The Marketing Mix and Impact of Ethical and Environmental Concerns of Dyson in the UK
The marketing strategy that a company adopts determines its success or failure in the market. Hence, it is critical for the marketing team to ensure that the firm utilises the most effective plan that not only sells the company’s products or services but also adds value to customers. The second objective is the most important as it determines the performance of the company in the market (Meayar 2018). Businesses depend on the customers to earn their revenue. Thus, it is essential that their operations are designed to meet the clients’ needs. The marketing mix is not merely about the product, but its reflection on the preferences of the customers. In addition, the company should consider ethical and environmental concerns and their impact on the firm’s operations. Dyson is one of the companies that have faced such challenges, and its effectiveness in responding to them would determine its success in the United Kingdom market.
The Marketing Mix for Dyson
Dyson Ltd is a United Kingdom-based technology firm founded in 1991 by James Dyson. The company specialises in the manufacturing of household appliances, including vacuum cleaners, fans, dryers, and heaters (High, 2014). The firm designs and manufactures the products locally and internationally. Its team of talented employees markets and sells the products through retailers in the U.K. and internationally. In addition, the company has embraced internet marketing to reach more customers (Bacon, 2016). Dyson is committed to its customers, and its management team works on identifying new ways of satisfying this vital stakeholder group. For example, the statement, “Dyson: Solving Customer Problems in Ways They Never Imagined” shows its focus on meeting customer needs (Kotler & Armstrong 2016, p. 87). It has a market-oriented mission to place the customers at the core of its operation and meet their needs in ways that exceed their expectations. They strive to give their customers an experience that changes their lives.
Despite facing competition in the industry, has maintained its focus on providing the best quality products to the customers. As a result, the company uses highly efficient technology that rivals its competitors. Clearly, the engineering team has made the company productive by performing extensive marketing, giving the company a competitive advantage. Regardless of challenges such as environmental issues, the company has remained productive. From the analysis, it emerges that the management uses unique branding, which keeps improving its products by listening to the customers’ feedback (Kotler & Armstrong 2016). The management ensures that the appliances reaching the market are not only creative but also simple and sell at a price that is affordable to most of its customers.
The firm has managed to remain customer-oriented by ensuring that its products and services achieve this objective (Kotler & Armstrong 2016). Making life easier for the customers, attracting more clients, and maintaining returning consumers, both revenue and profits have increased. Market evidence affirms that the products are always unique but designed to perform everyday tasks (Tyl, Vallet, Bocken, & Real 2015). The management, led by Dyson, identifies a problem that needs a solution and develops a product to close the gap (Loosemore 2013). They also focus on what the customer needs. For example, in designing the hand dryer, Dyson figured out that customers would love something that worked fast, thus cutting the cost of operation such as electricity bills. However, the company faces some challenges that they have been addressing effectively to achieve their goals and objectives, including the environmental and ethical concerns. As a result, the company has managed to maintain a leading position in the market.
As an inventor, Dyson performs extensive research in the market to ensure that the company addressed real customer needs. While the strategy could sound life resource-intensive, it has enabled the company to achieve a continued competitive advantage. The management guarantees that the products are distributed through the right channels to reach the customers. Evidence reveals a struggle for Dyson to reach the leading position he holds today. For example, during the initial struggle to get his products sold in the UK market, Dyson used the only available channel at the time, Kleeneze via mail order catalogue (Kotler & Armstrong 2016). Evidently, his commitment enabled him to venture into the Japanese market with G-Force. With time, Dyson successfully penetrated the U.K. market and moved on internationally to the U.S. and later to more than 65 countries worldwide (Bacon 2016). Its main product, the Vacuum cleaner sells everywhere in the world. From the analysis, it becomes evident that the company uses an effective marketing strategy by focusing on the need that the product could address (Bacon, 2016). The continued successful performance of Dyson is evident in the innovative products he introduces to the market.
The company has always concentrated on marketing to ensure that it reaches to a wider customer’s base. The main channel used by the company was television adverts. For instance, Dyson could advertise vacuum cleaners by demonstrating their use, allowing him to showcase his inventions proudly (Bacon 2016). He believed that the promotion sets the products apart from his competitors. Even though the channel was effective during the initial days, the company should consider changes due to the emergence of more effective promotion channels, including social media. Nonetheless, Dyson has managed to convince the customers that his vacuum cleaner is the best, using the TV adverts that focus on the quality of his products. The company currently leads in sales and profits and focuses on training and development of the employees to promote the company’s ethical aspect. Through the James Dyson Foundation, Dyson school of design engineering has also been established (Bacon 2016). Although the company has managed to attract a huge customer base, it should remain more aggressive in marketing, especially to counter the ethical and environmental challenges it is facing.
Dyson was focused on making unique inventions that would sell effectively in the local and international market. For instance, he designed the vacuum cleaner by focusing on the mistakes done by other companies to beat them in the market. As a result, it became easier for the company to be differentiated and to have the brands stand out from others. Thus, regardless of the high pricing of the products, they still sell since people could trust the company’s brands. Customers have revealed a willingness to spend their money regardless of the pricing strategy used (Bacon, 2016). Furthermore, customers believe in the quality of every purchase. Dyson promises modern and efficient technology that environmentally conscious customers are seeking. When customers think of buying a product that serves them longer, they willingly purchase. However, the company uses a competitive pricing strategy following a close study of the market (Kotler & Armstrong 2016). Therefore, considering the current ethical and environmental challenges, the management should revise the pricing strategy to remain competitive.
Dyson believes in hiring the best team to achieve the company’s objectives. The current stuff exhibits a high level of passion towards engineering and problem-solving. Evidently, although the company has faced ethical and environmental challenges, the employees have played a critical role in designing products to overcome these problems (Loose more 2013). For example, the team has developed efficient hand dryers to save the energy and protect the environment. In addition, the group focuses on customer orientation following the realization that consumers are the most important stakeholders (Kotler & Armstrong 2016). While the company might have other strengths and resources, the human resource team is the most critical. The engineers are also part of the customer service, taking immediate steps to solve problems with equipment sold by the company. As a result, the firm has remained one of the best in customer-orientation in its industry.
Dyson has the formula that allows it to solve the customers’ problems in a way they never imagine. Thus, all activities of the company are aligned with the formula, from the designing to the implementation and maintenance of the final product. The firm also focuses on design excellence to achieve the company’s objectives (Kotler & Armstrong 2016). Evidently, the management always has to design ways to remain competitive and deal with various challenges, including ethical and environmental. The innovation and problem-solving processes have allowed the firm to overcome some of those challenges, including the labeling law enacted by the European Union for all companies operating in the region (Holehouse 2015). Therefore, effective processes have allowed Dyson to remain productive in the highly competitive market.
Dyson operates in an industry that is highly risky to the environment because of potential for emissions. As a result, the company has experienced challenges associated with its vacuum cleaners and dryers being blamed for causing environmental damages (Holehouse 2015). However, the firm has remained committed to environmental responsibility through efficient engineering technology. The manufacturer creates machines that consume less energy while performing optimally and lasting longer. The company’s research and development team focus on efficiency, but maintaining performance (Dyson, 2013). Thus, Dyson’s machines outperform its competitors, hence becoming more attractive to customers.
Environmental and Ethical Concerns
Dyson operates in an industry that is prone to ecological and ethical issues, particularly in the manufacturing of vacuum cleaners. The appliances are blamed for energy consumption and the related adverse effect on the environment (Gallego-Schmid, Mendoza, Kumar & Azapagic 2016). The society has been mounting pressure on the use of devices believed to contribute to environmental damage. Vacuum cleaners and hand dryers are among the machines that some opponents believe cause ecological problems. Furthermore, such equipment are used daily, meaning that their environmental impact cannot be ignored. As a result, Dyson activities contribute to the complicated mesh, increasing sustainability pressures facing the world. The Lifecycle analysis is used in determining the extent of the negative impact of an appliance to the environment (Gallego-Schmid et al. 2016). The effect emanates from materials, manufacturing, transportation, usage, and end of life. Depending on the stage in the lifecycle, some appliances have a more significant impact than others (Best, Parnell & Wilcox 2014). Dyson is known to manufacture some of the devices that spend more energy and are damaging to the environment.
Dyson’s activities are among the contributors to environmental degradation throughout the lifecycle because of the nature of their products. The lifecycle research reveals the environmental impact of the standard appliances for home and industrial use including the hand dryers and vacuum cleaners. The appliances are manufactured using a mechanical process that consumes electricity and has the risk of emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (Bobba, Ardente & Mathieux 2016). However, the adverse effect of the manufacturing process declines with continued use since the appliances are utilised for a long time before they are replaced. However, opponents argue that these gadgets consume energy during their use while their disposal also causes a risk to the ecological system. For example, every time people dry their hands or use the vacuum cleaner they spend electricity. Thus, the challenge emanates in the amount of power each appliance uses considering that the company markets a considerable number of them in its international operations.
Dyson has faced criticism resulting from its production of vacuum cleaners. The company was accused of manufacturing and marketing appliances that failed to meet the standards of sustainability, especially in line with the EU labelling law (Holehouse 2015). The lack of efficiency in the machines is a considerable problem to the environment, hindering the current efforts to save it from ecological damage. The vacuum cleaners have been at odds with the sustainability efforts. Such challenges have negative effects on the business since most customers’ desire greener and safer appliances to reduce the problem of climate change. Dyson considers a greening message as misleading to customers. Therefore, the company’s reputation would be affected if there is any evidence that goes contrary to the sustainability goals.
A critical ethical challenge facing multinationals across the world is modern-day slavery. Some of the leading manufacturers use forced and child labour to produce more output to meet the demands of the customers at a low cost (Beder 2013). However, while Dyson might not have faced criticism for such an issue, its marketing mix could be affected if similar firms engage in such unethical conduct. For instance, if the firm acquires materials from suppliers using child labour, then its reputation would be damaged as a result. The management recognises the challenge in a multi-tiered supply chain applied by the firm (Beder 2013). However, its management should realise the importance of maintaining ethical conduct to retain customer trust and remain productive.
The Impact of Ethical and Environmental Concerns
Dyson has faced a significant challenge relating to the opposition on the European Union labelling requirement in vacuum cleaners. The company has been against the labelling policy because it has been against the business principle. According to the innovator, a label does not necessarily mean that the product is sustainable. For example, the vacuum cleaners are labelled after testing in an environment without dust (Holehouse 2015). As a result, the tests would show a high level of efficiency of the device, regardless of the possibility that the results might be misleading. Dyson strived to express his idea that companies should ensure efficiency without misleading the customers. Unfortunately, the customers look for visible information such as the labels and market ratings of the product when making the buying decision (Deubert 2013). Dyson’s business has been affected negatively due to the requirement since the management believes in being honest to the customer and delivering the promised quality.
Dyson is affected by the European Union labelling law and the recent ruling against the company. He failed in a case against the law in which he claimed to face unfair competition due to the labelling requirements (Deubert 2014). Dyson argued that the rules have allowed his competitors to obtain misleading efficiency ratings by using inadequate testing procedures. He further explained that the efficiency labels deceive customers as they are carried out when the equipment is in “pristine” condition in labs without actual dust. Regardless of the well-intended argument, the defeat in the case could have a severe impact on the company (Tyl et al., 2015). Customers getting the message of the loss might interpret it in a way that damages the company’s reputation. It might take time and effort to convince the customers about its sustainability commitment after the case. The firm might also spend more resources on its marketing efforts to counter the adverse effect of the litigation.
The company suffers the risk of doubts from the stakeholders relating to the outcome of the case. Dyson complained that the ECJ had allowed a flawed regime in giving leeway to manufacturers to continue delivering wrongly labelled products to the market (Holehouse 2015). However, the argument might not be sufficient to convince the customers and other stakeholders that Dyson’s machines are efficient and environmentally sustaining. However, the marketing message plays a crucial role even before the product gets to the market. At the same time, the media plays a part in communicating to the consumers (Walker 2012). The defeat in the case places the company in a compromising situation because it works against its marketing objectives (Anderson, Dyson, Ahrens, & Nielsen Co 2012). Considering that the customers receive all the messages, it becomes challenging for the management to convince them about the efficiency of the products.
The case creates uncertainty among the customers and other stakeholders of the Dyson Company. Although the management filed the case considering the interests of the customers, the market might receive a negative message. For example, it might appear as if the management has some negative efficiency concerns to conceal by going to court to stop the labelling. At the same time, the competitors might take the opportunity to campaign against Dyson (Dyson 2015). The argument by the management that customers are being misled could be true. However, the court decision could lead to more misleading practices by the competitors at the detriment of the company. After all, the firm has many rivals competing for the same market. The management should design a more effective marketing strategy to counter the negative implications of the ruling.
Responding to the Environmental and Ethical Concerns
The management team at Dyson acknowledges that the industry is prone to ethical and environmental issues. However, the company has made efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products. The efforts are part of ensuring that the firm meets the demands of customers for sustainability. The firm’s research and development team focus on the creation of energy efficient technologies and machines, maintaining the high level of performance to beat the competition and remain productive. The team has worked on motors that save on the energy and generate minimal damage to the environment. Engineers and scientists at Dyson have spent the past one decade designing a more efficient motor technology. The company launched the digital motor in 2004, which was used for the first time in its compact DC12 vacuum cleaner. It was later utilised in powering Dyson Airblade™ (Dyson, 2015). The technology is allowing consumers to use less energy with minimal carbon emissions, hence protecting the environment.
Another strategy that the company has adopted to reduce environmental damage is the use of smaller motors. According to the management, other companies depend on large motors in the effort to gain greater power from the product (Dyson, 2013). However, Dyson’s research and development team have realised that using a large motor does not automatically lead to a more powerful machine. Therefore, to avoid energy wastage and still meet customer demands, the company has been using smaller motors (High 2014). The engineers at Dyson focus on building new technologies that make the machine work better. An example of such a tool is Root Cyclone™ technology that uses minimal energy, but still operating optimally. The management considers the possibility of engineering a smaller, high-performing machine and save the cost on the environment and the buyer regarding energy use (Neville 2012). The strategy’s effectiveness emanates from the increasing awareness among consumers about the need to protect the environment. Therefore, they are most likely to purchase a product that promises to meet the sustainability goal.
Dyson seeks to achieve environmental sustainability right from the sourcing function. The management recognises the reality of the complexity of the supply chain. In some cases, companies are never concerned about the actions of their suppliers and indirectly contribute to the damage caused by their unsustainable sourcing (Neville 2012). Hence, Dyson recognises the need to make these stakeholders accountable for environmental protection. The company works with several hundreds of suppliers to meet the demand for the machines. The firm and its suppliers have a shared responsibility to the ecological system. They also engage those involved in the production of the appliances in ensuring that the company’s activities cause minimal damage to the environment. The management recognises the idea that there is always a better way of doing things, including serving its customers (High 2014). Thus, everyone affiliated with the firm has a responsibility to find and use the most efficient way. The shared responsibility achieves a considerable reduction of the destruction from the life cycle of its products.
Dyson is categorically opposed to forced labour at any part of its supply chain. The management believes that forced labour in any form is unacceptable. The company has shown commitment in addressing the risks involved in the international supply chain by implementing strong policies, including internal and external audits of its operations. It also engages in supplier training to ensure that they understand the value of environmental and ethical behaviour when relating to Dyson. The leadership has designed the Dyson Ethical and Environmental Code of Conduct that guides its operations and relationship with suppliers (Dyson 2017). The company also complies with International Labour Organisation standards and national legal guidelines associated with ethical conduct in business. As a result, the company has strived to operate accountably for the benefits of its stakeholders, the environment, and society within which it operates.
The company has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy that further ensures its dedication to the stakeholders. It has CSR teams based in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and China, where it has operations, ensuring that the company achieves the sustainability objective (Dyson, 2013). The teams work with suppliers through collaborative efforts to assess the social responsibility goals using Sedex. The supplier database plays a vital role in supplier training and audits to meet the ethical objectives of the company. Besides audits, the company has a third party hotline where employees can express any concerns relating to their working conditions. The company has hired the services of independent CSR auditors who work together with Dyson auditors to perform the assessment (Neville 2012). As a result, Dyson continues to show a high level of commitment to ethical performance and corporate responsibility, sending the right message to the customers and other stakeholders.
Dyson has already put considerable efforts to maintain sustainable operations. As a result, the corporate communicates a positive message to the customers relating to its commitment to ethical and environmental practice. However, the company could implement better standards to make it more sustainable and remain competitive in the market. The management should stay committed to quality without compromising the ethical and environmental standards. However, the company has faced considerable challenges relating to its opposition to the labelling law. Thus, the leaders should also remain proactive in communicating with the customer to send the right message of quality and environmental sustainability (Poonyarit & Anussornnitisarn 2014). The company should focus more on marketing to prevent loss of customers to competitors who rate high after testing. Evidence of commitment to ethical and ecological behaviour will help the management to maintain customer loyalty.
The case analysis focuses on the marketing mix used by Dyson, a UK-based technology company that specialises in the manufacturing and marketing of vacuum cleaners, fans, dryers, and heaters. Like any other company, Dyson faces the challenge of maintaining a responsible supply chain to send a positive message to the customers and the need to remain competitive in the market (High 2014). The company runs the risk of negative reputation since its appliances are believed to release dangerous emissions to the environment. Furthermore, the lack of trust could cause an adverse impact on its global operations. However, the management tries to design more efficient technology and market the same to the customers (Dyson 2013). The company needs aggressive marketing approaches to counter the negative effects related to environmental and ethical issues.