Positioning and Repositioning- Dove Essay.
Dove is a company branch of Uniliver Group. It has a marketing department that is composed of a group of women from all over the world who would like to help other women with their personal beauty products needs. In essence, they are a marketing organization that chats with other women online as they position the Dove products. (Dove, 2008, Online).
Dove is also repositioned as a website that does more than sell products to the women of beauty substance. The home page has a product link that lists all their product collection and even follows up on whether they are seeing them on advertisements.
The connections page has got a live interaction with the editors who monitor real life experience of Dove product customers with their collection. This connection page has also got blogs for women customers to chats amongst themselves following their beliefs and requirements. Additionally the connection link has column for women magazine experience ad also a platform for discussion.
(Dove, 2008, Online).
The expert link is used to tips on products as well as articles that guide women customers on which products to buy. The features link has got additional articles for women of different ages and videos of the real time application of the products. This area also enable women to share real experience by use of interactive writings as well as give them quizzes which are later used as survey platform. Once customers are registered, they get access to the Dove site and will get periodic notification of products as well as take surveys. (Dove, 2008, Online).
The website link to offers elaborates which products are on promotion. This link also has a rare sweepstakes for women to participate. They also offer coupons that will be used to promote sub products and exclusive purchase offers. (Dove, 2008, Online).
Finally the Dove site has link for campaign for beauty. This has provision for fund raising to her those with skin problem at hospitals. They also have a site that is exclusive to girls and another for mothers and caregivers. This site has an expert link to answer all the women customers concerns and a photo gallery of all their products. (Dove, 2008, Online).
External factors and their influence in the marketing decision
There are regulations that influence the marketing decisions of Dove beauty products. First the collection of products must conform to health and safety standards. Since these are made from either chemical compounds or natural products, the products are limited by dermatological health standard. This covers level of dangerous chemical like lead, silver and other heavy metals. There are minimum residue level that must be adhered to, otherwise the customer can get ailments such as skin cancer and others. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.); (Kottler, 1999, Online)
Therefore, respective government inspection group are keen to acquire the list of ingredients per products. They have also been asking for material safety data sheet, to be supplier to them every time a product undergoes modification. Any products that are non conforming to the minimum requirements is subjected to products withdrawal from the production and retailers and banned. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
There are also government standards that must be followed in the disposal of beauty product packs. These are supposed to be done in an environmentally friendly manner that does not cause contamination to the land and water points. Some of these products are also highly inflammable and must therefore be handled with adequate care and safety. This is applicable both nationally and internationally. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The government regulation vary from one country to the other as far as Done products are concerned. In the Arabian Gulf States region , women will be unlikely to display the experience of the products in public due to the dress code. The opposite happens in other parts of the world. This pattern follows even to the advertisement that come up on TV in the example of the above two regions. Thus there could be less sale in the Arabian Gulf States region as compare to other areas in the segment of skin care products. This is a demerit of excess government regulations. The implication is that certain mass marketing promotions are varied in application by region. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The Dove products, being sold internationally are faced with factors like exchange rates and inflation. Even though the company would like to maintain a stable price for most products, the fluctuation of exchange rates will always impact on the profit margins. The alternative would be for the company to produce these locally, but this can only happen after a cost benefit analysis has been done. The implication is that the sales and marketing team need to set the price above all the external economic factors and forecast for a reasonable period of time. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Special Interest Groups
Dove has been very specific in the identification of the demographic group that it wants to serve. It has chosen the ladies as a potential market that can meet its market missions and goals. This choice of the women interest is further segmented by age. The product are also made and marketed along these age segments, for example, skin lotions for 60 years plus ladies are not positioned as those for 18 years ladies. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
There are also special interest groups like environment pressure group who may be concerned about packaging of the product. Plastic packaging has recently caused a lot of political and environmental debate following threat to wipe them out in many countries. Since many product have a shelf life of more that 2 years, they may be caught up in the settlement of the environmental policy. Therefore the Dove marketers need to work out other packaging styles for their products that are acceptable by all special interest groups. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
There are cultural norms and values that may influence the marketing of Dove products in certain areas of the globe. In Asia for example, there is very deep belief in Neem based skin care products due to their biological and natural effects. This belief goes deep in to their faiths. Therefore the Dove products that have industrial chemical combinations may struggle in penetration in some customer cultures in Asia. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
This illustration is a confirmation of how culture affect product choice by the consumer. In order to penetrate, the Dove Company may be forced to do more promotions and demonstration that the beliefs are just myths. The Dove company can also come up with new products that are Neem based to help sell the brand, especially if these are produced at a place in Asia. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
In the use of technology, Dove Company has been doing a lot of TV ads as well as online advertisement and interaction . This technology has also enable the customers to interact with the company about their specific concerns, inquiries and proposal. Using the internet, the customers have been able to make their selections of products and share back experiences via surveys. (Kottler, 1999, Online)
The TV and Online propositioning have helped Dove to have a competitive advantage over their competitors in the product segment. This has enabled them to reach the masses every time and appeal to them to buy their products. The internet has a product gallery that the customers can explore to help the make faster decisions. Since Dove website has a membership log on status this can be used to appeal to the market segment of existing market with existing product and existing market with new products. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)
The Dove products are facing both the direct and indirect types of competition. Within the same product range that is positioned for a certain age bracket such as 18- 30 years old customers, they are faced with direct competition. These are from competitors who are facing them head on or by encirclement for market share. The marketing strategy here will be aggressive promotions, product differentiations or price differentiation.(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Within a certain cultural set up of customers who prefer to offers smaller and specific products, they are facing indirect competition from customers who prefer to operate as niches. The marketing strategy here is specialization. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)
The weaknesses for skin care products that are industrial chemically based and are therefore not preferred by some cultures will lead to opportunities of Dove product differentiation that are Neem based so that they may be able to compete with the others in that segment. This will help to sustain the Dove brand. (Idaho Business Education Standard, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
7Ps, 7Cs and their relation to Value
The Dove marketing mix is an elaboration of all their products that the company is offering so that for the target female customers. In the recent past , this consisted of just the 4Ps and 4C. But due to Dove companies deeper focus on the customer needs, in the beauty skin and care product, they have an extended marketing mix that will give them competitive advantage. (tt100.biz, 2008, p. 1-2)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The first 4Ps consist of Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Dove offers a very wide range or products for the different consumer demographics. These product are in the category of bar and body wash, body lotions, hair products, face lotions and creams, body deodorants, and other collection such as DOVE energy glow, DOVE sensitive skin, DOVE go fresh and DOVE pro-age. (Dove, 2008, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The Dove product have also been offered in different prices that vary with sizes and quality. These prices are cost effective to the customers. A pack of hair lotion can be bought for as low as $3, while a can of deodorant can go for as low as $ 2.9 (Dove, 2008, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The Dove products are available at major supermarket places as well as local shops. All these outlets are a guarantee of consumer convenience. This comes after the consumers have had knowledge of the products via promotional outlets such as TV, radios and internet. (Dove, 2008, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Other than these four market mixes, there are three more to show the Dove company’s deeper commitment to the customer needs. The fifth ‘P’ is the physical lay out of the product. From the internet gallery, the products have been well laid out so that the good presentations appeals to them to buy. This is also important at the super markets, saloons and shop outlets. The physical lay out also helps the customer to locate the specific product that they saw in advert or have been using. (Dove, 2008, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The sixth ‘P’ is the provision for customer service. By use of the online interactive phases and surveys, the customers of Dove products can make inquiries, forward complains and get complements. The customers have also got regional customer care numbers to call for services. (Dove, 2008, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The seventh ‘P’ of the marketing mix is the processes of Dove company. They have an elaborate customer concern handling procedures. They have also got processes of knowing what the customers needs as well as the procedures of purchases and ordering. (Dove, 2008, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove Company have a strategy of market segmentation that will enable their products to be sold. This is for the purpose of maximization of sales. Thus, in the area of needs, there are products that are available for strategic purposes. These are the very high quality products that are also charged higher prices for the high income clients. These products help the Dove company to reap some strategic investment. ( Business Resource Software,2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The business needs category has also got operational product segmentation. This has separated the product used by ages of the clients such as 60 yrs and 18-30 years lotions products. The last types of business segmentation is the functional needs. Dove have skin lotions to be used after swimming and after regular bath. ( Business Resource Software,2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The second major needs category of product is the use by the consumers. The Dove company offers product that are for social prestige such as deodorants. The smell of some characteristic deodorants can signal the product and class. The other segmentation under customer use if the functional purpose. The same deodorants can be used by laboring customer who would like to feel fresh. ( Business Resource Software,2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
All the two main segmentations have been implemented by Dove Company. The needs segmentation is to enable them cut down production costs, have steady cash flow, gain better productivity, focus on manufacturing quality. give better services to customers, establish good work relations, gain bigger market shares and leading positions, educate the customers, respond to environmental trends and finally be specific to the customer characteristic.( Business Resource Software, 2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The functional consumer is to enable the Doves customers to avail products into varying sizes, react to fad like aroma of fragrance, meet customers geographic requirements, be applied at different times for example morning fresh deodorants in the morning sessions. meet specific gender, in this case women, vary the ages of application of products, define the social application of products such as perfumes, achieve specific features of the products and get access to some product ingredients. ( Business Resource Software,2008, Online.)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove Company has an elaborate positioning scheme for all their product. They use Ansoff’s matrix as elaborated in the diagram below.(Kottler, 1999, Online)
When they have an existing market and an existing product, the position as market penetrators. They do achieve this by promotion via advertisement such as TV and internet or reduce prices of the products. When they have existing product and new market, they position as market developers. In this case they strive to find out if there are more customers to buy their products. (Learn Marketing, 2008, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
When Dove have a new product and existing market, they position as product development. In this case , they seek a better understanding of the segment that they are operating. The plan here is to have more customers and bigger market share. Fourthly, when they have new product and new market, they will be expected to position under diversification. In this case, they will be trying to come up with newer and trendier products. Finally, when they are faced with very stiff competition, they can consolidate they business and divest from that area to another place that has lesser competition with the same products. (Learn Marketing, 2008, Online) (Kottler, 1999, Online)
Decisional Process / Targeting ( consumer/organization)
Dove Company has got a targeting and decision making process for their marketing. They use 3 main strategies for undifferentiated markets, differentiated markets and concentrated markets. Under the undifferentiated marketing, they have products that they offer to the overall market. An example would be to offer skin lotions to all customers irrespective of their age, culture or location. They make this decision hoping that the customers will be attracted to purchase. This is elaborated below. (Kottler, 1999, Online)
The second plan that they use in decision making is differentiated marketing. In this case, Dove is targeting very many markets segments while still ensuring that the products are different. They are focusing at the many different customers groups, such as lotions, hair gels, deodorants.
This is elaborated below. (Kottler, 1999, Online)
Adopted from www.learnmarketing.net
The third way of marketing decision making is by concentrated markets. Dove will decide to focus on a particular segment such as body lotion for the market along the coasts and beaches. These can be sun tans lotions of similar products that are specific to tourists and others along the coasts and beaches. (Kottler, 1999, Online)This is elaborated below.
Adopted from www.learnmarketing.net.
Marketing Research and Demand Projection
Dove have a survey method of doing their market focus. This helps them to assess the potential business at their markets including those who offer competing products. This survey is done for market share, consumer demographics, consumer product knowledge and the distribution. They also forecast by using known scenarios as base. One of the surveys is positioned in their internet homepage. The customers answer questions then send these to the research data base that does automatic tallying and give feedback. This survey looks at the customers attitudinal features of their products, how they make preferences and choose when products are in competition, what appeals to them and what does not. The also carry out demographic surveys .(Watters ,2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove also have simulated product choice surveys and ghost shopping. Using this method, they get information about the product characteristic, the customers opinion on the products and the overall ratings. Using this process of survey, they choose a specific product and its associated attributes. Then they come up with real time consumer choice guides. Once they are able to know why certain customers make certain decisions, they will come up with a model to aid them in decision making. This data will then be used to forecast on the products future attitudinal and attributed characteristic. (Watters ,2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Then the marketing staff project these to real time market scenario. These will include the existing scenario, and they establish what will happen when, say, the price is increased by 5%. If the competitors react by lowering by, say, 1.5%, they will be able to maximize their revenues or unit sales. Use of models like MARC’s Assessors Forecasting help Dove to combine both the attitudinal and attributed characteristics. (Watters ,2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
In the attitudinal research, Dove looks at the customers preferences to product factors like why they buy, what they like, what is important to them, whether they feel that the price charged gives them value for the product, and if these product meet their needs. These are then streamlined to predict why the customer buys a certain product. (Watters ,2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
On the other hand the simulated research will dwell on the likelihood of the customer buying a product under some competitive conditions. Then the intensity of product preference is gauged following the gap between what the customer really like and what they actually purchase.(Watters ,2003, p. 1-27) (Kottler, 1999, Online)
The next stage if the assessment of the Dove matrix of inertia and loyalty evaluation and quantification. This is first based on actual Dove product customer, who are both inert and delighted. It has been found out that Dove customers who are both inert and not delighted are about 15%. Those who are both not inert and not delighted are about 50%. These are regarded as the most vulnerable to switch loyalty. Those who are inert and delighted comprised of about 10% while those who are not inert but are delighted comprised of 25%. Therefore Dove will need a market projection that will lead to retention of the 50% who are vulnerable to loyalty swing.(Watters ,2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
On the category of non-Dove customers, a similar matrix is used. It has been found that those who are both inert but delighted made up about 18%. Those who were inert but delighted comprised of 10%. Those who were not inert but delighted were 25% . Finally, those who were not inert and were also not delighted were about 47%. This last lot of cisutomet is where Dove needs to project as these are not loyal to the current competitors of Dove and should be won. (Watters ,2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove also use economic models that exploit the ‘what if’ cases to come up with realistic market scenario. These are also used to work out market relationships, consumers trends, price effects, market capabilities, product plans, demand and supply changes by markets and periods. The results will also be used to establish which product Dove need to sell most, set up supply contracts with regional dealers and draw up financial plan and pricing values. ( Watters , 2003, p. 1-27)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Conclusion: Strategic Planning
The Dove marketing strategy has two main points of focus. The first is the competition arena definition and the second is the implementation of the decisions. These may include generic strategies, product prices, advertisement, product distribution and market types. The right strategies must be adopted. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Whenever Dove finds itself in attractive markets, where it has also got good markets leadership, it will invest in modern resources like internet positioning to enable it give better offering to the customers. In attractive markets, where Doves businesses are not strong, they focus on consolidating their businesses while preparing themselves for that market in the near future. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
If the market unattractive, but Dove have better business capabilities, they develop the market so that they can be able to position their products to the customers. The sales will need a promotion to meet the profit targets. If the market is unattractive and the Dove business is equally low, they divest unless convinced that the businesses will yield some minimum profits. All the above four steps define the business path as well as consider stake holders interest.(Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Next, Dove have to select the most competitive strategy for their business. They can adopt a cost leadership strategy that will guarantee the customers ace quality with very low prices that will still realize good profits. This strategy is only done if Dove has some capital reserve base, lean management of process, low labor costs and low transportation and distribution cost.(Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove also adopt a differentiated strategy when they want their product(s) to look unique from those of competition. They can do this by branding, good process technology, product parts, good service and better supply chains. Again this process must be seen to add profit value and Dove must ensure they have good marketing skills and productions staff. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Thirdly, Dove adopt a focus strategy when they want to concentrate on a particular market area. This mean they can choose to act in different ways to address the particular product market issues that they has established other players are not keen on. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
The next point of the Dove strategy is the pricing. In this case , they adopt skimming strategies, penetration and comparison strategies to gauge how much better of they are when compared with their competitors. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove company has also adopted a promotion strategy that either utilizes push or pull strategies. They use push by offering discount so that they can get in all available revenue in the market. They use pull when they would like to want to attract the customers to buy their products. In this case they use advertisement. Dove have also got modern distribution strategies for their business. They do this by direct modes, whole sale, and full retail distributions. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online)(Kottler, 1999, Online)
Dove have also got strategies for market environment, market prospects, products, market competition, development, production, sales and marketing, customer services, cost of market penetrations and profit potential. (Business Resource Software, 2008b, Online).(Kottler, 1999, Online)
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