Marketing and Reflective Thinking

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DISCUSSING & APPLYING THE Concepts
Discussing the Concepts
1. Discuss how retailers and wholesalers add value to the
marketing system. Explain why marketers are embracing the
concept of shopper marketing. (AACSB: Communication;
Reflective Thinking)
2. Discuss the factors used to classify retail establishments and list the types within each classification. (AASCB:
Communication)
3. List and briefly discuss the trends impacting the future of retailing. (AACSB: Communication)
4. Suppose you are a manufacturer’s agent for three lines of complementary women’s apparel. Discuss the types of
marketing mix decisions you will make. (AACSB:
Communication; Reflective Thinking)
5. Discuss the different organizational approaches for retailers and provide an example of each. (AACSB: Communication;
Reflective Thinking)
6. What is retail convergence? Has it helped or harmed small retailers? (AACSB: Communication; Reflective Thinking)
Applying the Concepts
1. The atmosphere in a retail store is carefully crafted to
influence shoppers. Select a retailer with both a physical store and an online store. Describe the elements of the physical
store’s atmosphere, such as coloring, lighting, music, scents, and décor. What image is the store’s atmosphere projecting? Is the atmosphere appropriate given the store’s merchandise assortment and target market? Which elements of the

physical store’s atmosphere are in the online store’s
atmosphere? Does the retailer integrate the physical store’s atmosphere with its online presence? Explain. (AACSB:
Communication; Use of IT; Reflective Thinking)
2. Shop for a product of your choice on Amazon.com. Do
consumer reviews influence your perception of a product or
brand offered? Consumers participating in the Amazon Vine
Program submit many of the product reviews found on
Amazon.com. Learn about this program and discuss whether
or not a review from a consumer in this program is more
useful than a review from a consumer not in this program.
(AACSB: Communication; Use of IT; Reflective Thinking)
3. Determining the target market and the positioning for a retail store are very important marketing decisions. In a small
group, develop the concept for a new retail store. Who is the target market for your store? How is your store positioned?
What retail atmospherics will enhance this positioning
effectively to attract and satisfy your target market? (AACSB: Communication; Reflective Thinking)

1. Distribution decisions can sometimes give a product a distinct position in the market. The choice of retailers and other intermediaries is strongly tied to the product itself. Manufacturers select mass merchandisers to sell mid-price-range products while they distribute top-of-the-line products through high-end department and specialty stores. The firm’s sales force and communications decisions depend on how much persuasion, training, motivation, and support its channel partners need. Whether a company develops or acquires certain new products may depend on how well those products fit the capabilities of its channel members.  

Some companies pay too little attention to their distribution channels. Others, such as FedEx, Dell Computer, and Charles Schwab have used imaginative distribution systems to gain a competitive advantage.  

Functions of Distribution Channels
Distribution channels perform a number of functions that make possible the flow of goods from the producer to the customer. These functions must be handled by someone in the channel. Though the type of organization that performs the different functions can vary from channel to channel, the functions themselves cannot be eliminated. Channels provide time, place, and ownership utility. They make products available when, where, and in the sizes and quantities that customers want. Distribution channels provide a number of logistics or physical distribution functions that increase the efficiency of the flow of goods from producer to...
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