Marketing And Reputation Must Coexist; If Not, You Fail – Period!

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There are two opposing marketing strategies; standardization versus adaptation of product offerings. Standardization means selling essentially the same product in all markets. Standardization links to economies of scale and established benefits associated with designing, manufacturing, and distributing products in multiple countries. However, offering the same product in all markets can be undesirable due to differences in the legal environments; distribution channels; climates; topography levels of market and technological development and; competitive and cultural factors. Conversely, as suggested by Calantone, Cavusgil, Schmidt, and Shin: “Product adaptation refers to the degree to which the physical characteristics or attributes of a product and its packaging differs across national markets”. Adapted products are established to align with consumer expectations; may command higher margins; and may also generate much greater revenues.

However, some companies practice a post-hoc marketing strategy and design. As such, post-hoc marketing allows corporations to apply market segmentation, under the integrity of solid market analysis, to derive specific market segments and penetration (Ball, Lamb, & Brodie). A further consideration for a post-hoc market design presented by Ball, Lamb, and Brodie suggest that “Given the complexity of combining situational and individual consumer influences on purchase, a post-hoc design may well be preferred”. Applying a post-hoc market design, diverse market segments and groups can be extracted from research data to identify the market structure associated with discovered market segments. Such salient market information can be used to enlighten the organization’s stakeholders about consumer needs and competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

Once desired markets are identified and developed, for superior profitable returns, companies must focus their attention on enhancing and sustaining a positive reputation. Many case studies reveal that a positive sustainable reputation will occur if a firm deliberately shapes a superior identity and displays a stable and consistent collection of images to their target market – both nationally and internationally. Omar and Williams postulated that “corporate reputation is [also] an important asset for the firm; it generates goodwill to the firm and it must be constantly maintained, as it is very fragile and extremely hard to repair”. Consequently, companies must make two investments: noteworthy market research and reputation management. That said – exceptional marketing strategies without a creditable and lasting reputation are ingredients for catastrophic failure.

Dr. Johnny D. Magwood
Northeast Utilities Service Company
V.P. Customer Experience & Chief Customer Officer; Northeast Utilities Service Company. J. D. Power Smart Grid Advisory Council; Chairman- Housing Authority Baltimore City; Next Generation Utilities Advisory Board; Utility Knowledge Customer Service Council; CS Advisory Council; Magistrate Judge Seletion Committee. Marketing Executive Council; Mechanical Engineer - The Johns Hopkins University; MBA - Loyola University of Maryland; DBA - University of Phoenix; Doctoral dissertation; Mergers and Acquisition: The Role of Corporate Executives' Relationships with Stakeholders

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