Kudler Fine Foods, located in San Diego, is an upscale food specialty store. It has three branches: Del Mar, Encinitas, and La Jolla. Each store has about 8,000 square feet of retail space. It has the very best domestic and imported food at every location. Kathy Kudler is the founder of Kudler Fine Foods. The business idea came because of the challenges she faced in her day-to-day constant travels that marked her corporate life. The first store opened on 18 June 1998. Within nine months, the store was tremendously successful and turned profitable within the maiden year. The second store opened in 2003 in Del Mar, while the third opened in Enciniats. Kudler Fine Foods boasts a variety of competitive products made within its bakeries. They range from breads, pastries, meat, cheese, and seafood. This paper seeks to justify the importance of research in developing Kudler’s marketing strategy (Apollo Group, 2011).
Marketing research involves a systematic data collection and analysis that assist the management in decision-making. As part of Kudler’s strategies to improve its productivity, wide service delivery and meeting all its customer needs, there is a need to carry out additional market research on the following areas:
First, the company should invest in Ad, also known as periodic or continuous market research that monitors the performance of a brand by use techniques such as brand preference, product usage, and brand awareness. Ad helps a business to obtain feedback from potential customers regarding product quality, pricing, and packaging. As a result, a business that uses information from the customer can tailor-make its products to meet customer needs (Group, 2011).
Second, the company should conduct research to evaluate the effect of advertisement on purchasing behavior, which predicts or tracks the efficacy of an advertisement. Subsequently, research will build the brand’s image to motivate the customer to purchase products.
Third, the company should also conduct research on brand equity, as it will help establish how favorable the products are to the customers and the public. It will form part of its strategy on how it is going to improve on quality, and thereby, meet customers’ needs and preferences. All this will augment the company’s competitive position (Group, Apollo, 2011).
Fourth, the management should also carry out brand attitude research for company range of products. This will help them ascertain the likely traits that describe its brands’ promise in the future, and hence, put appropriate mechanisms in place. Brand name testing will help the company gauge the customers’ attitudes and wider publics’ feel about products’ names; whether they are appealing or not. This will help in re-branding products; making them attractive to the customers, and consequently, increase sales and revenues (Group, Apollo, 2011).
Fifth, research on cool hunting, to make observations and predictions in changes of new existing cultural trends, lifestyle, and religious changes, is of utmost importance. It will help the company to identify the product with best sales in each season, and thus, avoid investing resources by assembling non-performing products. For example in the case of regions with Islam religion, it will be apt to supply different range of products during Ramadan and the normal days because of seasonality in demand. However, it is difficult to determine the appropriate amount of stock because of inherent uncertainties in demand forecasting (Group, Apollo, 2011).
Sixth, the management should also focus on online strategic intelligence where it searches for customer opinions in the Internet. It should get customers’ opinions from chats, forums, blogs, social networks, opinion pollsters, and any platform where people express their experiences regarding company products and services. The use of free social networks provides a better platform for opinion leaders to influence market performance of the products. Positioning research is another area the company needs to focus on as it will help it establish how the target market view the brands relative to those of the competitors. This will further help the company to adopt new strategies of improving product specifications.
Finally, the company should research on price elasticity testing to determine customers’ sensitivity to price changes. It will help it to avoid losing their customers to competitors in the event of price changes. The management should also focus on stores audit research to measure product sales or product line. However, research should focus on products thought to be the reason of market failure, which is the case with most stores. This will help the management in establishing possible weaknesses in the stores, and possibly, address them appropriately (Group, Apollo, 2011).
Competitive intelligence is vital in the current global market because of increased competition in the catering industry. Competitive intelligence is a process whereby a researcher collects, analyze, and transform information into intelligence to manage the future. Any management needs intelligence in market research to plan. This will help Kudler Fine Foods know what the competitors do and capitalize on their weaknesses; thereby expand its market share and improve on service delivery. Excellent service delivery boosts the competitive position of the firm.
Kudler’s marketing strategies and tactics are the best in the current market since it takes into consideration different ways of getting feedback from the customers. For instance, the firm conducts research on products’ quality and service delivery. Competitive intelligence and research helped the company in competing favorably in the market with the competitors because it identified weaknesses and put a remedial plan. However, research design adopted by the firm is insufficient in addressing the research objectives. The questionnaire does not deliberate on key issues essential in making a complete overhaul of performance. The questionnaire fails to evaluate the advertisement strategy employed by the company. Instead, it evaluates the customer satisfaction on service delivery. This limits the organizational effort to invest in future expansion. Therefore, the company should make necessary amendments in the research instrument to capture matters that will enable achievement of the organization’s blueprint. It should also consider using other data collection instrument, such as free tolls, to provide supportive information on customers’ attitudes on service delivery (Apollo Group, 2011).
In conclusion, the company should adopt all the above-proposed additional marketing tactics. They include internet strategic intelligence, brand equity, investing in Ad, evaluation of advertisement, cool hunting, and research on sensitivity on price elasticity. If implemented, either singly or concurrently, the company can enhance the quality of service delivery to its customers and compete favorably in the industry. The adoption of the above changes will significantly influence the competitive intelligence, which is the main tool that champions successive market dominance. On the other hand, the company should strive to enhance the performance of internet research since it is impossible to run away from globalization of the industry. The marketing strategy adopted by the Kudler’s exhibits both strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, it does not render market research an insufficient tool to address marketing the challenges that continue to evolve every other day. Therefore, market research is still a viable tool of supplementing an existent market strategy adopted by the business entity. The management should make necessary amendments on market research objectives to improve its strategies. Moreover, with modern branding, the company will guarantee itself a first place, among the many competitors, as a leader that can be relied upon by thousands of customers.