Reflection comm 296

Marketing, the only business course that I thought was unnecessary and irrelevant. I thought marketing should be an arts course just because it’s easy and basic common sense. Advertising and sales are the only two things that came to my mind when I thought about marketing and I thought only creative people can do this, so why is it a business course? After taking commerce 296:intro to Marketing, my perception about marketing changed completely and now I believe that marketing is the most important field in the business world. Thanks to Prof. Rui and the marketing assignments that were an eye opener for me.

My team and I chose ‘TELUS’ for our marketing assignments. Assignment 3 was one of the most stressful assignments this semester; it occupied most of my time. It was the most challenging one because I have never worked on a video before and the process for making the video was very long and stressful. It was a long procedure but a very interesting one through which I learned a lot of new things that I know would help me a lot in my business career. I was lucky with my team because everybody was hardworking, which made this roller coaster ride a little bit smoother. I learned how to create videos, edit them and compile all the information in a way that shows its value to the viewer in the most organized way. I polished my skills on how to analyze a company and its marketing strategy, how to work in a team so that our skills are used in the best possible way. To wrap it up, I thoroughly enjoyed assignment 3 and learned a lot from it.

Introduction to marketing has made me realise how much i like and enjoy marketing. I was a typical business student who comes to business school to study accounting and finance because that is what business is all about. But this course changed my thought process and I might consider marketing as my major.

Louis Vuitton’s marketing strategy

Louis Vuitton has been in the fashion industry for a very long time. It was known for its good quality and unique fashion sense. But as companies become more established they tend to increase their prices. The same is with Louis Vuitton now, it has become a long established brand and its products are priced insanely high although they’re designs are no longer very desirable. Louis Vuitton has become more of a status symbol. They’re marketing strategy has changed over time. Now their target is the rich society making it more of a status symbol than a company for general fashion conscious people of the society. The price they have for their products is only affordable by the rich class of the society. Someone wearing any product from Louis Vuitton is automatically considered rich. Rich people buy Louis Vuitton just to show off their wealth and to prove that they are rich because they can afford LV. Now the company has started producing products with huge logos on them and those are the ones that are sold the most because the LV logo is more visible which makes it easier to show off.

Many high-class brands such as Versace, Gucci, Armani etc. are all following the same marketing strategy but Louis Vuitton has extra ordinarily high prices as compared to its competitors and that’s the soul reason why it is high in demand. The bag in the picture above is worth $ 3550 which is definitely not how much it cost Louis Vuitton to make it. The 90% price of the bag is because of the brand name LV. This is a very successful marketing strategy because they have managed to increase their demands and make very high profits by charging a very high price as compared to the actual cost of the bag. There is class difference in the society already and Louis Vuitton is using that to its advantage.

Miley Cyrus: market genius?

In case you haven’t been following the news lately, Miley Cyrus has been a permanent presence, nationally. Since her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, she has earned attention and scorn. It’s been about a month since she was announced as a host on Saturday Night Live and released a video for “Wrecking Ball,” in which she appears pretty much naked, rocking the Internet and breaking viewership records on VEVO.

The undivided attention Miley has brought upon herself begs the question, is this all just a case of a teenage role model gone awry or is it all a strategy, part of a much bigger and successful marketing plan? Her actions and decisions have given way to a few noted points that suggest the latter. For one, Miley and her team used perfect timing to attain the attention she has received. Her marketing team picked the right time to release “Wrecking Ball” as it banked on the hype of her VMA performance. Recognizing her target market and appealing to it also proved to be advantageous for Miley. Girls her age, mostly the “Hannah Montana” fans who are now attending college, primarily comprise this target market and her actions sifted through viewers and revealed hardcore fans, maybe even gaining a few thousands. Perhaps the shrewdest of marketing ploys was the use of social media by Miley’s team. Her performance was tweeted, Googled, hashtagged, and viewed millions of times over the Internet while also sparking related meme-making as well. Utilizing all social platforms available today and making content accessible and shareable is a smart route to take, executed well by Miley’s team. These marketing maneuvers were executed to perfection by Miley’s team to achieve an extremely high notoriety. Regardless of Miley’s infamous VMA performance or her new song, it’s pretty clear where she succeeded.

Is Axe shower gel advertisement ethical?

 

Companies use different marketing techniques to market their products to consumers. It helps them portray the value that their product can bring to its consumers lives. Today, companies have gone far and beyond to persuade potential customers, using unethical ways of advertising to rope them in. One of the most well known examples is that of Axe commercials. Axe sells a huge variety of products such as deodorants, perfumes, shower gels, shampoos etc. and their target audience is young men. The selling metaphor, “The cleaner you are, the dirtier you get”, for their new axe shower gel beach commercial displays this type of unruly ethics.

In this advert, a guy is shown taking a shower using an Axe shower gel in the middle of a beach and all the girls on the beach go running to the boy and are ready to take off their bikinis for him. I believe this advertisement is unethical from a feminist point of view. The commercial promotes nudity, sex and portrays girls as an object which are easy to get for all those men who use Axe products. Not only is this commercial degrading the stature of women in society, but is also misleading the youth. This commercial gives people a false sense of confidence, giving some teenagers a reason to go out and buy this gel, as it gives them a false hope of receiving attention from numerous beautiful women. Axe advertisements are focused on appealing sexually to the viewer, mainly men.  They are a disgrace to women and this girl is showcasing herself like a piece of meat.

 

 

 

Is meal plan fair?

It is weird how student pays $2.50 for a can of coke on campus and get the same can of coke outside the campus for just $1. Students pay a fee of $3700 for a meal plan which is mandatory for the residence students. The food available in residence has very high prices as compared to the eating places outside the campus . University’s has taken this as a business opportunity and earns a lot of revenue. I think this is very unfair for the students and they are exploiting us. We have only a few options where we can use the meal card and they are all pretty expensive.

Moreover, all the students here are from different cultures and have different taste preferences. The food available in the residence is mostly targeting the Asian and white population of the students. There is least option for south Asians but we have no way out as we have already paid for this food. Many south Asian restaurants have tried to convince UBC for letting them enter the meal plan system for the south Asian population but the university does not allow the entry of any new competition for the residence food.

These are called entry of barriers for the local businesses to enter the university meal plan program. The university benefits from this because students cannot afford to eat outside every day and the only option they have is to use residence cafeteria or hubbards. Moreover, hubbards is the only place to get snacks etc, and the prices they charge are double the market price. University is using the business strategy to eliminate competition and gaining profits from doing so. This is unfair monopoly!!!

Iphone or Samsung Galaxy S3 !!

Xiaoye Zhang in her blog “the troubles given by iPhone” writes about how iPhone might be facing problems in the future due to expensive service plans. Till now iPhone was the only touch screen smart phone in the market, and due to that it has a huge brand name.

But now Samsung galaxy smartphones are giving equal fight to iPhone. In fact, I believe that in the long run Samsung galaxy will defeat iPhone just because it is compatible with companies which provide cheaper services. The best example is wind. Samsung Galaxy S3 is a great innovation which gives equal competition to iPhones in today’s market. In fact it is better off than iPhones because it is working in collaboration with a cheap network company like Wind, mobilicity etc.

These days all the smart phones have all the features. Apple iPhones and Samsung galaxies are substitutes and people are slowly getting indifferent of whether they have an iphone or Samsung. Due to this people have started looking at services that they get with the phone. IPhone works in collaboration with Rogers, bell etc which are referred to as the expensive company’s as compared to wind, mobilicity etc., which are relatively cheaper with the same services. Samsung’s compatibility with the cheaper companies has increased the power in their hand as they can now attract more customers. Mobile phones and network services are complimentary goods therefore cheaper services of Wind will always be an asset for Samsung galaxy S3 and also act as a doorway to defeat iPhone. Wind deals include wind tabs with services including unlimited calling and data, all for only $30 whereas Rogers and Bell have all their plans starting from $50. I think iPhone needs to collaborate with cheaper services if it wants to maintain its image in the market.

 

Ten Trees !!

Celebrity endorsement has proved to be very effective in generating awareness within communities along with an increased amount of sales for companies all around the world. Ten Trees is a local clothing apparel store that initiated in Saskatchewan, Canada by two young entrepreneurs from Hill school of Business in Regina.  At Ten Tree, the belief is that one can inspire a new group of consumers to tackle the environmental issues that we are all now faced with. For every product purchased Ten Tree plants ten trees and ensures that all clothing items are produced responsibly allowing each and every customer to make a difference.

However, this mind-blowing concept would not have succeeded if it was not endorsed by celebrities. Jordan Clark, the winner of the 4th season of So You Think You can Dance, endorsed Ten Tree women’s apparel and that increased their sales by a mile! Right now, singers such as Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen are willing to market this brand since the mission is worth working for.

Lexus or Land Cruiser ??

My conversation with dad a couple of days ago:

Me: Dad Lexus SUV is such an amazing car. I agree it is expensive but it is great.

Dad: Yeh I agree it’s a smooth ride but too expensive. I’ll prefer getting a Toyota land cruiser instead which has almost the same features but is way cheaper.

Me: But Lexus is more luxury.

Dad: But Toyota is more durable and tough.

This is what a typical family conversation with general awareness about cars would sound like. The truth is that Lexus is the part of Toyota Company but the way they have marketed Lexus is by showing it as a different manufacturer and company. This has successfully earned them a profit of billions of dollars. They have convinced there customers that land cruiser and Lexus are different and unique in their own ways. For example Land cruiser is considered to be more tough and durable whereas Lexus is considered to be more luxury. Lexus has a higher status approach and it was made for the high class Americans. Since then, it is carrying that image of Luxury and fineness.

 

This is a major business strategy which many companies use today. One company introduces two products which are very much similar but they give them different names and market them differently to target different status groups. This is an extraordinary marketing scheme which is a great profit maximizing technique.

Article used: http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2009/04/same-product-different-price.html

 

Starbucks- “India is going to be no catwalk”

Long awaited Starbucks is finally in India with a bang. Entry of Starbucks in India is much hyped up news these days but Howard Schultz is not being carried away with the success they got and instead says “India is going to be no cakewalk, we’ve got to earn the respect of the Indian consumers.” I totally agree with the Starbucks boss because I am myself from India and I know the culture there. Presently, Starbucks has opened three stores in Bombay which is India’s most modern and westernized city with a population of many wealthy people. But India is a country with the largest population of middle class people. Starbucks is mainly attracting the rich people of India right now and to expand to the other cities to attract the middle class society they have to use different business strategies.

I think one of the business tactics would be introducing new flavours according to the Indian tastes. And they also need to keep the price low to compete with their competitors like cafe coffee day, Barista etc, which have already made their place in Indian market. If Starbucks keep their prices the same as they have in North America, nobody in India will choose Starbucks over the other cheap cafe’s available.

They also have some plus points that Vanessa discussed in her blog. One of them is that cafe culture is already running in popular cities like Bombay, Delhi and many people have heard about Starbucks. Starbucks famous brand name and customer loyalty are their biggest weapons, which can help them defeat their competition and make their place in India.

I am looking forward to see how it adapts in other cities in India, and would definitely check it out this winter on my trip to India.

Vanessa song’s blog: http://blogs.ubc.ca/vanessasong/

The article used: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/features/starbucks-india-isnt-celebrating-yet_781171.html

Goonj-“Clothing is shelter”

These days social entrepreneurship is the hot topic in the class and I have been very interested in knowing about them. I believe that social entrepreneurs are very important in today’s world where people are so inclined towards making profits and least bothered about social and environmental conditions in the world. Schwab foundation of social entrepreneurship defines Social Entrepreneurs as people who are driven by their mission to create substantial social change and promote inclusive growth, developing new products and service models that benefit under-served communities. The foundation recently announced Anshu gupta as the social entrepreneur of the year 2012 for his project Goonj. Goonj is a program in which clothing is allocated in such a way so that every person has clothes to wear. For poor people clothing is shelter, and during extreme winters many poor people die because of lack of clothes. What inspired me the most about Anshu Gupta’s journey is the situation that inspired him to start Goonj. One night in the streets in India Anshu met a rickshaw puller named Habib, and the sign on his rickshaw said “disposer of dead bodies”. This made Anshu curious about what Habib does and he joined Habib on his nightly rounds of disposing bodies. Habib told him that ‘in winter he had so much work that he cannot handle it’. Anshu was shocked by the large number of poor people that died every night because of the lack of clothing to protect them from the cold.

 

He realised that in a normal household there are so many clothes which are lying wasted in the wardrobes. This triggered the idea of taking the unused clothes from such households and putting them in use by distributing them to people who need it the most. I am very inspired by his story and how he has been working all these years to fulfill his mission. The article reads that  “Today, Goonj operates collection centers in nine Indian cities and provides about two million pounds of materials, mostly clothes, but also utensils, school supplies, footwear, toys and many other items.”

Such a brilliant idea and such small changes in the working of the society have helped improve the lives of so many needy people. Social entrepreneurs are an asset to the society and they are needed in today’s world where rich are getting richer and the poor is getting poorer.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/clothing-the-poorest-for-survival/?h=B

(the main article)http://www.weforum.org/news/anshu-gupta-honoured-india-s-social-entrepreneur-year-2012