Example Of Promotional And Advertising Strategies Essay
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This paper would discuss the promotional strategies of two renowned companies namely; IKEA and Pottery Barn. IKEA is a Swedish company, and it specializes in selling ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, and other home accessories. The unique selling point of IKEA is that the products they offer are of good quality and are available at affordable rates (IKEA 2014). Most companies have to compromise one for the sake of other, but IKEA has been able to stay consistent with providing good quality products at affordable prices. On the other hand, Pottery Barn specialized in providing upscale home furnishings and was initially acquired by Williams-Sonoma in 1986. The key concept behind Pottery Barn is that they aim towards providing home designs that rank high in comfort, quality, style and value for money (Pottery Barn, 2014).
The promotional strategy that is used at IKEA is a combination of television advertising, sponsorships, and newspaper and magazine advertising. The trademark IKEA catalog prominently portrays the concept of a democratic design alongside this being evident in all of the other mediums of advertising. The three key elements of democratic design include; form, functionality, and affordability (IKEA, 2014). Affordability has been made possible because of the consumer behavior of IKEA’s customers. They drive to the store, select the conveniently packed product from the warehouse, transport the product themselves to their residence, and also assemble the product themselves. Since, the customer does most of the work the company is able to offer the product at low prices. The main target customers of IKEA are the young and newly married couples and people who buy their house for the first time. The main reason for having these people as their target customers are because of the enthusiasm and contemporary lifestyle of these people (Douglas & Craig, 2011). Consequently, the branding of the product signifies good taste and recognition of the value for money (Capell et al., 2005). Along with just marketing and selling the product the company aims towards selling a complete experience to its customers. The outlay of the store gives the customers an idea about the way they could furnish their homes. It is also a marketing gimmick because the products are strategically placed. The idea of a family is supported by the organization as a whole and the IKEA stores in particular because they provide a child care facility in its stores to give ease to shoppers with young children. IKEA does not give any reason to the shopper to hurry up since they even provide a café within the store for the customers to recharge their energy levels.
On the other hand, Pottery Barn is concerned with an upscale decorating experience to their customers. The company provides assistance in home decoration by offering free design services and classes for the purchase of furniture (Pottery Barn, 2014). Unlike IKEA at Pottery Barn, the customer is made to feel special by relaxing while the salesperson does the work for the customer. The catalog of the company does not only serve immediate purposes rather it includes tips for decoration, paintings, and recipes which the customer may make use of at a later time. Moreover, the marketing efforts are aimed towards the creation of customer loyalty by providing an effortless experience with comfort and style.
IKEA and Pottery Barn are renowned names in the home furnishing business. They both share a similarity of creating and selling not only a product, but also an experience to the customer. Since, IKEA offers a price advantage it is able to differentiate itself from Pottery Barn in the marketplace. Not only for IKEA and Pottery Barn but given the intense competition in the marketplace companies are expected to identify new ways of retaining employees for longer-term success. Where IKEA specializes in a do-it-yourself experience, Pottery Barn creates a more intimate environment for its customers. Both companies are active on the social media including Facebook where they earn a chance to connect directly with customers and gain direct feedback as well. It could be considered as a strategy to create a longer-term relationship with customers. Through the social media, the companies can post newer ideas and store pictures to attract the customers towards the outlets. It would also create a brand name and with constant reinforcement the customer would seek out these particular names to suit their demands.
Pricing would always prove to be an attractive method to retain and attract customer loyalty and new customers respectively. The customer in the lower income bracket is naturally attracted to lower prices, best sale buys, and greater quantity for the price asked. IKEA has been successful in fulfilling the needs of its lower income bracket customers by providing them a do-it-yourself experience. Those customers who are willing to pay extra often demand IKEA’s labor to assemble the product for them. In case, another company comes up with a similar marketing and selling strategy they may be in direct competition with IKEA. Companies are also able to build long term relations through consumer-oriented promotions. Frequency marketing and affinity programs could be of significance in the home furnishing industry specifically for IKEA and Pottery Barn. When IKEA first launched it was targeted towards first-time home owners, but after the 2008 recession the company has had to rethink their marketing strategy. The external environment is out of the control of the company; thus, they have had to devise ways to attract current home owners as fewer people were buying houses for that time. In order to implement the new strategy the “Family Loyalty Card” was introduced as part of frequency marketing. Through this scheme purchasers were entitled to twenty-five percent discount on selected items (Thomas, 2010), rebates, and other attractive offers (Kurtz, 2014).
Regardless of the 2008 downturn in the economy, Pottery Barn still offers an upscale design experience to its customers to maintain customer loyalty. One way Pottery Barn could increase revenue is if they benefit from something like an affinity program and build on customer relationship. An affinity program involves a company with a credit card company where they then build customer links as well (Kurtz, 2014). The company could get the credit card company to display the logo of Pottery Barn, or offer rebates to customers depending upon the frequency of usage of the cardholder. If Pottery Barn benefits from such a program, they could enhance their branding and attract consumers who belong to a specific income bracket and desire an upscale experience of home furnishing.
Profitability, volume, meeting competition, and prestige comprise the four basic pricing objectives (Kurtz, 2014). At Pottery Barn, the pricing objectives are based upon a combination of competitor’s prices and the prestige enjoyed by the company. Customers do not only go back to a product and service they are made to believe they have greater knowledge and a better lifestyle after shopping with Pottery Barn. One of the unique points Pottery Barn prides over is customized orders. The production line is far from mass production; thus, people may end up purchasing something which nobody else would have. The obliged and cooperative customer services are what Pottery Barn also generates revenue over. In order to compete with others in the market Pottery, Barn has to ensure that they are consistently producing and generating newer ideas and concepts. However, it is important to understand that being the best provider of quality, and quantity also plays a significant role and might have to be the focus of being successful. IKEA would provide a classic example since it has its own factories and supplier relationships as well. As IKEA specializes in cost effectiveness, they are constantly striving towards producing lower cost designs. Unlike Pottery Barn, IKEA has a mass production line. Consequently, IKEA sells larger volumes as compared to Pottery Barn.
An effective means for a furniture company to advertize its range of products is through printed brochures and in-store presentation. People usually do not purchase furniture by looking at pamphlets rather they want to see a physical end product. However, this should not undermine the power of printed catalogs because it helps give the consumer creative ways to decorate their households. Moreover, catalogs are specifically helpful in informing customers about the trending designs and highlight those items that are most popular for a particular season. Along with this, the catalog could provide added ideas about how the consumer could accessorize his/her home. The way to show this could be by promoting not only the products sold at Pottery Barn but other products available in the marketplace could also be promoted simultaneously. The catalog also provides ideas about how they could decorate a specific party, for instance; dinner party, bridal shower, or baby shower to name a few. The marketing platform at IKEA has recently been switched from individual rooms to activity based on the intention to improve the home. One of the major transformations in the catalog is regarding the print advertising and in-store presentations as there is now a wider section providing kitchen do-it-yourself products and complete supplies required for these. Consequently, the customer ends up purchasing more items than for which he has initially come and the company benefits.
Similar to IKEA, Pottery Barn has also been successful in attracting customers through catalogs and eventually turning these customers into sales. Moreover, in-store presentations have also persuaded several customers to buy at Pottery Barn. As Pottery Barn focuses on better quality their products are also highly priced as compared to IKEA; thus, the style of the products is not restricted to any particular season. Most of the pieces sold are timeless, and they can be used in various settings as displayed in the store’s catalogs. Consequently, the customer gets an idea about how to re-use a piece once their taste changes.
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Douglas,, S., & Craig,, C. (2011). Convergence and Divergence: Developing a Semiglobal Marketing Strategy. Journal Of International Marketing, 19(1).
Ikea.com,. (2014). Welcome to IKEA.com - IKEA. Retrieved 19 February 2015, from http://www.ikea.com
Kurtz,, D. (2012). Contemporary business (15th ed.). MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Potterybarn.com,. (2015). Home Furnishings, Home Decor, Outdoor Furniture & Modern Furniture | Pottery Barn. Retrieved 19 February 2015, from http://www.potterybarn.com
Thomas, J. (2010). IKEA revamps strategy in loyalty focus. Marketing.
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