A successful marketing plan has a number of components to it including a comprehensive pricing strategy. One business process that impacts the pricing strategy, and the overall marketing plan, is distribution—the method a business uses to get its product (or service) to the consumer. Here we look at intensive distribution and exclusive distribution. Although they are at opposite ends of the distribution spectrum, they will impact the company’s bottom line by using different approaches to market goods and services. Let’s look at nail polish to illustrate both methods. Essie uses intensive distribution to get its nail polish to the consumer. Their polish is less expensive, the primary brand used in many, if not all, nail salons nationally, and also available at the salon for purchase by the customer. If the customer doesn’t buy the polish at the time of service and later wants to buy the polish, she doesn’t have to go back to the salon; she can easily get it at one of many retail locations like drug stores or beauty supply chains. Essie relies on high-volume distribution and sales at a lower price. Christian Dior (CD), on the other hand, utilizes a different approach: exclusive distribution. If I want if I want a sharper color on my nails that is not saturating the market and will last more than 2 days, I will go to the brand’s website, bricks and mortar store, or a department store who is contracted to carry the CD nail polish. I will pay nearly ten times the price of the Essie and be grateful the color is still in stock by the time I get there. Because this premiere brand knows that its customers won’t settle for anything but the CD brand.
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