William Sonoma

Topics: Retailing, Williams-Sonoma, Marketing Pages: 6 (2234 words) Published: March 17, 2013
I think that Williams-Sonoma will probably close its doors and become obsolete, if they do not change their marketing views, and incorporate a better strategic approach. I just don’t think with the way the economy is today that many people will continue to buy those types of high end products that are offered by Williams-Sonoma at many of their retail stores. Buyers are focusing on more “bang for the buck” type products. Products are now bought for more of a necessary item, rather than, the highly fashionable products. I think management of Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma, should try to discuss lowering prices to go in line with today’s economic outlook. A happy medium to where they get somewhat of a profit and their consumers feel the products are affordable enough to purchase. The use of their website is a very good idea. Website advertising seems the way to go with all the technological advancements we have. The internet reaches so many possible customers, and very quickly, it only made sense for Williams-Sonoma to look at the possibility of it. Williams-Sonoma used Prophet Solutions to give an in depth analysis of their business strategy. The alliance was a very good move. It helped Williams-Sonoma gain a lot of first time buyers, and its internet sales to grow over 500% in the first two years. It was a great success for their branding, marketing, and development to continue in the retail market.

If Williams-Sonoma does not change its strategic approach in terms of its marketing objectives, could possibly fold or become nonexistent in the next five years. In today's economy, many consumers cannot afford to purchase high end products that Williams-Sonoma offered at many of its retail stores such as Pottery Barn.  Consumers are focusing more on products that are necessities than products that they simply want in order to look stylish, this is where quality of brand comes into play, and how well the product appeals to a particular group of merchants. Since William Sonoma owns the Pottery Barn, they should attempt to decrease their prices so that consumers can afford the products that they offer. However I think that they have some good ideas.  One is their interactive website.  If they can increase awareness about the website and its interactive features, it may increase their customer base slightly as many websites that sell the types of products that Williams-Sonoma does, does not offer such capabilities. The only way that Williams Sonoma can survive in its industry environment is to anticipate and quickly respond to changing consumer demands, Maintaining favorable brand recognition and effectively marketing products to 
consumers in diverse market segments, developing innovative, high-quality products in colors and styles that appealed to 
consumers of varying age groups and tastes, Competitively pricing products and achieving customer perception of value, and Providing strong and effective marketing support(M. Rouse, 2010, p. 4)

Williams-Sonoma saw an opportunity to expand its customer base and the reach of its brand by extending into a new channel, the Internet, so they somewhat reached out to Prophet Solutions to enable the company to reach its objective. Critical to the success of this venture would be creating the high-quality experience that customers had come to expect from Williams-Sonoma, without cannibalizing its existing channels. Prophet analyzed Williams-Sonoma's organizational strengths, brand equities, and competitive environment and recommended that Williams-Sonoma's initial online efforts focus on its bridal registry offering. Upon agreeing to this approach, Williams-Sonoma engaged Prophet's implementation team to ready its operations for launch. These efforts ranged from creating call center/store associate training programs to creating strategies for sourcing inventory and managing distribution. Furthermore, Prophet created a set of detailed guidelines for Williams-Sonoma to use in...
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