Product Element Strategy
The heart of the marketing mix and the marketing starting point is the product offering and the product strategy (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel, 2012). It is hard to have a place strategy, decide on a promotion campaign or set the market price without knowing the product itself. While many may view a product as only the physical unit of consumption, a product is related to many factors including its package, brand name, company image, warranty, after-sale services, value and many others (Lamb et al., 2012). Consumers do not just buy products for the benefits they do to them (customer value) but also for what they mean to them in regards to status, quality, and reputation. The whole product element of the marketing mix aims at value creation to consumer value and brand strategy (Carter, 2015).
In the “3D Printing Patriots” entrepreneurial venture, the four founders have guided their investment towards being top military prosthetic producers with a reputation for personalized life-like artificial limbs (Carter, 2015). The product “3D Printing Patriots” can be classified under the unsought goods category consumer products because consumers do not put so much thought into the product and do not have a compelling impulse to buy it. In fact, consumers who buy the product most certainly have inconvenience (Dye, n.d.).
“3D Printing Patriots’” product started out as one major product mix of 3D printed prosthetic limbs. However, with its alliance with Artificial Limbs Suppliers, this product mix is set to diversify and include cutting edge design providing tailored anatomy form and autonomous functions (Carter, 2015). The product line length is vast as “3D Printing Patriots” produce personalized artificial limbs to its consumers.
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The Texas military foursome decided to use “3D Printing Patriots” as tribute to the numerous wounded service men and women during wars. They also were confident that the name would convince the Wounded Warriors Project to partner with their venture, which ultimately worked out for them (Carter, 2015). The brand’s tagline “Pride & Honor” follows the brand’s relatioship with their customers and their families who were a source of pride given the brand closely bonds 3D printed artificial limbs with the bodies of wounded warriors. This relationship also brings honor from delivering service and support to the wounded warriors.
Services offerings that would complement “3D Printing Patriots’” prosthetic product include health follow ups and fitness programs. These services, being directed to customers, would fall in the people processing category (Lamb et al., 2012).
Place Element Strategy
Place, also known as distribution, strategies are related to making a product available to consumers through various distribution channels (Lamb et al., 2012). Place strategies involve the physical distribution of the products. Place element of the marketing mix contributes to the delivery of customer value and brand strategy (Carter, 2015).
“3D Printing Patriots” have chosen the selective distribution intensity plan, choosing to target selected markets. There is not mass distribution of the 3D printed prosthetic limbs to all markets. What “3D Printing Patriots” are doing is concentrating the sales of their product mostly to military consumers. Other than saving expenses, additional advantages observed with the use of selective distribution intensity plan are an improvement in marketing efficiency and better control in the marketing process. Assurance and more secure supplies also are added advantages related to using selective distribution. However, markets for products are not adequately covered. Businesses find it difficult to achieve a variety of business objectives with a rather relaxed marketing environment.
However, there is a rather more vast market for 3D prosthetic limbs, outside the military field. People may get amputee from accidents or other medical causes. Others are born without a limb or limbs on several occasions. All these aspects develop a business opportunity for “3D Printing Patriots’” products. A distribution intensity approach would present more opportunities for this brand’s products. A venture into e-commerce through establishing an e-store for their products would go a longg way in moving the product over vast markets in web retailing. They can ensure that they capture their consumer’s attention by using good virtual layouts and designs, colorful virtual atmospherics, captivating virtual theatrics, and engaging virtual social presence. Over the disadvantages of security and integrity on data system concerns, an e-store would be a big economic benefit for the brand offering better productivity for both the company and consumers.
Promotion Element Strategy
Promotion in the marketing mix involves advertising, public relations, sales promotion and personal selling (Lamb et al., 2012). The primary role for promotion is to bring mutually satisfying exchanges by informing, educating, persuading and reminding the target markets about the benefits of the product. The promotion element is responsible for value communication to stimulate demand, convey brand value, and provide practical shopping information to achieve customer’s loyalty (Carter, 2015).
The “3D Printing Patriots’” promotion strategy lies in public relations, short-term sales promotions, and personal selling. The brand has achieved a reputation as the top personalized life-like prosthetic limbs producer among the military market. To achieve this, the brand has created a sense of goodwill, sustained a good public relation and fashioned a desirable image for its target market. The brand’s tagline also lays emphasis on the relationship between the brand and its customers as a source of pride and honor which goes along to prove the effectiveness of personal selling promotion mix, tailored meet personal needs of individual customers.However, with the need to diversify markets for the brand, “3D Printing Patriots” should consider using advertising approach to promotion to reach a much larger market.
To achieve AIDA requirements, the business should adopt push and pull approaches on the various promotion strategies. The market’s attention can be achived by engaging them to build exceitement and curiosity that will lead to interest in their product (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Customers will develop interest if the product relates to their lives, which will push them to buy the product.
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