The marketing mix comprises seven basic components over which marketing managers have control (Price, Product, Promotion, Place, People, Process, and Physical Environment). The mix positions products in the market in a way that makes them attractive to the target consumers. The position that a product has within a market reflects consumer opinions of that product and the comparisons that they make between it and competing products. The aim is to position products within the minds of consumers as more attractive, and better able to satisfy their demands, than competing products.
The most important P’s to Sainsbury’s in order to revitalise their products on offer are product and price as this where Sainsbury’s can gain some product differentiation to separate themselves from their competitors. Furthermore, by changing their pricing, Sainsbury’s can also attract customers back from Tesco, Asda etc. To conclude the marketing mix is much more than just advertising. It is about constantly looking to amend the various elements of the mix to improve the balance and meet customer needs at a price and cost of production that will generate profits.
For Sainsbury’s it is crucial that they have more consumer awareness and are able to adapt the products on offer as consumer requirements change. Sainsbury’s main rivals are currently outsmarting them which is why they no longer hold number one position in retail profits. I think people do look upon the goods and services provided by Sainsbury’s as high quality and the Nectar reward points allow cheaper shops every so often (i. e. Christmas), but I believe that prices need to come down further still to gain customers from their rivals.
High quality products and low prices would make Sainsbury a pioneer in the retail industry and is the way forward for this company even if it means abandoning a certain amount of the quality. The other option for Sainsbury’s however is to accept a narrower customer group by raising prices and thus getting fewer people to spend more. Following the idea of adapting to changing consumer requirements, more of an emphasis ought to be placed on e-shopping as it is a massively expanding market which with the right approach could be taken advantage of with the result of boosted profit.
Diagram 3 depicts a useful model of alternative management styles which might be considered by organisations. This will help in the analysis of Sainsbury’s options. Starting at the top of the organisation, I believe Sainsbury’s Board of Executives should operate with an open systems model. This approach is based on an organic system, with emphasis on adaptability, readiness, growth, resource acquisition and external support. These processes bring innovation and creativity.
People are not controlled but inspired. These aspects are crucial to how Sainsbury’s is currently performing, as they need to adapt to changing consumer needs whenever required. Tesco is a prime example of innovation and adaptation recently to target a specific consumer group by increasing the quality of their food and maintaining low prices. Moving into the separate divisions of the organisation I believe the Human Relations model should be adopted.
This approach is based on cohesion and morale with emphasis on human resource and training. People are seen not as isolated individuals, but as cooperating members of a common social system with a common stake in what happens. This follows my earlier opinion in section 1. 5 that the organisation should become further decentralized. There is an argument that the Internal Process model is be more appropriate for each division as this is the one which Sainsbury’s currently operates with.
The internal process approach is based on hierarchy, emphasis on measurement, documentation and information management. These processes bring stability and control. Hierarchies seem to function best when the task to be done is well understood and when time is not an important factor. That said, I still maintain that considering the services that Sainsbury’s offers rely on customer satisfaction in order for them to continue to use the service, the Human Relations model would be the best model.