05 Oct 2009

Sample Essays: Food Lion, Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter

The American grocery store company Lion LLC is a company headquartered at Salisbury, North Carolina. Food Lion LLC has about 1300 supermarkets in 11 south east and mid Atlantic states. Food lion, Bloom, and Bottom Dollar Food are the three models of Food Lion LLC to cater the diversified interests of the market. (Super market news, February 24, 2007).The supermarket chain Bi Lo is headquartered in Mauldin, South Carolina. To attract high end customers Bi-Lo invested in redesigning its store lay out to attract high end customers. As a result of this a new super Bi-Lo concept featuring a larger store lay out with emphasis on health foods has emerged. As a part of this new Super Bi-Lo branded stores are opened and older stores are remodeled in affluent neighborhoods (super market news, February 24, 2007).The super market chain Harris Teeter is based at Mathews, North Carolina and this chain operates 174 stores in eight south eastern states. Harris Teeter has adopted a policy of differentiating itself from its competitors by providing exceptional customer service. They have also formed newly branded departments such as meat department, sea food department, produce department etc. (The Florida Times, October 2006)

Target Market: Marketing strategy is composed of a set of sub-strategies concerned with competition, segmentation, pricing, promotion, and distribution. The concept of segmentation involves positioning and target markets. The target group consists of high income group urban population. As the product marketed is mainly constituted of food products the target group can be specified as high income group adult population.

Product positioning: There is a relationship between market, product, and function. Buyers in the same market seek products for broadly the same function. Positioning helps a company to exploit its market better by selecting suitable segments that are compatible with its resources. Positioning is helpful in focusing strategies more sharply on target groups. Products in different segments of the market may be brought by the same buyer for different family members, or for different occasions.

Current Marketing Strategy: The marketing strategy followed by all of the three companies is almost similar as they are concentrating on high income group of urban population. More over all of them are mainly dealing with food products and are mainly operating in the same socio economic environment of South Carolina and various south eastern states. Competition is high in the market and various traditional promotion policies are adopted. Among these three companies the Food Lion is having the most diversified marketing strategies with various options of locating its outlets and functions to cater the interests of the wider customer groups including that of the rural areas and low income groups.

Improvements required in current strategy: Knowledge of consumer behavior is helpful to the marketer in understanding the needs of his different consumer segments and developing appropriate marketing strategies for each. Such knowledge will be useful for the marketer for developing an understanding of consumers’ response to the various marketing stimuli, which can be provided in terms of the product, price, promotion, and place. The study about the process by which a consumer arrives at the purchase decision can create an insight into the variables influencing the purchase decision. A number of variables such as psychological, personal, social, and cultural factors are influential in forming the purchase decisions of a consumer. The selection of target market also implies selecting the competitors with whom the company will compete. Another important point in this context is that the segment may be large but may already be well served by several well equipped competitors. Therefore it is vital to consider the following specific segment factors such as: 1.segment durability: segments based on fashions are short lived and any substantial investments shouldn’t be made on the basis of such segmentation.2.Mobility: The movement in and out of a segment of members of a target group has to be considered because the mobility rate of target group members is high in respect of a certain product.3.Visibility:indicates the extent to which the want of a target market or segment is distinctive. Highly visible segments are likely to be more stable than other segments of a market.4.Accessibility: Those in the target market should be directly reachable through established communications and distribution channels. As a conclusion it can be said that the current strategy of these organizations can be effectively improved by 1.focusing on those details that will best help the company develop product, promotional, pricing, and distribution strategies, and 2.by focusing on the set of benefits sought so that the company can build their offering to match the configuration of benefit sought by the consumer and in turn it will constitute a critical advantage to act as the buying inducement.

References:

1. (Super market news, February 24, 2007)

2. (The Florida Times-Union, October4, 2006)

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