Advice on the marketing strategy in the automotive market Advice on Corpus automotive marketing strategy Table of contents Subject Page Table of content 2 Introduction 3 The competitive advantage of corporate image The identification factor Image Research 5 Conclusion and advice 6 Best fitting marketing strategy for automotive precision tubes in the European Market By Corporately 7 Appendices Appendix A: Research question, sub-questions and hypothesis 9 Appendix B: Survey questionnaire Appendix C: Answers survey questionnaire Appendix D: Competitor analysis 10 11 13
The aim of this assignment is to advice the board of Corpus on their marketing strategy based on identity / image concerning the automotive market. In the previous two assignments the segmentation, positioning and competitors were analyzed. Based on the data from the survey and the literature research, results are interpreted. A company does not always have the same image as the preferred identity. Three image perspectives have to be identified and managed together, namely: Self image, projected image and perceived image. The research question and hypotheses are attached in appendix A for reference.
According to Christie (2002), the main reason to invest in the management of corporate image, is to gain competitive advantage. A good image of Corpus would attract and retain shareholder investment, loyal customers and well educated personnel. According to Homeliness (1997) is establishing positive relationships with the society, a way to gain credibility and ensuring that Corpus’ interests are taken in account when decisions in society are made. Corpus has a lot of competitors which are analyzed in appendix D. A good corporate image is a way to gain an advantage with respect to them.
Damage to the corporate image can be very costly and can take a very long time to recover from. The identification factor The following definition of identity is used: The quality or condition of being a specified person or thing (company like Corpus), individuality; personality; absolute sameness. (The Australian Oxford Dictionary, 1999) According to Goldsmith et al (2002) it was found that consumers perceptions of an organization and it’s products are influenced by both the corporate credibility of the to deliver the products and services customers want) and by the credibility of the endorser.
The preferred identity of Corpus (answer on subsection 2 in appendix A): Corpus wants an image of a good price versus quality steel supplier, with taking care of the environment. A reliable supplier that keeps in mind the wishes of the customer, through continues dialogue with the customer. On-time delivery; an innovating company that continually improves his products with keeping in mind the safety of the products and the workers; and a good financial and technical service. The following definition of image is used: The character or reputation of a person or thing (like Corpus) as perceived by the public.
The Australian Oxford Dictionary, 1999) In the corporate image management of companies there are three image perspectives that have to be taken in account. Namely: Self image, projected image and perceived image. According to Fernando & Pages (1999) is facilitating the development of strategies for an organization, the way to make optimal use of image capital. According to Gray (1986) corporate image is formed in the minds of employees, customers, investors, the media, government and citizens and is a composite of attitudes and beliefs about that corporation, but also says that corporate reality and public perceptions are far apart.
Corpus’ self image Self image (= corporate identity) is the image that Corpus’ receives among employees; by the employee relations and communication. From earlier investigation, it follows that Corpus has a strong business culture, where the employees share the common (preferred) identity of Corpus, like mentioned under the identity factor’. Although (some) employees are not always satisfied with their working conditions and safety. Corpus’ projected image Corpus’ projected image is the image that Corpus ‘projects’ to the outside world. What the organization transmits to its receivers about itself.
Corpus’ should ensure that it is projecting its image at the right audience, I. E. The people who uses its products and services. Corpus should make sure that the values and experiences of the projected image are in the way Corpus’ wants to be seen by the public. According to McGuire (1999) is service failure the main reason why customers change service providers. Corpus should be aware of this. The combination of both self and projected image defines the perceived image. Market orientation is corresponding with the projected image; it involves placing the value of the product in the costumer’s mind (car manufacturers).
From investigation the projected image of Corpus is mainly corresponding with the self image, where the emphasis is on customer relations, that Corpus is seen as a reliable price versus quality steel supplier with an excellent service. Although, the projected image of being a very sustainable and taking care of the environment is not shared by the self image. Also the projected image of taking care of their personnel is not quite corresponding with the self image: A Lot of workers are not quite happy with there working conditions and drag this to the outside world.
The perceived image is the image that Corpus’ had by customers, investors and neural society. For any company it’s ideal that the perceived image is corresponding with the self and projected image. In appendix B the survey questionnaire should measure the perceived image. The data from the survey questionnaire states that important characteristics of Corpus for the car manufacturers are: Sustainability, cost reduction, safety, lightweight materials and good service. See table 1 . With service they mean on-time delivery, good financial and technical services.
Below the answers on the subsection 1 find in appendix A: What are important characteristics of Corpus? Quality products at reasonable costs, sustainable, save materials, onetime delivery, sometimes poor working conditions, high carbon-dioxide Jaguar emissions, good service. Quality products at reasonable costs, sustainable, save materials, Landholder lightweight materials. Quality products at reasonable costs, sustainable, good services, Volvo greener products, good service. Quality products at reasonable costs, sustainable, reliable, sometimes Ford poor working conditions, high carbon-dioxide emissions.
Quality products at normal / lower costs, sustainable, save materials, Mediumistic reliable, good financial / technical service. Renault Quality products at normal / low costs (Dacca), sustainable, save. Table 1: Important characteristics steel supplier for car manufacturers The complete list of answers is given in appendix C. To be mentioned: All car manufacturers want save products; a good perceived image of making save products should improve sales. Sustainability is also an important characteristic. A holistic corporate image model is used to comprise the three characteristics of Corpus’ self, projected and perceived image.
A positive congruence between all three images leads to optimal organizational effectiveness. In figure 1 there is a figure that emperies those three images. Figure 1 : Holistic corporate image comprising the three perspectives of corporate image. The red area is a part of the self image that is neither being projected nor perceived. Corpus’ sees himself as an innovating company, but the projected and perceived image is not so. From investigation, the projected and perceived image is Just that of a bulk steel supplier.
The yellow area represents aspects of an image that is being projected but is not congruent with the self image and is ineffective in that they are not being perceived. This is the case for the working conditions and safety of employees: Corpus projects this image to the outside world, but is not shared by the The blue area represents perceptions held by Corpus’ targets, but are not deliberately projected by Corpus and are not consistent with its self image. This is the case for the environment (carbon-dioxide emissions). The society sees Corpus as a very polluting company, which is not really caring about the environment.
Despite this not shared by the self and projected image. Area A is aspects of the self image that are being projected but are not perceived, this is ‘a wasted effort’. For Corpus this the direct illegal with the customer and taking in mind the wishes of the customer: The perceived image (table 1 and answers questionnaire) is not corresponding with the self and projected image. Area B are parts of the self image those are not being projected but are perceived anyway. For Corpus there are no big important issues here. If there are imperfections Corpus’ is not hiding some of its imperfections unsuccessfully.
Area C is where an image is being projected that is not congruent with the self image, but is effective that it’s being perceived. For Corpus this is the case for sustainability of the products. Area D are the aspects of the self image that are both being projected and also perceived. This is Ideal for Corpus. This is the case for quality and a good price versus quality products, and a good financial and technical service. This is emphasized in the ‘identity of Corpus and is seen in the projected and perceived Limitations of the conducted survey questionnaire, is that the chosen car manufacturers represent Just a small group of them.
Therefore there’s the potential threat of selection bias, which means that there is a selection effect, and the results of the survey questionnaire are not completely representative. From the survey questionnaire and the literature research assumptions can be made and a potential best fitting strategy can be assumed and proposed. However, in Europe Germany is the biggest car manufacturing country, from the survey questionnaire it turned out that there are no German car manufacturers present, so there is no data from them at all. Further research should solve this problem.
The hypothesis (Appendix A) is rejected, this because Corpus can always innovate there marketing strategy, like said with the advices below. In the promotion strategy of Corpus there should be more emphasis on innovation. When the projected image is more focused on innovation, Corpus might be seen as a which will improve sales. It is very important that the self image and perceived image bout working conditions and safety will be improved. This is a major issue. Corpus can do this by renewing the business culture on safety and working conditions for a better self image.
Also should the projected image be improved by for example more focus on this subject. As a result the perceived image about this subject can be improved with will lead most probably to more sales. Another important issue Corpus should take care of is the environment and repartitioned emissions. The self and projected image should more focus on realizing that the perceived image of Corpus on this subject is not very well. More focus on self and projected image should make a difference in that, so that for example an advertising campaign (projected image) should influence the perceived image.
A better perceived image on this subject would definitely influence sales positive. More focus on direct dialogue and taking in mind the wishes of the customer, would give more customer satisfaction, which is stated in the results of the questionnaire (appendix C). Final conclusion by answering the research question (appendix A): Corpus makes quality products at reasonable costs, on-time delivery, sustainable products, save materials and good financial and technical service. These characteristics are corresponding with the preferred identity.
Questionnaire Image car manufacturer: – How would you like your customers to see your company? (image) What about the importance of sustainability, cost reduction and safety? Is this image also perceived by your customers? Which aspects are to be improved? What are important characteristics a steel supplier should have? Is it important that a supplier sends out the same image as your company does? What can be improved in your current supply of steel? Image Corpus: – How did you get in contact with Corpus Automotive? How have you experienced the collaboration?
What is the image you received from Corpus automotive? What are the most important aspects for what Corpus stands for? In what way could Corpus protect or improve the image created? Questionnaire Image Auto manufacturer: Jaguar: A luxury car, good products, sustainability, reduction and safety are important. Renault: A car for everybody, all aspects above are very important. Volvo: Good car manufacturer, quality products, aspects above are important. Landholder: A throng quality / luxury car, aspects above are important. Ford: A family car, car for everybody, above aspects are important.
Mediumistic: Affordable car, quality although pursuit of low costs. Jaguar: Yes, more lightweight and greener produces products are a must. Renault: Yes, more cars for every segment with different aspects, greener cars. Volvo: Yes, greener produced cars and more fuel-efficiency. Landholder: Yes, especially in Europe and US. More lightweight vehicles. Ford: Probably, brand is much segmented, more lightweight greener materials. Mediumistic: Yes, but more quality at lower / same costs is a must. What are important characteristics a steel supplier should have?
The general tendency is that the steel supplier should deliver quality products at reasonable prices. This combination is important. Also on-time delivery and a reliable distribution. Volvo also said that the steel supplier should care about the environment. Is it important that a supplier sends out the same image as your company does? In general is this not very important for car-manufacturers. As long the steel supplier does meet the requirements of the car-manufacturers, said in question above. Jaguar: Less price fluctuations, on-time delivery.