Hoover’s Market Position (PESTLE)
Political – The company can expect a long-term advantage in terms of political stability in its major markets in the US and UK. Both major markets for the brand is far from facing political conflicts that might impact Hoover’s business continuity.
Economic – The leading markets for Hoover’s line of vacuum cleaners are in stable condition, which poses no apparent effect on the consumers’ buying power in the US and UK market. On the other hand, the rest of the European markets for the brand are facing economic uncertainty given the perceived negative implications of the lack of market liquidity observed in the major European economies. In addition, new market regulations will be implemented by EU, which is expected to result in firms curring down market and product trade (Ladd, 2015). This economic development poses a significant risk to Hoover’s foothold in the European market, which could result to slower consumer market growth.
Social – Hoover Company is embarking on a new approach in marketing, which is to ramp up its efforts to advertise its products through digital means, which includes social media. It is about time for Hoover to join the band wagon as the digital age of social media screams social advantage on any brand that aims to tap its potential. Today’s contemporary culture is deeply embedded with the concept of connectivity as demonstrated by the context of social media. Hoover’s digital campaign in Twitter with the hashtag #RethinkCleaning (Bulik, 2014) is a promising example of integrating cultural modernism with brand positioning. In addition, the brand is also engaged in social advocay projects in partnership with Cleaning for A Reason charity that conducts cleaning activities in the homes of women undergoing cancer therapy (Direct Marketing News, 2010).
Technological – In terms of product development, Hoover is in a tight race with the competiting brands in introducting revolutionary features in its line of home appliances. Most recently, the UK-based Hoover brand introduced a range of kitchen products equipped with wifi technology to demonstrate product innovation (Binns, 2015). Hoover is stil leading the home cleaning equipment industry when it comes to technological innovation considering the integration of wireless tehcnology even on the brand’s vavuum models. However, the brand is still facing a tight competition with other known brands such as Samsung and LG as the latter introduces similar products with robotic qualities and AI technology.
Legal – Hoover should reconsider its branding strategies and executing product design in order to avoid similar case of patent issues as observed in the patent infringement case filed by Dyson in 2000 (Uhlig, 2000). The same case of patent infringement was encountered by Hoover, but it was against Bisell Inc. in 1999 (The Hoover Company, Plaintiff, v. Bissell INC., Defendant, 1999). Both cases concerns design patents, which is apparently a problem with the vacuum cleaner products given that almost all brands incorporates similar hardware and aesthetic components. Therefore, Hoover should be more pro-active in developing more unique design in order to avoid conflict with competitor brands.
Environmental – Among the positive traits of Hoover Company is its dedication in ensuring that its products are adering to the advocacies for environmental protection and awareness. The greener marketing strategy employed by the company suggests that the products were designed to create a positive impact in the environment. For example, the tub washers were engineered to deliver consistently good washing performance without increasing tub water levels. This design element allowed the products to demonstrate performance with fewer machine parts to reduce over utilization of natural resources (Charter and Polonsky, 1999).
Competitor and Competitiveness
Comparatively, the UK and the US market for Hoover is shifting between the brand and the other competitor on factors ranging from price, durability, ease of use, and design. As for the US market, the top market position was taken over by Bissell Inc. with 21.3% followed by Dirt Devil with 16.3% market share and on the third place is Hoover with 11.4% (Bulik, 2014). In the UK market, Dyson Ltd remains as the top contender in the vacuum cleaning market with over 20% of market shares followed by Vax Ltd with 9% and Hoover 7% (Euromonitor International, 2015).
Understanding the advantage and disadvatage of Hoover Company in terms of its current situation in the market, it is imperative to determine the important attributes of the business in order to create appropriate digital marketing campagin strategies.
Consumers of Hoover Company relate to its products as a necessity for home cleaning and maintenance. However, the changing social and consumer dynamics poses a challege to the company in terms of keeping up with consistently changing demands of its consumers. Recent changes in technology and design of home appliances particularly vacuum cleaners, which is the flagship product of Hoover have resulted to several varieties produced for specific household and industrial use. Consumers approach Hoovers for products that goes along with the trend. For example, bagless vacuum cleaners are becoming more popular surpassing the upright counterpart by as much as 75% in terms of demand (Simon, 2013). As a response, Hoover introduced products such as Wind Tunnel and Air Cordless models that features modern attributes of a vacuum cleaner that the consumers are looking for, the upright, cordless, and bagless. Hoover delivered all the three attributes in its products to demonstrate that the brand understands what the modern homes and consumers require. However, more advanced cleaner models are being introduced in the market by competitors such as the LG’s Hom-Bot cleaner and Samsung’s Navibot. Despite, the stepback in product innovation, consumers had never lost sight of the important factors that Hoover products actually delivers, and those are affordability, ease of use, and durability.
Binns, S. (2015). One and MEC sucked in to new Hoover campaign. Prolific North. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/2015/11/one-and-mec-sucked-in-to-new-hoover-campaign/
Bulik, B. (2014). Owner of Dirt Devil and Hoover Is Firing Up Marketing. Adage.com. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/floor-care-giant-tti-sets-push-dirt-devil-oreck-hoover/294336/
Charter, M., & Polonsky, M. (1999). Greener marketing (p. 136). Sheffield: Greenleaf Pub.
Direct Marketing News,. (2010). Hoover hawking vacuum cleaners with infomercials. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.dmnews.com/digital-marketing/hoover-hawking-vacuum-cleaners-with-infomercials/article/170976/
Euromonitor International,. (2015). Vacuum Cleaners in the United Kingdom (p. 38). London, UK: Euromonitor International. Retrieved from http://www.euromonitor.com/vacuum-cleaners-in-the-united-kingdom/report
Ladd, J. (2015). Europe rules further threaten market stability - FT.com. Financial Times. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b8bb8ca6-1fcf-11e5-ab0f-6bb9974f25d0.html#axzz3wgjJ6dOV
Simon,. (2013). Industry analysis - vacuum cleaners: Search trends and social media insights. Site Visibility. Retrieved from http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog/2013/11/29/industry-analysis-vacuum-cleaners-search-trends-social-media-insights/
The HOOVER COMPANY, Plaintiff, v. BISSELL INC., Defendant, 5:98-CV-1088 38 F. Supp. 2d 519 Opinion and Order (United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division 1999).
Uhlig, R. (2000). Dyson cleans up in patent battle with rival Hoover. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2016, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1368860/Dyson-cleans-up-in-patent-battle-with-rival-Hoover.html