Keywords: omega marketing blend, omega environment analysis
There are numerous ways to attract consumers to acquire products, for example, price, advertising, person to person, branding, etc. However, before appealing to customers to take, the important things that companies have to accomplish have found the right customers, aiming at the correct market and using exact strategies and methods to analyze and promote their products.
The market nowadays is not homogenous but diversified. Competition is also not merely in just a country but global due to speedy and easy transfer of information. In order to contend with various competition and match what customers demand, companies should pay more attention to their strategies for marketing. From marketing text books, we can find lots of strategies and solutions to help companies to distinguish their target market, for example macro and micro environment research, SWOT evaluation, marketing mix and STP strategy, etc. Companies will reap the benefits of using these theories and increase market share or earnings.
In the next research, the marketing strategies and features will be defined and identified based on the brand OMEGA in the Swatch Group, which is one of the best-known brands in the watch industry.
OMEGA is one of the brands of the Swatch Group which is a well-known supplier in the watch market. You can find 19 watch brands in the group, and each brand has different price categories in order to match with different sections of customers. In every year, the group produces thousands of wristwatches and these wristwatches are delivered to the group's worldwide network of circulation organization which makes their products well-organized and assigned to the market.
OMEGA has a more than 160 year background in watch market. The brand was originally founded by Louis Brandt in 1848 in Switzerland. After Louis Brandt passed on, his business then handed to his sons, Louis-Paul and Cesar, who shifted the production from a normal workshop to mechanized development. In 1892, the Brandt brothers produced the first watch (Minute-repeater) which can display hours, quarter hours and minutes. And in the entire year 1894, the 19-series caliber watch was offered, and used the mark ‹ as the brand to present to the general public. Since that time, the brand has taken an important role in watchmaking development, technology innovations and development making OMEGA a premier brand in the watch market industry. Furthermore, excellent marketing strategies also have made it an extended sustained brand. (OMEGA, 2010)
Different professional contexts have different market characteristics. To investigate customers' needs, find concentrate on markets, evaluate genuine and potential competition or even study the talents and weakness of a position on the market are not as effortless as one might think. Marketers have to do a whole lot of research otherwise the incorrect decision may lead to failure. When a company chooses to type in their products in to the market, the business enterprise environment is the first component a company should assess.
2. 1 Macro-environment
Generally, marketers will concentrate on a macro-environment and micro-environments when analyzing the business environment. The macro-environment, also called external environment can be defined as "the uncontrollable elements outside of an organization which may have an effect on its performance either positively or adversely. " (Solomon et al. , 2003:34). Infestations namely, Political, Economic, Social / Cultural and Technological are the key factors which can be used to keep an eye on macro-environment. For example, as a politics factor, matching to BBC news statement (Anon. , 2010), VAT will increase from 17. 5% to 20% next yr, the year 2011, in the united kingdom which might have a widespread effect on intake habits. People still earn the same money but the charge will be increased because of the increasing of tax. In this situation, OMEGA may face a substantial result in the sales market just because a watch is a durable product and consumers may spend less overall on items they already have especially luxury ones.
Looking at the monetary aspect, the M-shape modern culture in UK changes the use level of customers. Based on the book which compiled by Ohmae Kenichi (2001), M-shape world is the idea that the middle class can be assimilated into rich or poor, and the wealthy will become richer and poor will become poorer. In the past, consumers in the centre class may have been willing to save money to acquire a luxury watch or other items since it is affordable to them. However now they are either able to buy luxury items or think it is impossible to spend money on high cost products. OMEGA also considers the exchange rate throughout the market sector when providing their products to UK, because the fluctuation of exchange rate may cause profits or reduction when selling the merchandise outside Switzerland.
In the socio-cultural factor, OMEGA appears deep into the customers' lifestyle and their view of value in the sales district. For example, there is no question that OMEGA may have better sales volumes in developed countries in comparison to those in growing or undeveloped countries credited to the different level of ingestion. In other words, customers in UK, especially in big cities such as London or Manchester may be more willing to buy expensive items, appreciate on luxury brands, pay more attention to fashion and be willing to spend money to beautify themselves according with their better living requirements.
To consider the scientific environment, OMEGA is facing a change of technology. For instance, in the past 10 years, mobile phones have become a necessary product for customers who may use their mobile phone as a watch to keep time or check enough time. This is a major affect in the watch market all together and needless to say have an impact on OMEGA.
2. 2 Micro-environment
On the other side, in business environment, not only macro-environment should be analyzed but micro-environment must also be considered. Generally, marketers will focus on their competition while inspecting the micro-environment. For OMEGA, there are three levels of competition can be considered. The first is form competition the other is industry competition and another is brand competition. As mentioned earlier, along with the new technology, OMEGA is facing the proper execution competition-mobile phones that happen to be substituting the functions of watch and the price is cheaper than an OMEGA watch. Furthermore, OMEGA is also confronting with the industry competition. RADO, CITIZEN, LONGINES, etc are the competitors of OMEGA, and these brands are a comparable characteristics but with lower prices. Moreover, there are a few rivals at the same level, luxury and prestige, as OMEGA. For example, Rolex, Chopard, IWC and Cartier will be the strong ones and these brands are also hoping hard to share the market which OMEGA targets. The following stand gives more information about the opponents of OMEGA in watch market.
STP strategy denotes of Market Segmentation, Market Targeting and Product Placement strategies. "Marketing segmentation refers to the section of a market into distinct groups of clients with different needs, characteristics or behavior, who may need split products or marketing mixes" (Kotler et al, 2002 cited by Bihani, 2004:14). Sarabia (1996) also states "Market segmentation includes detecting, assessing and selecting homogeneous sets of individuals, whether they are consumers or not, with the goal of building and directing competitive strategies towards them. " Different age group, income and cultural class may influence customers' tastes or their decision to purchase. OMEGA segmented the brand itself into sporting and pioneering heart, in the blissful luxury and prestige range. And for the customer, the brand focuses firstly on demographic segmentation. The merchandise isn't only for both genders but also for individuals who are in highly successful business level such as managers or organization owners. Since OMEGA set up the brand image as a sporting and pioneering spirit, customers who are interested in sports activities and value the technology and characteristics of a wrist watch will fall into their customer market.
Upon discovering segmentation, targeting is the next step to gauge the attractiveness of any potential segment. Relating to Solomon et al. (2009), marketers will take action to invest resources in a group, and with the purpose of turning the group into customers. OMEGA used a differentiated targeting strategy which means that they divided their collections into five series such as Constellation, Seamaster, Speedmaster, De Ville and Specialities series. The different series are for customers with different needs. For example, in the Constellation series, hours are decorated with diamonds rather than statistics which is suitable for customers who follow status and style. Seamaster and Speedmaster series are geared to customers who like outdoor activities. Customers who prefer understated luxury may favor De Ville series. And for individuals who like to acquire special design and limited amount wrist watches, the Specialities series should be the first choice.
With perfect segmentation and concentrating on, the position stage will be the key point to launch in to the market. Kotler (2003:308) stated that "Positioning is the work of designing the company's offering and image to occupy a distinctive put in place the mind of the prospective market. " Apart from celebrities or rich people who wish to wear a particular watch to show you their position, the functions of a wrist watch are almost the same and there is no big difference between your watch itself. So it is important to display the brand image or unique features which makes the brand into a special item. OMEGA creates the image that when customers wear their watch, they could feel they are really in an improved social class, with classy and on-trend flavor. Also the initial feature such as Seamaster series of OMEGA is manufactured as a specialist diving watch, which is ideal for customers who love diving activities. Additionally, co-axial chronograph is an exclusive technology that OMEGA possesses which makes the merchandise unique and special. Because placement is linked mainly with the aspect of marketing blend (Recreation area, Jaworksi & MacInnis, 1986, cited by Muhlbacher, Dreher & Ritter, 1994, cited by Bihani, 2004:32), it is important to ensure that the marketing combine is well occur place. Which will be described further in the next section.
There are numerous tools open to gain a competitive border in the prospective market, but the most popular in marketing studies will be the marketing blend, the 4Ps, particularly product, place, price and promotion. Product is a tangible or intangible item a company offers to their customers and it is also an important factor when starting a marketing action. It isn't good enough to own an excellent online marketing strategy; the product itself must also be advisable and attractive. Furthermore, the brand will need its own features or speciality to allure customers' motivation to purchase. OMEGA is one of the brands which specialised in design and is well known for the quality of manufacturing. Its orientation as the technological innovator, outstanding quality, and the engagement in activities and design also makes OMEGA a evidently recognizable brand in the watch market. The sense of fashion and tendency can even be attributed to OMEGA which is one of the very most familiar watch brands at the luxury and high-end selection of market. Moreover, account to customers is also of great importance to the brand. The global promise of designer watches makes OMEGA's service unrestricted by region.
Solomon et al. (2003) describe that price is the products' value which sellers would like to earn from the customers in exchange for the merchandise. Most of the time, price is a major and essential element whenever a customer is choosing the product. Nonetheless it doesn't mean that marketers are always using low price technique to encourage customers to get. Sometimes, they'll give a higher price to focus on the qualities and design of the merchandise or even demarcate the position of the clients. For the brand OMEGA, it is allocated in the prestige and luxury range in the Swatch Group; however, only a few specific models are as expensive as Breguet, Blancpain, Glashutte Original, Jaquet Droz, Leon Hatot, Tiffany & Co in the same selection of the group (Swatch Group 2010). For others, the price is defined as an increased price but not the highest making customers feel they are experiencing the best quality products but with an increase of value for money.
Promotion, relating to Solomon et al. (2003), is an action to inform customers or clients about goods, services, or ideas, in order to persuade them to get the products. To promote a product or brand, the company has to utilize different channels to get hold of with customers. As many watch companies have, OMEGA publicized its watch in several categories of newspapers but focusing largely on famous, high-reputation and executive level visitors' ones. In addition, holding seminars to introduce services or giving open public releases are the most frequent methods when promoting products. And the most valuable is the fact OMEGA sometimes shows up their brands in international sports activities games, including the Olympic Games, as the official timekeeper to promote and state the grade of their brands. In addition they invite stars as their ambassadors to establish their brand image. For instance, male actors and athletes-George Clooney and Sergio Garcia, etc will be the representatives of OMEGA Seamaster series. As well as for the Constellation series, they request actresses and feminine players, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford and Michelle Wei, etc as ambassadors of the merchandise. Furthermore, the Speedmaster series is symbolized by astronauts due to the fact that watch was the first worn on the moon. Last but not least, product placement in films such as 007 or multimedia is also a advertising method which the brand often used (OMEGA, 2010).
Place is discovered as "The option of the merchandise to the customer at the required time and location. " (Solomon et al. , 2003:14). The parents company of OMEGA, the Swatch Group, has a worldwide supply chain management system which makes OMEGA capable of sales to the various international subsidiaries, which can be over 200 realtors, providing them with current home elevators sales and inventories and open up purchases. And there are over 10, 000 merchants across the globe located in shops, airports, some chosen boutiques and flourishing cities supplying customers easy access to their products.
In marketing related works, evaluation of the business enterprise environment and demo of marketing strategies are always the original steps to recognizing the possibilities of making profit from the products. Accurate evaluation and adding into practice the marketing strategies will lead to successful performance in the market.
As we have seen, OMEGA will not only face competitors in the watch market, but additionally it is experiencing a fresh technology impact, the mobile phone, which substitutes the capability of a wrist watch and with an increase of functions. Due to these reasons, OMEGA is wanting hard to identify their aim for customers, analyzing the competition market, using exact strategies and also building up the brand reputation to get consumers' eyes.
By participating in national sporting events with high visibility rate or even the prestigious space task, OMEGA demonstrates that the accuracy and quality of these products are matchless. In addition, by using a series of stars as ambassador, advertising on newspapers, and product placement in James Connection series films, OMEGA made the promotion lively and the brand image explicit and strengthened. To sum up, matching to my examination of the research of the effect, OMEGA does well in the promotion part of the marketing combination and that is the reason why OMEGA can stand erect in the watch market for a long period to come.
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