The report was focused on evaluating Woolworths’ Homebrand from the product and promotional mixes. The marketing mix framework used in the analysis concentrated on the current strategies within the Homebrand aimed at sustaining promotion and product variables in marketing. In terms of product, the assessment covered packaging, product line, and product mix. The results indicated that the production line for Homebrand consists of many products and sub-products generated from a single brand. These products are created to serve different customer needs and tastes. On the other hand, in terms of the promotion mix, Homebrand’s advertisement strategies have been effective in improving the visibility of different sub-brands. The supermarket has an annual allocation for Homebrand advertisement purposes. However, the kitchen equipment sub-brand is currently neglected in the advertisement campaigns. Therefore, the report recommends a paradigm shift in the advertisement strategies from general to focused messages for different sub-brands of the Homebrand.
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The concept of marketing is dynamic and multifaceted in the application. Over the years, the concept has experienced a paradigm shift in the application as the business environment conforms to different market changes. According to Palmer (2009), marketing is the process of organizing and executing ideas about a product that makes it appealing in the market. These ideas are organized around pricing, promotion, distribution, and conception. In addition, the marketing ideas are often focused on a specific customer or business segments to appeal to their needs. Thus, the primary aim of any marketing strategy is selling a product to gain revenues and guarantee a sustainable level of customer satisfaction.
Woolworths is a successful supermarket chain evenly distributed across Australia. The business has been operating for more than the last 80 years. The company has expanded from a single store into a giant supermarket chain with over 50 branches around Sydney and beyond (Woolworths Group, 2018). The Homebrand was launched by Woolworths in 1983 with a mix of more than 100 product alternatives (Mitchel, 2016). The Homebrand is very successful and has diversified products in the forms of sub-brands for each category of a product. The Homebrand is segmented into kitchen equipment, foodstuff, and cutlery.
This paper explores the marketing mix of the Woolworths’ home brand from the perspective of the 4Ps. In application, the selling strategies are organized into a focused marketing mix to facilitate the proactive and holistic process of management of the product, price, promotion, and place (4Ps). In relation to this report, the analysis is concentrated on the product and promotion mixes.
Marketing Mix for the Woolworths’ Homebrand
The concept of a marketing mix is a theoretical framework for defining the core of a sustainable marketing strategy. The primary components of a typical marketing mix are price, place, promotion, and product. The modern definition of a marketing mix has integrated other components such as process, people, and physical evidence (Kotler & Keller, 2016). This report evaluates the promotion and product mixes for Wollworths’ Homebrand.
According to Palmer (2009), the product is basically the tangible or intangible need that a business provides to a customer in exchange for money. The product is created to satisfy the specific needs of a customer. In the business environment, product management involves the integration of the product line and mix to appeal to specific interests. For instance, proper packing of a product would increase the probability of customer acceptance. The element of product mix defines the different alternatives of a brand that is available in the market. On the other hand, product line highlights the branding strategy focused on a customer segment (Bolman & Deal, 2013). The branding approaches are often based on similar features, tastes, and categories (Kotler & Keller, 2016). Thus, effective product line and product mix are significant tools for improving the visibility of the tangible or intangible products offered by a company.
Promotional activities involve the channels used by a business to provide the benefits of a product to customers. The notable promotional activities include direct marketing, public relations, advertising, and sales promotion (Bolman & Deal, 2013). In application, the promotion mix is aimed at communicating unique messages or benefits attached to product or service charter. This means that promotion is significant in improving product visibility and brand image validation.
This segment of the report applies the promotion and product elements of a typical marketing mix in order to quantify the current performance of the Homebrand. Specifically, the analysis will be based on the marketing mix theoretical framework.
The analysis of the Homebrand from a product perspective was based on packaging, product line, and product mix. The Homebrand supplies more than 150 diverse products to Woolworths to cover the different needs of customers from cutlery, food products, and kitchen equipment. As noted by Kotler and Keller (2016), customers prefer brands that give a variety of alternatives for satisfying their needs. The ability of Homebrand to provide variety indicates effectiveness and sustainability amidst competition. Most of the Homebrand products are organized around the family brand to combine different related products into a single bundle from a single brand. For instance, the Homebrand salt product provides alternatives such as sea salt, organic salt, salt additives, and diet salt products (Mitchel, 2016).
This means that potential customer interested in the salt product has a different alternative to choose from (Kotler & Keller, 2016). This strategy is repeated for most of the Homebrand products retailed by Woolworths. The sales generated from the Homebrand in 2017 were more than $1.4 billion. Apparently, the Homebrand has effectively created almost 1000 product lines through its 150 products. The use of product line and product mix approaches is currently successful in stimulating clients within Australia to purchase or try different versions of a similar product within the renowned Homebrand. As a result, Woolworths has been able to expand its sales increase the annual revenue and profits.
The Homebrand products are packed in a professional manner to protect the products and attract potential customers. The simple black and red theme in Homebrand logo is simple but attractive (Mitchel, 2016). The design is pleasant and tagged on the cover of well designed packaging materials. The use of basic red and black colours was informed by the need to maintain simplicity and uniqueness in the Homebrand. The unique packaging has made the Woolworths’ Homebrand saleable to different customer segments since its external appearance has an inducing effect on potential customers (Kotler & Keller, 2016).
In addition, the Homebrand packaging is done in a way that allows customers to easily open the products once sold. Most of Homebrand products are standardized in terms of size. For instance, Homeland sugar is packaged in a strong polythene packet that is easy to open and closable when the product is in use. This means that customers do not have to worry about reusability or opening of this product once purchased from the supermarket. The Homebrand’s kitchen equipment product is subdivided into premium and ordinary brands. The premium brand is marketed through diversification to optimise their appeal among the potential customers (Lynn, Flynn, & Helion, 2013). In addition, the plastic packet is made from biodegradable material, thus, promoting green living (Elder & Krishna, 2012). The focus on sustainable packaging materials for Homebrand products has inspired a general positive attitude towards this brand.
Advertising strategy determined the intensity of product intake, especially in an environment where there are many perfect substitutes (Peter & Donnelly, 2013). Homebrand products are intensely advertised. The advertisements campaigns focused on the Homebrand are effective in spreading the product benefit messages and other offers to different customer segments. Moreover, advertisement as part of the promotion mix has the potential of value addition in a product that many perfect substitutes (Elder & Krishna, 2012). In application, a properly focused advertisement message can cue the minds of potential customers and positively alter their perception towards a brand (Kotler & Keller, 2016). Although Woolworths has a series of advertisement and promotional activities, the Homebrand’s kitchen equipment is currently neglected. The few advertisements and promotional initiatives directed towards the Homebrand are in-house and not consistent with the large market coverage (Elder & Krishna, 2012).
At present, most of the advertisement messages of Woolworths presented through print and audiovisual media channels are not focused on the Homebrand. Rather, these advertisement campaigns aim at promoting the entire Woolworths supermarket chain (Lynn, Flynn, & Helion, 2013). The lack of focus in promoting the Homebrand could be associated with relatively low customer awareness of the brand (Elder & Krishna, 2012). Moreover, within the many Woolworths stores across Australia, the Homebrand products are concentrated on one section to guarantee customer convenience. The products are further promoted according to their use and alternatives for each sub-brand (Mitchel, 2016). For instance, the food stuff section is further subdivided into perishable and non-perishable. The non-perishable is then divided into different categories of the products available. This strategy has been instrumental in improving the Homebrand visibility in the Woolworths stores (Peter & Donnelly, 2013). There is also a big signboard directing customers to the location of this brand in any of the Woolworths supermarkets.
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The findings of the report indicate that Woolworths’ Homebrand has strong and sustainable mixes in product, price, and place marketing. However, the promotion mix is currently weak in terms of advertisements aimed at marketing the Homebrand. Most of the current advertisement messages are general and lacks the focus needed for streamlined marketing. For instance, the promotion campaigns for the kitchen equipment sub-brand are not visible. Therefore, Woolworths should consider adjustments in the promotion mix.
The Australian retail business environment is very competitive due to the existence of many perfect substitute brands. Thus, the Homebrand should be properly promoted to improve on customer intake and survive the competition. The supermarket should consider generating a series of focused advertisement messages through print and audiovisual media channels to improve on the brand visibility (Kotler & Keller, 2016).
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