Four P’s of Marketing Strategy

The 4 P’s are an important framework for understanding marketing decisions and business strategy. This exercise will help you learn to recognize and analyze the 4 P’s. Assignment: Pick 3 well known companies and describe their strategy as it relates to each of the 4 P’s of marketing. Example: Starbucks PRODUCT: Premium coffee drinks that can be customized in an endless variety of ways. Other products include pastries, sandwiches, prepackaged salads, prepackaged drinks, and music CD’s. Warm coffee house environment. Feeling(s) of community (ex. friendly baristas, collegial customers). PRICING: Premium pricing, several times higher than a standard cup of coffee at McDonald’s. Higher prices can be charged because of the quality of the product, the option to customize the product (which makes it personal), and the inviting environment. Seasonal pricing for drinks to reflect pent-up demand for limited time offering (ex. Pumpkin Spice Latte). PLACEMENT: Initially all product was distributed through company stores that are strategically located in high traffic areas. Expanded to licensed outlets within grocery stores and airports. Then Sbux expanded to the packaged products markets and sold drinks and frozen desserts through grocery stores. Customers interact with Sbux in-person and digitally (ex. through mobile orders). PROMOTION: Ads, limited compared to competitors. Almost entirely word of mouth and effective public relations. Instead of investing in traditional advertising, Starbucks invested in highly visible locations, a large number of stores, strategic partnerships (like having their coffee on airplanes), and wide distribution of packaged products in grocery and convenience stores. Together, those factors have kept Starbucks front and center in the public’s awareness, and has allowed them to organically become a part of our culture. Please remember to follow this process for 3 different companies. Be as complete as possible to earn maximum points. Specific examples and lots of detail, please. This will likely involve doing some basic background research about each company. Include at least one published source for each company (specific web page is OK) to validate that you actually researched the company.

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