Marketing mix refers to the set of actions or tactics that a company uses to promote its product or brand in the market. A typical marketing mix basically consist of the 4P’s (Product, Price, Place & Promotion), but the marketers these days have identified another 3P’s (People, Physical Evidence and Process) which covers every aspect of a product. The marketing mix is used by every company these days to come up with a highly targeted strategy for its consumers. All the elements in marketing mix influence each other, they help in creating a formidable marketing plan for the company resulting in sustained success. Within the purview of the assignment Product, Price and Promotion will be considered for identifying the strategies for TOTO (Helm & Gritsch, 2014)
Product is one of the most important elements in the marketing mix; a product is expected to deliver at least the minimum level of performance for other marketing mix element to work. Product encompasses Design, Technology, usefulness, convenience, value, quality, packaging, branding, accessories and warrantees (Khan, 2014)
TOTO being Japan’s leading name in the Sanitary ware and is a name synonymous with advanced Hi-Tech bathroom culture since 1917. The product range includes Rimless toilets, washlets, wash basin, bidets, urinals, showers, bathtubs, faucets, hand dryer and accessories, all the products are laced with advanced technology and are extremely innovative products. Inax, Kohler & Brondell are the biggest competitors of TOTO and provide mostly same or a bit differentiated products (Pathak & Sharma, 2016). However, TOTO’s name being synonymous with premium quality, luxury and advanced technology makes it unique and ahead of its competitors. Certain products of TOTO are more popular than its entire offering, especially Washlet & Bidets, the reason for the extreme popularity of Bidets and Washlet can be owed to its cutting edge technology, attractive designing and its pricing(Booth, 2015)
Product strategy for TOTO can be to focus on what it does best, usage of technology to create products which are highly useful for its customer base. TOTO focussing on delivering clean technology to its consumers and it goes well with its Target audience. The Target audience being young, independent, aware of the current trends in the sanitary ware is the perfect audience for the hi-tech products of TOTO. Hence it is highly advised that TOTO focuses on Washlet and Bidets as they are the most popular products of the company. The product is relevant as well as highly useful for the young audience. Thus efforts should be made to tweak in with the technology, making it more neat, attractive and contemporary designs, the Target audience resonates with all these factors and hence it makes more sense to focus on the customer’s touch point by delivering to them what they care about the most.
Price is another important factor in the marketing mix; every company focuses on setting up a price which is either based on the value of the perceived product or cost based. Pricing strategies like Skimming, penetration, psychological, cost plus etc. are used while deciding how to enter the market.
TOTO’s product is luxurious, laced with high end technology and hence is perceived as high priced products. The company invests a lot In the R&D, technology and keeping the bar of the quality high and hence its products are expensive in comparison to its competitors. It has certainly helped the company in building an image that it charges for the superior quality and advanced products. The target audience of TOTO falls in the age group of 25-35; the people are either single or newly married, professionals, looking for a new place to live in. It has been seen that older generation people do not spend too much on the toilets and are content with pretty much what they already have in place, at the same time they perceive that the spending too much on toilets is waste of money. Although they do appreciate the product quality and the features TOTO product provides, but at the same time they don’t buy it because of premium pricing.
According to Australian data, 16.24 million (two thirds of the population) people reside in greater capital cities and almost 7.97 million people stay in rest of the Australia. The data is extremely helpful for TOTO to make sense of while developing its pricing strategy. It has been mentioned earlier that only 1% of the Australian population uses advanced toilets, hence there is enough market for TOTO to capture. TOTO should go forward with penetration strategy in the urban market; the strategy will be extremely useful in capturing a big pie of the market share. Pricing the product at a lower price (Limited period offer) will give people a look and feel of the attributes products of TOTO provides, and once they are satisfied with the quality, organic word of mouth will happen leading to increase in the market share. Thus, TOTO will be able to change the outlook of the Australians towards the usage of advanced toilets and will have the first mover’s advantage in doing so.
Promotion is becoming increasingly important element in the marketing mix, marketers are exploiting this element to its full advantage and trying to gain as much as possible from Promotions. It encompasses special offers, advertising, endorsements, user trials, promotional mails, free gifts, leaflets, digital branding and promotion techniques to capture the eye balls of the customers. It basically caters to the platform wherever the audience can access to information related to company’s product. A combination of both Web 2.0 and traditional tools of marketing are used for promotions (Jackson & Ahuja, 2016)
TOTO’s product is increasingly popular and people recognize the brand, but they prefer to stay away from buying the product because of their perception that the products are premium priced. The TG of TOTO is people ranging in the age group of (25-35), which is the new generation, highly knowledgeable and knows what product they need. Creating promotional strategies for such a smart audience becomes easy. Australia has 89% of active internet users and thus it makes more of sense to promote the products more on online channels rather than wasting a huge sum of money on the traditional tools of marketing.
The promotion strategy for TOTO should be to promote its product on digital and social media. The Target group can be found mostly spending their time on social media. Thus, it makes more sense to target the customers on the go. TOTO’s marketing strategy should be to increase the awareness about the brand, create an interest among the consumers, and provoke a desire for them to buy the product and then provide them with an action to buy for the consumer. Using the AIDA model, TOTO can effectively target its customers and provide them with highly relevant content. TOTO has to create and promote blogs about the growing importance of advanced toilets and how they are creating a wave in the new world. Developing content focussing on TOTO’s product, features, history and promoting the special discount offers will be highly beneficial to increase the penetration of TOTO’s product. Promotion of the products, discount on social media, special offers, loyalty bonus, quizzes, Event for the audience will help the company in reaching a large number of audiences, which are usually difficult to reach via traditional tools of marketing. TOTO should do a profiling of its customers and segment them in buckets as to what kind of content they consume what websites they log on to on a daily base and then push relevant content to them both organically and inorganically(Moor, 2003)
The above mentioned strategy will help TOTO in driving the sales and create a market which is aware of the advanced technology in the sanitary ware. The strategies should be implemented at the earliest as it is a matter of time that competitors might think of the same and thus can leverage the first mover’s advantage.
TOTO is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of advanced toilets and sanitary ware, the name TOTO stands for superior quality of luxurious products laced with advanced technology. The audience for TOTO comprises of individuals who fall in the age group of 25-35, it is the audience which is highly informed and prefers trendy and quality product. The same can be interpreted as win –win for both the audience and the company as TOTO caters to those needs of the customers. Washlets and Bidets are the most popular products of the company and hence leveraging on the success of the product range makes more sense, as the people are already ware of the cutting edge technology and their high relevancy. TOTO’s product are premium priced because of high investments in R&D, technology, thus customers prefer to stay away from company’s product, hence TOTO should start with penetration pricing strategy to capture a large audience and make the products affordable and increase the awareness of it. Internet penetration in Australia makes more sense for the company to invest in marketing on the digital and social media, the company will be able to reduce the costs of marketing and reach a wider audience on digital platforms.
Booth, R. (2015). High-tech Toilets and the Future.
Helm, R., & Gritsch, S. (2014). Examining the influence of uncertainty on marketing mix strategy elements in emerging business to business export-markets. International Business Review, 23(2), 418-428.
Jackson, G., & Ahuja, V. (2016). Dawn of the digital age and the evolution of the marketing mix. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 17(3), 170-186.
Khan, M. T. (2014). The concept of'marketing mix'and its elements (a conceptual review paper). International journal of information, business and management, 6(2), 95.
Moor, E. (2003). Branded spaces: the scope of ‘new marketing’. Journal of Consumer Culture, 3(1), 39-60.
Pathak, R., & Sharma, M. (2016). Kohler Innovate the Consumer Way: Because Hands are made For Love. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 280-88.
Toto.com 2017, About Toto – Clean Technology, viewed 1st February 2018, https://gb.toto.com/company/about/clean-technology/