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The 7Ps elements of marketing mix were initiated after the 4Ps element of marketing mix did not cover the services of any organization and the roles of customer service in brand development. It rather only focused on the sale of products. The 7Ps have in time been used to review competitors marketing strategies which help an organization define issues affecting its marketing strategies. The 7Ps are Product, Promotion, Price, Place, People, Process, Physical evidence (Pearson 2014).Marimekko clothing/ design is a Finnish design house which combines fashion, accessories, bags, and interior home decorations. Its main competitors are OnlineFabricStore and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The various elements of the marketing mix will help identify and understand how the competitors incorporate marketing for their products and services.It will help the company develop its marketing strategies.
OnlineFabricStore is one of Marimekko’s main competitor. The organization uses the various elements of the 7Ps of market mix to attain its company’s objectives. OnlineFabricStore deals mainly with selling sewing and fabric supplies. The product element is achieved by the store offering its customers with quality products. The good quality customer review is evident on their online platform. The company uses the product element to achieve customer satisfaction.Customers appreciate high quality product companies. Their online platform offers great customer service by incorporating live chat support to offer aid to customers during their shopping process. Customers get the chance to ask questions and trace their products with ease. The business offers a wide range of products which gives their customers a wide variety to choose from. The store has over 40000 products which give the customer a great variety mix. The business ensures there is full stock availability to ensure there are no lost sales. Great product quality ensures there are return customers to shop for more variety of products.
The online store offers a platform for marketing communications to inform its customers of available promotions and on- sale products. The store has created an amazing offer to its customers to lure them into subscribing to their email. The email platform is aimed at communicating individually to its consumers with a consideration of their tastes and preferences. The offer of email subscription is a 10% offer off goods worth $75 and above. The store also offers sales promotions to its customers.
Another marketing mix element is pricing. The store has positioned its products to have affordable prices compared to its competitors. The customers have attributed to the same in their reviews. The online platform has organized its products according to their price range to make it easier for customers to access products in their desired price range. The store offers its customer discounts on various events. For example, a customer enjoys free shipping for goods worth over $50. The free shipping offer is reliable as it every day all year and not seasonal. It also offers a price discount for bulk wholesale orders which is 30%- 60% off retail price. The store is currently offering a 15% discount off products worth $75 and above. Price offers on selected products and services lure the consumer’s into selecting OnlineFabricStore as their priority seller.
The main platform of sales for OnlineFabricStore is via their website. The online platform is the main connect of the customers and the supplies. It is the main trading channel. The company has explored the great website because with the advanced technology, consumers appreciate well- designed websites. Its competitors Marimekko and Robert Kaufman Fabric have also invested in a great website to sell and advertise their products.
In relation to the people element, the marketing team has used their blog channel as a form of recruiting people to gain interest in purchasing their products. The blog has various tutorials of how to achieve some fabric set goals. For example, it explains how to make pleated curtains from fabric. The recruitment is also achieved via their YouTube channel. The organization also has information on its website on a tag labeled OFS Maker’s Mill. It contains information on guides and ideas, how to play around with fabric, and tips and tricks of dealing with fabric. It creates a lot of interests for its customers (Kumar 2012). Due to the increase of professionals choosing blog channels to teach others and earn from it, the channel has attracted massive of consumers to learn on how to things on their own n save on cost.
All marketing processes are customer focused to achieve high sales. The store ships all its products worldwide which makes it a global store. The flexibility of its deliveries ensures there are return customers. Normal shipping is done two days after placing the order. There is also an option for rush orders for customers who need their products urgently. It makes the processes friendly to the customers. The company uses the element to ensure their consumers receive their products in few days without delays. Investment in correct and effective shipping helps gain and retain consumers.
The company has invested a lot on their online platforms which are their main sales channels. The brands have been separated into distinct categories to offer guidance while shopping. Marimekko has also divided its fabrics into different categories understood by the consumer.The fabrics have been divided into categories of color, brand, and design, and product type, use, on- sale, specialty, price,and characteristic. It helps filter information to attain preferred supplies. The store has also invested in its YouTube channel which has lots of DIY (Do It Yourself) videos to help deliver creative ideas to its consumers. The store has partnered with Amazon to help boost its sales. Amazon is the leading recognizable online platform in the world. The business also places its discounts on sales made via Amazon as it is more marketable. The store has invested in digital marketing, Facebook and blogs, to help advertise its products (Shimp and Andrews 2013). The collaboration with various partners can help attract more customers. There is higher traffic on Amazon than on the online store’s website. Marimekko Clothing uses various websites of its various customers to sell its products online. It also sells on eBay.
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Robert Kaufman Fabrics is a company that deals with converting quilting textiles and fabrics for manufacturers and retailers. The company is a supplier of fabric, apparel, uniforms, home décor, and bridal wear. It has an extensive supply of novelty fabrics, woven fabrics, cotton prints, and yarn- dyes. The company has incorporated various elements of the marketing mix to reach its target market. The main target market for the company is manufacturers and retailers.
The product element is defined by the physical availability of a product and/ or the services offered to the customers in a defined target market. The company aims at offering top quality products, designs,and services. It has also aimed at increasing the availability of the products by globalization. The company currently distributes product to 73 countries. The company has also aimed at creating a good brand image to meet its consumer wants and needs. Customer needs and wants have been contributed into by the amazing designers offered on the company’s profile (Greenblatt 2012). The constant availability of products in the markets creates brand awareness and confidence in consumers’ minds.
All companies aim at reducing costs by improving efficiency and manufacturing and increase benefits achieved by the consumers. Unlike OnlineFabricStore, the company gives its customers credit options. It is a friendly method of payment enjoyed by most customers. It also ensures sales are not lost due to inflexible payment options. The company also offers a variety of options to make payment. It uses bank wires, visa, pay pal, discover, Master card, and American Express. The company also offers discounts on large orders and free shipping for local shipping for orders above $49. The credit option has a great impact on high sales achieved compared to OnlineFabricStore.
Another marketing mix used by Robert Kaufman Co is Promotion. Promotion helps in building and supporting a brand’s image. The company used the element to achieve publicity, sales promotions, and advertising. The company’s online platform creates publicity of its brands by listing all outlets selling their products, by their locations and states. It helps to increase their sales by advertising their products as it only sells to retailers and manufacturers. Advertising is a key aspect in marketing activity. The company has introduced a new department, international department, to optimize its brand marketing globally. It has a suitable distribution channel to its consumers. The company also gives free relevant information to its direct consumers by updating current fashion trends in relation to their fabrics. The processes displayed are customer- focused. The company holds numerous trade shows in different locations that are displayed on their online platform.
Place is another marketing mix element that explains how consumers get their products. Robert Kaufman, however, uses an indirect channel as it does not sell directly to its consumers. Its main customers are manufacturers and retailers. There are however many retailers spread across countries to reach the consumer. The company does not have an intermediary company to deal with local distributors. Manufacturers and retailers have the opportunity of purchasing their products online after the customer service creates their accounts. The company has also invested in a mobile app that makes it easy for its customers to access updated information and place orders in a better way. The company uses the Place element by detailing to its consumers on how and where to access the product.
Physical evidence is a major element marketing mix for the company. It has a great website that is user-friendly. The cookies on the device offer the best internet experience. It is aimed at giving consumers a great internet experience as they go through the company’s website. Information placed on the website is easily understandable especially to new customers who would be considering to work with the company. The online platform also helps customers select their fabrics with ease as they are categorized by type, designer, fabrics, and theme. All requirements of becoming a customer are explained in detail on the platform. Common asked questions and answers are also posted on the platform which helps customers on the platform understand issues affecting others.
Marimekko clothing was founded in 1951 by a lady, Armi Ratia in Helsinki. The business is working to regain its market share in the fashion and textile industry in Europe. It is well known for its patterned fabrics, women’s clothing, and home interior décor. Its current CEO is Mika Ihamoutila since 2008. The company has stores in Europe and 30 concept stores in Japan and America. The current company’s aims are to expand further, cut costs, and rise against increasing competition from major importers. The report will have a detailed marketing plan based on the situational analysis from its main two competitors. Marimekko currently has 160 stores across northern Europe, North America, and the Asia- Pacific. Its products sales worldwide in 2017 were 193 million euros while the net sales were 102 million euros. The group has employed over 450 employees (Suder 2011).
The main marketing goal is increasing sales and regaining market share. The company’s aim is to grow net sales by 10% at the end of the year. Due to the rise of advanced technology in the world, another goal is to increase website traffic. The company aims at increasing attendants to its online platform by 10% monthly. Marimekko’s other goal is to increase its conversion rate. The company will offer a 20% offer to all its new customers. It will help new customers get lured into purchasing products after visiting the various stores and online platforms. Increased engagement rates and decreased response time is an internal goal to be achieved. Immediate responses to customers on online platforms help build the company’s engagements with its customers. The company also aims at increasing its brand awareness. There are various strategies that can be applied to achieve the set marketing goals. It will help towards achieving the company’s set objectives.
The marketing objectives are to increase profits margins and net sales by 10%. Another objective is building brands awareness. The target of new customers will also be a set objective to grow existing market share. Another main objective is expanding into new markets in different geographical areas. Enhancement of customer relationships is also one of the objectives.
Marketing Strategies and Implementation
The categories of the marketing mix are provided to the target market to act as a strategy to attract and maintain existing and potential consumers. The strategies will be guided by the competitors’ situational analysis. Strategies formulated will be focused on achieving set goals. Building brand awareness will be achieved by increasing marketing campaigns across Europe. The company will invest more on advertisement as a tool for brand awareness. It will achieve featuring in articles, news, and popular bloggers. Use of brand influencers will also contributemajorly to brand awareness. Consumers tend to follow trends displayed by their preferred celebrities. A research will be done on which influencers will relate with the target consumer. In the 1960s, Marimekko gained popularity in the US after a lady, Jacqueline posed in a magazine with clothing from Marimekko. After the incident, the brands were recognized. Collaboration with other fashion and fabrics companies will help achieve more sales and satisfy consumer needs. A collaboration between Banana and Marimekko began the production of clothing inspired by Marimekko prints (Aav 2012). The initial production was sold out within a week. Collaboration would also lead to the cutting of production costs to maximize on returns. Collaboration will be done with various artists and designers companies to select the best designs to consumers. Another strategy is fighting counterfeits to regain the loyalty of its customers and regain its market share. The company will join a board that defends its rights in fighting counterfeits. The increased usage of modern technologies drives the company to increase its digital marketing to reach a wider audience. The target of new customers can be achieved by introducing a male cloth line. The company has in the past dwelled mainly in women clothing. Increased fashion awareness among both genders should guide into incorporating new target consumers. The company is considering introducing a male cloth line to have a new target audience.
There are various ways to implement the set strategies to achieve all set objectives. Market research will be done constantly to stay in touch with changing wants and needs of consumers. It will ensure we meet the consumers’ demand trend. Special design will be made according to customer’s preferences. However, the company will aim at maintaining original style across borders. All promotion methods will be coordinated and selected carefully to maintain and improve on the brand image. Mistakes would lead to a bad impression on the customers. Competitor activities should always be reviewed to help stay ahead of the competition. The company will also consider effective ways of promoting brands by investing in socially useful activities, films, and public activities.
Marimekko clothing market is segmented into various categories:
Age and gender: In regards to the products and style, the main and potential consumers are female. The group of these ladies in Europe is between teenage to elderly women while in China it is the young ladies.
Price: High-quality products are highly priced and therefore have a higher popularity among consumers. Price of their products is determined by the design and quality.
Target group: Women of high stature are the highest consumers of the products. However, students, housewife, and middle- level women are also confident in consuming the products.
Location: Marimekko clothing has a plan to build stores in Shanghai and Hong Kong which have become high economy towns in China.
After a study on the situation analysis of two of the company’s main competitors and how they apply the elements of the market mix in their marketing processes, a market mix strategy has been formulated for the company. Product strategy is achieved by product diversification which is one of our characters. Our main products are bags, clothes, accessories, and interior decorations. Our products can be searched by themes. We have a range of themes like novelties, at twilight, spring fabrics etc. The themes display happiness achieved from all the products. The theme activities will make customers want to explore the activities. Products are also searched by keywords, color, and catalogs. Colorful life is a Marimekko spirit.
Place strategy will be achieved by opening up new stores to increase distribution levels. The company will open new retail stores in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The existing distribution channels are a store, factory and retailer outlets. The company will also invest heavily in online shopping which is becoming popular globally. Price Strategy will aim at maintaining high prices which reflect on high-quality products and designs. Its target market is high income- level earners. High-quality products are popular among consumers. Promotion strategy- Normal marketing strategies are not for Marimekko. The company aims at going an extra mile to improve their brand image in their consumer’s minds. It will achieve this by holding numerous fashion shows as the brands will be associated with beauty. Use of influencers who are accepted in the high profile society. It helps build image and trust in the product. Cooperation with other famous brands, especially when penetrating new markets. Collaboration with well-trusted brands creates trust among consumers.
The proposed budget to execute the marketing plans is $4 million to be spread equally across the four-yearly quarters. The effectiveness of the plans will be monitored in quarterly stages. The main monitoring methods will be sales analysis. Achievement of monthly set targets will reflect the success of plans implemented. Budget expenditure will also monitor the progress of set activities. Budgets should not be over or underspent. It would reflect on poor research and planning. Feedback from customers is essential to measure the impact of activities in the consumer's mind. Positive feedback will reflect on good decisions made. Activities of competitors will also show how keen we are in the consumer's currents trends. Elimination of ineffective strategies will help streamline effective strategies.
The main point of evaluation would be checking the change in sales by checking actual sales versus forecast sales. A positive trend indicates positive impact of activities. Another crucial check is on Return On Investment (ROI). A minimum ROI 0f 10% should be achieved on all plans by a check on results versus cost spent. It is an effective ways of eliminating non- effective marketing strategies.
AAV, M. (2012). Marimekko: fabrics fashion architecture.
GREENBLATT, J. (2012). Breakthrough Strategies for Predicting Any Market: Charting Elliott Wave, Lucas, Fibonacci and Time for Profit. Hoboken, Wiley. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=1037081.
KUMAR, A. (2012). Managing the marketing mix and communications in a digital era: the role of traditional and new media in a multichannel environment. http://search.proquest.com/pqdtlocal1007354/docview/1112071177/abstract/13CE855825BD691E9A/1?accountid=14169.
PEARSON, D. (2014). The 20 Ps of Marketing: a Complete Guide to Marketing Strategy. http://www.books24x7.com/marc.asp?bookid=57785.
SHIMP, T. A., & ANDREWS, J. C. (2013). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, Ohio, South-Western Cengage Learning.
SUDER, G. (2011). Doing business in Europe.
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