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Introduction Background of the Firm I have chosen to critically assess and evaluate Carib Brewery strategic orientation, marketing activities and operational activities. It is a firm I am familiar with having done prior research on the company and being from the Caribbean region where this company operates primarily. My analysis of this firm is based on previous and recent interview and questionnaire sent to this firm marketing department. Carib Brewery ltd is part of the Ansal Mc Al Group of Companies. Carib Brewery was previously known as The Trinidad Brewering Company and then the Caribbean Development Company launched in 1950. Today Carib Brewery and it sub brands are enjoyed in 32 countries around the world and has grown to become one of the largest breweries in the Caribbean. In 1973 the brewery expanded its product range and began producing non-alcoholic drinks. The brewery currently has a capacity of over 400000 hectolitres per year; this expansion has facilitated the brewery exporting its products to regional and international markets. For analysis sake I must established that on a local or regional scale this firm would be considered to be a large organisation but by international standards for brewery operation this firm would be seen as a small or medium size organisation from a developing country. This fact would be a basis for a number of analysis and recommendation I will make. Literature Review for Marketing Terminology Today many businesses endeavour to achieve and sustain competitive advantage in today's rapidly changing environment with marketing being the driving tool to achieve this competitive advantage. Marketing plays an integral role in planning and executing company objectives to identify and satisfy customer needs. Marketing however is a subject that has generated much debate and criticism because it is said to create wants via persuasion techniques employed. It is also an activity that creates misunderstandings; the most popular confusion arises between marketing and selling orientated business.
1. The firm after all has a marketing department which many marketing experts would call a sales department with expanded responsibilities. For the Caribbean region the firm use some marketing research to find out the needs of customers, although most of products offering are based on what international competitors are producing. 2. The firm also has been able to identify target markets and presenting promotional activities to suit this target market. Through the use of marketing research another facet of the marketing concept this firm has also been able to establish that core values of the target market of the Caribbean is fun and sociability, thus their marketing programs are lively and are widely promoted at regional carnivals, cricket, and other cultural fetes. 3. We see the firm also used some marketing activities after the product has been launched and developed and some product modification has been undertaken. For instance Carib Shandy flavours have been extended over the years; Stag taste has been modified to taste like European Lagers. 4. Other components of market orientation outline by Philip Kotler (1997) Kohli, Jaworski and Kumar (1993) such as acquisition activities and assessment of markets is evident at this firm. The Company has undertaken a number of successful acquisitions of ailing breweries in the region. There is evidence that this firm has done some competitor analysis for the regional market since they are aware that most regional breweries like Windward and Leeward Brewery use a selling strategy and price competition is widespread. Hence the reason for Carib Brewery adopting elements of the selling concept and a competitive pricing strategy to remain as the market leader in the region. Societal Marketing Concept: This is the newest concept. It holds that the organization's task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of targets markets and to deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumers and community.
Inspite of the fact that the brewery has had success with using a blend of approaches a market orientated business has certain advantages over a selling, product, production orientation firms and is therefore highly recommended. For Carib Brewery it is evident that conditions in the international market is a challenge, however through its current strategy it has achieved profits and its success attain through current strategy cannot be ignored. The current marketing program has enabled it to be seen through out the region as a corporate group that is an ethical corporation that enriching lives of customers in this region. As Carib Brewery continues to move forward, it will need to continue to building on strengths in brewing, packaging and distribution. The company needs to develop an innovative approach with new brands, packages, services and support with commitment to quality that must never be compromised. Kotler (2000) argues that both large and small firm's needs formal market planning to survive therefore this small firm needs to build quality in all its marketing activities stating from ingredients used to brew products. Most international brewers have been able to maintain their market share and top position because they understand that pivotal values like teamwork, commitment, innovation, agreement is crucial for long term success and this brewery needs to continue to draw from their strategy and activities to continue penetrating new markets. From this research paper one would realise that small firms can develop a strategic orientation and succeed and small establishments are not necessarily handicapped in foreign operations. The notion that small firms are less confident in their ability to export and standardized products for the international marketplace is diminish further. We also realise that if a firm develop a planned program for selling, uses it distinctive competencies and draw from other orientations for selling products even if it is not fully marketing oriented it can achieve profitable results. However in this age ruled by consumer choice relying on selling techniques, technological innovation and distinctive competencies rather than using customer needs as the basis for new products offering can be suicidal for a company.
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