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Rubber Sole Shoe Shop Marketing Review
2. Target Market
3. Length and breadth of the store’s product
4. Competitive set
5. Positioning of the product
6. List of competitors
7. SWOT analysis
8. Different distribution channels used by the company
9. Store’s marketing campaign
Rubber Sole Shoe Shop was founded in 2001, since then it has grown rapidly into the UK’s major footwear websites. It has become one of the foremost success stories of the internet era through quality of service, competitive pricing, huge selection of shoes and maintaining loyal customer base. It has sourced the most up to date and fashionable footwear brands providing customers of all sex and age groups ultimate satisfaction. 360 degree photography of products at Rubber Sole aids most realistic high street shopping on web.
According to Kotler, “A target market consists of a set of buyers who share common needs or characteristics that a company decides to serve.” The four ways to target market are:
§ Undifferentiated (Mass) marketing
§ Differentiated (Segmented) marketing
§ Concentrated (Niche) marketing
§ Micromarketing (local or individual marketing)
Rubber Sole Shoe Shop, however, focuses only on concentrated (or niche) marketing strategy as it sells only footwear. It offers a variety of footwear like Boots, Clogs, Espadrilles, Scandals, Shoes, Slippers, and Trainers in all sizes ranging from kids to adults with diverse brands. It gives this nicher an edge and convenience to the customers.
Length and Breadth of the store’s product:
Product mix width (breadth) refers to the number of different product lines the company carries where as Product mix length refers to the total number of items the company carries within its product lines [Kotler, Marketing Management].
The group of competitive brands within the market is Competitive set. Having a rich variety of footwear like boots, clogs, espadrilles, sandals, shoes, slippers, trainers etc in all sizes ranging from kids to adults along with different brands; It’s obvious to say that Rubber Sole has got a strong competitive set.
Positioning of the Product:
Principle of Marketing, 5th edition states positioning of the product as “arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to competing products in the minds of target consumers”. With competitive pricing, considerable selection of shoes and fineness of service, Rubber Sole have been able to maintain first-class image in customer’s eyes. With passionate heart on customer service as well as providing customers best prices on top designer brands gives Rubber Sole an edge over its competitors.
List of Competitors:
Ø Footwear Direct
Ø Guat Shoes
Ø Jones Bootmaker
Ø Phoenix Orthopaedic Soft Shoes and Boots
Ø Reebok (UK) Trainers
Ø Russel & Bromley Fashion Shoes
Ø Star-Rite Shoes Ltd
A distillation of the findings of the internal and external audits which draws attention to the critical organizational strengths and weakness and opportunity and threats facing the company is known as SWOT analysis [Principles of Marketing, 5th edition]. The SWOT analysis of Rubber Sole Shoe Shop is briefly discussed below:
· Secure e-payment.
· Biggest and massive choice among others and free next day delivery.
· 360 degree photography of products aids most realistic high street shopping experience on the web.
· Money off vouchers gives discount on entire purchase or order of certain amount and percent off vouchers codes gives discount on entire purchase.
· Search sorted by Product, Brand, Gender, Shoe Size and Price provides competitive edge over competitors.
· ‘Custom Flip Flops’ option allows wholesale customers to virtually design rubber flip flops to their specification.
· Discount codes to some of the most regular customers plus VAT reduction.
· A lot of product sizes are out of stock.
· Calvin Klein shoes which has such a good brand image and sells is nil in stock.
· Free sign ups to reveal various Rubber Sole news or subscribing Newsletter to interested customers regarding new products, accessories, brands, offers and more.
· ‘New Arrival’ option can be added that introduces new product or accessories or brand which has been just launched in the market to catch customer’s eyes.
· ‘Deal of the week’ provided by Clarks provides great offers which might divert customers attention and reduce sells of Rubber Sole.
· Competitor’s store at various places provides convenience to customers there by reducing Rubber Sole’s market.
Different distribution channels used by the company:
Rubber Sole Shoe Shop uses marketing mix as distribution channel which in fact is the set of controllable tactical marketing tool – price, product, place, and promotion – that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market.
ü Price: The amount of money charged for a product or service or the sum of the values that consumers exchange for the benefits of having or using the product or service (Principles of Marketing, 5th edition). Rubber sole shoe shop rates its products at lowest price as well as lowers VAT. ‘Sale items’ provides footwear at a relatively very low price in-regard to its original price.
ü Product: Anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or a need (Principles of Marketing, 5th edition). Rubber sole shoe shop offers footwear like boots, clogs, espadrilles, scandals, shoes, slippers as its products.
ü Place: All the company activities that make the product or service available to target customers (Evans, Berman, Marketing, 8e). Since Rubber Sole Shoe Shop is mainly online shoe shop so it is not focused on place.
ü Promotion: Activities that communicate the product or service and its merits to target customers and persuade them to buy (Principles of Marketing, 5th edition). Rubber sole shoe shop uses 360 degree photography to promote most realistic high street shopping of its products on the web. Moreover, it also uses banners, text links, contextual advertising, own/publisher website, blogging/forum postings etc as its promotional strategy.
Store’s marketing campaign:
Rubber Sole Shoe Shop employs the following promotional methods:
§ Organic search engine optimization
§ PPC search engine
§ Contextual advertising
§ Forum / Blogging postings
§ Publisher / Own website
§ Text Links
Rubber Sole Shoe Shop, in my opinion, should keep stock up to date as a lot of footwear and its sizes are nil in stock. It should subscribe newsletter or provide online news to interested customers regarding new products, accessories, brands etc to promote marketing campaign. Likely, it should also add ‘New Arrivals’ Caption on its site that supplies information regarding new product that has been recently launched in the market to draw new deals.
Rubber Sole Shoe Shop has been able to establish itself in less than five years is itself a matter of merit. Quality of service, competitive pricing, huge selection of footwear and maintaining loyal customer base are foundation of the store. With a motto of providing best possible service at best possible price, it has become one of the major successful stories of internet era.
Joel R. Evans, Barry Berman, Marketing 8e, Marketing in 21st century, Biztantra
Kotler, Marketing Management, Prentice Hall
Phillip Kotler, Gary Armstrong, Veronica Wong, John Saunders, Principles of Marketing, Fifth European Edition, Pearson Education
William M. Pride, O. C. Ferrell, Marketing Concepts and Strategies, Twelfth edition, Biztantra
http://www.rubbersole.co.uk/ [Accessed on 24th November 2009]
http://britishcompanies.co.uk/footware.htm [Accessed on 25th November 2009]
http://www.clarks.co.uk/ [Accessed on 26th November 2009]
http://www.suhuh.co.uk/ [Accessed on 28th November 2009]