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Developing a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Marketing mix is the fusion of important marketing activities. The four most important are place, promotion, price and product. Additional mixes are physical appearance, processes and provision of service as well.
Starbucks stands out in store locations compared to its competitors like Barista. Starbucks extend a highly polished customer service to its patrons by making the appearances of products interesting compared to rival coffee shops. They are also trying to keep their products reasonably priced and processes simple and efficient when compared to Barista and other rivals.
Total product concept refers to combination of products offered by a company. It provides opportunity to the customer to evaluate products based on need and opt for the one which is most suited. It can be divided into four levels core, accessory, actual and time saving product. In case of Starbucks espresso coffee is its core product. Accessory is the one with added benefits like low calorie or sugar free. Actual product is premium coffee or tea and time saving products are ready to drink tea and coffee available in bottles. Starbucks ready to drink beverage in fewer countries like Korea, Japan and Taiwan have been profitable. To maintain its position in market Starbucks needs to come up with innovative products along with store layout and its appearance. Instant coffee retailing through grocery chains is a good example of it. Product life cycle can be increased using local flavours in the tea or coffee which will help Starbucks to expand its product mix. Starbucks strategy to introduce products slowly and in phases has paid. The benefit of this marketing strategy is that it creates an aroma of suspicion and attraction around the newly unveiled product and gives visibility to it.
Distribution strategy
Distribution strategy refers to the well thought out plan by a company to distribute its products from manufacturer to the end user efficiently. The aim of distribution strategy is to make available a product at right place and at right time for consumer convenience.
The distribution channels support the process of distribution and can be classified into levels based on the number of intermediaries. Zero level has no intermediate. Level one has single intermediary. The distribution strategy can also be classified based on amount of products as intensive distribution, selective distribution and exclusive distribution. In intensive distribution constant product inventory is maintained in outlet. Selective distribution refers to fewer selected outlets maintaining stocks and exclusive distribution where it becomes a luxury for only few people visiting exclusive stores.
Starbucks store location is already an advantage in distribution. Along with that the plans to distribute instant coffee via retailers and grocers has improved visibility and profitability. This has also strengthened intensive distribution strategy with the inclusion of intermediary in the form of retailer. Starbucks is backed by its robust supply chain which works towards delivering coffee to all retail outlets on time. They have developed good relationships with coffee growers and have their own roasting plants for coffee beans. The milk comes from different countries and logistic support maintains the quality of the milk used in various products. This results in quality product each time with consumer satisfaction. Starbucks cannot be exclusive to only a few people and to remain in profitable business selective distribution strategy based on product is good. More over online ordering and home delivery is increasing customer convenience and accessibility at any time.

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2018-02-16 08:09:50 laura01

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