Week1 Chapter 1

  • Question

Discuss:How marketers use interactive and social medial marketing to convert the needs and wants of possible customers so that ultimately long term relationships can be built? You may find a good external sources in webliography AMA to substantiate your answer.

  • Response to "Social media"

I agree that social media helps to keep customers coming back. Social media can contribute to create fans of companies by delivering information not only on companies' products or campaigns but also on companies' cultures to the customers.

It is very important to build strong relationships with your customers in order to continue to do business. For example, Zappos.com focuses on gaining the trust of its customers by 365 day return policy and excellent its call center service, so that the company made the 75 percent repeat customer rate.

  • Response to "Using interactive media for feedback"

I agree that the advent of online retailers allowed customers to give feedbacks to them quite quickly. In addition to direct feedbacks, online retailers can receive indirect feedbacks from customers by analyzing visitor behaviors on its Web site such as page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates. That is one of the biggest advantage of online sales.

Week1 Step of your marketing research project

  • Question

Review Project Description Step I in your syllabus. You will be selecting a company and a particular product sold by the company for your marketing research project. Once you decide on the company and product then complete Step I by responding with a Main topic to this conferences. You want to have 2 or 3 sentences regarding your company and product and give the website link. Select something that you are personally using or one of you family members or friends as this will make the project more interesting. After you post Step I , I will approve it or ask you to reconsider the company and product. You want to select something that you can find much secondary data as it is a short semester and much needs to be discovered about the marketing efforts.

  • Answer1

"Suunto Oy"

From the top of the mountain to the bottom of the sea.

Suunto Oy is a Finland-based company. The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of sports instruments for training, diving, mountaineering, hiking, skiing, sailing and golf. Its main products are magnetic compasses, dive computers, heart rate monitors, and outdoor watches and electrical compasses.

"Suunto D4i Dive Computer"

I chose Suunto D4i, a wrist mounted dive computer, for my marketing research project.

Company: Suunto Oy
Website: http://www.suunto.com/
Product Category: Dive Computer
Product: Suunto D4i

A dive computer is a device used by scuba divers to avoid decompression sickness by measuring the time and depth of a dive. Actually, I don't have a dive computer so far, but I have a Suunto M4, a heart rate monitor watch with a dual comfort belt. Definitely Suunto is my favorite brand because its wide selection and stylish designs.

  • Answer2

Thank you for your advice. After I did a quick search, I found it difficult to gather information on the company and the product.

I changed my product to waterproof digital camera as follows. It seems easier to find marketing data.

Company: Olympus
Website: http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital.asp
Category: Waterproof Compact Digital Camera
Product: Tough TG-620

Olympus is one of the most popular waterproof camera brands. The reason I chose TG-620 is a middle line model of the company, so that it is high cost-performance and I most likely buy one when I start underwater photography.

Week2 Chapter 5: Perceptual Screens

  • Question

Discuss ways that marketers can break through consumers perceptual screens? What method would you use for a pet food line for dogs? What method would you use for the product you selected for your research?

  • Answer

According to the textbook, using certain colors or graphics and word of mouth can be effective techniques that marketers break through consumers' perceptual screens (pg. 149). I think Apple's iPod advertising campaign was one of the most successful examples. The company's most notable commercials and print advertising feature people as dark silhouettes, dancing to music against bright-colored backgrounds. The silhouettes hold their iPods and listen to them with white earphones. In the ad, the color white was really prominent. It was also an effective viral marketing campaign because when people walking on the streets saw the white earphones, it reminded them of iPods.

For a pet food line for dogs, I would use the color green to make a healthy image. I would also conduct a campaign that presents a small device to buyers. The device is green and can be attached to a dog's collar for aiming an effect of viral marketing by following Apple's advertising campaign.

A method I would use for Olympus TG-620 which I selected for my research project would include the two basic color blue and black. The colors emphasize its waterproof ability, precision, and toughness. However, its current color variations are white, pink, blue, and green, so it doesn't seem to have distinctive features. Because blue is also the company's corporate color, they should appeal the distinctive image of their products with particular colors.

Week2 Chapter 6: Olympus Foreign Markets

  • Question

Using the product you selected for your marketing research project, discuss the potential for foreign market entry. If the products are already in the international arena discuss the challenges they had to meet.

  • Answer

Without doubt, Olympus is a worldwide company in the area of medical systems including endoscopes, life science and industrial including microscopes, and imaging systems including cameras and digital voice recorders. According to its financial highlights (www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/summary/), its overseas sales ratio is more than 50 percent. Especially, it has more than 70 percent share of the market in gastrointestinal endoscopes originally developed by the company in 1950 (www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/story/endo/gastro/index.html). In the area of cameras, it introduced Olympus AF-1 which was the world's first weatherproof fully automatic compact camera in 1986 (www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/camera/auto/). Developing this technology, it has been a leading company of waterproof cameras.

In October 2011, the company's accounting scandal was discovered. The one of the biggest and longest-running loss-hiding had been arranged by the successive managements. They had hidden its losses on securities investments after the bubble burst in the early 1990s. According to its announcement (www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/tes/pdf/nr111207.pdf), they had spent 135 billion yen ($1.7 billion) for acquisitions and over-priced consultant fees to cover up the accounting fraud. As a result, the company's stock price dropped about 40 percent.

In order to restore its stakeholders' trust, Olympus has to improve corporate governance and promote corporate social responsibility.

Week2 Chapter 7: Global marketing strategies

  • Question

Complete the internet exercise #2 on page 230. Visit the Samsung website and note 2 or 3 elements of the firm's global marketing strategy. Visit the web sites of two other global companies such as Sony or Phillips or the company of your own research efforts and compare and contrast the marketing strategies used by all 3.

Samsung - the Korean-based electronics company - has been quite successful over the past ten years at marketing its products worldwide. Visit the Samsung Web site and note two or these elements of the firms's global marketing strategy. Next visit the Web sites of two other global electronics company, such as Sony or Philips. Compare and contrast the marketing strategies used by all three companies.

  • Answer

"Global Marketing Strategies"

When I first looked at Samsung website www.samsung.com, I was a little surprised because I was immediately redirected to www.samsung.com/jp. I think the website distinguish where you access it from by your IP address, and show your country's website. Also I was amazed that it has 73 websites for 62 countries and regions as shown on www.samsung.com/us/common/visitcountrysite.html.

That means the company regards regional characteristics as important and it has different strategies and tactics in each country and region.

It seems to me that the company focuses on BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as its markets because it has R&D centers in those countries as shown on www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/ourbusinesses/researchdevelopment.html.

On the other hand, Philips www.philips.com/ seems to perceive Europe and U.S. as its main market. In most cases, BRICs function as its manufacturing sites.

Philips has many strategic alliance partners mainly with European and U.S. companies such as Nivea, Sara Lee, Swarovski, AT&T Williams Formula One, and InBev.

It seems the company wants to make a family-like impression because many pictures of children and women are on its website. Also it expresses to be a green company probably because the environmental consciousness of consumers in Europe is relatively high.

Sony www.sony.net also places manufacturing sites in BRICs and several Asian countries for its electronics business. Its characteristic is some of its business segments is based in foreign countries. For example, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment are based in the U.S., and Sony Mobile Communications is based in Sweden.

Week3 Chapter 8: Secondary and Primary Data

  • Question

Distinguish between secondary and primary data. When should researchers collect each type of data? For your marketing research product what ways can marketers collect primary data? What ways can marketers collect secondary data?

  • Answer

According to the textbook, secondary date are information from previously published or compiled sources. Primary data refers to information collected for the first time specifically for a marketing research study. To gather primary data can cost more and take longer, but the data provide richer, more detailed information than secondary data.

Secondary data can be used for understanding market size, trends, or growth potential of your target market; however, making critical decisions or business judgments by only secondary data is too risky. Primary data are including specific needs of your potential customers that can be used for can be used for product development directly.

Olympus is a listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange, so that the company discloses its financial information to the public. You can see its financial data at www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/.

To collect primary data, a reliable method is to ask marketing research firms such as Nielsen and Synovate to conduct tow types of surveys, customer surveys and potential customer surveys. Customer surveys are to improve CS. Potential customer surveys for such as rivals' users or smartphone photographers are to expand its market share.

Also because the company has online stores (us.buyolympus.com/) for consumer products worldwide, conducting data mining by analyzing the web site visitors' and shoppers' information is an effective way.

Week3 Chapter 9: Marketing Profile

  • Question

Create a profile of yourself as part of a marketing segment. Include the geographic location, gender and age, household type, income and spending habits. If you are part of the target market segment for the product you selected what other profiles for different target segments might be attractive markets?

  • Answer

Geographic Location: Okinawa, Japan Gender: Male Age: 24 Race: Asian Household Type: Single Income: Middle Spending Habits: Food and Drink (31%), Savings (19%), Education (15%), Entertainment (11%), Clothing (5%), Others and Necessaries (19%)

I just obtained a PADI Advanced Open water Diver License in this summer. I haven't experienced underwater photography yet. I currently have a Canon's compact digital camera, but I haven't had any Olympus cameras so far. I have no problem buying goods online because, I have consistently continued studying Computer Science and Engineering for 6 years, and working in an IT-related field for 4 years. Also I like traveling overseas, so that if I have the opportunity of a diving outside of Japan, I really wan to try it.

Week3 Chapter 10: Olympus's Strategic Alliance

  • Question

For your product name a terrific strategic alliance partner. Discuss why you made the choice?

  • Answer

As reported in the media, Sony has offered a capital and business alliance to Olympus. I think it is a good thing for Olympus to rase its capital ratio and expand its share of camera market.

However, I don't think the company can be a breakthrough by the alliance. It needs to build a new branding strategy by reconsidering its core competence and creating eye catching and attractive advertising campaign.

Therefore, I would propose an alliance with TBWA worldwide, which is an international advertising agency. The agency is an unit of Omnicom Group, the world's largest advertising agency. In Japan, the group has a joint venture with Hakuhodo which is Japan's second largest advertising agency. The biggest reason I choose the agency for a strategic alliance partner is that the group has TBWA\Chiat\Day as its subsidiary which created many of Apple's advertisements including iPod ads.

Week3 Chapter 11:

  • Question

Arm and Hammer extended the life cycle of its baking soda by coming up with new uses for the product. Use your product and describe the life cycle presently and discuss how it could be extended by coming up with some new uses.

  • Answer

No answer.

Case Analysis I 11.1 (p. 371 - 372)

  • Question1

Do you think opening retail stores in China is a good move for New Balance? Why or why not?

  • Answer1

I agree with the idea that opening retail stores in China is a good move for New Balance. This is because China's potential consumer purchasing power is tremendous.

According to Central Intelligence Agency (Since 2011) The World Factbook: GDP - per capita (PPP), China still ranks 121st; however, the country's high net worth individual population in 2010 was 4th largest in the world according to Capgemini & Merrill Lynch (June 22 2011, p.7) World Wealth Report 2011: HNWI Population by Country, 2010. In addition, the growth rate from 2009 was 12%, which was the best among the top 10 countries. Also China already has the second largest GDP, surpassing Japan, according to World Bank (July 9 2012) Gross domestic product 2011.

  • Question2

New Balance calls its new retail stores "Experience Stores." In your opinion, what does the company mean by "experience," and how does that experience translate to sales?

  • Answer2

New Balance's new retail stores "Experience Stores" definitely express its branding strategy. Unlike its competitors such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma, the company does little such ways in marketing. Actually, the competitors made a big investment on providing their sporting goods to each national team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; however, New Balance did not participate in this race. The company's slogan "For love or money?" shows its marketing strategy. Instead, it just has been pursuing a better fit and performance for all the runners including amateurs since the company started. Also the company is proud of its history of more than 100 years and still placing its manufacturing bases in the U.S., although the competitors moved their production bases to overseas. That's why it focuses more energy on its "Experience Stores."

By applying a blue ocean strategy, or a differentiating strategy, not a red ocean, it tries to increase core fans. As a result, that creates more profitable customers.

  • References

Central Intelligence Agency (SInce 2011) The World Factbook: GDP - PER CAPITA (PPP). Retrieved on Sep 9, 2012: http://www.ml.com/media/114235.pdf

Capgemini & Merrill Lynch (June 22 2011, p.7) World Wealth Report 2011: HNWI Population by Country, 2010: http://www.ml.com/media/114235.pdf

World Bank (July 9 2012) Gross domestic product 2011. Retrieved on Sep 9, 2012: http://databank.worldbank.org/databank/download/GDP.pdf

Week4 Chapter 12: Olympus's brand name, logo, and packaging

  • Question

Developing and managing the brand is the focus of this chapter. Our discuss question follows: Research and locate an advertisement for your product that illustrates the brand name, logo, shows the packaging and overall look of the product. Discuss how the brand was established and ways packaging and logo play a vital role in brand image.

  • Answer

According to www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/story/about/name/, "Olympus" was named after "Mt. Olympus" in Greece to reflect its strong aspiration to create high quality, world famous products.

As its logo, the blue words "OLYMPUS", used since 1970, gives impressions of quality and sophistication. And, the yellow line underneath, used since 2001, represents light and boundless possibilities of digital technology. Also, it symbolizes dynamic and innovative nature of Opto-Digital Technology and Olympus Corporation, according to www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/story/about/logo/.

At the packaging, the company is making efforts to minimize environmental burdens. As shown on www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/csr/environment/transportation/packaging/, Olympus Imaging Corporation changed the package for xD picture cards from a plastic box to a paper box for easily recycling.

Likewise, Olympus Medical Systems changed the carrying cases for endoscopes shown by the following pictures.

Carrying cases made of plastic (before). Retrieved from www.olympus.co.jp/jp/csr/environment/transportation/packaging/.

Carrying cases made of cardboard (after). Retrieved from www.olympus.co.jp/jp/csr/environment/transportation/packaging/.

Week4 Chapter 13: Avoiding Channel Conflicts

  • Question

This chapter focuses its attention on marketing channels and supply chain management. Supply chain management is an entire professional in itself but we will look at it through the eyes of a marketer. Page 441 the Garmin internet exercise indicates that Garmin produces a wide range of GPS devices for a variety of applications. Garmin uses several channels to sell its products including its own website. How does Garmin avoid channel conflict? Explain.

  • Answer

To avoid channel conflicts, Garmin has wide range of channels and manage its dealers very well.

The company accepts orders from online store, even though it ships online purchases only to addresses in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii, according to www8.garmin.com/shop/shipping.html. In other words, it lets its dealers to do all sales in the outside of that area. The dealers are managed by region, and retail stores are set by product category as shown on www8.garmin.com/dealers/. The company also provides many of apps for smartphones via app markets such as App Store and Google Play. In addition to apps, Garminfone with built-in Garmin's navigation system is provided by T-Mobile, which is locked to the carrier's network.

Week4 Chapter 14: McDonald's Make Over Efforts

  • Question

Marketers can use retailers, wholesalers and direct marketers to promote and sell their products. Read on page 475 the critical thinking exercise number 5. Discuss the questions regarding McDonald's make over efforts and how the changes in atmospherics helped the chain with customers.

  • Answer

In the past, my image of McDonald was high turnover rate of customers, and burgers and french fries at low prices.

Recently, it has changed to relaxing comfortable space in Japan. As classmates mention, the interior and exterior designs are much different from before. Especially, its base colors were changed from red and yellow to modern brown.

Also its coffee quality became better. Actually, McDonald's coffee ranked the top in a popularity ranking of coffee in 2008 surveyed by Oricon Inc. known for its music charts in Japan, beating Starbucks.

For people who bring a PC, McDonald offers a sufficient number of electric plugs and wireless internet access by having an alliance with Softbank, one of the three major cell phone carriers.

Week6 Chapter 15: Kraft v.s. Olympus

  • Question

Compare the product Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ads with that of your product. Discuss what you think the objectives are for each product regarding promotional efforts. How are they the same or different from each other?

  • Answer

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese uses many children's favorite cartoon characters for its packages, macaroni shapes, and TV commercials. For example, the characters are Sponge Bob, Madagascar, Cars, Toy Story, Bugs Bunny, Pokemon, Super Mario, and so forth. That type of advertising is called a celebrity testimonial. I think Kraft Foods, Inc. aims to stabilize sales by using not real people but cartoon characters.

According to the text pp. 526, "Another problem arises if a celebrity is linked with scandal or encounters legal problems. After Tiger Woods' recent marital problems, several sponsors, including Accenture, AT&T, and Gatorade, severed their ties with him. Some advertisers try to avoid problems with celebrity endorsers by using cartoon characters as endorsers."

The company apparently puts in efforts on advertising and public relations among the promotional mix elements. Although the text says on pp. 497 both of the elements do not permit accurate measurement of effect on sales, I think the company can measure effects of ads on sales because each of the products by package and shape is related to particular advertisements.

Olympus used to advertise on TV commercials actively in Japan, even though they have rarely seen sinci the accounting scandal. It particularly used many Japanese actresses and female figure skaters who are neat and clean. The company seems to want to make neat and sophisticated images for its products.

In my opinion, both Kraft Foods and Olympus focus on public relations in common, but Olympus has more a pulling strategy.

P.S. I like this commercial the best. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIsnP2Qp_c4

Week6 Chapter 16: Olympus Celebrity Testimonials

  • Question

Advertising and public relations must be "gotten" right or even if we have the right product at the right price and have it sold at the right place we could still lose. For this conference discuss the benefits and drawback of using celebrity testimonials in advertising? Identify for your product an ad you believe could be effective with the use of a celebrity's endorsement and explain why?

  • Answer

In Japan, Olympus uses actreresses and female figure skaters who have neat and clean images such as Miki Nakatani, Aoi Miyazaki, and Asada sisters as its image characters. I think it helps its sophisticated image of products.

An advantage of celebrity testimonials is that advertisements become eye-catching. Companies can reach potential targets who are not interested in its products up to now.

On the other hand, a disadvantage is to depend on popularity of the celebrity. Especially, sports celebrities need to keep their performance, otherwise people's interest for them are decline.

Miki Nakatani Official Website (Japanese/English) http://www.roomsnakatani.com/main.html

Aoi Miyazaki Official Website (Japanese) http://www.aoimiyazaki.jp/

Asada Sisters Official Website (Japanese) http://maimao-asada.com/

Week6 Chapter 17: Olympus PEN's promotion

  • Question

Many companies have moved away from personal selling efforts however there is still interest in their uniqueness for certain brands. Research the company of your marketing research efforts. Find the kinds of consumer oriented promotions the company is conducting. Which promotions seems more appealing to your target segment and Why?

  • Answer

Some of Olympus PEN's promotions were very interesting. Among them, a PEN E-PL1's promotion was appealing to people who like technology and science by using augmented reality.

3D helps users to understand the product functions including art filters. In addition, users can try to take pictures of themselves by the virtual camera and send them via e-mail or upload them to Facebook. You can download pdf of the AR marker or find the advertisements on Wired and Popular Science. I think the company aims a word-of-mouth marketing.

Another video "The PEN Story" made as the 50th anniversary was appealing to old users. The video shows being with PEN at each stage of your life and various activities.

Week7 Chapter 18: Global Pricing Strategy - Olympus

  • Question

Discuss: How do pricing objectives for a global firm differ from those used generally? Specifically how does pricing affect your product sales efforts?

  • Answer

At non-global firms, they are only concerned about whether their pricing is competitive or not in their local market.

At global firms, especially if they provide products, they need to establish international prices. It means, they need to consider commodity prices, currency rates, average prices of the products in each country. According to the text on pp.624, "Sometimes items that command prestige prices in the United States are considered run-of-the-mill in other nations; sometimes products that are anything but prestigious in America seem exotic to overseas consumers." Even so, if they set different prices of a same product between several nations, it would encourage private importing and exporting by individuals in my opinion.

Since the camera market is mature, consumers know the average prices, so they look over performances and prices of each camera and compare them severely. Therefore, it is difficult for camera makers including Olympus to set an unusual price.

However, if they make a breakthrough with a new function or feature, it may cause a paradigm shift of prices. Actually, after Olympus started selling PEN camera in 1959, which is one of the first half-framed cameras, the company became a price leader in half-framed cameras.

  • Side note: four (five) pricing objectives
  1. Profitability objectives
  2. Volume objectives
  3. Meeting competition objectives
  4. Prestige objectives
  5. Price stability (in international markets)

Week7 Chapter 19: Skimming vs. Penetration Pricing Strategy

  • Question

What is the difference between skimming price strategy and penetration price strategy? What would you use with your product? Why and When?

  • Answer

According to the text on pp. 635 - 647, a skimming pricing strategy is that firms intentionally set a relatively high price compared with the prices of competing price on their product. It is more used as a market-entry price for distinctive goods or services with little or no initial competition. On the other hand, a penetration pricing strategy is that firms set a relatively low price. It is more used to attract buyers and move a brand from an unknown newcomer to at least the brand-recognition stage.

Olympus should apply a skimming pricing strategy because Olympus is not a newcomer, and cost-competitive new entrants from emerging countries are growing in recent years. In addition, smartphones equipped with high-quality cameras are rapidly becoming diffuse in the world.

Therefore, Olympus should focuses on middle to high-end cameras as the company invented the breakthrough half-framed camera PEN in 1959.

Week8#1: Olympus's new celebrity testimonial?

  • Question

Now it is time to share some of the research you collect for the company and product of your project. Take a few moments and write 3 or 4 sentences that reflect the marketing strategy, 4 P discoveries and any other marketing issues you discovered during your semester work. This way we can wrap up the class by learning from each other.

  • Answer

Olympus has long been famous as an camera maker, so that it has a lot of longtime fans. However, due to its poor business results of compact digital cameras, and the recent accounting scandal, I thought the company needs to recast its public image.

Just when I was thinking about that, Justin Bieber used Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS in his music video published just this week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys7-6_t7OEQ

That is nice for the company for appealing to younger generation. I think Olympus should take this opportunity to make other advertisements featuring him.

Week8#2: Good luck!

  • Question

Thank you for the great semester. It was fast paced but each of you did your best to keep up the participation and interest. I hope you have a good feeling for marketing and the concepts and terms of the subject. Best to each of you in your future studies. Please share a good by with your classmates. It is important to network.

  • Answer

Actually, it was a very hard semester for me because English is my second language and I am pretty busy with work on weekdays. But it has been a great time studying with you. I especially learned a lot of new knowledge about business-to-consumer marketing from this class because I work for a business-to-business company.

Good luck with all of your future goals!

Case Analysis 1

Case Analysis 2

Marketing Plan Project 1

Marketing Plan Project 2



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