Marketing Strategy Development Woolworths
Marketing can be learned in a day but it takes a whole lifetime to master it. Be it a multinational giant or a modest startup, an effective marketing strategy is a crucial road guide for the business enterprise as a whole. An organization can promote its policy and objectives by establishing a coherent and well-knit marketing strategy ((NewsComAu, 2017). They can also court the appropriate customers and allocate resources accurately, safeguarding the company’s reputation. But, first it is very important to have a deep insight into the very core of marketing strategy that is the conception as to what marketing strategy is all about. It is the fundamental target of a firm to raise its productivity and acquire sustainable competitive benefit. It incorporates both basic short term and long term plan of actions dealing with the analysis of an initial situation, formulation, evaluation, and selection of market-oriented blueprint of a company thereby contributing to the goals of the firm and pursuing its marketing objectives. The heart of one’s business success is predominantly dependent on its marketing schemes. No matter what the magnitude of the company is, it goes without saying that every enterprise requires a marketing plan comprising of a comprehensive marketing strategy and well-built calendar to stay on track throughout the year and not to undergo any kind of deviation. Moreover, it also helps to achieve a lead in sales. A company devoid of a potent marketing scheme is missing out imperative opportunities.
In this context of marketing in the current scenario, it is to be understood that a well-designed and extensive market planning is leading to the expeditious development and expansion of the food retail industry. Such industries stringently adhere to the strictures of fundamental criteria of a sleek marketing plan. Among such retailers and retailing industries, a name, which is sure to gain the limelight, is Australia’s renowned grocery or supermarket chain, Woolworths Supermarkets exclusively owned by Woolworths limited. Woolworths hinges upon tactful marketing propaganda and is evidence in itself as to where a constructive and precise marketing scheme can lead an industry. Starting its venture in 1924, initially under the banner of Woolworths Bazaar Ltd, Woolworths has now acquired a worldwide reputation through its prodigious profit margins and a plausible retailing strategy (Ausfoodnews.com.au, 2017)
Woolworths has affixed their dominance in the market accounting for about 80% of the total market share, forming a duopoly of supermarkets along with Coles.
Hence, this report pen-pictures a brief overview of Woolworths and its operational strategies from a marketing perspective and indulges in briefing its orientation towards the marketing undertakings and the analysis of the marketing mix model both in terms of the 5Cs and 4-7Ps considering the bellwether retailing supermarket Woolworths and its benefactor products (Arli et al. 2013). The meticulous execution of surveys and brand launches and market positioning initiated by Woolworths is an adept marketing instrument, which also requires worth a mention through the following report. Last but not the least it also estimates the contribution of its diverse products in building up the brand reputation for Woolworths in the retail market and recommends certain elements, which can be implemented to rectify the shortcomings along with elaborate justifications of the same.
Overview of Woolworths
Cherishing a duopoly position in the Australian retail market, Woolworth has reached a pinnacle of success and added an extra feather to its cap by enlisting itself among the top 10 companies of Australia according to the survey conducted by Forbes. Woolworths offers a heterogeneous section of products specializing not only in groceries, which includes vegetables, meat, and packaged foods but also in selling magazines, DVDs and stationery products. This subsidiary currently pursues its operation in 980 stores across Australia and quite a few in the global context along with 16 convenience retail stores displaying the same logo but without the name Woolworth (Knox 2014). Headquartered in New South Wales, Australia, some of the stores of Woolworths operate in Victoria under the banner head of ‘Safeway’ which includes four stores in the rural Victoria zone and three stores in the suburbs of Melbourne. Retaining its supremacy over the business sector for more than 92 years, this eminent retailing chain continues to swoop higher with an average sale of $33,275 million, a profit range of $ 1,099 million, an asset value of $11,936 million and a mammoth share of market value amounting to $35,489 million (King and Thoebia 2014).
Initially trading under the name of Wallworths Bazaar, Woolworth’s group renamed itself as Woolworths Limited on 22nd September 1924 taking into account the fact that the initial name was not registered in Australia and Woolworths then had no intention of expanding its business overseas. At the primary stage, the shareholders were not keen on investing on the brand for heightening its image but fortune had something else in store for them. As a result, just after the third year of their operation, the share of dividends paid by the company accelerated at a galloping rate from 5% to 50% with efficacious trading practices enticing the shareholders to invest further. Today it has worldwide acclaim and a global market to deal with and the credit for this solely goes to their sterling marketing approach.
Marketing Orientation of Woolworths:
Marketing Orientation can be defined as a business model chiefly focusing on the delivery of products devised according to the consumer preferences and requirements adding with it the essence of product functionality and production orientation or efficiency. The generation of market intelligence organization-wide pertaining to the demands of the consumers at current or future scenario, disseminating intelligence over all the departments and extracting responsiveness from the organizations is a specific quality of marketing orientation. Though initially, it concentrated on sale maximization and production cost minimization, with the passage of time and evolution of the marketing outline, they shifted their approach to customer satisfaction (Tennant 2014). They perceived the sales orientation model as an ill-equipped one and began to develop products based on customer’s insights and opinions. With the brisk advent of Internet technology and e-commerce facilities, the consumers have become the major driving force as far as contemporary marketing orientation is concerned.
Now coming to the context of Woolworths, it is distinctly observed that Coles being the primary competitor of the Woolies, jointly dominates almost 80% of the market. Recent marketing tactics helped Woolworths to incur a higher percentage of profit in the first half of 2015 with a record sale of 1.8 billion. This enabled it to gain the acclaim of Australia’s fastest developing liquor and food retailer cleaving itself at the top of the industrial sector. One of the most remarkable moves adopted by Woolworths in the first half of 2013 was the introduction of Aussie Animal Trading Cards, which was a massive point of attraction for the children market. Advertisements displaying discounts on grocery and petrol and products of premium labels and promoted by celebrities also had a positive contribution to its sales. The platform which they choose for their new ventures are more or less targeted. They not only focused on profit maximization but also incorporated the welfare interest of the consumers in their modified approach (Reed and Ireland 2015). They offered a diverse range of commodities assuring cheapest prices and even money back guarantees. Woolworths became the pioneer store in the world to initiate receipt through cash register machines at the leading edge of Australia’s innovation. Woolworth’s transition to becoming explicitly a grocery store saw the emergence of the first “Big W” store in 1955. In addition to that, its policy of taking over Safeway Australia proved extremely beneficial for their progress as it affixed its name to the Queensland and Victorian stores. Further rebranding in 2008 at Woolworths Supermarkets, lend it a stylized market identity (Flax, Bick and Abratt 2016). In 1987, Woolworths launched the “Fresh Food People Campaign” which was a USP for the overall brand. Later they replaced their slogan to “Australia’s Fresh Food People” for better market segmentation and target positioning. But due to some commercial issues, they reintroduced their original slogan of “Fresh Food People” in 2014 backing up with a brand new commercial lineup.
5 Cs of Woolworths:
Company:Woolworths, popularly known as woolies in Australia is a supermarket retailer who has been a preeminent player in the business industry. It has attained a startling level of growth and development in the Australian retail market and across the globe. Numerous factors have played a pivotal role in its surpassing growth, which includes a key marketing campaign, and hence the following strategic analysis report tends to conduct a critical analysis of such plan of actions for Woolworths in an optimistic manner (Ferry, Parton and Cox 2013). The below-mentioned evaluation concentrates on estimating the current business blueprint of Woolworths which gives scope for additional recommendations with regard to seeking improvement in its upcoming strategies.
SWOT Analysis for Woolworths:
|STRENGTHS||§ Market leader in the Aussie retail business chain.
§ Optimum exploitation of market potential with the help of technological and human resources and an impressive presence across the sector.
§ Woolworths attained zero food waste by 2015 by finding cost-efficient packaging techniques.
|WEAKNESSES||§ The setback in the business of Woolworths is the negative impact of external environmental conditions.
§ The government restriction on price hike has also affected the growth curve of the company after the fall of Cole.
|OPPORTUNITIES||§ The Aussie retail industries are showing great potential as the whole by the virtue of computerization and customers inclinations towards retail chains.
§ Woolworths is progressing towards a phenomenal success by adapting multi-option retailing strategy to cater to ever-changing customer demands
|THREATS||§ The biggest threat to Woolworths is the growing competition in the market
§ Another setback is provided by the government intervention that is severely affecting the growth of Woolworths, especially within Australian retail.
Fig: SWOT analysis of Woolworths (Woolworths Online 2017)
The customer base of the Aussie retail giant Woolworth is widespread showing the company’s impressive grasp at the market. The company sells products catering to every age group ranging from grocery to stationary to magazines and DVDs (Das Nair and Dube 2015). The variety and quality provided by the company have captivated the consumers and attractive schemes and deals the company releases further enhances consumer loyalty.
The overwhelming success of the retail chains is the direct outcome of the perfectly timed diversifications and collaborations. Aussie retail giant Woolworth has a long list of collaborators as well. The company has set a new bar in customer satisfaction through their websites and efficient online selling services (Mialain et al. 2015).
The chief competitors of Woolworths would be the other retail giant dominating the Australian market, Coles. Coles is the supermarket chain that has been conquered by the Wesfarmers in the last decade and ever since their grasp on the market has escalated and that has posed a significant threat to the Woolies (Greenland 2013). Both the supermarkets sell a very similar range of products and the quality standards are not very different either. Apart from that, supermarkets like Walmart, Target, TESCO contribute to the growing competition in the retail market.
Challenges to Overcome:
Woolworth has been in the retail marketing for a number of decades and undoubtedly has constructed a stable position for itself in the market. However, the growing competition has left the company looking for ways to retains its market popularity (Cant, Wiid and Sephapo 2016). Despite the fact that the company has accomplished being enlisted in the top 10 list of Australian retail companies, it still has a few challenges to overcome:
- Due to the growing competition and the online shopping boom the retail chains are rapidly losing their customer base. The company needs to focus on regaining the momentum in the Aussie food market by focusing on the initiatives that can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty (Phillipiaov 2014).
- The company launches a range of novel brands every year, and the company needs to focus on a stronger promotion campaigning for the new ranges. According to the directorial board the customers have always responded well to their new ranges and Woolworths is focusing on the long term growth in fragmented markets (Mortimer and Ingersoll 2015).
- The best method to reacquire the domination in the retail marketing and defeat the customer inclinations towards online shopping is attracting the customers by discounts. The online selling websites provide impressive discounts to the customers and the supermarket’s chains should focus on frequent discount deals to recapture the market (Bailey and Bailey 2016).
- Woolworth needs to accelerate its lean retail market in order to compete with the new environments, the supermarket has always had an efficient low-cost foundation to cater to all customer segments. The company can positively implement a multi-channel approach to facilitate central cost out programs (Ariyawardana and Collins 2013).
- The major setback in the supermarket business is the government interventions n price hike. There are many instances where a supermarket chain had to brave a huge loss due to the government ban on price hikes that inevitably lowered consumer loyalty and satisfaction. The best way to avoid such restrictions is to incorporate efficient monitoring that restricts frequent price hikes and further improving their cost-effective packaging program by their Zero waste policy (Trevena et al. 2014)
- Woolworth has always been famous in providing quality with variety, incorporating global brands with local brands and phantom brands. However, selling phantom brands can eventually cause bigger problems for their overall marketing. Studies suggest that phantom brands and local products sold under the thumb of the Woolworth name cause irritation and confusion in the customers (Trevena et al. 2014). Hence the company has to construct better marketing and promotion strategies for the phantom brands.
- Lastly, online marketing is the ultimate modern age tool to captivate consumers of all age. The company should strengthen their social media marketing along with electronic media marketing to ensure a better grasp at the consumer market.
A strategic analysis of Woolworth’s was carried out for viewing the access of the strategies that have been adopted. Woolworths always focuses on the attainment of the high level of growth on the basis of its performance. The strong commitment towards its employees and its customers is the main support for its growth. The factors like influenced by the government, the changing pattern of the society and the upcoming trend by the customers and the unfavorable economic conditions including the competitive business environmental situations affect the strategies and the development of the company in a negative manner. These factors are the analysis of the environment that is suffered by Woolworths. However, these analyses are the indication of the growth factor internally that have a proper potential for the development of the company.
Based on the overall strategies, the listed recommendations are considered essential:
- Woolworths must focus on framing its strategies in a consistent manner with the political situations as well as the condition established across the country.
- It must aim at innovating the particular strategies to improve their performance The social trends of the consumers that show the high dynamism that can be considered as one of the important strategies for the growth of the company.
- The recommendation also focuses on the further improvement of the support of the highly skilled employees by additional development mechanism and the training programs for the customers.
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