Saint-Gobain Glass is a leading Glass Manufacturer in India and manufactures a range of Reflective Glass, Solar Control Glass, Green Building Glass, Interior glass, Fire resistant glass and Advanced Glass Solutions. Their reflective glass range includes mirror glass with a maximum sheet size of 3210 x 2000mm and a thickness of 5mm. Coating on Saint-Gobain mirrors is applied with a revolutionary new process which replaces copper, the origin of corrosion in mirror, with a highly sophisticated multiple level chemical treatment. In this process, the silvered layer is applied on the glass by a chemical method also knows as the wet film method. To reinforce the adhesion of this layer, a preparatory surface treatment of the glass is done by sensitization followed by passivation. The silvered layer is then treated to endow it with anti-corrosion properties and to improve adhesion of the paints.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MIRROR IN B2C
It has superb lustre, and a perfectly flat surface ( in the case of flat mirrors) which gives a distortion-free image reflection.
Mirror uses high grade float glass as its base and it is manufactured under an automated process, thus giving superb quality mirror.
Also, mirrors find different applications due to their ability to be moulded into concave and convex shapes apart from the usual flat surfaced mirrors.
1.Cosmetic mirrors of appropriate size and designs for homes. 2.Internal use of wall surfaces, ceilings and pillars for general household usage, shops, offices and departmental stores. 3.Furniture and interior decorations.
4.In a small way, mirrors of smaller dimensions are also used by fashion designers and tailors for dress designing.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MIRROR IN B2B
Mirror manufactured under the automated process has a silver membrane which is protected by a copper plated layer, and finally sealed with an oven baked paint coating. The silver membrane is fully protected, this providing long lasting performance and durability.
Use of Flat Mirrors:
•Mirrors are used in washrooms of restaurants, in bars, hotels, jewellery shops, beauty clinics, nightclubs and theatres
•They are also used in sports and leisure centres, gymnasiums and swimming pools.
Use of Concave Mirror:
•Concave mirrors are used in vehicle headlights to focus the light from the headlight. The light is not as diffused and the driver can see better at night. •Concave mirrors are used to focus light for heating purposes.
•They are used as dentists’ mirrors to magnify the image of patients’ teeth to facilitate the examination.
•Used in some telescopes.
Convex Mirror Uses:
•Used in rear-view mirrors of vehicles. These mirrors make objects appear smaller than they really are. Due to this compression, these mirrors to reflect a wider image area, or field of vision. •Convex mirrors are often placed near ATMs to allow bank customers to see if someone is behind them. This is a security measure that helps keep ATM users safe from robbery of any cash withdrawals and helps keep ATM users’ identity more secure. •Large hospitals, stores and office buildings often use convex mirrors to allow people to see what is around a corner to help keep people from running into one another. • Ceiling dome mirrors are ideal for surveillance in shops, offices and industrial environments. They allow someone to watch what is going on in a wide area and allow shopkeepers to spot thieves and vandals •Portable inspection mirrors can be used for security and safety purposes. They are widely used by security firms and the military.
MARKETING MIX FOR B2C MARKET
A mirror is used at home in various ways like compact mirror for personal uses, in bathrooms and mostly by women for their personal styling. This is not a frequent buying in case of B2C market because replacement time is long in case if it does not break.
This component deals with a mirror as a product for a consumer i.e. what are the different features he/she expects. In this case, it can be 1.Design of the mirror i.e. horizontal or vertical according to the use, large wall or small wall mirror, frameless or framed mirror. 2.Variety of the mirror like plastic lining, silver lining, copper lining or wooden lining along the borders. 3. Quality would be that it should be very clean and clear and showing the real image without hiding any imperfections, edges must be fine. 4. Durability i.e. must be resistant to corrosion.
5.Features would be like it must be unbreakable, come with a supporting stand in case of a home use if small size 6.Size, for example- small in case of travelling i.e. should be portable and also foldable, leaning mirrors and floor mirrors 7.Packaging, in case one is buying from a luxury cosmetic brand, then packaging comes into picture because in that case they would be expensive such that it reaches safely while transporting from one place to other. Brand, Services, Warranties and Returns does not matter much in B2C market for consumers if it is for very regular purposes but if it is for decorative purposes and for high end customers , it matters a lot.
The price depends on the size of the mirror and whether the product is from a local i.e. not known company or it is from a branded high-end company exclusively for decorative purposes at home. A customer does not quote any price but only negotiates on the price offered by the retailer. If we talk about small mirrors used at homes or bathroom mirrors, then price is not a concern but in case of high end mirrors like lining mirrors with silver, copper and metal etc., the price is worth negotiating because they are expensive and both the ends want the best price.
There are some companies which also customize the mirror according to the individuals use i.e. shape, size, type of mirror etc. For example-a frameless wall mirror will cost between 10000/- to 20000/-, small wall mirrors vary from 4500/- to 12000/- but if expensive linings are used it increases, large wall mirrors can go from 5000/- to 90000/-. These are the list prices of the mirrors but the consumer expects some discounts on it like 10-20% and in case if a consumer is buying an expensive mirror , say of 1000000/-, then he/ she can get it on credit terms like half down-payment and rest at the time of delivery.
The promotion strategies adopted are not that aggressive in terms of television commercial in the mirror market. One will hardly find any advertisements in newspaper regarding mirrors. So, advertisements are mainly done online; the price, quality and features are mentioned on the websites through which order can be placed. Another kind of promotion is done by word of mouth like if one customer is satisfied with the product which may help in building the chain of customers.
The Sales force plays an important role here because a customer does know about this much when he/she enters a mirror store, the only things they look after are the shape and size of the mirror, after that the conversion of a prospect into a buyer is dependent majorly on the sales force because the inside information is little to the customer. Now comes Sales promotion, under which different scheme are introduced to increase the buying. For example it can be like- Buy two and get 20% off on the third purchase or with every mirror worth a particular price get a cleaner free etc. and public relations also matters for small as well as luxury end companies as it is what brings the customer back for repetitive purchase.
The place component deals with channels, locations and transport of the mirror. As availability is the most important factor, it is done through channels like online buying (open a website, browse the catalogue and order it by online payment and in that case transportation mishandling, breakage will be managed by the company) and this buying mostly happens for expensive mirrors, nearby store which includes wholesalers/retail shops for small/large household buying dealing in furniture where inspection can be done; general stores for cosmetic uses. Transportation is important, which means the time in which the delivery will be made after an order is placed.
MARKETING MIX FOR B2B MARKETS
•As interior decorative glass in common areas of public and private buildings: entrance halls, landings, etc. •In bars, restaurants, hotels, jewellery shops, beauty clinics, nightclubs and theatres. •For panelling on walls or doors and on furniture and shelves. •As mirrors in sports and leisure centres, swimming pools. •Car rear-view mirrors and side mirrors.
•In single-lens-reflex (SLR) cameras.
•Magnifying mirrors in makeup kits and “compacts”.
•Searchlights, floodlights, and spotlights (used in theaters).
•Durability: Mirrors must be resistant to corrosion, particularly in humid conditions. •Clarity: Clarity is an important criterion that determines the quality of a mirror, and is indicated by the sharpness of the reflection seen in it. This in turn depends on the base glass on which the mirror is made. •Distortion-Free: Distortion in a mirror occurs due to inconsistencies, impurities, irregularities and heterogeneity in materials used to produce the base glass. •Eco-friendly: Mirrors must use metals that do not pollute the environment.
Mirrors sold to businesses are made available in various dimensions of length and breadth, along with options of form (such as required degrees of
Mirrors come with a limited period warranty of being free of black edge defects resulting from improper production for a limited period after delivery to the immediate customer. The limited warranty of the mirror product are void if:
•Exposed to foreign materials or solutions such as but not limited to cleaning products or painted walls.
This includes cutting, polishing, bevelling, and sometimes installation also.
Mirrors are priced on per square foot basis. These dimensions are as per the buyers requirements. Also, the pricing depends upon the quality of the mirror, its thickness, weight, and flexibility of beveling the edges. Price quotes are taken from the buyer depending on their requirement. Wholesale pricing with discounts and bulk purchase discounts are provided on an individual basis. Also there great scope for buyer negotiations as there are several competitors in the market. The company will have to ensure that the prices are competitive enough to lure the client but at the same time be high enough so as to not make losses. Therefore, since they ae not operating in a monopolistic market, price is a variable they have to be careful on.
Availability is more prominent on the online media these days. Catalogues can be browsed and orders can be placed at the seller’s website. This form of buying is most common. Also, buyers can go and personally inspect mirrors at the manufacturers/wholesalers outlet.
It is mostly done online. The variety and quality of the seller’s offering is mentioned on the websites. Placement of orders is through online forms.
Manufacturers provide e-catalogues on their websites along with the sale offers and discounts that they decide on bulk purchases. Also, catalogues are sent to prospective buyers when a seller learns of the buyers intention of procuring a bulk purchase. Servicing and warranty terms are particularly mentioned as a part of the promotional strategy of a seller, as it becomes a major decision-making criterion for the buyer.
B2B OR B2C?
Saint Gobain Glass, India is a subsidiary of Saint Gobain France which has been in the industry since the 1600s. This being a fairly long period of time, they have managed to carve a niche for themselves in the glass industry. Though the mirror industry is only an off-shoot of the products they basically make, i.e., glass, they rule the B2C premium segment mirror market. There are a lot of local players in the industry as well. When a middle – income group customer goes to buy a mirror, he would not be much bothered about the ‘brand’ of the mirror. His concern would rather be value for money and features like no distortions of images, good glass thickness, designs and varieties.
Hence, his obvious choice would be something that would last for a long time, is sturdy but at the same time, is price effective. There are very few customers who can actually afford these mirrors and who consciously want to buy ‘a Saint Gobain’ when they look for a mirror. The price factor is definitely the decider when it comes to pitching these mirrors against the locally available ones.
On the other hand, entering into contracts with real estate builders, interior decorators, vehicle manufacturing companies, dental equipment manufacturing companies etc, might prove to be more profitable for them since these would be repeat buyers and also the profits would come from the selling greater quantity of mirrors rather than pricing them higher, in order to achieve the same revenue. Though the customer buying power seems to be more, the use of supreme technology for achieving unbeatable quality would ensure that the customers stick to them and build a long – standing mutually beneficial relationship. Therefore, the team is of the opinion that B2B MARKET would be better for the Saint Gobain Mirrors.