A. Discuss Strong's proposal to alter the positioning strategy for Aldus. Base your discussion on positioning theory and characteristics given in the case.
Positioning strategies are the measures that a company set to ensure that their customers and potential customers view their offered products and services in a specific way in relation to the market of the industry the firm is operating under (Schlegemilch 2016). Position strategies usually ensure that a company focuses on specific factors that would ensure they attain their desired outputs and influence. After Richard Strong had analyzed the market of Aldus, he realized that as the firm grew its products became more sophisticated and aimed at only fulfilling the needs of its high-end users. This was at the expense of its business users who were less attracted to using sophisticated products.
He proposed for the firm to position its products by ensuring that it produces products that meet the need of its two types of customers the sophisticated and the less sophisticated. Strong thus suggested that the firm should split its products to two different production lines. The first line would be the Aldus Professional Series which would be composed of professional versions of the PageMaker, Aldus Snapshots, Aldus Freehand, and the other new products invented by the firm. The second line would be the Aldus Executive Series which would be made up of PageMaker, Persuasion, and the newly designed products. However, Strong's suggestion was also met with critics who argued that the proposal would financially strain the company and would require extensive restructuring of the firm's products and systems.
The implementation of a positioning strategy on the products offered by Aldus is paramount to the organization success and competitiveness. This is because it will help the firm retain its customers by ensuring they focus on their tastes and preferences. The suggestion by Strong to position the company's product by considering their clients use is a commendable strategy. The distinct characteristics of the two kinds of customers that the business has will enable it to understand their customers better and thus offer the most suitable products. The firm through Strong proposal may employ, for example, a quality positioning strategy. The products used by the sophisticated users may be viewed as the high quality due to their complex nature. The products preferred by the less sophisticated users, on the other hand, may be positioned as the low-quality products due to their simplicity.
B. Describe the differences between consumer and organizational markets.
The consumer market is composed of customers of a company who purchase their products with the intent of using the products to facilitate the functioning of their firms. The organizational market, on the other hand, is composed of consumers who purchase a business product with the intent of using them for their personal use (Keegan & Green 2015). In consideration of Aldus market, companies such as Apple which has used its products in the creation of its Macintosh computers and IBM are the example of the organization's customers under its market. Individuals who have bought the company's software and installed them on their personal computers, on the other hand, are its customers under the consumer market.
C. Discuss how these differences contribute to the positioning strategy.
The difference between consumer and organizational markets are important to firms in relation to their setting and implementation of the positioning strategies. The two groups of customers usually possess different characters that would force organizations to set specific positioning strategies that would enable them to meet their clients' needs. According to Keegan & Green (2015), some of the positioning strategies that a firm may consider in relation to their difference may relate to issues such as the quality of the products offered, the cost preference and the most suitable packaging to utilize. Aldus as a company would have to implement quality strategies for the organization to effectively meet the taste and preference of the clients under the two types of markets. The quality strategy is one the most suitable positioning strategy that the company may choose to employ since its customers falling in the two groups prefer sophisticated products while others preferred simple products.
D. Discuss the criteria for segmenting markets.
Segmentation involves the grouping of the customer in a market into groups that relate to their similarity in their needs and interests. Segmentation usually enables companies to appropriately target their different consumers who often possess different perceptions in relation to the utilization of the firm's products. Organizations usually have to consider various factors while segmenting their markets. The considerations that most companies make are such as ensuring that the segments made are measurable. Measurability of a segment is important since it enables the firm to easily determine vital information such as its customers buying behaviors, for instance, the volume of their purchases, and the mode of payments they utilize. The segment should be homogeneous which means the member of a segment should possess similar characteristics. This enables the firm to differentiate their customers easily.
The segments made should be relevant. The size of the segment, for instance, should be large enough thus allowing the company to benefit from it economically (Schlegelmilch 2016). The segments should be distinguishable. This means they should be easily differentiated thus allowing the firm to know the uniqueness in their customers' desires and thus effectively focus on it. They should be responsive thus ensuring that the unique market mix employed ensures the firm attains the maximum return from the segment formed. They should be stable in nature this means the segments' trends should be predictable. This is important since it would allow the business to plan for its possible future changes appropriately. The segments made should also be appropriate to the organization. The segments should relate to the enterprise objectives and resources since this will enable it to attain their set goals, mission and vision possibly.
E. Discuss the proposed segmentation scheme based on specific market characteristics for the Aldus Corporation.
The segmentation scheme is the format of segmenting that an organization may utilize. In relation to Aldus Corporation, Richard Strong suggested for the company to divide its market into two thus forming the business and professional segments of the market. According to Strong, the division would enable the firm to effectively focus on the needs of its two types of customers those who preferred to have sophisticated software and those who preferred simple software. The business segment would be the segment that focuses on the creation of simple software while the professional segment would focus on the sophisticated software. The proposal by Strong was an excellent proposal since both segments are measurable, can be differentiated, and are large enough. Aldus would benefit a lot from implementing the scheme proposed by Strong since it would ensure the business produce products that meet the needs of all its customers.
F. Discuss the target markets Strong identified in the case.
The target market of a business is usually the specific type of customers that the company intends to sell its products and services to. The identification of an organization's target market is paramount since it facilitates the development of a marketing plan which dictates how the enterprise would ensure its customers reach their products. In consideration of Strong's suggestion the target markets that he had identified were two the market that composed of individuals who preferred having sophisticated software and that of persons who preferred the simple ones. The target group comprised of individuals who like sophisticated software were made up of mainly professionals who are the high-end users. This group of users preferred to have products that had more features, greater power and was more compatible with other software and hardware. The second segment of those preferring simple software was on the other hand composed of business users. The users under this group preferred products that would be easier to use, more automated, and required one to spend less time to learn how to utilize them.
G. Define the stages of the product life cycle.
A product life cycle represents the stages in which a product passes through from its developmental period to the time it is removed from the market. The cycle is often made up of four stages. The stages of the cycle are; introduction, growth, maturity, and the decline stage (Stark 2015). The introduction stage is the first stage in the cycle. It is at this stage when the product is first discovered. In this stage companies usually focus on conducting various researches on how the product can be developed, on whether it would meet the consumers' needs, and how it can be initiated into the market.
In the stage enterprises also launch their product into the market by creating an awareness of the existence of the new product. The firms usually aim to ensure the public knows of the new product introduced in the market. The growth stage is the second stage in the cycle. According to Stark (2015), this stage is characterized by an increase in sales and profit margin of the firm. In this stage enterprises usually invest more on product promotional activities such as media advertising. The companies often focus on conducting more promotional activities since the activities enable them to increase their sales and popularity.
The maturity is the third stage. The organization usually records the highest sales and profit margin while at this stage. Enterprises are supposed to invest on modifying their products which ensure that they remain competitive in the market. The decline stage is usually the fourth and final stage of the product lifecycle. This stage is often characterized by a reduction in the sale and profits obtained by the firm. The reduction may have been caused by the introduction of new competing products that are better than that of the company and market saturation. Companies usually spend very little resources in promoting the sales of products under this market since they are not profitable.
H. Determine which stage of the product life cycle applies to the professional version of PageMaker based on the new vision for the company.
Based on the new vision of Aldus Corporation the organization's professional version of the PageMaker may be categorized under the maturity stage of product life cycle. The PageMaker is at this stage since even though the firm is introducing a new version of the product. The version is just an improvement of the old version and not an entirely new product. In launching the new version, the company would have employed modification strategy which is a strategy that most firms use to their products that have reached the maturity stage. This approach usually assists organizations in ensuring the products lifeline is increased thus enabling the business to continue registering high sales which translate to high profits from the products.
I. Select the appropriate marketing mix for the professional version of PageMaker.
The marketing mix relates to a set of controllable measures that an organization may employ thus ensuring that consumers buy its products and services on the market. Organizations often take into account the four P's of marketing before they decided to utilize a particular ma...
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