A marketing mix is an important concept adopted by companies in enhancing their relevance and strength in the market. Therefore, managers should strive to ensure that all the components, including the product, price, promotion, place, packaging, and publicity assist in securing a supportive market. The analysis of the elements as applied in Coca-Cola and iPhoneSE gives deeper insight on the topic. In fact, the comparison of factors and the recommendations can assist each of the two companies to learn the best practices that will boost their competitiveness.
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Business entities irrespective of the industry of operation strive to optimize the opportunities in the market. The strategies applied differ from one company to the other by the fundamental aspects of the marketing mix are common to all (Boeing, 2013). In fact, a marketing mix comprising of the product, pricing, place, promotion, packaging, and publicity is fundamental in the analysis. Hence, the best way to learn about the concepts is to apply a real life case analysis. In this regard, the comparison of companies from two different industries gives a better overview of the concept. Particularly, Coca-Cola and iPhone SE from the consumer goods and technological industries respectively will be involved in the analysis.
The study aims at gathering information on the marketing mix adopted by the two companies. Importantly, the information will assist in the establishment the similarities and differences and eventually provide a recommendation on what each of the businesses can learn from each other. As a matter of fact, despite the difference in the target markets, some strategies can work for the companies in a similar manner (Pride et al., 2015). Notably, the data and information will be collected from the companies’ websites, published reports, and other sources particularly the marketing books. Indeed, the sources of the data will be selected based on the purpose and the date.
Coca-Cola is the world leading brand with a portfolio of more than 500 brands of which more than 3,500 beverages are sold daily (Burrow & Bosiljevac, 2012). The company’s headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia, but has its presence across the word. On the other hand, Apple is an American multinational designing, manufacturing, marketing computer hardware, software, and personal computers. In fact, iPhone SE is one of the products of the company in the market today. It is worth noting that it is among the leading innovative firms in the world as far as computer technology is concerned. Therefore, the two entities are influential on their respectful industries, and their marketing mix could offer a lot in the analysis.
Coca-Cola has a wide variety of products developed to serve the different tastes and preferences of the consumers (Pride et al., 2015). Nevertheless, all the products are mostly beverages but in different categories, including the soft drinks, juices, tea/coffee, water, and energy drinks. Some of the commonly known products include Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid, and Dasani water among others. The product mix assists the company to attract and maintain a supportive customer base which enhances its revenue and income in the long run.
Firstly, the place as a component of the marketing mix indicates how the company reaches the final customers in their most convenient locations (Pride et al., 2015). By and large, Coca-Cola has over the years developed its distribution strategy to cover the wide market in both the rural and urban areas. Consequently, the company uses the direct selling concept through its transporters to the outlets, particularly the large-scale supermarkets. Additionally, the company applies indirect selling in which wholesalers and distributors are involved. In fact, the use of subsidiaries is significantly applied because it assists in covering a wider market.
Coca-Cola highly regards pricing as a sensitive element in marketing. In fact, a company should use its pricing strategy to stimulate demand and earn preferred margins (Siebert, 2015). Therefore, the company anchors its selling price based on some factors. The first aspect is the climatic seasons where during summers the prices remain high as the demand for beverages is significantly greater. Contrary, during the winter, the need for the products is relatively low; therefore, the prices are reduced to maintain sales and profits. Secondly, the price is determined by the packaging, thus the glass bottled products are sold at a relatively lower price because the containers are returnable compared to plastic bottled products. In addition, the size of the package is also a determinant when dictating the price with the largely contained products offered at lower prices per liter than the smaller packages.
Furthermore, to promote its products, Coca-Cola uses different approaches. The first tactic is through shelving where the company purchases shelves in large-scale supermarkets and departmental stores. Therefore, its products are arranged tactfully so that they can be seen clearly to attract the consumers (Pride et al., 2015). The second approach is through sponsorship where the company supports social events, including the football world cup events.
Packaging is the other component in the marketing mix used by Coca-Cola in enhancing its marketing. Therefore, the company applies the element in creating brand awareness through the labels which identify the products contained (Coca Cola, 2016). The majority of the products are packaged in glass and plastic bottles to facilitate transportation, refrigeration, and shelf keeping. In addition, the products packaged in the glass bottles are meant to be consumed at the retail outlets, but the containers are returnable. Contrarily, the plastics bottled beverages are intended for takeaways to the convenient of the buyers. Besides, the packages are in different sizes to meet the need and purchasing ability of the consumers. For example, smaller packages including 300 and 500 ml bottles are offered to target individuals, while 1 liter, 2 liters, and 3 liters packages target the families and groups.
Despite the fact that Coca-Cola is a world leader in the soft drink industry, it requires publicity to keep in touch with the existing and potential markets. Hence, the company makes public the aspects of interests by press releases through the official website and social media (Coca Cola, 2016). Additionally, the mass media, including the radio stations and televisions are highly applied whenever there is the need to communicate to the public. In essence, the combination of the platform assists in reaching the wider market and secure keep the popularity at the preferred level.
iPhoneSE’s Marketing Mix
Apple Inc. as the producer of iPhone SE is highly regarded as an innovative company whose products are highly preferred due to their unique feature compared to its competitor in the market. As a product, iPhone SE is produced into four varieties based on the color, including silver, gold, space gray, and rose gold to serve the different tastes and preferences of the customers. Additionally, the phone is produced in a different capacity concerning storage and processor size. In this case, there are classes of 16 GB and 64 GB which serves the needs of customers based on the usability and function. The other significant features are the weight and thinness which make the phone portable and less material usage during the process of manufacturing.
Concerning place, iPhone SE reaches the market through the channels used by Apple Inc. on the other products. First, the product has a massive rollout to the worldwide market through the reputable major retailers. Therefore, the sellers are the distribution partners earning profit margin from the sale of the products. Secondly, the company makes use of the online marketing through the website based Apple stores. In fact, customers from across the world can view the products’ features and the prices, and make purchases on the product of interest. Therefore, the products bought are shipped conveniently to place to the customers. Lastly, the company has physical stores in major cities across the world from which the product is displayed, and the interested buyers get the products from the shelves.
However, Apple Inc. does not use price as a competing strategy to attract and retain customers. Instead, the company has the tendency of using skimming and premium pricing strategies. In this marketing approach, the unique features of the products are made possible with additional cost and hence the prices charged on the finished product are relatively high. In fact, iPhone SE is sold at prices depending on capacity. Moreover, the 16GB phone is offered at $399 while the 16GB ones are sold at $499 (Apple Inc., 2016). However, the color of the product does not influence the price.
Apple Inc. promotes its products using product differentiation as multipurpose, convenience, and value added device. The first promotional strategy applied is through free shipping where the company offers shipment for customers purchasing through the online store. The second promotional strategy is the online advertising in which the corporate website and the social media are used in information the target market about the products offered (Apple Inc., 2016). As such, the product features are adequately displayed through images and description, as well as the corresponding prices. Besides, the company promotes the product through advertisements through the mass media.
Packaging is the other imperative marketing element to consider when dealing with the innovative product (Pride et al., 2015). First, it is critical to note that iPhone SE is sold in components with a single piece as a unit. Each is packaged separately, but combinations depending on the buyers’ demand require the units to be packaged in reasonable sizes. Secondly, the package used for a unit product is used as an informative tool for the customers through the product images and description.
Publicity is a fundamental aspect to Apple Inc. due to the significant competition from other players in the mobile phone and computer technology. Therefore, the presence of the company and its products should be made known to the potential market (Rahmani, Emamisaleh & Yadegari, 2015). Furthermore, the primary platform used in publicizing iPhone SE is through the corporate website. Therefore, Individuals can search information about the product through the online store. Additionally, the company makes the product know through the customer service in which clients making inquiries are informed about its presence and features. Finally, the corporate logo and symbol are used in every product making it possible for the customers associate it with the company.
Comparisons of the Marketing Mix
The two companies have some similar approaches when it comes to their marketing strategies. First, the entities use product variation to attract a wide market upon fulfilling customers’ tastes and preferences. Secondly, the two products use both the online and physical stores to display and sell their products. Thirdly, the corporations have tried to acquire global presence; hence, acquiring multinational status. On the other hand, the firms differ regarding their pricing strategies. In fact, as Coca-Cola use pricing for competing for the purpose, while Apple uses it for skimming.
Therefore, it is clear that the production units for Coca-Cola are spread in different countries in the attempt to cover the market with ease. Contrary, Apple Inc. prefers centralized manufacturing and distribution to the respective markets through shipment. As such, the company should rethink and open manufacturing and assembly units in the major regional markets to assist in reducing the freight costs. Additionally, since Coca Cole has proved that its products are unique and meet the needs of the customers in special ways, it is recommended that a skimming pricing strategy should be used. Consequently, premium prices can assist in enhancing the profits earned without necessarily reducing the demand level.
From the analysis, it is evident that a business should put in place a strong and a balancing marketing mix to acquire and maintain a competitive advantage. Therefore, the components, including product, price, promotion, place, publicity, and packaging should be adequately developed. Both the entities involved in the discussion are considerably strong due to the quality of their products, strong distribution strategies, and well-published presence and products. In the bid to improve their performance, the two should try to copy each other and come up with applicable and improvement strategies. However, the similarity regarding distribution, publicity, and promotional approaches imply that irrespective of the differences in the industries, the components should be adopted on equal measures.