Discuss about the Strategic Brand Management for Creating and Sustaining.
The intense of competition and marketing decision in today's world turns out to be an important factor that leads to the success of the company. The management decisions and the marketing mix strategies are taken by the company do reflect in the four Ps of marketing mixes such as product, price, promotion and place. Significantly, these parameters can be controlled by a marketing manager that emerges in a different manner for overcoming the hindrances and threats of the company. The internal and external environment are over control at a stagnant point when these parameters are subsequently been revised, and steps are taken to take comparative measures. The gap is filled with strategic management tools and techniques that can enhance the overall company’s success and market position (Kottler & Kevin, 2012). It is reported that Qantas Airlines is one of the largest airlines in Australia and it enjoys the dominance in its local market (www.qantas.com, 2017). The airline carries passengers to and fro from its country and within its country. But, the recent reports have witnessed the slow growth of the company in Australia which was met after the financial meltdown felt globally by the rival companies also. It has affected Qantas’ market position in the market share. This is a matter of concern which is sharply recognised in the market. This study mainly analysis the marketing mix strategies and the critics regarding the marketing mix (Kottler & Amstrong, 2012). The main aim of the exercise is to analyse the target market, current market and even the marketing mix elements. So, the marketing mix of the company, that helps to consolidate the position of Qantas, is being evaluated.
The Queensland and North Territory Aerial Services is now known as Qantas. The airlines is the oldest aviation company operating in Australia and second oldest among world’s airlines. Quan. The company operates more than 5000 weekly flights across Africa, America, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. It flies to more than 50 destinations globally. The company is even nicknamed by the customers and the clients as the flying kangaroo. It operates in the domestic area with the name of QantasLink that carries more than 1500 flights with a crisscross structure in the Australian continent (www.qantas.com, 2017). The low-fare airline and achieving customer satisfaction is the benefit that Qantas group has a name in the global market. The marketing strategies that are applied here may be a real advantage for the company in its success and development phase. The overall company employees more than 35,000 employees from worldwide and has the total revenue which is close enough to 15 Dollars Billion. The year 2013 had less profit while compared to the last year (www.qantas.com, 2017). Now, the company is subsequently trying to achieve its market position with the marketing mix components by regaining its image and recognition in financial context.
Marketplace and target audience
The main markets that consist for Qantas are domestic and international passengers who are carried in many parts of Australia and even in the world. The airlines have an oligopolistic market with relative small clients and huge passengers in the market. The company serves around 30 million passengers annually in and out of the country (www.qantas.com, 2017).There is a cut-throat competition in the market, and this seems to be characterised with the huge market that Qantas operate with the market share. The Qantas airlines had enjoyed a huge profit in the market with 65% of market share. It had the monopoly in the market previously, but now due to severe competition, the airlines has to strive for success shortly. The major competitors of the company are Virgin Australia, Regional Express Airlines and Skywest Airlines (www.qantas.com, 2017).
The target audience consists of the market segmentation that Qantas determine which is a complex structure although and based on these segments, it has varied needs that can be fulfilled by the company. The segment adopts the behavioural segmentation for target market selection, and the company provides services to its customers that are comfortable and have topmost world class in quality and service (www.qantas.com, 2017). There comes another approach that has ranked towards the top airlines which are safety and stylish airlines. Passengers are likely getting attracted towards the stylish look and as such safety approach which tends to formulate the target audience. The business travellers are the target audience who are travelling in Australia or outside the country. Again, there is a segment that is broken down with another field such as conference travellers, routine travellers or even emergency business travellers (Chen, Su & Lin, 2011). The leisure travellers are mainly targeted by the company. The target audience of the company does not hesitate to pay for the services and the luxuries that are provided by the airline (Mooradian, 2012). It has even a customer loyalty program which is carried by the company known as Qantas Frequent Flier. The program helps to know about the effective ways in travelling which are drawn for the business travellers.
The elements of marketing mix include the Product, Price, Place and Promotion carried out by Qantas help to make marketing decisions (Zeithaml, et, al., 2009). Following are the elements of marketing in detail while determining the importance of marketing in the global market.
An immense importance is given by Qantas to the product planning in an increasingly competitive market. The products are mainly crafted for the new customers, and this holds the market position of the company (www.qantas.com, 2017). In context to the profitability index, it is important to look over to the high priority of the products and services that the company offers in the market to the customers. The product of the Qantas Airlines does include the passenger travelling service and accommodation and freight containers. There are premium arrangements that are provided by the airlines. The services provided are first class, business international class, international economy and even premium economy (Roosta, 2009). As such the seating arrangements are different with the services provided by the company. In flight services, amenities and meals are provided by the company in each class. With this, the domestic flights have some separate economy and business class which operates with the flight passenger and entertainment services.
The product features are provided by the company which would help customers to describe the importance and value of product or services. Qantas thus tries to augment with the better services and product to the passengers (O’Sullivan, et, al., 2011). There are other amenities that help for the business class to augment its products. Moreover, the airlines even provide the online services whether it is booking or finding some information regarding the flights and the services that it provides to the general public. The company now tries to add the benefits of more travelling aircraft to operate easily with the better services for regular intervals. The entertainment services and other amenities by the company may help to boost the customer's interest and attract them with the extra features of the services and products of the company (Kapferer, 2008). The connecting flights are provided by the company, and this helps to make up customers mind to not shift the other airlines while travelling for the business and conference purpose. Varied time is saved by the customers, and this would help in providing the frequent advantage to the company. The frequent flyer program is conducted by Qantas, and this is most popularly started by the Qantas airlines for better information to the passengers (McCharty, et, al., 2011).
Brand loyalty is again achieved when the products of the company are satisfactory, and the company earns a huge profit while maintaining the brand with the services it provides to the customers. As such brand loyalty has been achieved when the value satisfaction is achieved, and the customer's goals are satisfied by Qantas. At this moment, there are products that the company has given which are varied and the services that help to engage the customers to opt for Qantas airlines. Brand awareness is necessary as such the company creates an interest in advertising its products in the market (Iranzadeh et al. 2012). The company has one of the most brand names in the airline industry that attracts the millions of passengers who have travelled by the airlines and have made a cognitive difference while comparing the Qantas airlines with other airlines. There are again some features such as the company history, slogan and company logo that fits in with the competitive advantage that is felt by the passengers (Cravens & Nigel, 2009).
Qantas uses the cost plus margin when determining the pricing system for its airlines (www.qantas.com, 2017). The more the demand for the product, the higher are the prices for the product. This again is a simple rule, but many rival companies try to achieve the market with simple pricing method and maintaining the price as per the competitors pricing. There are even competitive pricing methods that are used by the companies to compete with the price strategy in the competitive market while achieving competitive advantage. While penetrative pricing method is evenly used at times by the company for low-cost advantage. There are price discounts that are portrayed and the offers which help to maintain the customer. Customer retention is the main goal, and this is achieved by the company while lowering the price and providing the facility to the customers (www.qantas.com, 2017). The new destinations have different prices which have low pricing structures. The frequent flyer program has offered the company with some offer of getting the customer benefit. The prices include the cost and the other services that the company has to add to the main product or service expense (Chattopadhyay et al. 2010). All the given overheads can be calculated, and if possible, the pricing system is applied in recession with low cost and high customer satisfaction and customer benefit.
There are some ways when the company wants to promote the products or services in the market. It comes with the media agency or the social media activity. The advertisements are meant when it comes to radio, TV, billboards, internet advertisements, magazines and brochures. The main purpose is to provide the product and service awareness to the general public with the purpose of product promotion and branding as the main criteria. There are even direct marketing techniques that can be used directly to send some messages to the general public (www.qantas.com, 2017). Qantas applies this in general, and the public is aware of the products and the services that are meant to give a subsequent advantage. There are sales promotions that are mainly used for the low seasons and other direct selling that can be used for the passengers of the corporate class (www.qantas.com, 2017). Social networking blogs, mail marketing, etc. do get a closer impact to the customers with some offers and discounts. There are some PR activities, event, art, entertainment programs and sports that involve the customers to engage into the Qantas airlines and try to use the products (Lovelock & Wirtz, 2011).
There are direct sales that are conducted by the Qantas airlines, and these are countered at the specific airports. With this, there are some retail outlets that engage in the ticket sales. More and more used is the internet services through which online booking is possible as easily as saving the time and money at the comparative level. The company website plays an integral role because online ticketing is an easy go for passengers rather than meeting the personnel and confirming the tickets. So direct market is less used for this purpose (Frosen, et, al., 2013). The market now is online, and this is the advantages that other airlines do give to its customers and passengers while feeling free with the concerned promotional measures at the same time. Even mobile phones and telephones are used to book tickets on an easy go. Travel agents are another options that are used by business class passengers. The travel agents are like intermediaries between the company and the customers, so the broking charges are applied at this end, rather the benefits are higher than what it looks like (Grey, et, al., 2002).
In the year 2012, Qantas and Emirates have got into a joint venture alliance for the future growth. In the circumstance of the similar statement, Chattopadhyay, Dutta & Sivani (2010) asserted that the partnership was formed with a contract of next 10 years. It has been inferred that the Qantas’ international operations has lost $450 million in 2011, due to intense competitions, high fuel prices, economic downturn in the European and US markets and restructuring costs. Various analysts believe that the partnership with Emirates could generate an annual earnings uplift of A$80m-A$90m for Qantas. Moreover, the partnership will assist Emirates to tap the corporate market in Australia, which is a target of rival brands including Abu Dhabi-based Etihad
In the framework of the present statement, O’Sullivan, et, al. (2011) asserted that Qantas might have attained a profitable position and managed to retain its staffs with effective efforts. In the year 2015, the management of the specific company has included its shareholders and employees in its annual general meeting after its dramatic turnaround from huge corporate losses. On the contrary, Dutta & Sivani (2010) stated that over 40 % of staffs working part time on wages have claimed to leave many below the poverty line. Moreover, 70% of staffs reported that pay is not sufficient to meet the costs while over three-quarters, which prohibits retiring even at the age of 65.
Quantas has considerably improved its service quality. The body languages of the staffs and even the cabin crews have become firm and polite. The brand is offering exceptional loyalty building service by using the customer data. The airline has a dedicated team to manage the social media channels and respond to the customers queries and post in real-time. The team monitors on the customers’ behaviors and online comments, based on which real-time responses are provided to build one-to-one relationship with the customers.
Customers always prefer a neat and clean environment, especially in the aviation sector. Therefore, it is very important for the brands operating in the specific sector to maintain a clean and hygiene measures to maintain good customers’ experiences. Qantas Airline has considerably worked on the above aspect and managed to maintain a clean and environment friendly environment. Moreover, in 2013, the brand has introduced a new uniform to create a pleasing impact on its customers. Dacko (2008) mentioned that customers require witnessing some visual changes to rely on the services quality. Therefore, the changes in uniform pattern have been a physical evidence for the brand to ensure the customers about its service improvements.
Market mix strategies
While considering and comparing the time of inception of Qantas, which is around hundred years ago the airlines has been among the leading airlines in the world because of the products and services it provides to its passengers. It has previously been ranked among the world class flights that provides world class service. The Qantas has now faced a severe issue while it has its roots sinking due to some or the other reason. The route that the airline industry provides has some destinations all over the world. So the best use of marketing mix strategies is implemented by the company. The connecting routes are now available and it is an easy going way for the passengers to travel to a distinct place within Australia (www.qantas.com, 2017). Customer relationship marketing is a consistent tool that helps the company to achieve its position in the market and helps to intelligently craft the airlines. Transparency and company messages are again the steps that adopt in the airlines. So the recent turmoil has subsequently harmed the company, and the best strategies are used by the airlines to compete in the world. The marketing mix technique would eventually be a success when a customer relationship is maintained, and services are provided in a distinct manner to the customers. The products and services must have a differentiation feature and can attract the customers while this can be a distinct feature to increase the sales volume of the company (Michael & Grewal, 2008). High demand can be achieved by the company, and brand loyalty can be maintained by the customers if there are discounts, offers and other promotional measures that the company tries to add as an advantage to the product specification (Dacko, 2008). Consistency and customization are very important. Flight delays should subsequently be reduced to zero; this will help to achieve the benefit in an increase in sales volume and profitability (Farahani, 2013).
Brands have the tendency of tracking customers’ responses while the transition of improving the service standards. After receiving positive results, the customer care units get reluctant and fail to carry out the method. Thus, brands again loose out its potential customers once again. Qantas has managed to improve its customer experience with better service offerings, thus, the brands requires being persistent in its effort.
It is very important for the airlines brands to ensure that its IT (Information Technology) unit is on the right track. Presently, with the several online facilities, the customers are getting highly inclined towards online operations. Majority of the brands seem to lose out customer base due to inefficient IT support. The customers prefer booking s tickets through the dedicated corporate and online portals of the airlines. Hence, in case of technical and server slow down issues, the customers would feel irritated and look for a better flight option. Hence, it is very important for the IT department to maintain its performance in terms of technicalities and also to be aware of the technical upgradations. Different software are implemented by the airlines brands to simplify customers’ efforts, thus, it is very important to stay updated to sustain in the volatile market.
The marketing mix strategies are applied by Qantas airlines while providing best products and services to its customers. The four marketing mix elements such as Product, Price, Place and Promotional measures are analysed and rendered by the company to make the current position of the company stronger as before. These can be revised by measuring the success and the failure criteria. The internal and external environment are examined to get an idea about the strengths and weakness of the company.
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