Overview: Establishing Linkage
Marketing Mix has always been associated with the four Ps, namely Product, Price, Promotion, Place (Distribution) and a recent addition of the word People. The inclusion of the word people possibly has a lot to do with changing definitions of Marketing through the ages. As marketing branches out of the traditional business oriented definitions, the scope broadens and so does the function.
In order to implement the four Ps model successfully, it is integral to align it with the 4As model charted by Jagdish Seth and Rajendra Sisodia. The 4 As in the model are Awareness, Acceptability, Affordability and Accessibility.
So how do the 4As and 4Ps come together? Let us find out.
A good marketer taps into the pulse of the audience and understands their concern before implementing his Marketing Mix model.
- Before you launch a product, it is important to make the target audience comfortable with it, which is why the marketer addresses the requirements of his TG and develops a product which they will find acceptable
In case of Nestle Slim Milk, the product was launched with high nutritional and low calorie ingredients thus appealing to the health conscious TG.
- The price is often a deciding factor for most buyers which is why it is important to identify your TG and make it affordable to them.
Nestle Slim Milk is a premium health drink (when compared to the likes of Amul and Good Life) and targeted at the young MNC professionals who can afford to buy it.
- Identifying the correct place to display your product is integral in its rise because it addresses the question of how accessible the product is to the TG.
You will find cartons of Nestle Slim Milk across all departmental, grocery and general stores in tier 1 and tier 2 cities, especially the IT hubs.
- Once the product has been conceptualized, It is extremely important to create awareness for the product among the target audience and this is achieved via promotional activities.
In case of Nestle Slim Milk, the campaign for young healthy working professionals started ahead of the launch appealing to many health conscious urbanites.
Thus it can be said that a intelligent collaboration of As with Ps = Successful Marketing Mix.
The first P of Marketing is the Product- an entity that sets the wheels of Marketing Mix to motion. Conceptualizing of the product is an important aspect of Marketing but it is equally important to set the product strategy. The product is a tangible offering with multiple layers, which create a path for marketers to sustain their offering in the long term. The layers are:
(1) Core Benefit–
Core benefit is the core need that the product intends to satisfy. This boils down to a very basic level and can be fulfilled by any product in the given category.
For Nestle Slim Milk consumers, the core benefit derived is drinking milk. The basic need to consume milk is fulfilled by the Nestle Slim Milk.
(2) Basic Product-
Once the core benefit is identified and met minus any value additions or tweaks, we can address the basic requirement.
The basic requirement fulfilled by Nestle Slim Milk is the need for a low calorie high nutrition variant of the milk.
(3) Expected Product-
Once the basic benefit is met, we move the next level which includes all the additional attributes which are associated with a product of that type.
Once the slim element in Nestle Slim Milk is identified, it has to fulfill the traditional criteria of a sanitized tetra pack, pasteurized milk, easy to use packaging and a shelf life of 120 days.
(4) Augmented Product-
The augmentation of the product leads to it being distinguished from its competitors and other products in the same range.
Nestle offers multiple range of milk products and 2 other variants of packaged milk apart from Nestle Slim Milk. These are Nestle Millk and A+. It is necessary for Nestle Slim Milk to distinguish itself from both in house and other competition. This is where the packaging and marketing information about the product comes into play. For example, Nestle Slim Milk markets promotes its unique offering in this way:
“Nestlé Slim Milk is a great everyday solution to help reduce your fat intake. It has less than 0.3% fat with 70% less calories when compared to buffalo milk. NESTLÉ Slim Milk goes through Ultra Heat Treatment to provide bacteria-free milk to its consumers. Nestle Slim Milk is the result of continuing efforts by Nestle to help your lead a healthier lifestyle.”
(5) Potential Product-
The potential product is an umbrella of opportunities. It includes all the uses, future prospects and alterations that the product can have in a wide imagination. This is an exciting idea for the customer who always hopes to milk more out of an existing purchase or related items. For example: People bought Moto G and X because apart from having the latest android OS, it promised of regular android updates. These updates have not been even launched yet but manage to entice customers.
In the case of Nestle Slim Milk, there is no scope of potential benefit as it has extinguished all possible alterations and will continue to sell as a calorie-free milk.
We can integrate the layers of Product with the 3C model proposed by Kenichi Ohmae. The 3Cs model of strategic advantage states that sustaining comeptitive advantage in the market depends on 3 forces namely- customer, competitor and competitor. This model is used in the decision making process and in understanding the behavior of the market. It can be linked to the product layers and benefits to understand why a consumer choses one good over another.
The core benefit arises from the customer since it is nothing but the customer requirement. This human requirement as stated earlier is met by the basic product which is provided by different manufacturers. Moreover, there is the expected product which is settled in the minds of the consumer and is used by him/her to choose from various similar products in the market. The companies, by themselves provide the augmented and potential product to the consumers to help them make a choice amongst these providers. The customer matches his requirements and expectations with the different offerings being provided in the market and choses a product or firm to find a service from it. Companies can understand their positioning in the value understanding of the consumer and thus make better decisions and products for the consumers