Herb Stationary Case Study

Topics: Marketing, Product differentiation, Fountain pen Pages: 15 (5199 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Q1. Though Herb produces numerous styles of writing utensils, would mass marketing be an option? In this scenario Herb should mass market his product. That is because he is producing wooden writing utensils which are stationary items of general utility and have universal appeal. Mass marketing is a strategy where the firm decides to ignore market segment differences and target the whole market with one offer. This strategy focuses on what is common in the needs of the consumer rather on what is different. Herb designs a product that will appeal to the largest number of buyers.

Pilot Pen Corporation before it went through diversification and came up with other stationary items, used to mass market its ball point pens in 1961 which had made it well known and recognizable in stationeries and office supply stores across the world (About Pilot Pen 2011). Therefore, Herb could mass market its product but since he started out making these utensils as a hobby, he does not own a factory or facility for production. So, in order to achieve this he must limit the types of writing utensils to its customers. This will enable him to produce larger amounts with ease and more consistency and at the same time adapt to mass market distribution.

Herb can benefit from this as mass marketing will save him on the production and marketing cost. This will enable him to ensure that he maintains the quality of the product which is likely to make him secure more orders in future. When one standard type of product is being produced, the production cost is lower compared to different products with various designs. At the same time the marketing cost is also reduced as it only needs to be marketed assuming that customers have similar needs (Lamb C et al. 2006).

According to Whitfield (2009), the mass marketing techniques are useful for maintaining a constant contact strategy with your potential clients. Herb says that he needs to have a backup plan in case Elmore no longer wishes to place orders with him. As mentioned earlier, Herb started making writing utensils as a hobby so it is highly unlikely, probably due to limited resources that he will be able to promote his product through TV ads to gain wider costumer attention. Since his business is still in its preliminary phase by adapting mass marketing, he will be able to supply to shops within a wider radius which will ultimately enable him to expand his business and diversify his products later on.

Although Herb can mass market its product but it will only be successful in certain situations. In 1961, Pilot Pen was only able to successful mass market its ball point pen because of the high manufacturing quality and comfort of use (About Pilot 2011). This made it unique which in turn resulted in a success for Pilot Corporation. Similarly, Herb will need to emphasize on the unique attributes of his writing utensils in order to mass market it successfully. Q2. Does Herb Marks segment the consumer market, the business market, or both?

Herb Marks only segments and sells his product to the business market. That is due to the fact that he is focused on his four main customers along with Elmore Distributors and plans to be consistent in fulfilling their orders. To accomplish this and make sure he is able to keep up with the orders, he has rented a building and hired three full-time employees. He would supply his business buyers who will then serve the consumer based on different segmentation.

Herb is focused on segmenting and selling to the business market. It is because in marketing, his product to four specialty shops can position his product differently at each shop by providing different styles than Elmore. This will attract more customers at those shops which will benefit Herb with more frequent orders. Danneels (1996) reports an interview of a retail store owner who says “In the beginning we had a wide style of products, because we simply did not know what was going to sell. We had...
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