The present study discusses to what extent analysing the marketing strategies for a company is essential. The company focused in this assignment is a popular brand, Gold Star and the item discussed are footwear. Here the micro and macro environmental factors are evaluated, the SWOT analysis is done followed by analysing the segmentation and positioning of the brand in the market Nepal. At the end certain recommendations have also been provided which if incorporated by the brand would help it to emerge as the market leader. In order to adopt marketing strategies the managements first needs to use tools and understand the actual condition of the company in the market currently.
Marketing strategy implies the overall business game plan that would increase customers’ base of a company and in turn increase its revenue. For any company a marketing strategy includes plans that would help in value positioning and increase brand value. The current study discusses the marketing analysis and strategies of the brand named as GoldStar. The items on which the report will focus will be the shoes provided by the GoldStar in the country Nepal. The footwear industry has its base and manufacturing unit in Nepal, however it is gradually growing in other markets such as in India and in Western countries.
Macro Environmental factors:
The factors can be determined through PESTLE analysis.
In order to expand and distribute products worldwide, the political procedures and regulation of the operating country needs to be followed. These factors can be the health and safety of employees, taxation system, global trade agreements and consumer safety rules (Gordon, 2012).
The products of Gold Star are not necessary but luxury items. The sales largely depend of the buyers interested in sports and in this industry the economy fluctuates. In the markets of the competitors the labour laws are intensive but cost of labour is cheap.
The products are available for all age, gender and lifestyle or people who are health conscious. Through corporate volunteering in sports events and keeping up with social trends, opportunities can be created (Mintz & Currim, 2013).
Technological innovation would help to provide edge and sustain competition and sales are done through social media or websites.
Compliance with state or central government laws in its operating country is important. Also, it owns intellectual properties and several IP systems. The brand requires defending their patents and trademarking as those are legal protection would help against copyright and infringement of any sorts. Sometimes endorsements by celebrities can be done.
Monitoring manufacturing process and reducing production of hazardous elements in the environment is required. Ethics associated with business and pollution regulations of other countries needs to be maintained (Kim & Hyun, 2011).
Micro Environmental factors:
It has online retail options and also various branches all around the country. It faces competitions not only from Chinese brands but from other international brands such as Puma, Adidas, Reebok, etc. since many customers prefer international brand items available at almost the same price. Its management system has incorporated technological changes to cope with the growing market competitiveness and hence all strategies are planned and digitalised. The human resources in the company are limited while the way of making decision is centralised (Kim & Hyun, 2011). The innovations in terms of items are less as the company is focused in developing mostly athletic shoes. Other types of fashionable shoes might also attract more local customers.
The brand mainly focuses in producing leather items in which the documentation process is long and tiring. Public are well aware of the brand which provides the company competitive advantage in the Nepal market. Gold Star has utilised the incorporation of modern technologies and the fund the company has to implement its strategies are sufficient. It still tries to expand and create branches in other parts of the country so that it can meet the demand of customers in the leather show market. The marketing of Gold Star products needs to be done in a better way so that knowledge about these products reaches the people of Nepal. The consumers are getting more aware of other cheap brands that are available in abundance in the local markets. The tastes and preferences of the customers keep on changing and thus continuous innovation and new designed products needs to be produced (Shtal et al. 2018).
The SWOT framework is used to analysis the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is an effective method and after analysis, proper marketing strategies can be planned for a firm.
Gold Star Shoe is a popular and premium leather shoe brand in Nepal situated for decades. The human resources and the managers working within the company are competent and reliable (Kim & Hyun, 2011). The financial position of the brand is strong in the market since it has a huge amount of loyal customers in Nepal.
The brand and its products are limited to only one region and market. In this time of globalisation when companies are trying to expand globally, this brand is limited to Nepal. The company and its management faces problem to accept global changes and also faces problems while using new innovative software (Sarsby, 2016).
An opportunity of Gold Star Shoe is that it has demand in the market not only for shoes but for other athletic products such as jerseys, socks, t-shirts and jackets and through selling these items it can increase its brand name. Since most parts of Nepal are situated on the mountains, the people of hilly areas have large demand for good quality leather athletic shoes.
Due to the vast expansion of the Chinese market and use of Chinese items by the locals in Nepal demand for Gold Star’s products is less. The Chinese goods are available at a cheaper rate.
Target Market and Positioning
Gold Star aims are designing and providing sports shoes of high quality in the Nepal as well as global market. It aims at providing best experiences and services and builds positive mind-sets among the customers eventually. The target market of the products is customers of middle age group as well as youngsters who like sports shoes or are athletes. The mass market is divided into groups based on their wants so that the company gets a competitive advantage (Sarsby, 2016). The target group is 14years to 40 years people. However the products of this brand are also like by people of the age group 40-65 years also. Some sub-branded shoes are also available to meet demand of newer market segments. Both male as well as female customers are targeted. The positioning of shoes of GlodStar is based on few choices which are speed, open sources and cities.
It tends to provide customers the products as and when desired. The cities are mainly targeted to develop in the global market and it tries to collaborate various athletes and customers to create the sport culture among the people (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2014). It targets the rich and upper-middle class consumers for whom these shoes are not necessity but luxury items. It portrays itself not only as a sports brands but Creator of sports shoes with leather in Nepal. GoldStar has created a benchmark in the footwear industry especially in Nepal and other firms’ finds it difficult to reach that benchmark. The durability, affordability and quality of the shoes always attracted customers’ in spite of less promotion. The five market segments are sport wears, shoes for everyday wearers, for the budget conscious people, for elite sports and for fashionable sports. The brand positioning statement and a positioning map is given in the appendices.
Marketing Mix Strategy
Every brand needs to develop the marketing mix strategies in order to achieve the desired success and thus certain elements such as the 7 Ps’ discussed below shall be analysed and based on that strategies needs to be implemented to sustain in the market.
The Gold Star mainly produces footwear in Nepal. However its products are sold in 4 broad different categories with different product line in each category. There are varieties of high quality shoe products available under its brand name and thus customers get to choose from a wide variety of products. The products of the Gold Star are differentiated in nature and it offers various features which the competitors do not offer. There is a wide portfolio of products available from which the customer can choose. The products are of high quality and designs are traditional which many customers prefer. The footwear available is robust as well as athletic and also available in various designs suiting different styles. The packaging of the products is not always appealing visually to the customers and the ranges of products available are less (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2014). It has stores situated all over Nepal and thus the market coverage is huge as it is an old brand in the shoe market. The packaging of the products is done in a way so that delivery is convenient.
The pricing strategy that is followed by Gold Star is competitive pricing since it is influenced by the prices charged by other competitors and international brands in the market. Some of its leather products are costlier as compared to the competitors because of its good quality and variety of features which however sometimes reduce the consumer preferences. Recently it also follows bundle pricing where sometimes products are bundled and sold at a cheaper rate rather than selling separately individually. The products sold through online retailing sites are charged more than that available in local stores in few cases and also the accessories are charged separately. The products available to the wholesalers are lower than that sole in their own stores. Discount policies are not usually offered which might increase the customer base (Kim & Hyun, 2011).
The selling channels of Gold Star shoes are through online website or through local stores where the products are sold directly to the customers. Through online the products are sold directly to the consumers however offline most of the products are sold through wholesalers. The wholesalers then forward the products to the retailers who sell it to the customers (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2014). The marketing strategy followed is intensive as it tries to include its items in the list of as many sellers as possible. This helps in the availability of products to the customers in any part of Nepal. The online sales are also done with frequent trafficking on the company’s website. GoldStar has also partnered with various service providers that deliver the products on time. The distribution system followed by the company is omni-channel so that online or offline stores help the consumers to access its products easily. It has tied up with various suppliers who provide good quality raw materials and these suppliers also help the company to introduce attractive features. The online website needs to be made more user friendly.
Media channels are used for promoting the products. Traditional methods of promotion such as advertisements through television and radio are followed. Even promotion is done online and through social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter, YouTube regularly. Television and radio appears to be mass media and social media pages helps the information about the product reach large number of places. The content uploaded on the online platforms is frequent and sales promotion techniques are used. The budget of promotional activities however needs to be increased so that social media influencers can be used on social media platforms to promote the products. The company needs to initiate campaigns for advertisements so that a fixed message reaches the customers through all types of media and consumer awareness about its products is enhanced. Undergoing digital marketing techniques would also help the company to improve the online traffics for its websites (Srdjevic, Bajcetic & Srdjevic, 2012). Sending personalized messages to the people would also help to increase sales through repeat buying.
The products sold by GoldStar has packaging colour that is distinct so that these can be easily identified by the retailers when a customer asked for it. In the retail stores the company have separate shelves so that it is easier for the buyers also to locate them among other available brands of shoes. Feedback from the customer needs to be obtained for determining the colour of packaging (Dunning, 2014). GoldStar needs to develop own stores where the environment can be shopper friendly unlike some retail stores and that might encourage the buyers to buy more shoes.
GoldStar has installed systems which helps the retailers to notify about the case of low inventory. Constant supply of products is done to the retailers that ensure that the retail stores do not face shortage of the products when customers demand it. Gold Star also has an online developed delivery process. When the customers place orders these are received in the computers and based on the requirements the items are properly packed and shipped to reach the desired customers following the address provided by him/her. The company involves in researching the opportunities available in the market so that changing needs of the customers can be tracked. Computers and GPS trackers would help the firm to identify the consumers’ orders more prominently and ensure prompt delivery. The processes used by the firm in terms of cost and production efficiency needs to be under constant innovation (Chikweche & Fletcher, 2012). Reducing the cost of production would help to reduce the actually cost of products and increases sales. Helpline numbers shall be available for the customers if any complaint or query arises.
The people or the human resources especially working under the sales department play a very important role in marketing the products. The sales managers are trained to persuasive skills to observe and increase sales. Also, feedback is obtained from the business buyers in order to value their opinions. There are employees appointed in the customer service block. These people connect with the customers when any problems related to the products arise and helps to resolve those issues faced by the consumer. The person who acts are suppliers to provide raw materials are the people responsible for the quality of the final products manufactured. Large numbers of people are appointed in the retail stores especially focused in persuading the customers to purchase the shoes of Gold Star. The people posted onsite deals with customers regularly and answer all the queries that arise. Incentives needs to be provided to the people in the form of appraisals and bonuses so that the employees stay motivated and meet the sales targets sets by the company (Cadle, Paul & Turner, 2014). The workforce also is required to stay committed to the objectives of the company.
Recommendations and Conclusions
The benefit provided by Gold Star for purchasing its shoes needs to be extended. The benefits include warranty period, services after sales, services through helplines and credit with delivery. The newly launched products need to go to the test markets for testing instead of selling it directly to the commercial customer’s. The portfolio and designs of products needs to be broadened. There are various international brands that appear as strong competitors for footwear related products. The newer introduced products may be charged lesser than its competitors. The company do not have training programmes and thus most of the staffs stay unfamiliar with the company’s changed techniques and visions. Gold Star needs to sale to large retailers through the process of personal sales because some large retailers has grown recently and can attract huge customers. In order to increase customer satisfaction, Gold Star needs to provide training to the sales executives, the people associate with customer services and purchase department as these people play an important role in increasing the value while delivering the products.
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