, product improvements, website copy, customer service, and so on). All subsequent brand messages must remain consistent with the final brand positioning concept.

Every brand has a positioning, even though it may be obscure or unrecognized. Sometimes this positioning is a result of inertia, history, or competitive activities that seem natural to the day-in-day-out operation of the company. But, a brand that wants to be strategically successful must not leave its positioning to chance, or worse, for competitors to decide. The company or brand that aspires to market dominance must take control of its positioning through the scientific methods of marketing research. And creating your optimal positioning strategy will guide the focus, and energize long-term advertising and marketing efforts of your brand.

Before making final decisions on final drafts here are some criteria your new market positioning statement should meet:

  • Does it paint a clear picture differentiating your brand from the competitors?
  • Does it match what surveys reveal to be accurate customer perceptions of your brand?
  • Does it leave room for growth?
  • Does it identify the unique value your brand provides?
  • Does it focus on your core customers?
  • Is it memorable and motivating?
  • Does it remain consistent across all areas of your business?
  • Is it easy to understand?
  • Can it be easily mimicked?
  • Will it become dated over time?
  • Does the statement promise something that is both believable and credible?
  • Can your brand take full ownership of it?
  • Will it stand up to counterattacks from competitors?
  • Will it effectively inform and direct marketing and branding decisions moving forward?

Using data from the competitor analysis, competitor position analysis, and the compare and contrast section of this guide, you should be able to evaluate each draft of the market positioning statement and rate them against these criteria.