The Four P’s of Marketing
Marketing involves all the activities done by the seller to make the consumer aware of their product and leading to a purchase. The marketing mix, a term derived from marketing, is made up of essential things required for the marketing process. The most common model for the marketing mix has four P’s: product, promotion, price, and place (Ruyan, 1995, p. 213). However other P’s like probe and process are added to the marketing mix selectively depending on whether an organization is selling services or goods respectively.
Gnu Bars are fiber containing snacks that are marketed as healthy foods. These foods contain minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and phyto-nutrients (GNU, 2011, para. 1). Gnu should however not be confused for a pharmaceutical company as its products cannot be classified as medicine; they are just healthy foods. The Gnu products come at a time when there is growing consumer awareness on healthy living. The Gnu Bars have a marketing mix similar to the four P’s model outline above.
The main products for the Gnu company are fiber foods. In a marketing mix, the product is defined as a service or object which through mass production is availed to the market for purchase. In the case of Gnu bars, the tangible product is the fiber foods while the intangible product, service, is the delivery service offered by Gnu Bars to members who purchase the fiber foods. Hence the company works in an industry almost similar to the hospitality industry which cannot be solely classified as either service or product oriented. Despite the various categories of fiber foods that the company has, it has been able to stay in the market through the process of product differentiation. This way it is able to retain its competitiveness even though some of its products have completed their lifecycle. Another aspect of marketing involved in this P is packaging. Packaging is listed here as most of the products offered by a company need to be packaged before being sold to the consumers. Gnu Bars are also involved in packaging as the fiber foods cannot be delivered to their clients unwrapped. One reason why Gnu has to do this is to comply with HACCP procedures for production of such foods. Packaging is also necessary as it acts as a way of creating awareness about Gnu products through food wrappers. These wrappers contain the company’s name, brand and how fiber foods are important to the consumer’s health. One client says that it is the wrapping which drew his attention to the fiber content of the bars. This influenced him to make a purchase decision (“Skinny Plate”, 2009, para 1). Many marketers recognize the important role played by packaging in luring customers to purchase their products. GNU bars seems to have identified this fact as their wrappers have captivating pictures of fiber foods which communicates to the consumer that the products have a high fiber content even before reading the product details.
Promotion in the marketing mix stands for all the communication used by a marketer in the market place (Ruyan, 1995, p. 215). This P has four elements that include advertising, personal selling, public relations, and sales promotion. Gnu Bars has successfully created a crossover by integrating all the four elements in its promotional efforts. The company promotes its fiber foods through advertisements placed in nutritional magazines and other general consumer magazines. All the above promotional efforts are classified as advertisement because the company pays a third party to do its promotion for it. The company uses sales promotion by giving incentives to consumers who buy its products. The incentives include smaller food packages. The company has successfully used personal selling in promoting its fiber products by placing sales people at various shopping outlets and point of sales terminals. The company has a website where it promotes its products through the fast emerging concept of online marketing. This promotional element is important as it is able to reach people from various geographical areas at very low cots. Public relations are perhaps the most essential element for Gnu bars. This is because it needs to sensitize the market on the need to have some fiber content in their meals. The company, even through its website, has been successful in educating the public on the importance of feeding children with fiber foods.
Price is another P in the marketing mix of Gnu Bars. This element of the marketing mix plays an important role in the efficiency of not only Gnu bars but also other companies. This is because Gnu Bars is a profit making organization and hence the price of the products is important as it determines significantly the amount of profits made by the company. Most of the walnut bars offered by the company are sold at $ 1.99. Psychological pricing is seen to be integrated in how Gnu Bars prices its products; this is because most of the bars are priced at $1.99 and not $ 2 which is a trick used by marketers to convince buyers that by purchasing the product they are paying a reduced cost of $ 1.99 instead of $ 2.
Place, in the marketing mix model, stands for the location that a consumer can purchase a product. Initially marketers considered place to stand for only the physical location that consumers could purchase a product but with advancement in technology, virtual shops are also considered in the place element of the marketing mix. The place where consumers can buy Gnu products is mainly in supermarkets across the country and also in online shops such as the one on the company’s website. At these places the consumer gets a chance to see various products offered by the company and also to read about some of their nutritional values. In my opinion, Gnu Bars has been successful in integrating technological advancement to this P in its marketing mix. This is because the company’s products can be purchased online and then shipped to the client’s location within a short time.
Gnu Foods (2011). About GNU. Gnu Foods. Retrieved from http://www.gnufoods.com/about/
Ruyan, K. C. (1995). The Practice of Marketing. Columbus. Ohio: Charles Merill.
GNU Flavors & Fiber Bars (2009). The Skinny Plate. Retrieved from
GNU flavor fiber bars website.