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Marketing Communication and Branding Essay

Introduction

After careful market research of some of the different phone markets in today’s industry; the market that was the most interest to the writer was the disability phone market. Of all the mobile phones researched, none were found to have Braille included; only speaking activated commands – designed to send text messages as well as calling. The idea the writer proposes is a phone for the visually impaired which has a sole purpose for calling people. The keys will be fitted with Braille so that the individuals are able to effectively feel what number they are pressing.

SOSTAC – Situation Analysis

Upon research it was found the size of the disability phone market is small in comparison to others, such as android where there are thousands of brands available. “Around 360,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted in the UK” (Action for Blind People, 2011), showing that, with the assumption that everyone needs a mobile phone in today’s society, the key segments that this brand will relate to are the 360,000 potential customers within the visual impairment mobile phone market. The key competing brands include Doro, an established competitor who supply a range of mobile phones for the disabled. They supply too many online retailers, ranging from handheld mobile phone to home landlines. Alternatively, Amplicom is another competitor who develops mobiles with large buttons, aimed at the visually impaired market. These competitors will be the toughest to compete with due to their experience and current market share; a large investment and money will be required to make sure that the proposed brand can gain a decent amount of market share.

Porter’s five forces is an appropriate model which can be related to overcome such competition, due to its ability to “…evaluate entry barriers, suppliers, customers, substitute products and industry rivalry” (Freitag, 2005). Furthermore Porter’s five forces can determine what the current market is for the brand, as well as the outlining any existing competitor’s positions in relation to the developing product. Moreover, it can also show how a firm’s stakeholders can influence the company with the use of bargaining power (Chee and Harris, 1998). This information would be vital to obtain prior to the launch of the brand to reduce the chance of product failure. The macro-environmental factors will be implemented to the brand through PEST analysis; Political, Economical, Situational and Technological. Political factors which relate appropriately to the disability mobile phone market include the strict laws on the disposal of production materials such as batteries and any forms of radioactive waste, as well as any compulsory health and safety procedures during the production and contribution of the developing products.

Breaking these rules could result in heavy penalties including fines and even the termination of the company in severe cases. Suitable economic factors include the assessment of the current poor financial climate. This leads to the assumption that it is currently not attractive to place investments as money is generally tight for most, reducing the overall customer base for the developing product. Example solutions for this could include enticing consumers with bargain phone prices or even reduced fixed monthly contract payments which will include a suitable amount of minutes for the target segment. Furthermore by offering all deals at lower end prices will suitably fit the market, as there can be a general assumption that those who are visually impaired may also fit well within the retirement market, a segment that generally has less money spare.

Regarding social factors the main issue considered is ethics; relating to how products are developed and distributed, in addition to advertising techniques used to help promote the brand. Equal opportunities and fair working conditions should be issued to all employees involved in the development and promotion of the brand so that the product can represent diversity; relating appropriately to the disabled mobile phone market. Advertisements should be honest and not have any misleading content to confuse any consumers; and all information promoted will be fully implemented into the design of the mobile phone. Technological factors are by large the most relevant and important to consider within mobile phone industries.

Due to the constant development of technology within the actual mobile phones, it is an competitive industry to be involved in. Nevertheless within the disability phone market the ‘look’ of the phone is a lesser important factor during purchasing; it is what the phone provides to the consumer to aid their special needs when contacting someone. Simple, up-to-date software is required so that all relevant features are implemented, in addition to having an appropriately sized screen with higher contrast settings so that the visually impaired are able to read clearer. Large number buttons are essential so the Braille fits comfortably and the user is able to identify what number they want to press with ease.

Objectives

Here are three objectives that are going to be set for the new developing brand: * Increase awareness of the service in disabled people by 50% within 6 months * In three years time production costs should be reduced by 10% * In the next two years revenue should be approximately £7 million These objectives act as sufficient targets and in turn will motivate staff and drive productively due to the time scaled that these objectives must be achieved. The chosen objectives all appropriately relate to the current disability phone market and the specific areas that could be improved, such as increasing the awareness of service for people with special needs. This could therefore encourage other companies to develop other suitable day-to-day products to suit their needs also, which could furthermore promote the idea of developing a whole new organisation specially aimed at designing products to aid people with special needs.

Strategy

The push/pull strategy involves creating demand from two aspects; push strategy involves the demand being created by the manufacturer’s distributers, and pull relates to the manufacturer creating demand via their own promotion techniques (Frazier and Summers, 2011). The brand will follow a pull strategy because it is envisioned that demand will be created through advertising and an effective, unique selling point. This is good because through a push strategy, it is sometimes required to distribute a higher volume of goods, which is better related to a mobile phone industry with a larger audience, unlike the niche, disabled market.

Another benefit of this is that because the developing brand is unheard of an unproven; preventing stock piling of products if they are not sold, saving money. Although, a pull strategy will require a large investment for advertising, it is estimated that the cost of production and potential stock piling outweighs this in fiscal terms. Relating to the objectives, the pull strategy will aid the accomplishment of said targets with the use of an advertising campaign, creating the demand that will create supply to the blind market.

To engage the consumers, advertising campaigns will hosted at specific events which relate to the disability market, such as the Cambridge Disability Sport and Arts festival. By doing this it will allow the promotion of the developing product to be recognised and positively received by the disabled. This will allow potential consumers to try out the mobile phone and leave feedback regarding their thoughts and opinions.

The Paralympics 2012 is taking place in London, an excellent occasion which can be related to individuals with special needs. It is a global event which promotes diversity of all sorts within the sponsoring organisations and sport activities; which can be related to the promotion of the brand’s developing product and encourage consumers to try it out to see if it can suit their needs. Combined, by implementing such advertising campaigns during the Paralympics and obtaining a respected and relatable celebrity sponsor can help achieve the completion of the increasing awareness objective. Additionally, after appropriate research, selling the phone at a competitive price will create demand; and furthermore help achieve the £7 million revenue objective.

To achieve the reduced in production costs objective, mass production will need to take place, which will effectively lower production costs, or even investing in a new technology to produce more units at a cheaper rate, over a period of time, may even reduce costs by 10%.

Tactics

Expanding further within the advertising campaigns aimed to help achieve the awareness and revenue objectives, this will include visual posters on noticeable areas of everyday life such as telephone boxes, buses, taxis and even billboards. To carry out ethical diversity promotions, the advertisements will also be located within care centres for the visually impaired, as well as any social and youth clubs to increase awareness. Radio adverts will also take place as it is fair to assume that a wide diversity range of people listen to the radio, allowing the promotion of the developing product to all audiences.

Any user feedback from testing the developing product will be noted down and kept for future improvement, allowing management to raise questions on how to improve the brand and image it represents to consumers. By doing so will potentially improve the awareness of the disability market as well as increasing the possibility of generating revenue due to the improvement of the product to suit the special needs. Ade Adepitan, a wheelchair basketball sportsman and TV presenter can be a suitable celebrity endorsement to help promote the product as he is someone the key segment can truly relate to will help achieve awareness and furthermore create a positive brand reputation which will create demand; and therefore revenue and profits.

Issuing the mobile phone with a competitive price of £60 is suitably competitive and will create demand; helping to achieve the £7 million revenue objective if 116,666 units are sold within the 2 year time scale. Promoting this product in the UK only can help assess if the product is largely successful to its key segment, and after the 2 year objective is attained, further action can take place to help make the product go global. Lower production costs will occur if an appropriate manufacturer is found; who follows all ethical procedures the brand wants to promote, in addition to supplying the company with great production unit price rates so that the most possible revenue and profits can be generated.

Furthermore, a ‘green policy’, known as a policy to help lead greener lives, can promote the brand to be extremely sufficient with its production, enticing customers and portraying the brand image to be ethical and fair. Nevertheless green policies are very expensive, which would mean that either a generous sponsor would have to be applied for, or even a loan would have to take place to implement such activities.

Action

Firstly, finance will have the overall responsibility of distributing budgets to all departments so that the entire production and launch of the new brand is successful. Once all budgets have been issued the marketing department will be able to effectively form a plan on when the launch will take place and what is proposed to take place during the entire duration. Within the marketing department a market research team will be organised so an
investigation of production methods and price rates of manufacturers is performed, as well as making sure all ethical procedures the brand would like to follow are implemented. Relevant findings will be informed to the finance department to see if there are enough budgets to apply any new changes.

All tasks taking place for the launch will be managed by a team leader – essential for the success of team member communication and task success. This will then be approved by a main, overall manager of the entire launch, so all task deadlines are met and workloads are of a high standard to boost the quality of the promotion. A time management tool named a Gantt chart will be implemented so all tasks are clearly shown, along with their time deadlines to help guide leaders and encourage team members to strive to complete a task to benefit the brand’s launch. This will be combined with a critical path analysis, where all shortest possible times in which tasks can be completed are shown to avoid delaying the entire launch. Example Critical Path Analysis, Source: http://tutor2u.net

Example Gantt chart,
Source: www.ganttchart.com/

Control

Two things will effectively measure the growth of awareness and gather an accurate estimate. Firstly the sales records will be analysed. A growth in sales indicates the rise of awareness and any initial sales from year one indicate consumer’s knowledge of the product. A questionnaire will also be released to specific geographical locations and the results will give an indication as to how many people and how far spread the awareness of the branch has reached. An appropriate measure to identify whether or not the production costs have been reduced would be to look at energy bills to see if the change in production equipment or manufacturers has been an effective adjustment.

To determine whether or not revenue will reach 7 million pounds can be monitored by customer loyalty and re-purchasing. A high customer re-purchase rate is a strong indicator that the brand is respected and trusted with their products and service.

References
Action for Blind People, (2011), Facts and figures about issues around sight loss, [online] available at: http://www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/facts-and-figures-about-issues-around-sight-loss/ [accessed 05/05/2012]

Chee, H. and Harris, R., (1998), Global marketing strategy, London: Financial Times Pitman Publishing. Frazier, G. L. and Summer, J. O., (2011), Contemporary Views on Marketing Practice, [e-book] Marketing Classics Press. Available at: Google Books http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eqn23RV52hEC&pg=PA217&dq=push+pull+strategy+definition&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IHeqT7y9DIqw0QWDgOXlAw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=push%20pull%20strategy%20definition&f=false [accessed 24/04/2012] Freitag, N., (2005), Critical The Impact of Culture on International Marketing Plans and Review of the French Wine Industry, Munich: Grin Publishing, 1(1), p.15.

GanttCharts, (2012), [image online] available at: <http://www.ganttchart.com/gantt-chart-example.png> [accessed 04/05/2012]

Tutor2u, (2012), [image online] available at: <http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRKft-Y9gw7P3sIBXtcdKf4ot5R7Jqo_Pn-cUzg_bXwuovgXq1can7WpViQ0Q> [accessed 01/05/2012]

Bibliography
Doro, (2011), [online] available at: http://www.doro.co.uk/products/Specialneeds/ [accessed 25/04/2012] Matobmobile, (2010), [online] available at: http://matobmobile.co.uk/index.php?id=elderly_mobile_phones [accessed 25/04/2012] Scribd, (2012), Pest Analysis, [online] available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/58834389/Pest-Analysis-Nokia [accessed 21/04/2012]


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