Gaining and understanding of markstrat

MARKSTRAT provides an effective framework for visualizing and understanding strategic marketing principles like segmentation, placement, targeting etc. These principles are essential in marketing management. It is a game performed in the band of four contending with other six participating clubs in the same industry. All of the six individuals have to manage their simulated companies in immediate (peer-to-peer) competition.

Markstrat world is an imaginary world where the money used is Markstrat dollars. This is unreal market but while playing we must assume that it is a real market where 6 competing firms play with their own range of products in the same market. There are two products fall into distinct types of consumer durables that happen to be Sonites and Vodites.

Participant works in sets of four to six other individuals. Each team competes against each other to efficiently pilot their commercial company on the multi-year period. The game of Markstrat is not only superficial methods, but it's about long-term strategy of the merchandise because decisions are made more than a six-to-twelve yr period. All of the teams are obligated to arrange for their short-term gains and also because of their long-term aims.

The decisions that they take have a solid impact on the bottom line of the business which is hence mirrored by the end of the time, after the simulation has run.

We have to expect here that it is not a hypothetical situation. Each and every aspect i. e competitive makes to the effects of sales and syndication, R&D and advertising, every aspect is real like it is at market. Teams get their results at the previous when all the respected teams have submitted their decisions and then simulation must run. We use it to refine our decisions over time. Each team's actions taken while playing directly influence the marketplace, so competitive evaluation is a must. Competitor activities and reactions while taking decisions, new product launches if any, sales and syndication strategies all defines how clubs manage their own PP (product profile), R&D assignments, positioning strategies, pricing and distribution programs. It is necessary to play the game accordingly assuming that the competitive force is huge. The markstrat market is unreal but we believe it's real because it determines the long-term strategy of the company. Teams participant perform as marketing managers for twelve simulated years in a highly competitive environment where there is multiple marketplaces with consumer sections and different syndication channels. As we know that Consumer is the king so consumer needs are in the heart of decision-making at every period. The game is enjoyed by using all the concepts of marketing, finance, research and design, consumer habit etc.

There are basically four key functions assigned to individuals while participating in the simulation game. These are as follows

Research & Development - They designate new studies. They choose physical characteristics of the merchandise and target device cost for future products.

2. Brand Portfolio- They use finalized R&D assignments distributed by the respected departments to release new brands focusing on new segments in existing marketplaces or in order to enter totally new market segments.

3. Production, Price & Advertising - They plan creation to avoid stock out while minimizing inventories and also price reduction in order to increase earnings. They arranged price and communication plan according to brand. Brand setting, product life circuit, sales probable etc are also dealt with by this department.

4. SALES TEAM & Distribution - They allocate Sales team for each brand in the targeted circulation stations in their respected market.

CHEETAH TEAM A- COMPANY OVERVIEW

We participated in Markstrat simulation game as team A of the industry Cheetah. The industry had five other companies competing with us which were: E, I, O, U and Y respectively. The market comprised of durable consumer goods which acquired products of two extensive kinds among which the other clubs were rivalling, Sonite and Vodite. The complete simulation was taken through eleven rounds to give us the opportunity to exercise decision-making for our company through examination and strategy. Predicated on our understanding of the various regions of marketing, costing, industry research and strategy, we required various decisions through the rounds which got effects on our company's standing up on the market in the several rounds, that have been sometimes great, while sometimes not good. Overall, by the end of eleven rounds, our company stood sixth unfortunately on the market in conditions of stock price index (SPI) and sixth in conditions of market-share. The primary strategy pursued was of analyzing the competitive performance each round and taking decisions predicated on this. We'd two products in products in market which were basically

1. SAMA

2. SALT

The main strategy pursued was of studying the competitive performance each circular and taking decisions based on the following.

When we started out Markstrat, all the firms experienced the same platform SPI of 1000. This is also the cheapest SPI we had, the highest being 2485 at the end of period 6. At the end of period 11 our SPI was 850, while company I had formed the best SPI at 3244.

The Overall Market Show in our company initially was 11. 9% (Sonite & Vodite). Cheetah Team A experienced market cap of K$ 252, 106. Our net contribution in the durables market was K$ 12, 450. The stock price index was 1000 and profits on return was 2. 2. 8 respectively.

When we began the game we had two products in the market that have been SAMA and SALT. SAMA acquired highest market talk about in terms of volume that was 12. 2%. SAMA was targeted towards others. It had been the highest selling brand in others category which was 37. 9%. There were two other brands within the market that have been the main competitors in others category and were threat to SAMA. These were SIRO and SUSI respectively.

Our other product was SALT in the sonite market. The mediocre market talk about of SALT in terms of volume was 5. 1 %. The merchandise was targeting to singles segment that was 12. 4%. Sodium was not the first choice in its category but it was doing pretty good in market. There were two other brands on the market which were our rivals in singles category and were threat to Sodium. These were SIBI who was simply the market leader in this category followed by SYGU. We had no product in Vodite market in period 0.

When we started out participating in the simulation game we'd no idea how to use logics and play with figures. We randomly filled up figure in the beginning but after period 2 we started applying concepts of marketing, financing etc but however it didn't helped us much. We required decisions like starting new product in Sonite market focusing on Hi-earners and buffs which were SAMN and SALN but our product was struggling to record market. We also launched VAMN in vodite market. At the end of period 11 SAMA possessed market share of just one 1. 0%. SAMN acquired market talk about of 3. 0% and SALN got 2. 3% market talk about. VAMN acquired market of just one 1. 8%.

COMPANY Characters at Period 11

Overall Market Talk about: 4. 7% (Sonite & Vodite)

Market Cap: K$ 152, 271

Net Contribution: K$ 3, 262

Cumulative World wide web Contribution: K$ 119, 970

SPI:596

Cumulative ROI: 0. 99

ROUND WISE ANALYSIS

Round 1- 3:

Sonite market was an extremely price very sensitive market. Then the important parameter was convenience accompanied by performance. We'd two products, SAMA and Sodium, in Sonite category.

SAMA experienced maximum market talk about in Others section and Sodium was 2nd in terms of market show in Singles segment. However the physical characteristics were not aligning with what the segment wished. Also, the perceptual map didn't give us clear picture as to which category these brand should be positioned.

Thus, SAMA and SALT primarily didn't have clear positioning. For Singles and others the most important parameter to position the product was Economy (price) accompanied by Performance (ability). According to market share SAMA should be targeted at Others and Sodium should be targeted at Singles. So we placed our product consequently with Sales force targeting Singles while others. But we didn't completely neglect Howdy earners with some amount of Sales team targeted at Experts and High earner section too.

But the Singles while others were low revenue market which didn't create positive online contribution in the market. In Singles while others segment, amount sales was very important as these were low profit market segments. And because of poor setting and physical characteristics not aligning with the segmented targeted at, our quantity sales kept on decreasing. So we also considered launching a brand in High Earners and pros to raise the profit margins which in turn will increase our world wide web contribution and hence will increase our stock price index. Thus, a fresh product, SAMN, premiered in period 3 for High earners.

Even though SALT had high brand understanding in Singles and Buffs and SAMA got high brand awareness amongst Singles and more but still SALT lost considerable market share in Singles section. This was due mainly to insufficient proper placement strategy and physical attribute of SALT were not in alignment of what Sole segment demanded.

Also, for first 3 times we'd huge inventory costs incurred which must be brought down. And there were costs also which were eating our contribution from the brands.

Round 4:

Because Sodium was incurring huge deficits, so we made a decision to withdraw the merchandise from the market. Also, PSAM1 premiered based on SAMA considering the parameters electricity and design that have been important purchasing elements for High earners and Specialists.

SAMN was placed extremely well towards High Earner section which helped us increase our world wide web contribution.

SAMA's performance also started to improve with better positioning strategy and it shown in the contribution from the SAMA brand.

We also determined our advertising budget should be in line with this competitors. So we zeroed in on the amount as our competition were spending.

One of the competitors launched a product in Vodite market.

Round 5:

We also launched R & D for a product in Vodite market. We thought it was the perfect time to enter Vodite market as the positioning of the majority of the products had not been clear. We thought the lack of clear positioning can be used to our benefits if we can position our product in Vodite market in a far greater way than our competition. The time when we were stepping into Vodite market, the right segment to focus on was Adopters followed by Followers followed by Innovators.

With better setting, SAMA started to perform extremely well in Others section. So we increased the production of the brand. Also, to market sales the prices were reduced.

SAMN's price was reduced and newer product, PSAN1, premiered based on SAMN with much better power ad lower cost to target Pros.

Round 6:

We reduced the price tag on SAMA very low so to save our market share and amount sales. We also made a decision to position our brand SAMA on price and power. We also chose that in next circular we will kick off a revised SAMA brand targeting only at Others.

SAMN brand had increased competition in Hello there earners segment. So we increased the expenditure on adverts and advertisement research to get better communication. We also tried to position our brand SAMN close to high earners with better placement strategy.

We also considered launching Sodium again at much lower price in the next round targeting Singles.

Vodite brand VAMN proved to be excellent product with high online positive contribution.

Round 7:

SAMN lost in high Earner section because of increased competition and poor positioning.

Market forecast recommended that Singles market has huge progress potential with drop in expansion in Professional and Greetings earners segment. Hence we made a decision to re-launch SALT in the Singles category.

We lost substantially in the web contribution and therefore our share price index plummeted.

In the Vodite market, the competitors reduced the purchase price and tried to target followers as they had maximum potential in terms of progress rate. We attempted to put our product on effectiveness and overall flexibility to concentrate on followers.

Round 8:

SALT was re-launched situated at Singles section. We also increased ad spend on Others to increase our brand consciousness in this segment. Also, SAMN started doing abysmally in Hiearners segment. So we decided to upgrade our distribution channel to cater to the Hiearner portion. We made a decision to upgrade our distribution benchmarking our sales team according to our competitors.

Our online contribution continued declining because of poor positioning and our own products cannibalizing each other's market stocks.

VAMN had began to face competition. SO we made a decision to establish new product on the lines of VAMN with reduction in physical characteristics to complement followers. We decided to position this new brand on consistency and price which will be the two most important purchasing guidelines for the followers. The purchase price was reduced to get market share in the enthusiasts segment.

Round 9 -10:

All the merchandise in Sonite market continued losing market share and hence revenue. Our communication and placement in the imagination of consumers was bad. All of the products kept on losing market show all throughout.

In Vodite also, VAMN lost noticeably. When the merchandise was launched we had decent market show but eventually our poor placement and targeting resulted in our drop in this market also.

Overall Strategies designed by our team

R&D to get into new markets

Price revisions to compete with rival companies with better physical features.

Modified products with altered featured to cater to the needs of its potential/targeted customer portion.

The space occurred

No ideal setting for any brand

Marketing money misused on non-performing brands

Not sufficient initiatives towards R&D or repositioning strategies.

Market Share Development (Overall) - Period 0 - 11

There were no noticeable peaks of expansion in durables market share over the distance of the time(0 to 11) and the distance between rival firms between period 4 to period 8 grew substantially. Hence Company A cannot capitalize on the market opportunities in this period realizing the problem of the marketplace.

Market Share growth. jpg

Market Share Development (Sonite) - Period 0 - 11

The Company A in sonite market did not maintain its strong development probable and market share in the SONITE products. There was a footfall of Market talk about from 17% to just above 7%. The strong brand on the market in this category like SAMA could not be leveraged satisfactorily. The situation of market was disturbed as it became problematic for the products in Company A to maintain and survive in market.

sonite market show. jpg

Market Share Development (Vodite) - Period 0 - 11

Company A was never a solid player in the Vodite Market. The Vodite market which is generally a high margin market with technologically aligned products degenerated into a cost competitive market therefore affecting Company A It influences Company A with low capital flexibility.

vodite market share. jpg

Total Contribution (post marketing) and SPI evolution

There is not any significant impact of marketing expenditures on revenue technology for Company. There is certainly insufficient proper positioning for products affected brands with potential (viz SAMA). Also there is lack of capital afflicted A's investment strategies and options. Company A charted a dismal course in its SPI craze - drop to 0. 99 from 2. 28.

Tol Contri. jpg SPI progress. jpg

APPLYING THE TRAINING TO SOME COMPANY- GENRAL MILLS

General Mills, Inc. "can be an American Bundle of money 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The business trading markets many well-known brands, such as Betty Crocker, Character Valley, Yoplait, Colombo, Totinos, Jeno's, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Haagen-Dazs, Cheerios, Pillsbury, Lucky Charms and Wanchai Ferry. Their brand profile includes more than 100 leading U. S. brands and numerous category leaders across the world" - wikipedia.

BRAND PORTFOLIO- In India, General Mills mainly came into in to the market with hardly any products like Aspect Valley, Pillsbury Chaki Fresh Atta, Pillsbury Multi grain atta, Pillsbury frosting, Pillsbury cake mixes, Pillsbury Custard natural powder, Green giant, Betty Crocker and Haagen Dazs respectively. When GM entered Indian market they were into B2B marketing. They supplied flour, apices, frozen food, frozen beef; wedding cake mixes to the favorite food chains like Pizza hut, dominos, KFC, Mc Donald's etc. These were doing very well in B2B market but they realized that the company is growing without having brand consciousness within customers (general public). They realized that there is demand in food section. Finally they discovered the necessity of Indian customer. So they launched Pillsbury Chaki fresh atta and Pillsbury multi grain atta as Indians uses it every day. Slowly and continuously they launched other products like custard powder, cakes mixes etc.

SWOT Evaluation OF PILLSBURY CUSTARD POWDER

STRENGHTS

1. Good brand awareness

2. Product superiority through quality

3. Convenient to use

4. Strong Brand Equity in Mumbai region

5. Top of the mid recall among customers

WEAKNESS

1. Problems - Leakage of powder

2. Market return due to destruction in carton

3. Sole SKU available

4. Single flavor available

5. Lacks awareness at Kirana Stores

6. Not present at many small Kirana stores

THREATS

1. Price competition

2. Cheaper imitations by local players

3. Dependence on modern trade.

4. Backup of product packaging by other local players

OPPORTUNITIES

1. Category expansion through innovation

2. Emergence of Modern Trade

3. Changing consumer account and behavior

4. TOM advantage

5. Incremental brand equity for parent or guardian brand

6. Different SKU can be introduced

7. Different flavours can be introduced.

R&D- Pillsbury custard powder got good customer platform during its launch stage but it although it was at expansion stage the demand dropped down substantially. Customers started transitioning the brand. After the Market research GM discovered that foot of the carton of the PCP becomes very poor and the powder keeps falling. Also the carton is not strong enough because it also absorbs moisture and becomes sticky in few days. The customers have to use the powder at the earliest opportunity and dispose the box or else it leads to getting lice if placed unattended. They often use the powder within 10 times. So GM came with the concept of launching PCP in zip clear plastic pouches. These pouches will likewise have a leaflet of different innovative recipes and other products by GM which must be tried.

STRENGHTS

1. Good brand awareness

2. Product superiority through quality

3. Convenient to use

WEAKNESS

1. Low awareness

2. Low visibility

3. Big bins are overshadowed by small ones

4. Only 2 flavours available.

5. Unable to blanket cover the market.

THREATS

1. Cheaper imitations by local players

2. Dependence on modern trade.

OPPORTUNITIES

1. Different SKU can be introduced

2. Different flavors can be launched.

SWOT Research OF PILLSBURY FROSTING

CONSUMER Habit- Pillsbury Icing has almost low market base. The people who once got our product believe that it's very good and they usually buy it. Many people also produced few innovative ideas. People who do not use it are mainly because they were not aware of the merchandise, customers saw it but it didn't entice them to buy it, some of them feels that it is not healthy, most of them have no idea its goal. Here GM realized that many of them they how to make use of it so their discovered innovative idea to utilize it like most of them used it as spreads on bun or loaf of bread, women liked gifting it to their friends as it became cool quotient for the coffee lover etc. GM recognized that Pillsbury frosting lacks recognition however they didn't acquired the budget for marketing so they arrived with the impressive notion of just changing the area of the product. Before Frosting was maintained near the cake mixes so that whenever customer picks up the cake mixes they'll get drawn to the readymade icing but this strategy didn't work well. . So they modified the area of frosting to the other shelf where other spreads like cheese spreads, butter, special yoghurt etc are maintained. This attracted people to buy it and give it a try once. This increased their sales quickly. Many customers who had been totally unacquainted with the merchandise thought that it's a fresh product in the spreads market. Later it was found in many household as spreads on croissants, buns, muffins, bread etc. Most of them also started utilizing it in preparation of salads, dressing on meals and kids liked consuming it directly. Down the road Pillsbury Frosting customer bottom part widened rapidly. It also helped other products of Pillsbury to determine its platform in B2C markets.

Nature Valley pubs are constructed of 100% natural ingredients like wholegrain oats, fruits and nut products and have no added preservatives. It is a wholesome, delightful and well balanced snack with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and fibers that gives natural energy to keep one going through the hectic schedule. It is easy to carry and snack that can be had anytime, anywhere. Nature Valley is a great accompaniment and is an ideal gas for one's energetic lifestyle. Characteristics valley-Crunchy Granola Pubs are made with wholegrain rolled oats. Each section reaches least 52% wholegrain rolled oats and each signifies a offering of wholegrain. The situation raised when Characteristics Valley was internationally a USD 1 Bn brand, still at its nascent in India. There's a obstacle of category creation and education of an non-existent health treat club category and and yes it has to compete with brands like Horlicks, Ritebite and other treat bar. In India they wished traditional appetizers to be overtaken by NV which was a very superficial thought. They just required people to consume healthy snack pub but they didn't position it the way they sought it in market so they started out looking for different brand champions. Soon they identified that India has an enormous military bottom part where people are incredibly much health conscious. So they launched the merchandise in CSD. All of the military people buy their stuffs from CSD. Soon Characteristics valley picked up market and it is largely consumed by military people.

Relative market shareBCG MATRIX

Market

Growth

rate

STAR

Pillsbury Chaki fresh atta

Pillsbury Multi grain atta

QUESTION MARK

GM iced food

CASH COW

Pillsbury custard powder

DOG

Nature Valley

Pillsbury cooker cake mix

PRODUCTANSOFF MATRIX

NEW

PRESENT

MARKET PENETRATION

PRESENTPillsbury chaki fresh atta

Pillsbury custard powder

MARKET

PRODCUT DEVELOPMENT

Pillsbury frosting

Cheerios

NEWMARKET DEVELOPMENT

Pillsbury multi grain atta

Pillsbury roasted semiya

DIVERSIFICATION

Haagen dazs (in India)

Green giant

Nature Valley

MY LEARNINGS FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT

As a student and a participant in this game I learned a great deal. This game helped bring me nearer to the true time scenario which sometimes a school room lecture might not do. While participating in this game i acquired a very broader point of view of the business enterprise world and acquired a chance to experience real market situations. Many skills like decision making, working under great pressure, understanding group dynamics, facing real like situations, competition research, and useful use of resources were experienced while participating in this game. It is important for a business school scholar to learn these techniques and know how to utilize them. This game gave me an possibility to apply all the theoretical knowledge and constructs (different managerial models) in practical scenario. launching a new product, or withdrawing the existing product, deciding to do R&D at a right point of the time, allocating costs on different areas are different things which were done while plying which instructs us that different areas like marketing, money, sales team management, distribution strategy are covered in this. Under different managerial models we've general market trends, consumer action, R&D, 4p's, BCG matrix which was also protected in this game. Working in a team and acting as a part of team was learning from this game.

There is a great learning out of this course. The key learning's are as follows

Brands have to be developed keeping a long term strategy.

Brands need to be modified and situated in line with the changing customer tastes for brand characteristics.

Strong market show should be leveraged by constantly keeping yourself competitive on all fronts - price, brand consciousness, purchase motives, strong segment target.

Care should be taken that company's own brands do not cannibalize each other's sales.

Positioning is reduced and advertising monies should be spent wisely.

Price wars frequently leads to shedding sight of actual customer requirements and commoditize the entire industry.

Competitive benchmarking in cost is not necessarily a good idea unless there are always a sufficient variety of good brands searching for the company.

R&D assignments and improvements should be achieved with a tactical perspective of at the least 4-5 years.

Attempts should be produced to consistently range for unexploited customer needs, price tips etc.

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