Select TWO products from the list of product categories below and using the teaching materials and any additional research explain what you think would be an appropriate promotions strategy for both them. In doing so compare and contrast the two promotions strategies explaining why you think they would be similar or different.
Coca Cola targets every potential customer who is thirsty. The company targets all age groups but the most potential is the age group from 18-25 years. This group covers more than 40% of the total age segments. The major segments basically include people who drink Coke daily and those areas where there are many regular consumers. Regular customers include those who take the drink daily, weekly, or those who take less often.
Coca Cola should target its market based on age. The major target for Coca Cola is mainly youth. This segment has a wide range of targeting because it covers customers in the age of 15-25 and spans to 40. Coca Cola also consider old people as a co-target market. Most teenagers prefer watching televisions and this is a reason for promoting the company’s products through television advertisements. Coca Cola is found in almost every location so that everyone can buy but not many older people will consider buying because they prefer juice drinks.
Coca Cola’s target audience like media exposure and spend more time enjoying music and watching TV at home. They are the mobile generation and spend most of their time on SMS charting and social media. They also love innovative advertisements on TV. Developing an effective communication strategy plays a vital role in developing a company brand. Coca Cola has used multiple forms of communication strategies to establish an image for its company.
Coca Cola’s major target market likes watching TV and this implies that using TZ advertisements would enable the firm reach and appeal a wide group of customers. Using television for advertising could help Coca Cola appeal to consumers and market coverage. Advertising through magazines can also help the company to demographically and geographically select consumers it plans to target. In order to appeal to wide population and achieve high repeat exposure, Coca Cola should also use outdoor advertisement (Marketing-made-simple.com, 2012). This involves mounting billboards in strategic places to send a message to customers. Offering interactive website where consumers also provides a good avenue for promoting a product.
Positioning involves developing an image and can be described as how the consumer perceives the product (Armstrong, & Kotler, 2011). Coca Cola has positioned itself as part of customer’s daily life. This bond between the customer and the brand results into higher degree of loyalty and simplifies the purchasing decisions. Coke has been positioned as something that is part of life and brings joy. Coca Cola would be successful by using a unique selling preposition as “Enjoy life with coke”. This message will associate coke with joy and emotions so that each time a customer thinks of coke, the first thing that come to mind is entertainment and fun.
Southwest Airlines promotional strategy
Southwest Airline is a low fare airline that targets the general middle income population concerned with saving cost. The company’s goal is to make flying as cheap as possible so everyone becomes a potential customer. Market research in the company’s target market shows that the market consists of relatively more males than female customers. Southwest Airline focuses on an individual market segment. The target market for Southwest Airlines consists of male and female professional in the age brackets of 24 and 55. They include medium to high frequent fliers who are cost conscious. In addition, this group is internet/technology savvy and spends most of their time in front of computers and televisions.
Southwest Airline has a very unique product positioning in the industry. It does not see competition as just other airlines but as any mode of transportation. The company positions itself as the cheapest in the industry. For someone travelling from Las Vegas to California, the decision is whether to it is cheaper to board a bus, drive, or fly SWA. The company focuses on offering travelling services in markets with frequent, conveniently timed flights and low fares. In contrast to hub-and-spoke route system, Southwest’s point-to-point provides customers with more direct non-stop flights for travelers and therefore, minimizes delays, connections, and total time spent traveling (Gelder & Woodcock, 2003).
Southwest airlines can build its brand loyalty by offering discounts and low fares when entering new markets. Promotion strategies used by Southwest Airlines should start with insightful understanding of customer’s needs and translating those benefits into meaningful products and services. Southwest Airlines should pay close attention to customer needs and building a brand. SWA should run advertisement in both television and print that encourages people to visit their website for best deals. Instead of rewarding loyal customers based on miles traveled, SWA should consider rewarding customers depending on the number of flights they take.
Branding is a powerful tool for positioning your product (Armstrong, & Kotler, 2011). Southwest Airlines should establish itself as “cheap but fun”. This unique selling proposition will enable the customers to realize that paying low fares does not compromise the quality of services offered by Southwest Airlines. Unlike other competitors, Southwest Airlines does not charge their customers for luggage, which might also serve as a unique selling point.
Southwest Airline’s customers are technology/internet savvy and reaching them through internet would provide the most viable mode of communication. The company should consider providing customers with brochures that refer customers to the company’s website to access and book services at low costs. The company can also use direct email to reach its customers as most of them have access to internet in their offices and at home. Social media also proves viable in reaching customers as they are able to interact with employees and book their tickets.
Recommendations and conclusion
The promotional strategies used by Coca Cola and Southwest Airlines share similarities and differences. The major difference among the two product categories is the market target for each product. Southwest has a defined target market consisting of local travelers seeking cheap airline fares. Conversely, Coca Cola has a wide target market to satisfy their needs. This will require Coca Cola to devise promotional strategies that appeal to a wide group of people as compared to Southwest Airlines whose customers belong to a distinct group. Another difference is that Coca Cola is able to successfully carry out an outdoor campaign and get positive results while that could not be the same for Southwest Airlines. In the case of Southwest, distributing brochures with company information including website where customers are able to view company offers.
Another difference is that Southwest Airlines can use the internet to promote its products and services while at the same time selling through online booking. This could not be possible with Coca Cola who has to depend on distributors to ensure that the product reaches the customers. Coca Cola is able to advertise its products through distributors and retailers unlike Southwest that has to advertise directly to the customer. In conclusion, promotional strategy for air flights and carbonated soft drinks share little similarity.
Armstrong, G. & Kotler, P. (2011). Marketing: an introduction. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Limited.
Coca Cola. (2012). Available from http://www.coca-cola.com/en/index.html
Gelder, D. & Woodcock, P. (2003). Marketing and promotional strategy. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Marketing made simple. http://www.marketing-made-simple.com/articles/promotional-strategy.htm#1
Southwest Airlines. (2012). Available from http://www.southwest.com/