Description discussion and responses Should channel images be consistent with brand images? Why or why not? Part 2 Discussion responses Student one: “A marketing channel are sets of interdependent organizations participating in the process of making a product or service follows after production, culminating in purchase and consumption by the final end-user.” (Kotler and Keller 2017 p.648) Most consumers buy a product not only because they like the product but because they want the added value that comes attached to the company. If a consumer can still get the great customer experience that every company promises then it will not matter where the product is bought. If a company wants their customers to have that great customer experience then the company needs to make sure that the channel that is selling their product better meet certain criteria and standards put forth by the parent company. If these channels do not meet the criteria then the product should be taken out of that channel. The channel wants to have as many popular products as it can because it brings customers in not only to buy that product that the customer went into buy originally, but a customer will hopefully purchase other products in that channel as well as that is the way these channels make a profit. Unfortunately, even though the product may be great if a consumer has a bad experience in a channel that may convince them to find a different product elsewhere. An example of a marketing channel is I go directly to a farm that sells flowers. When I go to buy the flowers, the owner comes out and greets me and tells me the best flowers to buy at this time of year and will always sell me the best of the bunch because he cares about his product. He also sells his flowers to the local supermarket. When I go into the supermarket, I often see the flowers there, but I don’t get the service that I get when I go to the farm. Usually, the flowers are sold in bunches and they are all squished in together, so it is hard to see what they all look like and because they are sold in bunches, there are always a few flowers that are not always the freshest either. Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2017). Marketing management. Manipal: Pearson India Ed. Student two: Products must be transferred from a manufacturer to the consumer. The route they take is known as their marketing channel. In a direct marketing channel, or a zero-level channel, a single company is responsible for both the production and the sale of the goods. This is common in the service industry, such as restaurants cooking food and then immediately serving it, or in a small store that only sells what the owner builds. The majority of businesses rely on an indirect marketing channel though, which may contain one to three levels of intermediary stops before the product reaches the consumer. In a two-level channel for example, the manufacturer sells its goods to a wholesaler, who then distributes it to many retailers, where the customers will ultimately buy it. A company must make many decisions about their marketing channel, as choosing the wrong type can be detrimental and result in conflict. Once a business decides that it will utilize an indirect marketing channel, it must decide on how saturated the market should be with its product. Luxury brand items may use an exclusive distribution model, where only a limited number of retailers will be allowed to carry the product, such as Tiffany brand jewelry. Selective distribution occurs when a greater number of specialty retailers will sell a product, such as Bosch power tools being stocked at hardware stores and big-box locations where they can educate the consumers on proper use. Intensive distribution occurs when a manufacturer wants to gain a large share of the market and has a product that can be sold in a variety of places, such as Energizer batteries that can be found in grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, etc. The company must also decide if they want their products to be sold in physical stores, online, in vending machines, through catalogs, by salespeople, or through other avenues. If a company’s chosen marketing channel is not consistent with its brand image and needs, the brand may suffer. If the marketing channel has too many levels, perishable goods may be ruined by the time they reach their destination. Luxury brands that are sold in an intensive distribution model may have their reputation tarnished, as the consumer will no longer consider it to be of high quality. Conversely, a cheaper product that does not necessarily evoke any emotions from consumers, may not reach enough potential customers if it is sold in a selective distribution. The missions of the all parties involved must also align. A manufacturer of fur coats would not want to sell their products in a store that has ties to animal-rights groups for instance, as people may then think the fur is artificial. Overall, it is very important for a manufacturer to ensure that their product is being handled according to their goals and mission at every step of the sales process, aligning their channel and brand images. References Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2016). Marketing Management. Pearson. Priya, C. (2018, November 23). Types of Marketing Channels. Retrieved from The Investors Book. Student three: Marketing channels are sets of interdependent organizations that participate in the process of making a product or service available to consumers (Kotler and Keller p. 648). According to Keller and Kotler, a marketing channel system is a set of “channels a firm employs, and decisions about it are among the most critical ones management faces” (Kotler and Keller p. 648). Channel images should be consistent with brand images. If the brand has a positive reputation, they want it to remain that way. It is important to not only target the market for the brand, but also create a market. This can also change depending on where your consumers are. An example of this could be the Too Faced Cosmetics brand. This company has a positive reputation in the cosmetics industry. The marketing channels they use are consistent with the brand image, and often changes depending on what the company is going for. They came out with a mascara called ‘Better Than Sex’. While this was a huge seller in the U.S. there were other countries where this was not a product that could be sold due to its name. Therefore, Too Faced, made an adjustment to the name when sold in the Middle East to ‘Better than Love’. The marketing channels were consistent with the brand image. While in the United States they concentrate more on the sex aspect of their cosmetics line, and overseas, it is more of the love aspect, they are both in line with the brand and how the company is known to beauty vloggers and consumers. Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2016). Marketing Management. Pearson.
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