The variety of products in the market makes it imperative for firms to engage in activities that help them to acquire as well as retain market shares in their industries (Hodgetts & Hegar, 2008). This implies that firms have to come up with marketing strategies that can address the market conditions in whatever industry they are in. The consumer behaviors are transient and dynamic hence firms have to find ways for remaining relevant to the market. In addition to this, consumer preferences are also varied from one market segment to another hence need for relevant market intelligence (Jensen & Hansen, 2006).
Communications with customers is also important in determining customer needs. Brand equity and product visibility can only be achieved if a firm employs strong marketing strategies. Defining a working marketing strategy is a stressful process that requires the collaboration of all members of all functional units. An example of a company that has effectively used marketing as leverage against competitors is Starbucks. The hospitality industry in which Starbucks operates is riddled with a lot of competition and survival is difficult. Starbucks has however managed to survive the tough times and to thrive in the industry.
Similarly, the electronics industry is also characterized by a dynamic environment that requires flexibility and effective marketing. Apple, a company incorporated in 1976 has managed to grow above the competition in this field, coming up with new innovations that create an instant hit in the international electronics market. Despite the deterioration of the company’s market shares in the 1990s, it has continued to grow, surpassing the key players in the industry such as Nokia and Blackberry. Marketing practices employed by companies help to maintain their products in the market and to improve the market shares of the companies.
Through ethical business practice, companies can be able to create immense market impact for their products. This is because customers consider not only the product price but also the means with which the products get to the market. While Starbucks is applauded for ethical business practice, Apple has been accused of unethical practice in some instances. The unethical concerns associated with Apple are more concerned with its treatment of employees through low wages, long work hours and no job security. In terms of innovation, Starbucks has managed to be above the competition through attaining the best levels in the coffee roasting business.
Similarly, Apple has managed to overtake key competitors through constant and reliable innovation. Starbucks has also adopted a limited advertisement strategy in that it does not engage in intensive advertisement practices but rather depends on word of mouth advertisement. Even through social media, it is difficult to see posts concerning the company’s products. However, this low profile advertising has managed to earn the company re cognition across the globe. On the other hand, Apple engages in intensive advertisement through mainstream media, spectacular product launches, customer browsing record tracking and through the Apple App which is downloaded by the customers.
Starbucks also has a developed loyalty programs which involves customers redeeming loyalty stars at the Starbucks stores. On the other hand, Apple currently has no loyalty program for its customers. The differences in marketing strategies between Starbucks and Apple clearly show how the marketing plans of any organization should match the organization’s market. While the two companies have very distinct approaches to product marketing, both Starbucks and Apple are market leaders in the food industry and in the electronic industry respectively. The distinctive strategies show that any marketing mix can be profitable for a company as long as the mix fits the product market.
Hodgetts, R., & Hegar, K. (2008). Modern Human Relations at Work. Mason OH: Thomson South-Western. (3-10).
Jensen, J., & Hansen, T. (2006). An empirical examination of brand loyalty. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 15(7), 442–449.
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