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Effectiveness of marketing cues on consumer perceptions of quality:

Strategic social marketing Thousand Oaks SAGE Publications Inc.

Forecasting marketing-mix responsiveness for new products.

Why place matters more than ever in a global virtual world.

Numerous forms of energy-consuming goods tend to be regulated

Numerous forms of energy-consuming goods tend to be regulated in an effort to control the levels of dangerous substances that they contain. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive is the European Union restriction of 6 main dangerous substances in novel electrical or electronic equipment that is sold, utilized, or manufactured  in the EU after 2006 (Ingenbleek & Van Der Lans, 2013). These substances incorporate mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, probiminated biphenyls, and cadmium (Luan & Sudhir, 2010). It is important for today’s manufacturers to understand the requirements of the RoHS regulations, ensuring that all of their elements and products comply. Most electronics industry organizations are strictly regulated, where product and environmental quality regulations are common across the globe. Moreover, most of these regulations happen to be firmer in America and European nations. The EU adopted substantially increased environmental regulations in the course of 2003, where the laws limit the utilization of specific substances considered to be hazardous (Elliott, Rundle-Thiele & Waller, 2012).

In today’s current worldwide marketplace, there are numerous ‘green’ regulations that organizations need to comply with so as to be victorious within their business dealings. From the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), manufacturers are hit with various regulations that can have great influences on their business processes and triumph (Pride, 2011). The RoHS directive usually applies to electronic and electrical goods together with their component parts. This particular law requires the virtual exclusion of certain halogens and heavy metals from electronic equipment (Bornemann & Homburg, 2011). The WEEE directive aims at raising the level of recycling of electronic and electrical equipment while at the same time encouraging designers to manufacture products with recycling in mind.

RoHS advocates for this through the reduction of the amount of hazardous chemicals utilized in the course of production. It was introduced to enhance the welfare of distributors, manufacturers, the environment, and consumers (Akdeniz, Calantone & Voorhees, 2013). Notably, any business selling applicable electronic goods, components, or sub-assemblies directly to European Union nations, or selling to distributors, integrators, or resellers that in turn sell goods to European Union nations, is affected if they use any of the banned materials. RoHS is important in the sense that the banned materials are dangerous to the environment and tend to pollute landfills, in addition to being hazardous with regards to occupational exposure in the course of recycling and production (Ingenbleek & Van Der Lans, 2013). As already indicated, WEEE compliance is aimed at encouraging the strategy of electronic goods with environmentally-friendly recovery and recycling in mind. RoHS compliance merges into WEEE by minimizing the amount of hazardous chemicals utilized during electronic production. It controls the dangerous substances while WEEE controls the disposal of the same.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive

The impact of environmental regulations on electronic manufacturing in general and my operation in particular

In the last two decades, the electronics sector has witnessed a continuous pressure in product control compliance due to increased number of regulations and product manufacturers and designers need to adhere to, in order to put goods into the marketplace and take them back again (Kotler, 2012). These laws aim at controlling the products together with their characteristic in addition to minimizing the impact to health, being respectful to the environment, and reducing security threats. Applying environmental controls to manufacturing companies usually means that these firms need to adhere to only a single set of local laws associated with emissions, waste, and water discharge. Contrarily, when looking at control compliance around products, companies should be aware of controls from various jurisdictions such as the European Union which has numerous laws, regulations, and individual rules (Elliott, Rundle-Thiele & Waller, 2012).

The changing aspects of the electronic sector, from its quick turnover innovation phases to the quick expansion of maturing market industries, are coercing environmental controllers to reevaluate many of the substance limitations they began discussing in the mid-90s. Consumers are requesting for a total environmental compliance solution which would enable engineers to be liberated from the compliance stress, keeping them free to work on manufacturing and design problems (Pride, 2011). Meanwhile, the EU is continuously tweaking RoHS in an effort to ensure that the revised version is in line with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), which is responsible for controlling all substances and materials imported into, or made in the EU, together with all goods that enter the EU (Bornemann & Homburg, 2011).

A number of industry sources believe that the REACH list of substance requirements could increase by the end of the year and as a result, a union of industry firms such as Dell, Sony Ericsson, and Hewlett-Packard is in search of alternative materials for the most likely candidates (Akdeniz, Calantone & Voorhees, 2013). From what has recently been observed, several firms are now concentrating more on environmental issues where most of them are advising SMEs to evaluate their compliance with present regulations and their ability to adhere to the novel demands for implementing future rules transformations.

Formulation of an environmental plan to ensure compliance in my manufacturing process

In order to ensure compliance in my manufacturing process, I could plan to take up an environmental certification. Here, I can willingly choose to obey the predefined objectives or processes laid out by the certification service (Ingenbleek & Van Der Lans, 2013). By so doing, my company will provide ethical products for the consumers, improve the reputation of the firm, make higher profits, gain better associations with stakeholders, and increase sustainable development. Certification will ensure that consumers are steering their buying behavior in a more environmentally sound direction (Luan & Sudhir, 2010).

Impact of environmental regulations on electronic manufacturing

Reliability in the context of product design and manufacture

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, novel products have been emerging at an ever increasing pace (Elliott, Rundle-Thiele & Waller, 2012). The complexity of the goods has also increased in an effort to meet the increasing expectations and needs of consumers. On the other hand, products tend to degrade with usage and/or age and fail when they can no longer function normally. Reliability theory addresses different issues such as the design of reliable goods, the functioning of unreliable goods and the understanding of the degradation mechanism (Pride, 2011). In the context of product design and manufacture, reliability usually conveys the idea of dependability, absence of failures, and triumphant performance or operation. This means that the reliability of a product is the possibility that this particular product or system will perform as expected for a given period of time when functioning under stated or normal environmental conditions (Bornemann & Homburg, 2011).

The effects of reliability on product pricing and customer perceptions

Conventionally, the customer decision making process has revolved around customer service, product quality, and price. Following the technological advancements, attributes of services and goods have transformed, leading to transformations in the decision making process as well (Akdeniz, Calantone & Voorhees, 2013). It is important to note that consumers tend to use retail price as guidance to product quality. This means that higher priced products are believed to have higher quality compared to low priced goods. Moreover, price is considered to have a dual role as both an indicator of quality and an indicator of monetary sacrifice. The latter is a consumer’s perception of what must be sacrificed in the process of buying a product or a perception of what must be given up by paying a certain price (Pride, 2011). In other words, higher prices lead consumers to initially perceive higher quality, and then perceive higher value, and eventually are more willing to pay. It also means that higher priced products can perform over a longer period of time compared to lower priced ones.  Overall, perceived quality together with monetary sacrifice are the main factors determining buying intentions and perceived value.

The ‘bathtub’ curve and its applicability to product design, manufacture and the provision of warranties

The reputation or image of any given company is closely related to the quality of its products. Reliability is considered a key factor for determining such quality. Reliability experts usually describe the lifetime of a population of goods using a graphical representation known as the bathtub (John & Katherine, 2012). This curve constitutes three phases namely the infant mortality stage, the normal stage, and a wear-out stage. It is also widely used in reliability engineering which indicates the trend of failure rates of a given equipment or system obtained throughout its life cycle. The initial stage is a representation of the failure rate of early life period which decreases in nature; the second stage is a representation of the failure rate of useful life period which is somewhat constant in nature, and the last stage represents failure rate of wear out period which increases in nature (Luan & Sudhir, 2010). The vast majority of expenses of failures for a majority of electronics manufacturers come in the initial years of its life, some covered by the warranty period. The cost of lost future sales can be greater than warranty costs, but it may never be known since it is quite difficult to quantify (Elliott, Rundle-Thiele & Waller, 2012).

Formulation of an environmental plan to ensure compliance in my manufacturing process

In the course of developing novel products, increasing sales, and spreading into a novel market or planning a product launch, the significance of carrying out a market research can never be overemphasized (Pride, 2011). Such research not only assists marketers in making decisions about products or services, but also helps them ascertain and understand competitor information such as their customer focus, identity and scale of operations, and their market network. Market research is important for today’s businesses as it provides customer information in terms of their location, purchasing behavior, gender, and location. Apart from maximization of profits, other goals like item optimization, price elasticity, and profitability analysis are also met. Market research results in increased sales and equips management with the authority to make better decisions (Bornemann & Homburg, 2011).

Various methods of market research and their relevance to an organization

There are various methods of market research depending on the kind of information one wants to collect about their market, competitors, or customers. The two main techniques of market research are primary research and secondary research. The former tends to collect initial information directly, rather than being collected from published sources (French & Gordon, 2015). Primary research gives the researcher the ability to regulate the kind of questions to be asked and information to be collected. On the other hand, secondary research usually collects already existing information through available sources such as the Internet, market research outcomes, government agencies or libraries. This method of research allows the researcher to make the most of existing information about the market.

How pricing affects sales and consequently profits

Pricing is considered to be the most significant driver of profits for any given business. However, entrepreneurs and manages often choose to ignore the issue. When most businesses start the work of pricing services or products, they usually use similar standard mark-up (Ingenbleek & Van Der Lans, 2013). It is the market that determines what something costs and the premium price is considered to be the highest price a given market can allow. Companies with the ability to get the prices it deserves for the value delivered can charge premiums even in a competitive or commoditized market (Luan & Sudhir, 2010). The main drivers for high pricing power are brand and customer value. That is perhaps the reason why today’s businesses are redirecting their price strategy in an effort to achieve higher profits, rather than market or volume share.

Reliability in the context of product design and manufacture

The significance and application of the five P’s in the context of marketing

The five P’s of marketing, also referred to as the marketing mix, are as significant as any part of a business and assist in detailing the areas that are important to the business. For one to be triumphant, they need to have a good combination of supplying a desirable product, selling at a luring price in the right location, and utilizing attention-grabbing promotional tactics. The five P’s constitute of Product, Price, Place, People, and Promotion (Elliott, Rundle-Thiele & Waller, 2012).  Product is what a company is selling and when pricing the products, a company needs to take into consideration the position in the market, competitors’ price, and the cost of production and transport. It is also paramount to consider the target audience in order to ensure that the product and/or service is being showcased in a place which is accessible. On the other hand, people are the key to a thriving business as well as representations of attitude and appearance to potential consumers (Pride, 2011). Lastly, promotion is considered to be the most important P of all since the organization needs to let individuals know about their products and/or services.

A marketing plan is one that gives a business a systematic approach to developing its marketing strategies (Bornemann & Homburg, 2011). Interestingly, everyone is aware of the need for a business plan, but fail to realize a marketing plan is just as important. Contrary to a business plan, a marketing plan concentrates more on winning and retaining consumers. Based on my research and manufacturing intentions, I will produce a coherent marketing plan that will not only help me understand my customers, competition, and customers, but also help with managing and monitoring performance.

The marketing plan will constitute an evaluation of my current market, steps to attaining my business objectives, a proposed budget, important marketing strategies in my business, and a schedule of the marketing activities to be undertaken (Akdeniz, Calantone & Voorhees, 2013). My marketing plan will be an ongoing process in the course of the different phases of my business. It is also important that I thoroughly study or research my target area or potential consumers before embarking on my marketing strategy.

References

Akdeniz, B., Calantone, R.J., & Voorhees, C.M. (2013). ‘Effectiveness of marketing cues on consumer perceptions of quality: The moderating roles of brand reputation and third-party information.’ Psychology & Marketing, 30(1). Pp. 76 – 89.

Bornemann, T., & Homburg, C. (2011). ‘Psychological distance and the dual role of price.’ Journal of Consumer Research, 38(3). Pp. 490 – 504.

Elliott, G., Rundle-Thiele, S., & Waller, D. (2012). Marketing. Milton, Qld.: John Wiley and Sons Australia.

French, J., & Gordon, R. (2015). Strategic social marketing. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Inc.

Ingenbleek, P.T., & Van Der Lans, I.A. (2013). ‘Relating price strategies and price-setting practices.’ European Journal of Marketing, 47(1/2). Pp. 27 – 48.

John, A.Q., & Katherine, E.J. (2012). All business is local: Why place matters more than ever in a global, virtual world. New York: Penguin.

Kotler, P. (2012). Marketing Management. New York: Pearson Education.

Luan, Y.J., & Sudhir, K. (2010). ‘Forecasting marketing-mix responsiveness for new products.’ Journal of Marketing Research, 47(3). Pp. 444 – 457.

Pride, W.M. (2011). Marketing principles. South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning.

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