The current global business platform has presented a very competitive situation for investors and company to thrive without formulating proper market strategies. The marketing mix adopted by a company is thus, a very vital decision that requires appropriate market analysis so as to produce the right mix for that particular, market. The marketing mix of a company is based on how the 4 P’s of marketing have been developed by the management (Baker, 2012, pg 84). The 4 P’s describe; the product, promotion, place and pricing strategy chosen by the company. The study shall therefore be interested in examining how the marketing mix is used as a strategy by the company to optimize performance and profitability. However, for an organization to realize capability of developing an efficient marketing mix for the business it is important to have a prior study of the market of operation.
This is useful in producing a mix that would be significant in propelling the company to achieve the laid down goals and objectives. The company chosen as the subject of this study is Safestore Holdings PLC. This is a leading company in self storage business in the United Kingdom and hence, it would be a suitable firm to provide the study with solutions about the marketing mix. The report will therefore, be based on Safestore company and its adopted marketing mix. In a nutshell, the study will give more insights on the product of the company, the place of operation and its distribution networks, the promotional policies and the pricing strategy used by the firm to its customers.
Overview of Company
Safestore Holdings Plc was established in 1998 in the United Kingdom (UK). The company was purposed to provide self-storage services to personal and household customers, as well as to business clients. The company has been able to achieve tremendous expansion in a short period because it now owns 134 stores which are spread in the UK and Paris. The company has established 97 stores in UK, 25 stores in Paris and 12 Space Maker stores which are under supervision in the United Kingdom. The growth of the company was able to see it being listed in the London Stock Exchange from 2007 up to date (Safestore Holdings Plc, 2012, pg 18). The company has quite a larger target market in its business environment and the client turnover is projected to be about 46,000 clients in both the personal and corporate customers. The personal customers of the company are equivalent to 48% of the turnover whereas the business customers are 52% of the client turnover.
The majority of personal customers of the company utilize their services in events which include; moving house, travelling abroad, decluttering, home renovations and for students when schools close. Consequently, the business clients of the company are offered with diverse services to suit their complex needs. These services include; offering space for stock, multi-site storage, equipments, bulk storage, office space and archiving of documents for the business clients. The company recently formulated the “More Space” strategy that seeks to realize organic growth using the marketing power, pricing proficiency and the company scale to drive profitability and occupancy (Safestore Holdings Plc, 2012, pg 21). This strategy is, however, embodied under the four strategic priorities established by the company. These include; building an influential team, strengthening the brand, ensuring a dynamic operational excellence and creating appropriate value for the customer. Safestore also implements a plan that strives to uphold a client engagement program which would ensure that they continue to offer superior standards of service to clients. This has enabled the company to achieve very excellent levels of customer satisfaction.
Safestore provides storage facilities to its customers. The company has established 134 stores, 25 which are in Paris and the remaining 109 are in the UK and it is believed to be the second largest provider of storage in the European Union. In the 109 stores located in the UK, 12 stores have been established under their newly developed strategy of “More Space” to their customers. The storage facilities are offered to two categories of customers which include; business customers and personal and household customers. The company has also incorporated some unique features in their products to match the needs of their clients (Sheehan, 2011, pg 174). However, these features are quite distinct depending on the particular customer, which are either the personal or business customers. The dominant attributes obtainable to both categories of customers would include the following. To begin with, the company presents diverse sizes of storage rooms to meet customer needs and cost.
Secondly, they provide differentiated choice of packaging materials that include; bubble wrap and cardboard boxes. Thirdly, they offer hygienic, individual, dry and secure storage facilities to ensure safety of customer’s items. Fourthly, the company also endows their customers with transport options so as to ensure they acquire their desired convenience. Fifthly, Safestore gives an opportunity for its clients to choose between short term and long term storage so as to have a timely plan. Lastly, the company also supplies its customers with responsive professional advice to ensure that they make proper decisions. However, the company should consider establishing more stores across the United Kingdom and offering affordable prices to its customers for the purpose of expansion. The company can also develop delivery and collection services to its clients as a way of embracing increased expansion in the industry.
The company has come up with various methods of ensuring product promotion so as to raise public awareness on their products and hence expanding their customer base. The company’s main mode of advertisement is through television. Safestore commenced its initial television ad in 2012. This marked a significant milestone for the company with regards to its digital channels and brand ability to realize demand and consumer awareness. The advert was dubbed “I will return” and it was warmly received by the majority of viewers on TV. The company believed that using the television media would be effective in reaching out to a larger number of people, particularly in the UK region (Blythe, 2006, pg 106). However, the company also recognizes that a great number of the population has embraced technological progress and thus, Safestore has also launched the internet and social media as a platform to propel its promotional efforts.
For this reason, the company also posted the “I will return” video ad on YouTube and it received overwhelming response from viewers all over the world. The video was able to record almost 500, 000 views within a period of two weeks and by early 2013 the video had already hit over 1 million views. Hence, this shows the efforts put by the management of Safestore in striving to ensure robust promotion of its products to the people. The company has also utilized the social media to promote its products in a much more interactive manner which would persuade potential customers to do business with Safestore (Pearson, 2011, pg 127). These promotions are considered very important by the company due to the aggressive competition that exists in the market that has been filled with many rival companies. Lastly, the company has also been involved in sales discounts to their customers, particularly by offering discounted introductory prices. This is set to attract more customers for the company and also help to increase its market share in the storage sector.
The company established itself with a core objective of owning market headship in UK; this was a wise decision for ensuring effective product positioning in the UK market segment. Currently, Safestore has been able to own over 97 stores in the UK which includes two business centers from Eastbourne to Edinburgh. However, the South East and London have the highest concentration of stores and this can be attributed to the population of these places. The setting up of these stores in these cities was agreed upon the basic proposition of convenience which is a concern for the majority of customers.
As a result, the company resolved to establish more stores in the cities of UK and on average a majority of customers live within five miles from the nearby store of the company. The company is also making plans of launching more stores in the cities of Birmingham, Wandsworth and Chiswick so as to take advantage of the opportunities that exists in these areas. Consequently, Safestore has also been able to enter the French storage market and currently the company boasts of 25 stores in the city of Paris. Hence, the company seeks to expand its distribution networks to enable it to serve in both the national and international markets (Krafft, 2007, pg 72). This would sustain the company’s growth in performance and profitability.
The pricing strategy adopted by the company seeks to offer value for client’s money. The company has formulated a policy that is directed at offering reduced introductory prices for first time clients. This is an approach that is projected at helping the company to absorb more customers and hence increasing its customer base (Franses & Paap, 2001, pg 67). The current pricing strategy that has been developed to ensure efficient customer retention is by offering prices of their products at 10% below the prices offered by their competitors. This is adopted by the company as a technique of fighting the elevated competition that prevails in the storage market of the UK.
The latest realization of Feefo, an independent client review associate has reported that Safestore accomplished a 96% customer satisfaction attainment. This is an inspiring report which indicates the contentment of the company’s clients which is attributable to the value for money received by their customers. As a result, it can be concluded that the company adopts a high-low pricing strategy that seeks to have prices reduced to suit the desires of the clients, as well as ensuring that the customer’s utility is maximized. The pricing strategy of Safestore is also aligned to provide some promotional sales discount of up to 50% off. This is an appropriate strategy of improving customer satisfaction and also ensuring that the clients do not suffer from high costs of products. Hence, the pricing strategy of the company is efficient enough to ensure that Safestore would be a going concern and also attracts more clients for their business.
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