Thursday, January 28, 2010

Concentrated Marketing

Concentrated Marketing, also known as niche marketing, is the strategy of going after a large share of a smaller segment. In a recent CNN article, a marketing and branding expert commented on the current late night feud and what Conan O'Brien needed to do to get the ratings necessary to be successful. It was suggested that Conan stick with the humor he used on The Late Night Show, and cater towards Generation X and Y (or as the book referred to them, "Millennials"). When O'Brien was moved to the Tonight Show in June, the executives at NBC forced him to dull down his comedy, because he would now be performing for an older audience that Jay Leno had established. By attempting a Undifferentiated marketing strategy, O'Brien lost parts of his old fan base and failed to retain fans of the old Tonight Show. This resulted in dropped ratings which lead NBC to pull the plus on O'Brien last week.

However, the final two weeks of O'Brien's Tonight Show, ratings show a huge jump. Part of this was from all the press over the feud, but also Conan returned to his old form of comedy as he no longer had to be the puppet for NBC. This is a real life demonstration that the power of Concentrated marketing can have over "mass-marketing". When Conan returns to the air this September, whether it be with Fox or Comedy Central, if he remembers to concentrate his comedy towards Generations X and Y, he will see a greater result than if he were to cater to all audiences.

-Troy Savisky, MKTG 301 G

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is defined to be set of tactical marketing tools which include the four P's:prouct, price, place and promotion (pg. 47.) The four P's of a firm blend together to produce the response it wants in the target market and delivering value to its customers (pg. 51-52.)

The following video being pitched by "Vince", features the Slap Chop (and Graty.)Vince and the Slap Chop Company express all four of the P's of the marketing mix. The product of course is the Slap Chop, which is a versatile chopper that works when you slap the plunger. Every slap triggers the three blades below to chop and cut the food. The price is $19.95 for the Slap Chop plus the promotion of the additional Graty (of course plus the Shipping and Handling!) The final P is the the place. This online ad I found on YouTube states that it can be purchased by the 1-800 phonenumber or online. I believe the quick fame it picked up all over the country and ever around the world influenced it to be a Youtube hit, just putting its word out even more. Even re-mix's and rap's have been made about this product, just making it even more popular.

Joel Anderson, MKTG 301 G

Economic Environment

-One of the macroenvironment forces that create opportunity to the company and could also bring threats. Economic environment affects consumer buying power and spending patterns.
Due to the bad economy, people who are not extremely wealth are not able to travel as much as they want. Since people have less money in their pocket, airfares and hotels expenses seem less affordable. The revenue of airline and hotel resorts also got influenced by consumer’s spending power. In order to deal with the economy situation, airline lowered the costs of airfare to stimulate more tickets purchasing. Moreover, airline and hotels cooperated to offer better deal to the customer, so traveling during the bad economy does not seem as expensive. For example, people like to go online to book cheaper airfare on,,,…etc. Furthermore, if travelers book the same hotel for over certain period of time plus airfare, there are usually cheap deals available, sometimes people can save up to hundreds of dollars on hotel and airfare. But at the same time, tickets purchased on the websites are usually non-refundable, and the discounts are not available once customers changed the traveling time or destination.

-Ying-Ju Lai, Section G.


Downsizing is reducing the business portfolio by eliminating products of business units that are not profitable or that no longer fit the company’s overall strategy (page 44). An example of this would be The Home Depot eliminating their Expo Design Centers. I currently work for The Home Depot and last April, they closed a total of 34 Expo Design Centers. The Expo Design Centers specialized in upscale home remodeling, but The Home Depot found that if people wanted an upscale home, they would just go out and buy one. Even with the housing boom, the market for upscale home renovating was never really there. Now with the Expo Centers closed, The Home Depot stores focus on letting the Do-It-Yourselfers know that they can still design and special order the bathroom or kitchen of their dreams in the normal stores. This helps The Home Depot build relationships with all their customers all at one place, which keeps them coming back to the same store.

Polly Hoang, Section E

Local Marketing

Local Marketing is tailoring brands and promotions to the needs and wants of local customer groups - cities, neighborhoods, and even specific stores. I learned in my management 300 class that one of the top selling items and returns for the Costco located in Hawaii is Scuba/Snorkel gear. I later confirmed with a friend that the Costco in Hawaii does in fact sell these items and that they later sell the returned used gear to snorkel and scuba shops across the island.

I believe that this scuba/snorkel gear can be classified as local marketing because other Costco locations do not normally carry these items. Also Hawaii is a destination for swimming and snorkeling so it makes sense that they would carry these items. You would not expect to find these items at a Costco in the Montana.

Link to Costco website:

Kenichi Sato, Seciton G

Positioning/Strategy - Derrick Rose w/ Adidas

Nike’s monopoly on the sports world is evident, especially out on the basketball arena. When entering the IMA on any given day, Nike’s Hyperdunk, Hyperize, and Zoom Kobe IV’s are sneakers that can frequently be seen out on the court. What do these shoes all have in common? -- The Hyperdunk is the world’s lightest basketball shoe and was broadcasted to the world when Kobe wore them during the Olympics. Since then, Nike has come up with the Hyperize, very similar to the Hyperdunk in terms of weight as well as Kobe’s signature shoe, the zoom IV’s.

As a direct competitor to Nike, Adidas played on this phenomenon by releasing their own shoe which could steal the thunder away from the Hyperdunks. Grabbing emerging all star point guard derrick rose from the Chicago Bulls, Adidas desired to position its product and capture those who yearned for a more lightweight shoe from the Adidas brand. As defined by Kotler in our marketing book, positioning “is arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to competing products in the minds of target consumers.” In essence, the main question is, why would consumers chose the Addidas TS creator lows’ as featured on the commercial below. After watching you will find out…

Referring back to Dr. J’s summarizing position slide: we our provided with the following template
“To (target market), X is the brand of (frame of reference) that (benefit/point of difference) because of (product attribute)”

Applying what we have learned from the commercial, or at least what I have learned/perceived, we should choose Adidas not only because Derrick Rose endorses Adidas, not just because of Adidas new design of a lightweight shoe, and not just because of its awesome looks, but also because Adidas also offers a variety of objects that can increase not only speed, but perhaps overall play.

A lightweight shoe “leads to” more quickness, the techfit powerweb calf sleeve retains energy which allows you to jump higher, and the speedwrap anklebrace provides a player with 5x more support which ultimately allows the player to “be fearless.”

Hence, with this knowledge, it would appear Adidas summarizing position would be
(just for the shoe itself):
- “To [basketball players nationwide], Adidas is the brand of [basketball shoes] that provides improved quickness because of its superior and unique lightweight design.”

In all, i believe this was a great example of positioning, and even strategy. This was "a complete contingent plan", as defined in lecture today. Not only did Adidas reveal its own version of a lightweight basketball shoe, BUT, it also included 'add ons', or products that could work well with, or go hand in hand, with the shoe.

Francis Legaspi

Missions, Visions, and Competitive Strategy

As described by Kotler, a mission statement is a statement of the organization’s purpose, it is essentially what it wants to accomplish in the larger environment. Similar to a mission statement is a vision statement. Vision statements weren't discussed in class or in the book, but I feel that they can be an important item that can be implemented among a firm for a competitive edge. defines vision statements as an aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.

Almost every organization, if not all, has implemented some sort of mission or vision statement in order to aspire and achieve their goals. A limited number of firms put both statements into action.
The Coca-Cola Company, is one of the few organizations that use both a mission and vision statement. Their mission statement is as follows:

  • To refresh the world...
  • To inspire moments of optimism and happiness...
  • To create value and make a difference.

Where as, their vision statement reads:

  • People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
  • Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs.
  • Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
  • Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
  • Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
  • Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.

Clearly, these are two different statements, but when they are applied in a uniform strategy they can be incredibly tough to compete with. Now, this brings up the discussion on Competitive Strategy among firms.

I feel that in order to be a competitive firm you must not only be the best provider of a specific good, but you must also have a strong customer base, and even better customer service in order to keep your customers happy. Incorporating a vision statement allows a firm to look at long term future goals as well as what they would like to accomplish within an environment. For example, if we look at Coca-Cola, we can see that their mission statements describes what they would like to achieve among the environment to which they are targeting, but if we examine their vision statement we are able to go into more depth about the company’s overall goals. In their vision statement they have explained what they would like to achieve in regards to people, portfolio, partners, planet, profit, and productivity. Coca-Cola’s vision statement goes far beyond what the mission statement says in regards to both the internal and external environment.

The point I’m trying to make with mission and vision statement is that a company can become a highly competitive firm if they were to use both types of statements. As I mentioned earlier, in order to be competitive there are a number of things a company must do. If a company were to implement a mission and vision statement then they would also be able to set goals for the external and internal environments. Companies who have a strong emphasis on the customer relationship tend to be more successful; a vision statement can set goals for these types of things. Overall, to gain an edge in today’s competitive society I believe a company should use both a mission and vision statement.

The Coca-Cola Company: Mission & Vision Statement

-Jon Honari, Section E

Customer Satisfaction

Toyota Recall

There are a lot of marketing concepts that are relevant to Toyota's latest recall, but I will just focus on customer satisfaction, which a huge issue at stake right now for Toyota and their customers. For those who don't already, last week Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles because of faulty gas pedals that would stick while driving, causing unintended acceleration or runaway cars. This is the largest recall in the company's history. It was initiated by a fatal crash back in August of 2009 that killed four people in a Lexus ES 350 that sped off the road due to a stuck gas pedal. Toyota is very close to a fix for the problem and will immediately begin servicing recalled vehicles once the solution is fully developed.

Kotler defines customer satisfaction as "the extent to which a product's perceived performance matches a buyer's expectations." Clearly none of Toyota's customers were expecting this recall when they purchased their cars. In fact, Toyota had an outstanding reputation for making quality vehicles. My dad helped me buy an '09 Corolla last year, and we went with Toyota based on this excellent reputation. Many Toyota owners, including myself feel very disappointed and angry with the company, because we bought our vehicles based on expectations that were no longer true.

Besides fixing the recalled problem, Toyota is doing something that I think will mitigate their customer's dissatisfaction. They are apologizing, taking full responsibility, and even explaining why the gas pedal error could have occurred. The company confessed that its focus on global growth caused it to lose sight of its prior quality controls. A spokesman for Toyota said "Our president, Akio Toyoda, has said that expansion may have occurred to the extent where it is difficult for us to keep an eye on the ball." Toyota is going to have a tough time regaining its standing as one of the top automakers of quality cars in the world, but they are getting off to a good start by promptly fixing the recall and taking ownership for their mistakes.

John Gardner
Section E

Here's the full story in the Washington Post

Product Positioning/Positioning Map

Product Positioning is one of the many important aspects of marketing a new product. Not only must the marketers understand the purpose of the product, but so must the customers.

"The way the product is defined by consumers on important attributes (and) the place the product occupies in the consumers' minds relative to competing products" should be in line with the marketers' visions. If there is any discrepancy then, as with the iPad, there may be confusion on the customers' part.

This is a possible positioning map for the iPad. Based on what Apple said, the iPad is better than a netbook, has a bigger screen than an iPod Touch, and is more portable than a laptop. Furthermore, it has the capacity for eBooks which rivals the Amazon Kindle. However, it still seems unclear which area of the map Apple intended to occupy with it's new product.

Is the iPad distinct, desired, and defined?

  • It offers basic internet and word processing like the netbook, but lacks multi-task and Flash capabilities.
  • It offers eBooks like the Kindle, but will hurt your eyes whereas the Kindle uses ink.
  • It is very similar to Apple's own iPod Touch, but with a few more apps and a bigger screen, but it is less portable.
  • Many of Apple and Microsoft's current customers won't want it because it may not be better than the products they already have (those on the positioning map)
  • The iPad is apparently not meant to be a big version of the iPod Touch, but that is how consumers seem to view it.
While it is generally profitable to generate innovative products using advanced technology, such a launch will only be successful if it is placed properly in the market.

Marissa Violante
Section E


Demography is the study of human populations in terms of size, density, location, age, gender, race, occupation, and other statistics.

I came across an advertisement for Jitterbug cell phones on television a while back, and noticed how it was very particular in targeting a specific demographic group. The company that produces this product felt that there was a need for a cell phone that was better fit for the older population that is not as tech-savvy as the rest of America. In contrast to more mainstream cell phones targeted towards the younger generation, the Jitterbug prides itself in its simplicity. The buttons and numbers are made larger so that those who cannot see as well can easily dial a number. It also provides easy access to a friendly operator who will help enter in all your phone numbers and remind you of any appointments you have.

Although the Jitterbug contains most features that are standard on cell phones, one main difference is that it does not provide texting. The Jitterbug’s target audience is an older population which isn’t as familiar with text messaging, and therefore doesn’t feel the need to use it.

Michelle Kim

STP Process

Who doesn't eat cereal? Old, young, rich, poor, fat and skinny. Cereal is a staple of the American breakfast. However, due to the market diversity, the cereal market is flooded with options for the consumers. The first step of STP is segmentation. Market segmentation is the dividing of a market into potential consumer groups. Mini Wheats was able to identify a segment it appealed to. The next step is targeting, which is the decision to craft a firm's products to "delight" a particular market segment. Mini Wheats targeted moms who are actively involved with the decision to buy one cereal over another. Finally, positioning is how a firm separates itself from its competitors through specific advantages it offers. Mini Wheats positioned themselves as the brand that is the healthy choice, and even more specifically the brand that will help children in school. They appeal to moms by positioning themselves as the "brain food" many moms seek. Mini Wheat's positioning statement would read something like: To concerned moms, Mini Wheats is the cereal that tastes good and improves attentiveness because of its whole wheat recipe.

Nick Unan Section E

Product Differentiation

Product Differentiation is the act of distinguishing a market offering to make it more attractive to a particular target market or markets.

When you think about differentiation, you don't often think of Mcdonald's. They have established themselves globally as a brand that is universally the same everywhere. Their products are so similar throughout the globe that economists even use the price of their Big Mac as a measure to study whether the law of one price holds across different countries. What you might not know is that even massively hegemonic corporations still have to practice differentiation in one way or another in order to break into foreign markets and new market segments.

In the US McDonald's sells familiarity, and their list of products invoke what many Americans would call familiar American foods. Here are some examples of other products Mcdonald's offers:

Take for instance the McRice in Indonesia. It is sold in a restaurants there because the Indonesian market demands that some form of their staple food be present at every meal.

In parts of Europe and Asia McBeers are sold as it is both culturally acceptable and part of their standard restaurant experience.

Even in the US, McDonald's has undergone small ammounts of product differntiation. In parts of New England, Mcdonald's offers the Mclobster. This is due to the availability of fresh ingredients and that it helps them compete with cheap seafood restaurants in the area.

As you can see, even industry behemoths can benefit from product differentiation and it might even be necessary for them to gain access to certain market segments. This example proves that even as the most singular and undifferentiated firms continue their trends of globalization, product differentiation becomes necessary for them to achieve their goal of global dominance.

Wyatt Bricca
Section E

Here's the American version of the test bank we were looking at in class.

Hope it helps!

AMD - Market Targeting

Market Targeting is the process of analyzing each market segment's attractiveness and selecting one or more segment to enter.

In the computer processor market you have only two choices, Intel or AMD. AMD has always been the underdog, struggling to turn a profit for over 3 years now due to battling Intel with inferior products but at the same price points. In 2009, AMD decided to change their strategy to combat its rival, choosing to capture the budget oriented consumer over the power users. AMD lowered the selling prices on their new 45nm CPU’s, the Phenom II and Athlon II, and put their focus on the $150-and-under market segment. For example, you can find a quad core CPU for under $100 with AMD while with Intel quad cores start at $160 dollars. With AMD’s new focus on the lower price points and with the help of the economic recession and consumers becoming more frugal, AMD was able to capture some market share as well as finally being able to turn a profit in the last quarter. AMD opened up 2010 with another batch of “bang for the buck” processors which shows that they’re still riding on their wave of success with their strategy and believe that dominating this segment of the CPU market is what will make the company rise from the ashes.

- Frank Luong – Section G

The Heineken Way

This very popular and hilarious commercial was drawn up by the marketers at the Heineken Brewing Co, and represents some of the key concepts presented by Kotler in the textbook.  The commercial shows how crucial proper Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning is for effective marketing when drawing up a proposed commercial or advertisement.  The company's website reveals that Heineken prides itself on three key product attributes: Respect, Quality and Enjoyment.  In this latest commercial, Heineken uses examples to target potential consumers who too live by the three ideologies of respect, quality and enjoyment.  By targeting and portraying Heineken drinkers as fun, successful and sociable the company has created an accurate and profitable segment; successful, middle class men.  By using the far-fetched yet potentially awesome concept of a walk in beer fridge to rival the Mrs' shoe collection, Heineken has attracted the attention of an ENORMOUS consumer market.  By positioning themselves as the affordable, sophisticated and enjoyable good-time beer, Heineken was able move beyond Europe and capture a larger market share of the highly lucrative American beer industry.

Peter Wilson 

The iPad Buying Decision Process

With the news of the upcoming release of the iPad in March, I decided to analyze a typical consumer’s buying decision process of such a new interesting device focusing on my view. This process consists of five stages, which includes: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decisions, and post purchase behavior.

First I am going to start with need recognition. This is where the buyer recognizes a problem or need triggered by a stimulus. I have recognized this through Apple’s presentation of their new product by being very secretive about it’s aspects and then a press conference on Wednesday announcing the product. It is a product unlike any other product released before and because of this, it has triggered stimuli inside me that may necessarily not be practical but still becomes a need.

After recognizing a need, an information search starts. Depending on my interest, which is very high at the moment, I am going to want to research it more and understand the product that I want to buy. With a high interest, I am going to go on the apple website, watch the videos of the iPad, research the specs of the product, and research the reviews and opinions of others. I am also going to ask my friends about their opinion in weighing my option to purchase this product in two months.

Evaluation of alternatives, in my buying decision, is the biggest obstacle for Apple. While Apple’s brand is clearly defined and recognized, they named their new tablet device an iPad, not and iTablet. With the recent failures of similar products, Apple takes the information from those failures and introduces the successes of its previous products to combine them and create something that people want. Apple makes a successful and interesting product, yet it is not too differentiated from its other products. The iPod and similar devices such as the iPhone (which recently contributed to it’s enormous sales in the quarter ending Dec. 31.) have taken over consumer market to where almost everyone has an iPhone or Macbook. I personally have both. With those two devices, my evaluation for an alternative has already been found. I can do everything on my iPhone and Macbook that I could on an iPad. Because of this, I cannot base my buying decision on practical needs. Apple recognizes this as well, which is why it’s marketing promotions focus on place

Now to my purchase decision, I am inclined to buy the iPad because it is a new interesting product that revolutionizes the tablet market. Also affecting my decision is the attitude of others. My roommates are planning on buying the iPad and while they may not have both an iPhone and Macbook, their desire to buy the iPad increases my desire to buy it. I also am affected by the unexpected situational factors. With no job right now, I can only hope to ask for the iPad from my parents for my birthday which also conveniently falls in March. If that fails, it can be an unexpected situational factor that will not allow me to purchase this product.

Lastly, while I have not obtained the iPad yet, I can infer on my post purchase behavior. I may be happy with my newly acquired iPad, and for Apple to keep me happy, I assume they will come up with new apps, more tools to few videos, and constant updates to keep the iPad as exciting of a product as possible as they have done in the past with their other products.

-Chris Nee Section G

Marketing at Work

Marketing at Work

In helping to define marketing and the marketing process we learned about market segmentation, target marketing, positioning and market differentiation. In helping to describe this topic one example that came to my mind was coffee. I’m a HUGE fan of the stuff and I’m always searching out new and different coffee shops or coffee brands to see how they are going about making their coffee unique. Market segmentation means the act of dividing the market into different groups. These different groups can place emphases on different needs, characteristics or behaviors of the buyers. There are many different kinds of coffee market segmentations; at least for me I tend to see a couple of the segments as:
Trendy more expensive coffee- This type of segment caters to customers who like the brand because of its popularity among the majority of people. This coffee is easy to find at all times and can be personalized to however the customer wants it.
Inexpensive, yet consistent coffee- This type of segment caters to customers who like quick, but familiar coffee.
Sustainable, environmentally friendly coffee- This type of segment caters to customers who feel responsible in what they consume and hold value in the type of coffee the use.

These are not all segments of coffee but just a couple that I myself have been drawn to because of various reasons. One that especially is interesting to me is the sustainable, environmentally friendly coffee. One example of a coffee company that targets to this market is Camano Island Coffee Company. They’re positioning strategy is that they provide organic, shade-grown, fair-trade coffee to its customers. What I find even more interesting is how they differentiate themselves from other sustainable coffee companies. What they do differently is they give $1 of every pound of coffee they sell to a non-profit organization called Argos. In doing this they are helping the people in the countries where the coffee is grown and gathered. Here is a clip on the company…

Focus Groups and Target Markets

Group Interviewing is a method of collecting primary data where a group of people is "invited to meet with a trained moderator to discuss a product, service, or organization." (page 108) A target market is a "set of buyers who share common needs or characteristics that the company decides to serve." (p177)

In this commercial cute fuzzy characters are asked what emotions are evoked in seeing the new Dodge Calliber. At first I was questioning why Dodge would want to advertise that their car was "scary", and seemingly not child friendly (that is the first thought that came to mind, before I saw who was speaking). But then it all made sense when the observers made their statement.

This is a different type of focus group than I am used to hearing of. When I think focus group I think of targeting potential customers and current customers in order to make the product better. This commercial uses a different method to appeal to customers, in saying that this new car is "anything but cute". While some car companies go for a family appeal, others target the gas conscious market, and others try to appeal to the adventurous customers. This commercial targets anyone who is not "cuddly wuddly" or "warm and fuzzy" by showing that is exactly what they are not.

Alexandra Peha
Section G

Local Marketing

Local Marketing: Tailoring brands and promotions to the needs and wants of local customer groups- cities, neighborhoods, and even specific stores
Different areas around the country are known for different things. Everything is bigger in Texas; If you like the snow, travel to Denver; are hiking and fishing your hobbies? The Northwest has got you covered. Marketers know this as well as I do, and they can use various marketing strategies to target each region.
Pemco Insurance uses the motto “We’re A Lot Like You. A Little Different.” To target northwest customers specifically. The company tailors their advertisements to include various fictitious customers from the northwest. Some of the customer profiles Included are: “Walla Walla Wine Wine Woman Woman,” “Capital Hill Mixed Bag,” “Green Lake Power Walkers,” and “Supercharged Seahawks Fan.”

Here is the “Sandals and Socks Guy.”

Pemco also includes local marketing in their Pemco Difference statement. They claim to understand that “trees don’t always fall on the house across the street.” The quantity of trees as well as the frequency of wind and rain makes this statement applicable to Northwest clients. Later in the statement, Pemco maintains that they are an independent company for the Northwest specifically. Consequently, the company is free to decide problems on their own and make the decision that will benefit us, the Northwest.

Juliann Morrison- Section E

How the Marketing Mix is Helping Skateboarding Keep its Roots

Skateboarding is a sport that has been through its fair share of trends and popularity since the 80's. Currently I am 20 years old and have skateboarding 10 years. If there is one thing I have learned about the sport in that time it is that there is two sides to the industry. There is the shop side, supported by local skateshops run by skateboarders who have been involved in the skateboarding subculture since its inception; and there is the corporate side, where the corporations try to get into the industry to turn a profit. The subculture is the perhaps the best part of skateboarding for anyone who actually gets involved in it. However, in recent years the subculture seemed to be fading because the corporations were far likelier to stay in business as the recession kicked in, despite the fact that skateboarding has evolved into a billion dollar industry.

Two famous professional skateboarders, Eric Koston and Steve Berra bought a warehouse in LA and created their own skatepark in it, which they named The Berrics. Along with this they started a website, to create a sort of online mecca for fellow skateboard enthusiasts to watch footage from the website and connect with each other. In 2 short years this website has become the most popular skateboard site on the internet and is the hub for the skateboarding subculture. The best part is that Steve Berra is a philanthropist and has done everything in his power through the website to keep the subculture alive. Here enters the Berrics Unified and Marketing Mix.

In the book Kotler describes marketing mix as the set of controllable, tactical marketing tools that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market. This mix is broken down into Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Berra decided to implement this mix with the best target market skateboarding has to offer, the die hard skateboarders.
The Berrics Unified is specialty program accessible from the main website that has tied together all of the local skateshops based on the 48 mainland states in the US. You can click on a state or enter your zip code and find out the local skateshops nearest you, assuming they are part of the Unified. These are the shops that struggle to stay open and are run by skateboarders, for skateboarders. However, the Unified goes beyond this because many of the skateboard companies that produce industry products are run by skateboarders and these companies have gotten involved and are pushing the Unified to continue to thrive by offering exclusive products to Unified shops, and cutting them deals that the corporate retailers like Zumiez do not get.

The Unified has essentially become one of the most important promotional tools in the skateboarding industry. It links skateboarders to all of the right people and businesses who have made the sport into what it is. It provides a trustworthy place where skaters (who have the highest customer retention of any target market in the industry) can get products they know will be good for skating because many of the shops will not even carry a product if they know it won't be good for skating. Furthermore, these products are at affordable prices since the shops are trying to stay afloat, while helping the skateboarding community. As a loyal skateboarder who has been positively influenced by the sport for half my life and has used the Unified since I am not originally from Seattle, I can vouch that it is a great tool because it connected me directly to the nearest local skateshop, 35th North.

Chas Pearson, MKT 301 G

Evaluation of Alternatives

Evaluation of Alternatives: How the consumer processes information to arrive at brand choices (p 147).

The world has seen the evolution of cell phones; the dramatic change in size, style, features, and innovations. Apple has definitely changed the way we use our phones, it practically reinvented the smart phone segment. The ability to access the web, download apps, and fit in our pockets all from the touch of our fingertips is truly amazing. But when it comes to phone shopping, consumers enjoy examining the alternatives and evaluating the positives or negatives about a product. Apple has taken a large part of the smart phone market, but some alternatives and competitors are just hard to ignore before making a certain purchase.

At the beginning of the month, Google released the Nexus One, their smart phone that would compete head to head with the Iphone. Both phones are similar in their attributes, features, hardware, but the Nexus seems to offer more at a better advantage; it makes the Iphone look outdated. Although Google made the Nexus One a big hype, the phone has not revolutionized the standard; the phone’s components are just better than its main rivals. Google, though, tried to create a new, simplified experience in purchasing the phone. Instead of going to a retail store to purchase/activate a phone, they made it possible to have two straightforward options: Buy it with or without a contract online. From my perspective, there is nothing revolutionizing or groundbreaking about this buying method, but Google hoped to capture those consumers who just want to avoid the complications of phone buying. This example is relevant to “evaluation of alternatives” because there are many different consumers in the world, they need choices to choose from, having the ability to compare, and the capability to narrow down decisions based on their satisfaction.

Vincent Nguyen

Section G

STP process

Segmentation: Dividing a market into smaller groups with distinct needs, characteristics, or behaviors that might require separate marketing strategies or mixes.

Targeting: The process of evaluating each market segment's attractiveness and selecting one or more segments to offer.

Positioning: Arranging for a market offering to occupy a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to competing products in the minds of target customers.

Food for Thought:

When you think of wheat thins what comes to mind? I see that animated girl bouncing around the television screen happily munching on this light and healthy snack. That is why last week when I saw this commercial I was a bit surprised:

Instead of advertising to the usual weight conscious females, this ad took a stab at converting young men into eating healthier snacks. After watching that video about Levi jeans, I would assume that through segmentation analysis someone in the marketing department saw that there was a hole in the market: men who want to eat healthier snacks.

It seems that doritos, cheetos, and unhealthier snack companies target men in their commercials. I recall a doritos commercial where each bite resulted in the t.v. screen being shaken like an earthquake to emphasize the "crunch."

Wheat thins mimicked this technique of advertising by showing the young man running fast, jumping in the air, and "crunching" up his newly discovered snack.

As I said before, I was surprised of Wheat Thins new target market pick and how they incorporated other unhealthy brands/ snack competition techniques to reach out to this newly found market. They want men to still feel MANLY while eating up Wheat Thins, a snack you usually wouldn't associate with that target market. At least I wouldn't usually make that association.

It is very interesting to see new market segments being targeted!

Kylee Wible
MKTG 301 E

Modern Warfare 2 (Launch Trailer) -- Information Search and Market Targeting

The highly anticipated release of Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (the sequel to its award-winning predecessor Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) has created an immense fan base that now scrutinizes and awaits its every move. Casual and professional critics alike now praise its developer's strategies ranging from Public Relations, Marketing, and of course, the formation of the game itself.

Modern Warfare 2's Launch Trailer is an excellent representation of a few marketing applications and concepts at work. Before much of the trailer shows many facts or clues about the gameplay itself, we are bombarded with very favorable quotes and criticism from popular video game magazines and companies who have been able to preview the game before its release. The concept of Information Search, step 2 of the Consumer's Buying Decision Process, can be directly applied to this portion of the Launch Trailer. As viewers watch the trailer, they will be introduced to the knowledge (or information) that Game Informer believes the game to be "Jaw-Dropping," or The Official Xbox Magazine (UK) affirming that it is "The decade's most anticipated game." The idea is that these professional opinions will sway the audiences buying decision in favor of the game.

Secondly, we discover that Infinity Ward chose to use "Till I Collapse," a cut off of Eminem's 2002 album, The Eminem Show, as background music. This marketing decision is an example of the concept of Market Targeting. Choosing Eminem, an acclaimed hip-hop artist more familiar to the Millenials, will intentionally and unintentionally adolescents to young adults. Targeting a rather large market segment, it's an arguably smart move by Infinity Ward if they can hit their mark...

Fortunately, for Infinity Ward's sake, Eminem markets himself efficiently as well through his own music and recording label, Interscope Records. Even those who aren't hip-hop enthusiasts will probably know or have heard of Eminem. And whether you like him or not, there is no denying that he has a hardened reputation for making great music or forging together club-banging beats. Eminem himself has become a reliable and respectable brand in his industry, giving Modern Warfare 2 instant credibility by participating in its marketing strategy. After watching the trailer myself during a Sunday Night Football game, it precipitated actions which are all positive from Infinity Ward's perspective, including researching the game's release date, looking for the trailer clip on YouTube, possibly to re-post it on Facebook (marketing the game even further), and just simply spreading the word with my friends.

Marketing concepts aside, Infinity Ward's launch trailer was created and designed to feed its following's cult-like hunger but also to leave them with an insatiable desire for more. According to the results, it seems that they have outdone themselves, garnering over $1 billion worldwide since the game's launch, selling more than 15 million units (14.4 million units in the first week). The games success show that Inifinity Ward's marketing firm has a firm grasp on it's target market.

Brian Chu
Section G

Maslow's Hierarchy: The need for Security

Understanding Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (textbook page 143) can help marketers help consumers identify their needs. Maslow asserted that needs follow a progression, that a person cannot identify upper level needs unless their most basic needs are satisfied. He arranged needs into a pyramid, with physiological needs at the base, then a progression to safety, social, esteem, self-actualization.

This ad for cell phone service appeals to our need for security. Dropped calls can interfere with this lower level need.

Maslow's ideas are just a beginning, though. I do not agree with his assertion that a person can only have needs on one level, and that we progress. We can have lower level needs at any phase, and the fact that we have lower level needs does not indicate that our higher level needs no longer matter to us. For example, I have a friend who is a doctor, and he has not yet seen a need to have a cell phone. (He's an ER Physician, never on call.) He is not a status seeker, and he sees cell phones as a status item, so most cell phone advertising does not appeal to him.

The ad above appeals to our need for security, but it assumes that the decision to have a cell phone is automatic. My doctor friend has security needs that could be fulfilled by a cell phone; he just has not recognized that yet. Monday, he called me to tell me that his computer was in for service, so if I needed to reach him, I should not rely on e-mail. He went on to tell me that his computer being down had cost him a small fortune. For fun, he does some day trading, and he lost valuable time in a transaction because he could not get online. I called him the next day and told him that he needs a smartphone, so he can trade stock anywhere, anytime.

I don't know if he will get one, but if he does, it won't be for social needs or esteem needs or self-actualization needs; it will be for security.

Security means different things to different people. Parents purchase cell phones for their kids because we think it will keep them safe. People purchase cell phones so they will have them in emergency situations. And my friend just might get a smart phone so he can monitor the stock market and never miss an opportunity.

Becky Stevens
Section G