Channel Management and B2B Marketing Aqualisa Quartz  Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Channel Management and B2B Marketing

"Aqualisa Quartz: Simply a Better Shower"

This case describes the marketing problem which Aqualisa faced when it launched its Quartz shower in the U.K market. Aqualisa is a well-recognized brand in the U.K. shower market. It is the pioneer in introducing innovative showers for general consumers and became successful in terms of user friendly and stylish design, ease of installation, and water pressure. While launching its Quartz brand, Aqualisa had carefully analyzed the shower market which was about 60% of the total houses in the country. With this innovative product, Aqualisa aimed to solve the two major problems of household consumers, i.e. The temperature fluctuations and low pressure of water. The company spend a huge amount on different promotional activities for its Quartz brand, but the results came in the form of a big disappointment. The actual problem was in the target market and marketing strategy for this product. Being an innovative and premium-priced brand, Quartz was only able to target a niche market from the total household segment, whereas it was offered as a competitive brand for all types of electric, mixer, and power showers (Moon, 2006).

b. Alternatives:

The Management of the company was worried about finding the ways to boost up the sales for its Quartz brand. It believed that rethinking the marketing strategy may be helpful in solving the problem. There were few alternatives which the Management was considering to resolve this marketing problem. The first alternative was to create awareness among the general household consumers about the benefits and features of Quartz shower. This strategy was to be carried out through extensive advertisements and consumer campaigns. For this strategy, the Management believed that it will put heavy financial burdens on the company's sales performance for the year.

Another option was to focus on do-it-yourself market which consisted of those consumers who could install the shower by themselves without requiring any special plumbing knowledge or skills. Although it was a good choice to target the DIY market; there was a big risk that Quartz may lose its actual focus, i.e. The entire household segment that would love to install an innovative and stylish electric shower in their baths. In addition to these alternatives, the Management also considered targeting the developers in a more insistent way. Developers were a major part of its supply chain and had an ability to boost up its sales by recommending and promoting Quartz to the plumbers and general household consumers. However, the developers were reluctant to take this premium brand due to their unsatisfactory experience with the Aqualisa products (Moon, 2006).

c. Recommendations:

Each of the alternatives identified to solve this problem has its own pros and cons. For example, if the company chooses to increases its budget for consumer advertisements and promotional campaigns, it will not be able to achieve its profitability targets within the specified time. Alternatively, if it starts focusing on do-it-yourself market, it will further transform into a niche market product. Focusing on do-it-yourself is not a good choice for the company because Quartz brand was introduced to target the whole 60% household consumers that do not have bath tubs in their houses. Therefore, these consumers could become the potential target market for this brand. The third alternative may not give satisfactory results to the company because developers were not confident about the level of acceptability for this brand among general consumers and plumbers. Therefore, it is recommended that Aqualisa should completely focus on its first alternative and run extensive advertising and promotional campaigns that would address all these stakeholders, i.e. household consumers, do-it-yourself segment, and business developers at the same time. This is the most effective way to create brand identity and persuade consumers to prefer this brand over all other traditional, old-fashion, and less-reliable brands.

Executive Summary: "Atlantic Computers: A Bundle of Pricing Options"

a. The Problem Statement:

Atlantic Computers is a large scale manufacturer of computer servers, software, and hardware products. It has a strong brand image and sound financial position which largely help it in implementing competitive marketing strategies to cope up with the competition from the industry. The company aims to redesign the pricing strategy for its "Atlantic Bundle" and make it a new competitive tool against its competitors. The Bundle includes the new Tronn computer server and PESA software. The company has created this Bundle to boost up the sales of its primary product, i.e. The Tronn computer server by providing PESA software that can significantly improve its performance.

It currently charges for the Tronn computer server only and gives PESA software absolutely free with it. The other computer server manufacturers are also using different types of strategies and promotional campaign to maintain their customer base and market share. In the presence of a stiff competition, the company has to formulate a pricing strategy for this Atlantic Bundle that would not only attract new customers, but also retain the existing customers and give it superior sales performance than its competitors (Bharadwaj & Gordon, 2007).

b. Alternatives:

While designing the pricing strategy for Atlantic Bundle, the company has four alternative choices. First, it can stick to its existing pricing strategy; that is, setting a competitive price for its Tronn computer server while offering PESA software absolutely free as a complementary product. Second, it can charge a high price for this bundle and compete with the Ontario Zink Servers which is the top market leader in the lower-end server market. The third alternative is to charge a competitive price for both, Tronn server as well as PESA software using cost-plus approach. The fourth option is to price the Atlantic Bundle using value-in-use pricing approach. In this option, the company will have to convince the consumers using advertisements and promotional campaigns by comparing and contrasting the features and benefits of Atlantic Tronn with those of Ontario's Zink Servers (Bharadwaj & Gordon, 2007).

c. Recommendations:

Atlantic Computers sells its Tronn server with PESA as a complementary software product. On the other hand, Ontario and other computer server and hardware manufacturers use price discounts to compete in the industry. Therefore, the existing pricing strategy has become a competitive advantage for Atlantic Computers. Conversely, if it considers three other alternatives, it will lose its competitive advantage. However, it can use a blend of the first and fourth alternatives in order to compete in a more aggressive and competitive fashion. It is recommended that Atlantic Computers should continue with its existing pricing strategy and charge only for its main product. The PESA software should be offered free of cost in order to keep the customers satisfied that their server has a backup or support from a reliable program which will not only boost up its performance, but will also elongate its life. The complete focus of this strategy should be on the performance of the Tronn server which is supported by PESA software.

This pricing strategy should be complemented by an equally competitive strategy -- value-in-use pricing. Under this strategy, the company can run advertisements and promotional campaigns on different mediums and try to convince the customers that Tronn server is the best product of its type in all aspects. The company can highlight the features and benefits of using single Tronn server along with mentioning the technical, operational, and manual drawbacks of using four servers, like Ontario Zink Servers.

Executive Summary: "Lotus Development Corporation -- Channel Choice: Direct vs. Distribution"

a. Problem Statement:

Lotus Development Corporation is a rapidly growing software corporation. It is famous for its integrated spreadsheet program that is designed and developed by keeping in view the increasing needs of analytical tools and techniques for businesses. Currently, Lotus markets and sells its products through dealers and distributors in all its target markets. Its sales force consists of 90 people who directly contact the individuals, promote their company's product, and provide various types of technical services. Both these channels are performing quite well for the company. The sales force builds and maintains strong customer relationships with all individual and corporate clients by offering them all kinds of customer services and technical support.

On the other hand, distributors and dealers take huge stocks of the company's products and play a leading role in increasing its sales performance. Having both these channels operative in their respective areas, Lotus Development Corporation is quite satisfied with its selling and distribution strategies. However, it has been under continuous pressure from dealers and distributors to close its personal selling division as it is a big threat for their business. Therefore, Lotus Development Corporation has to formulate a new strategy to encounter this issue which is spoiling its relationships with the dealers and distributors (Rangan & Scott, 1994).

b. Alternatives:

Keeping in view the changing market trends, consumer preferences, and competitors' strategies, Lotus Development Corporation has introduced new products in its existing product lines. At the same time, it has to decide whether it should completely change the selling and distribution strategy and focus more on personal…

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