Thursday, November 29, 2012

Designing a Marketing Strategy


There are four major steps to follow when it comes to designing a marketing strategy that is customer driven. The four steps are segmentation, targeting, differentiation and positioning. The first thing to be done is to target exactly what kind of strategy is to be used. All of the variables have to be determined and evaluated and then the decision of what variables will be used. One of the variables to consider is the geographic such as the location and climate. People are a major part because they are the target for buying the products. Everything that is concerned with a person from their lifestyle to their personalities is a factor to include. The product has to be accessible and is fulfilling the needs and wants of the customer. Marketers have to make sure that the product is in a good position to be competitive with other products that are available for maximum results. The advantages are combined in either a more for more, more for less, or any other combination to make sure the product stands out. A product is defined as something of necessity or just something that we want but not really need.
A consumer product has to fit exactly as what the consumer would want to buy. A product has to be convenient as well as still being affordable for the user. Shopping is a factor in being that making sure the consumer is willing to compare different products to each in the decision process in finding which one to buy. Another thing is making sure the product is one of a kind so that the buyer is willing to spend a certain amount of money on a particular item. Shoppers can also be impulse buying and just pick up things because they see them in the store whether these are things that the need or not. A brand is a way of making sure that your product stands out from the rest. I know that as a consumer I usually go for something because of the brand’s name as I know certain brands hold a higher quality of their products than others. Branding a product helps the buyers and the sellers because if you have a great brand the buyers will buy your product off of the name alone and the same goes for selling a brand it will sale itself. There is a lot to consider in branding a product such as the name, if it is distinctive or if you are able to trademark so that no other company may use it. A brand doesn’t have to be one dimensional you can have several names under a certain brand or the brand may be able to do more than one particular thing.

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    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Sandals Resorts Marketing Report

    The purpose of this report is to analyze the four components of the marketing mix of Sandals Resorts brand. Sandals has proven to be highly successful, based on their innovative marketing concepts.
    Sandals Resort offers an innovative concept in their all-inclusive environments, contrived to give vacationers completely worry-free accommodations. This allows guests to relax and more effectively utilize their vacation time. Sandals prides themselves with introducing the couple’s only concept.

    They provide a range of activities for the various types of travelers, whether it be scuba diving for the dive enthusiast or a rigorous hike for the nature lover. They employ guest coordinators, trained to be experts in human relations, to make guests feel at home, coordinating the guest activities and making sure that everything works the way it should. They practice TQM (Total Quality Management) throughout all levels of staff.

    In the couples only market, created by them, they cater to different markets by offering three different levels of suites: the basic all-inclusive suites, the crystal suites that have their own private pool and the millionaire suites that are separate villas with butler service. Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is the parent company of Sandals Resorts. Gordon “Butch” Stewart the founder of SRI, who currently serves as company chairman, bought his first two hotels in 1981and in 1986 bought the third hotel, which is Sandals Royal Caribbean today. Sandals Resorts International is based in Montego Bay, Jamaica and is incorporated there.

    The two largest target markets for Sandals resorts are honeymooners and married anniversary vacationers. For the honeymooners the target age is 26 to 35 whose dual income ranges from $100,000 to $120,000. The education level is a four year college degree. The social class ranges from lower-upper to middle-upper with a strong brand loyalty whose product knowledge is moderate to extensive. The benefit sought by this target market is a relaxing honeymoon getaway. For married couples vacationing and/or celebrating an anniversary the age range is 36 to 45 whose dual income ranges from $100,000 to $120,000. The educational level ranges from some college to graduate degree with a social class from lower-up to middle upper with a moderate product knowledge. Brand loyalty runs at medium and the benefit for these married couples is a vacation away from the kids.

    Marketing Mix Product

    Sandals has many luxury beach resorts to choose from with many inclusive elements including restaurants and bars, scuba diving, and water sports tailored towards couples and honeymooners. All within the Sandals Resorts International Corporation, Sandals, Beaches, and Grand Pineapple proudly represent the company with a variety of different resorts. Sandals alone has 14 different locations in St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas and Antigua. The other members of the Sandals family of resorts include Beaches, Fowl Cay Resort, and Grand Pineapple. Beaches is tailored towards the entire family with activities for everyone, with 4 different locations in Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. Fowl Cay Resort is located in Exumas, Bahamas and boasts the luxury of escaping to your own private island. This resort is open to couples or families. Grand Pineapple supplies a taste of authentic Caribbean for everyone in Antigua and Jamaica. The number of inclusive items outweighs the additives that vacationers need to concern themselves with, allowing for the luxury of a true worry-free vacation.

    Pricing

    The need to clearly advertise on the Sandals website and commercials what times of the year are the cheapest for a couple to vacation. The benefit of this expands the profits of the company during the slow times, and also has the opportunity to create a new customer loyalty. It gives the couple more time to save money and the option of taking a later honeymoon. This will also improve the pre-purchase evaluation of vacation packages. Couple may miss the substitute lower price for amenities and could ultimately hurt Sandals profits in the long run drawing away from the high season.

    Placement

    New outlets within the United States would provide less expensive flights and honeymooners may feel more comfortable about traveling within the country under United States jurisdiction. An additional benefit is the proximity to supply chains as well as the target markets themselves. The negatives to new outlets within the United States is that is creates a large risk that may result in the loss of money. The other consideration is that Sandals resorts all offer a very luxurious beach destination and the states have little to offer in that category that is comparable. This may cause an irreversible damage to the Sandals image.

    Promotional Mix

    Sandals has travel agents in a wide variety of countries to help customers with access and information about traveling to many of their resorts locations. The list on their representatives section of Sandals.com is extensive and there are more outside travel agents. The website lists locations in: Miami, Fl; Ontario, Canada; London; Treviso, Italy; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo Brasil; Duesseldorf, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Moscow, Russia. The availability of information is extensive and each of these travel agents supply information to couples looking to vacation. Distributing catalogs and pamphlets on Sandals to locations that wedding planners and couples often frequent when planning a wedding. Examples include; florists, bridal boutiques, salons and spas, wedding locations, etc. Pros to this method are that brides are already in positive and excited moods. Point-of-purchase displays are also utilized and an expansion in the media which results in a better reach of the target market. Down sides to these methods is that there is no way to ensure that other companies are going to comply with Sandals requests. Many businesses have pamphlets and brochures that are thrust at the bride-to-be’s and many get lost in the mix. Wedding expo’s are also a very common place for brides to research honeymoon information and a Sandals table captures the attention of the bride and groom although this can be costly.

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