Beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, companies were production oriented. They believed that the best way to compete was through product innovation and by reducing production costs. In other words, companies thought that good products would sell themselves. Perhaps the best example of such a product was Henry Ford’s Model A automobile, the first product of his production line innovation. Ford’s production line made the automobile cheap and affordable for just about everyone. The production era lasted until the 1920s, when production-capacity growth began to outpace demand growth and new strategies were called for
In the post–World War II environment, demand for goods increased as the economy soared. Some products, limited in supply during World War II, were now plentiful to the point of surplus. Consumers had many choices available to them, so companies had to find new ways to compete. During this time, the marketing concept was developed, and from about 1950 to 1990, businesses operated in the marketing era.
What era would you say we are in today? Others call today’s business environment the one-to-one era, meaning that the way to compete is to build relationships with customers one at a time and seek to serve each customer’s needs individually. The term value era might suite the current model; a time when companies emphasize creating value for customers.
Other individuals argue that the current era is service-dominant logic and that we are in the service dominant logic era. Service-dominant logic is an approach to business that recognizes that consumers want value no matter how it is delivered, whether it's via a product, service, or a combination of the two.
Marketing does not rely on only promising value, it also must deliver value. Delivering an offering that has value is much more complex than simply getting the product to the consumer.; it is also making sure that the user understands how to get the most out of the product and is taken care of if they require service later. Value is delivered through a companies supply chain. The supply chain includes a number of organizations and functions that mine, make, assemble, or deliver materials and products from a manufacturer to a consumer. The supply chain may include wholesalers, transportation and retailers. Logistics, or the actual movement of materials and storage of products, is the primary component of supply chain management.
Along with creating an offering, communicating its benefits to consumers, and delivering the offering, there is the actual transaction, or exchange, that has to occur. In most instances, we consider the exchange to be cash for products or services. You could "pay" for a service through additional means such as frequent-flyer points, or rewards points from your Scene card to attend a movie. These transactions are not actually cash, but they are part of the exchange for service. When consumers acquire, consume, and dispose of products and services, exchange occurs.
Disposing of products has become an important ecological issue. Batteries and other components of cell phones, computers, and high-tech appliances can be very harmful to the environment, and many consumers don’t know how to dispose of these products properly. Some companies, such as Office Depot, have created recycling centers to which customers can take their old electronics.
Apple has a Web page where consumers can fill out a form, print it, and ship it along with their old cell phones and MP3 players to Apple. Apple then pulls out the materials that are recyclable and properly disposes of those that aren’t. By lessening the hassle associated with disposing of products, Office Depot and Apple add value to their product offerings.
Assignment 2: Marketing
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