BRANDING, PRICING, AND DISTRIBUTION STRATEGIES
This section of Teach China’s Marketing Plan will focus in on key factors related to branding, pricing, and distribution: creation and development of the domestic and global product branding strategy; determination of optimum pricing strategy; looking at how the pricing strategy supports Teach China’s branding strategy, preparation of a distribution channel analysis, justification of opting for a push or pull strategy; an overall look at how the distribution strategy fits the product/service target market. It is very important that a start-up company, such as Teach China, build and develop a strong product brand. It is essential that such branding solidify the link between the values of Teach China and its customers. Because of the competiveness of the education market branding the commodities and services of Teach China must be unique. Additionally, branding education is considerably different than branding a commodity. [ (Gupta & Singh, 2010) ] According the Dr.’s Gupta and Singh, the movement of a globalized world to a knowledge economy opens immense opportunities for building education brands. [ (Gupta & Singh, 2010) ] Gupta and Singh also warn against the tendency to confuse “branding in education as making enough noise to get people to enroll.” (2010) In determining a brand for Teach China it is imperative that the numerous stakeholders in this market are taken into consideration. Gupta and Singh suggest that a “careful balancing of the stakeholders’ interest is a key requirement of the leadership of each education brand. They identify the stakeholders as, students, faculty, prospective employees, parents and society. Research of current literature show that educational services earn their repeat business by word of mouth of well satisfied and well placed individuals. [ (Gupta & Singh, 2010) ] This idea is further supported by a feasibility study conducted by Bradley and Griswold who posit that “most Chinese are reliant on third-party endorsements from friends and colleagues.” [ (Bradley III & Griswold, 2011) ] The branding of Teach China must also take into consideration the fact that consumers are savvier, demanding value for their money and have little brand loyalty. [ (Abhijit & Chattopadhyay, 2010) ] Like other service providers, Teach China will have a logo, but its main source of branding, based on current literature will be through the use of social media and word of mouth. Additionally, Teach China’s partnering with an established educational institute, as stated in an earlier section of the company’s marketing plan, will have a direct impact upon branding. For its international market, Teach China will rely heavily upon business to business publications and its Web presence to promote services offered. Teach China will also target setting up a booth or kiosk at trade shows. Dr. Young-Han Kim, et al, writing for Managerial and Decision Economic, 2006 stated compelling reasons why optimal pricing is important: Of the four P's of marketing (product, place, price, and promotion), pricing is the only T' that generates revenue for a company. Although effective pricing can never compensate for poor execution of other P's, ineffective pricing can certainly prevent careful execution of other P's from bearing financial rewards for the company (Nagle and Holden, 1995). The role of pricing becomes even more critical in the context of global market entry. [ (Kim, Aggarwal, Ha, & Cha, 2006) ] Pricing services offered by Teach China is drastically different from pricing a product. There are three different pricing strategy options available to Teach China: cost-plus pricing, competitor’s pricing, or value added pricing. Cost-plus pricing is the standard used by many businesses. Elizabeth Wasserman, editor of Inc.’s technology website, quoting Jerome Osteryoung, a professor of...