Sample Marketing Paper on Google

With a portfolio as diverse as Google’s, what are the company’s core brand values?

Focus on the customer is a major brand value for Google. It allows advertisers to bid for top keywords instead of fixing prices that promote fair pricing, which promotes the use of its advertising services. It offers the Google Analytics at no charge that allows marketers to study the market and enhance the productivity of their online marketing strategies. Google products are free and compatible with different device models and network providers that increase the usability of its products (Bharadwaj et al., 2013, p. 480). Google is associated with innovation because it provides convenient services such as the Google Docs that allow its clients to read and edit documents without installing hardware and software.

Its Android platform is a free and open source platform that promotes innovation by allowing software developers to publish applications, which boosts customer experience and offers Google extra space to generate advertising revenue. Google provides value by promoting user experience; for instance, its Gmail users have 15GB free cloud space and Google Plus that offers free chat services. These brand values are responsible for the success of Google as a global brand.

1.2 What’s next for Google? Is it doing the right thing taking on Microsoft with its cloud computing, Apple in the fight for smart phones, and the Chinese government on censorship search?

Google competes by adapting to the market conditions and providing compatible products and services. Although it launched cloud-computing services after Microsoft, its approach has a great potential to provide market power. Google leverages on its leadership in email services to promote its cloud computing business by offering its Gmail users with 15Gb free cloud space while Microsoft offers 5GB (Feng, Li and Li, 2014, p. 72).

Google approach to the smartphone market is appropriate. Instead of imitating iOS of Apple that is closed source and incompatible with many smartphones, it launched Android that is open source and free that creates value to not only software developers but also device users because they enjoy high user experience at minimal cost (Bharadwaj et al., 2013, p. 479). Android runs on all networks and devices that increase its potential to lead the mobile industry, unlike Apple that only operates on AT&T in the US. However, Google has to comply with legal requirements to enjoy the license to operate in markets such as China, which is highly populated and has a rapidly growing economy. It needs to cooperate with Chinese officials to avoid further restrictions on providing its services in China.

2.0 Microsoft

2.1 Evaluate Microsoft’s strategy in good and poor economic times

Microsoft applies a market dominance and follower approach in both good and poor economic conditions. During the internet boom, Microsoft noted the success achieved by Netscape and ventured into browser and internet services to grow its product portfolio and leverage on the favorable market for internet services. In 1997, when it launched the Internet Explorer, it controlled 4% of the market compared to 72% controlled by Netscape; but it rapidly grew its browser business by bundling the Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system that grew its market share but lowered the market share of Netscape to 4% in 5 years (Zhu and Iansiti, 2011, p. 91). This shows that Microsoft follows and imitates rival products and uses its existing products to penetrate and trump its rivals quickly.

During weak economic conditions, Windows continuously improves its products to remove bugs and compete with rivals. It gains dominance by confronting marketing tactics of its rivals to rebuild the confidence and trust from its users. For instance, it launched the Windows without Walls and I’m a PC adverts during the recession to counter Apple that had stereotyped Microsoft Vista operating system as geeky, uptight and insecure. Similarly, Microsoft leveraged on the cloud computing boom that begun after the recession of 2009 to provide value to its customers and maintain its market leadership in the software industry.

2.2 Discuss the pros and cons of Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” campaign. Is Microsoft doing a good thing by acknowledging Apple’s campaign in its own marketing message? Why or why not?

The ‘I’m a PC’ campaign by Microsoft was a necessary but timid marketing approach. The main benefit of this campaign is that it aimed at improving the perception of users of Windows Vista amid the anti-vista campaigns led by Apple. Microsoft used diverse persons to show their pride in running Vista on their personal computers. The participants included employees and outsiders that not only boosted the product acceptance among its workers but also external customers (Vishwanath and LaVail, 2013, p. 1166). Additionally, the campaign boosted employee morale that consequently enhanced their productivity leading to a greater ability to continuously improve its operating systems.

However, Microsoft failed for confronting the anti-Vista, ‘Get a Mac’, campaign instead of communicating the benefits of using Windows Vista. It should have countered Apple by communicating the enhanced security and visual features of Windows Vista, which would have cemented customer loyalty and attract Mac users (Vishwanath and LaVail, 2013, p. 1165). Thus, although Microsoft needed to fix the public perception of Windows Vista, it should have achieved a greater marketing success by communicating the improvements in Vista rather than confronting a rival promotion campaign.

3.0 IDEOS

3.1 Why has IDEO been so successful? What is the most difficult challenge it faces in conducting its research and designing its products?

IDEOS has been successful by focusing on the design needs of corporate clients and offering solutions that boost the user experience and fix problems in existing products of its clients. IDEOS has a customer-centric strategy that provides solutions using an outside-in approach, which guarantees customer acceptance. It invests heavily in gathering user information to identify the weaknesses in current products and consequently develop enhancements that boost its revenue as well as that of its customers (Tschimmel, 2012, p. 2).

Before launching a design, IDEOS encourages diverse individuals including executives to test the prototypes that boost its relationship with clients resulting in customer loyalty and progressive revenue growth. It attracts new clients through the personal narratives that communicate the success achieved by clients through the implementation of its proposals. However, IDEOS incurs high costs in gathering data on consumer behavior and vulnerabilities of client products. It applies sophisticated techniques such as customer mapping to eliminate flaws in the incumbent designs that offers revenue growth for its clients, which makes its heavy investment in human-centered research worthwhile. The processing of data into successful designs demands intensive skill and prototype testing that has the potential of straining IDEOS (Blomkvist and Holmlid, 2011, p. 8).

3.2 In the end, IDEO creates great solutions for companies that then receive all the credit. Should IDEO try to create more brand awareness for itself? Why or why not?

Although IDEOS can boost its revenue and minimize business risk by increasing its brand awareness, this strategy is counterproductive. Its clients contract it for innovative designs that solve flaws in the current services and products. Its success is based on the success achieved by its customers. IDEOS should invest in research as the quality of its designs is demonstrated through the products and services of its clients. Promoting its brand awareness may compromise the quality of its design services, as resources available for research and design may be shifted into marketing. However, IDEOS should capitalize on its wide range of clients to communicate the success stories that enhance its brand awareness while still crediting the market success achieved by its customers.

There is a likely conflict of interest if IDEOS attempts to gain credit for its designs as this may lower the good customer perception enjoyed by its clients. The resultant conflict of interest is likely to discourage clients from contracting it in future engagements, which proves the promotion of its brand awareness as a counterproductive strategy.

4.0 Fulla Dolls

4.1 What are the pros and cons of Fulla doll’s selective target marketing?

The manufacturers of Barbie dolls before the foundation of Fulla Dolls generalized the consumer needs by assuming one-size fits all product model. Fulla dolls target Muslim consumers by providing a doll that fits the values and expectations of customers of the Muslim faith. Marketers need to customize their products to fit the local lifestyle in foreign markets to avoid market resistance and consequential failure in product launches or government restrictions (Guo and Zhang, 2012, p. 1001). The selective target marketing by Fulla dolls is appropriate as appeals to Muslim consumers in the Arab market by integrating the Muslim values (Somogyi et al., 2011, p. 484).

Its marketing is strategic as it uses TV commercials in popular Children network channels that stimulate the demand for Fulla dolls by Arab children. However, selective targeting exposes Fulla dolls to the risk of unstable earnings due to the potential secularization of the Arab community. Additionally, it incurs an opportunity cost for neglecting the needs of the non-Muslims living in Arab countries. Nevertheless, its target marketing is appropriate because the secular market for dolls is dominated by Barbie dolls, which bars its entry.

4.2 How can Fulla doll expand its sales? Is its segmentation strategy too selective? Why or why not?

Newboy Design Studio has the potential of expanding to the non-Muslim market for dolls. Globalization has triggered changes in consumer culture and preferences globally including the Arab countries that provide a huge market opportunity for Fulla dolls.  Its current doll is too selective and highly customized to meet the norms and expectations of Muslim consumers. The Fulla doll lacks traction from non-Muslim children due to the difference in religious belief resulting in a high market opportunity. The company should consider introducing a doll that integrates secular values to serve the non-Muslim consumers (Papadopoulos and Martín Martín, 2011, p. 139).

Fulla dolls should leverage on its popularity among Muslim dolls to penetrate secular customers in Arabian countries. Additionally, globalization provides an opportunity to access overseas markets, and Fulla dolls can benefit from launching a secular version of its doll. This strategy would diversify its product portfolio and grow its revenue. Nevertheless, Fulla dolls may incur high marketing cost and risk market failure due to the entry barriers resulting from the dominance of Barbie dolls in the non-Muslim market. Therefore, its segmentation strategy is appropriate despite its selective nature.

5.0 Jim Thomson Thai Silk Company

5.1 How did JTTS extend its product line? Do you think JTTS has extended too much?

JTTS revived a Thai cottage industry that was almost collapsing and transformed it into a leading brand, which enjoys endorsement by the Thai Loyalty. JTTS initially focused on producing upmarket and attractive Thai silk and extended to the production of scarves, handbags, and home furniture accessories. It also set up operations in London to promote its furnishing products by appealing to the high-end consumers such as luxury hotels. It also expanded to Bangkok, Singapore, and Malaysia that further increased its market presence.

The expansion by JTTS is viable since it leverages on the legend of Thompson and the Thai heritage to reach customers in the foreign market. The extension of its product portfolio is strategic as it allows the company to shield against cyclical revenue providing ample financial stability and consequently organizational success. JTTS maximizes its market potential by appealing to tourists that regularly visit Thai, which allows it to capitalize on the ability of foreigners to popularize JTTS products in foreign nations.  These aspects support the successful extension of JTTS.

5.2 Do you think JTTS is differentiated sufficiently from other lifestyle brands?

JTTS has sufficiently differentiated its products, which allows it to gain customer loyalty and compete through non-price tactics. Product differentiation allows a company to shape a unique perception among its clients that gives it an edge over rivals that have to compete with conventional manufacturers. JTTS products are made of Thai silk is available in iridescent colors whose color change based on reflection of light. Its fabric is knotty and inconsistent, unlike Chinese silk that is smooth.

Furthermore, JTTS fabric is linked to the Thai culture, which gives it an edge to exploit demand from tourist consumers (Sogn-Grundvåg, Larsen and Young, 2014, p. 379). Sufficient differentiation suits JTTS, as its fabric is suitable for home furnishing that allows it to gain traction from hotels and individual customers that value its rarity. JTTS has sufficiently differentiated itself from rival textile manufacturers by sticking to the Thai culture and using it to win tourist customers. To enhance customer acquisition and acceptance, JTTS has a private Museum that displays Thai culture and consequently cements its link with Thai heritage, which is its major success factor. Therefore, its differentiation tactic is sufficient.

 

 

Reference List

Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O., Pavlou, P. and Venkatraman, V. (2013). Digital business strategy: toward a next generation of insights. Mis Quarterly, 37(2), pp.471-482.

Blomkvist, J. and Holmlid, S. (2011). Existing prototyping perspectives: considerations for service design. Nordes, 4, pp.1-10.

Feng, Y., Li, B. and Li, B. (2014). Price Competition in an Oligopoly Market with Multiple IaaS Cloud Providers. IEEE Transactions on Computers, 63(1), pp.59-73.

Guo, L. and Zhang, J. (2012). Consumer Deliberation and Product Line Design. Marketing Science, 31(6), pp.995-1007.

Papadopoulos, N. and Martín Martín, O. (2011). International market selection and segmentation: perspectives and challenges. International Marketing Review, 28(2), pp.132-149.

Sogn-Grundvåg, G., Larsen, T. and Young, J. (2014). Product Differentiation with Credence Attributes and Private Labels: The Case of Whitefish in UK Supermarkets. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 65(2), pp.368-382.

Somogyi, S., Li, E., Johnson, T., Bruwer, J. and Bastian, S. (2011). The underlying motivations of Chinese wine consumer behaviour. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 23(4), pp.473-485.

Tschimmel, K. (2012). Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: The International Society for Professional Innovation Management. Portugal: The International Society for Professional Innovation Management, pp.1-20.