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Today¡¦s marketing environment is increasingly more difficult than the marketing environment of past decades. Liquorland is Australia¡¦s widest distributor of alcohol but that doesn¡¦t stop it from facing a large field of competitors. These competitors include liquor retailers such as Dan Murphy¡¦s, Woolworth¡¦s Liquor and a large amount of independent liquor retailers. Liquorland¡¦s marketing strategy must ensure that their target market, which is any person over the legal age, would choose Liquorland above any other similar retailer to meet their needs. Liquorland operates Australia wide and is part of the Coles-Myer Corporation. It operates adjacent to Coles Supermarkets and is intended to attract Coles customers who had either planned to buy alcohol or made a spur of the moment decision to purchase alcohol.
Understanding the Value Exchange Framework can help Liquorland achieve its objectives by understanding their customers needs better by focusing on customer value. This concept of ¡§customer value¡¨ poses a great difficulty for some companies, it is hard to define exactly what customer value is and this definition will be discussed at a later stage, but a strong focus upon customer value will indeed help a company increase its sales and increase its customer base (Gabbot, 00, p 5). Providing value to customers should be an organizations main objective and in by doing so, groups affiliated with the organization such as alliance partners (e.g.-suppliers, distributor) and stakeholders will also gain maximum value.
Previous marketing frameworks have focused on the importance of the four P¡¦s (products, pricing, promotion and place), but this framework has been called into question over the past decade because it fails to identify the essence of value exchange and recognise marketing as an ¡§innovative or adaptive force¡¨. The VEF (Value Exchange Framework) is a value driven marketing framework which is much more relevant to the modern marketing environment while still addressing the fundamental stages of the marketing process.
�æ What is customer value?
Porter (185) defines value as simply ¡§what people are prepared to pay¡¨ (Gabbot, 00, pg ), however this definition if value is very narrow when it comes to customers. Value in the broader term refers to how customers value the goods that Liquorland offers. How do customers value the various forms of liquor offered by Liqourland, how much are they willing to pay for a bottle of wine, some people may want to drink just to get intoxicated while others value the taste and quality. Hence, value can be defined as the customers overall assessment of the utility of the products based on perceptions of what is received and what is given (Eggert, 00, pp 111)
Thus it is imperative that Liquorland understands customer value, Liqourland can begin to understand customer value by obtaining quality data about the customer base in specific areas. Certain liquor retailers are located in areas where data would indicate that the clientele values quality above all else, thus this retailer limits its range to a higher quality than a Liquorland which is located in a central nightlife district which aims to cater for partygoers and a generally younger clientele. Thus an organisation like Liqourland cannot maximise its customer base if it does not understand customer value and this is one example of the relationship between the various stages in the Value Exchange Model.
�æ Creating Customer Value
This is the next stage in the Value Exchange Framework. Once customer value is understood by Liqourland, the managers of this multinational liquor retailer must endeavour to create customer value. To create customer value Liqourland must make customers believe that they are receiving value when they purchase products from their chain of retailers. Evidently it can be stated that value is created by products and services when the benefits they deliver help customers achieve their goals (Ravald, 16, pp 0).
Liqourland can create value in existing products or new ranges which they bring out and once again the link between understanding and creating customer value is evident. Liqourland creates value in existing products by allowing customers who define value as ¡§value for money¡¨ to use Fly Buys so they are monetarily rewarded for their purchase, recently Liqourland created value by bringing out a new range of Seven Deadly Sins wines which were aimed at a younger target market, who thereafter felt they were drinking quality wine without spending a great deal of money. Value can also be created by increasing competition with other retailers by having regular specials and promotions, increasing the number of store locations, extending trading hours in busy districts, implementing online shopping and giving an advantage to regular Coles-Myer shoppers.
�æ Communicating Customer Value
Once Liqourland has understood customer value and then endeavoured to create customer value, it must then communicate this customer value to its target market. This ensures that potential and existing customers are aware of the range and quality of the products offered. . This may be accomplished through developing new products or reformulating existing ones or distribution of channels, discovering new approaches to management or competitive strategy (Blois, 00, pp1). Once these developments are made Liqourland must ensure that all the various parts of the public such as customers, shareholders, employees are aware of these new developments.
Customers must be made aware so they can make the most informed choice when choosing where they will purchase their liquor and what liquor is available to best suit their needs. Shareholders must be made aware of these developments so they can be confident of their investment choices and that the company is on a constant progressive spiral. Employees must be made aware of these developments so that they can communicate this information to existing and potential customers by ¡§word of mouth¡¨ either at point of sale or in their daily interactions.
Communication can be in a number of ways, due to the competitiveness of the liquor industry, Liqourland must use all of its resources for the most effective communication. Because they have the means Liqourland must use advertising on television to obtain maximum exposure. The current advertising through catalogues is not sufficient if Liqourland wishes to expand its customer base, but generally Liqourland¡¦s association with the Coles-Myer Corporation gives it an advantage to many other liquor retailers.
�æ Delivering Customer Value
Now that Liquorland has successfully understood, created and communicated customer value it must actually deliver what they had promised. Customer value must be delivered every time a customer comes into contact not only with Liqourland but with any organization associated with Liquorland (Porter, 185, pp 4). Not only must Liquorland deliver the product physically to the customer, the product must be everything it was promised to be. Any subsequent delivery must also be of the highest standard to ensure that customers keep on returning and increasing the customer base by ¡§word of mouth¡¨.
Customer loyalty is the main objective of delivery; once customer loyalty is achieved Liquorland can build new relations. Superior delivery refers to the everyday interaction between customers and employees, the availability of products, and competitive prices.
�æ Strategy and Resources
This is when the managerial team of Liquorland comes into focus; they must implement marketing plans to ensure that objectives are met. Management is the middle-man between the creative thinkers and the people who physically implement customer service (Anderson, 1, pp ). Liquorland must ensure that their management has effective methods of implementing the marketing plans which ensure that sufficient funding and man-power is given to each particular part of the continuous Value Exchange Framework process.
The Value Exchange Model and the Value Planning Model make up the Value Exchange Framework which focuses on Customer Value and directs market activity by understanding, creating, communicating, delivering customer value and implementing strategy and resources to the marketing plan. Organizations should have a commitment to innovation. Innovation may be concerned with new businesses within the existing business or the renewal of ongoing business that have become stagnant or in need of transformation. Marketers should be committed to the proposition that the creation of customer value must be the reason for the organizations existence and without a doubt for its success. Thus developing this theory further and testing the propositions that comprise it should be a high priority for marketing scholars. In relation to Liqourland, the Value driven marketing framework can help create customer loyalty and thus help Liquorland obtain its business objectives by creating a competitive advantage over other liquor retailers.
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