Essays on Target Market's Needs and Wants - Pantene Shampoo in Australia Case Study

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The paper "Target Market's Needs and Wants - Pantene Shampoo in Australia" is a good example of a marketing case study.   Companies are in an endless tussle to gain market share in their target markets and remain profitable (Kotler and Armstrong, 1993). Each brand and each product requires to be reviewed from time to time to ensure it continues to satisfy the consumer and hence hold its share. There are many forces acting on the Pantene brand in the Australian market and not least among these is competition from new entrant products, the ever-increasing number of low-priced variants and the pressure from retail shops to reduce space available to display the products.

The other problem for Pantene shampoo is from within its own brand, as the product would be buried among hundreds of Pantene brand offerings thus complicating the buying decision by the consumer who is often spoiled for choice. Buying becomes an exercise in minute choice decisions from one product to another, confusing the consumer. Proctor and Gamble have since 1999 been responding to this customer concerns partly by repositioning the three billion per year Pantene brand to make it more accessible to the consumer, partly by specifying separate hair types such as medium hair, fine hair, curly hair, and color-treated hair and applying color codes to identify these varieties for ease of customer recognition.

Proctor and Gamble have been improving the chemical content of the product through innovative research and development into polymers and other chemicals. At the price, level competition has always forced little room for price increases, and the Pantene brand has not changed drastically in spite of the costs of reorganizing and improving the brand. In order to cater to the diverse tastes of well-informed consumers in various target market segments, the marketing mix for that product must always evolve and improve to satisfy the customers' needs and wants (Kotler and Armstrong, 1993; Farese and Woloszyk, 1991).

Pantene shampoos in Australia have performed relatively well over the years partly because of the brand name and identity, as a trusted brand product from Proctor and Gamble. This report aims to put Pantene shampoo into the context of the various aspects that constitute Pantene's marketing mix in Australia by discussing the Pantene shampoo product, the pricing of Pantene shampoo, the positioning of Pantene in the target market segments and the place in which Pantene shampoo is being offered to the customer. Generic Strategy and Market Share Depending on the resources available to a company, its objectives and its markets the company's strategic document must clearly specify for each product line whether it will follow differentiation or cost leadership as a generic strategy.

A choice of Cost Leadership as the generic strategy implies that the firm has decided to maximize profit by selling high volumes of the product at low prices, thus appealing to the very large penny-pinching segment of bargain-hunting consumers who care less about the product's market position (Porter, 1980).

On the other hand, choosing differentiation as the generic strategy implies that the firm has selected a special segment of discerning consumers whose needs were not being specifically met to their satisfaction, and providing specially manufactured products for that niche market segment at very high cost of production but assured that the target consumer is willing to pay the premium price if the product is of sufficient quality and suitably positioned (Porter, 1980; Kotler and Armstrong, 1993).

In that case, the firm commits to doing all that is necessary to research, commission and market at high cost a product so unique it caters for the needs of this small niche segment of consumers to whom money is not an object but whose tastes are very particular and expect the very best product offering, based on a promise of value that exactly suits their needs (Boone and Kurtz, 1992).

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