Lush Cosmetics Market Research Essay - Essay Prowess

Lush Cosmetics Market Research Essay

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Lush Cosmetics Market Research Essay

Market research is the process of collecting information, analysing it and interpreting with regards to a market, the product or service to be provided in the market and the present, potential and past history for customers on the services or products provided (Sarstedt and Mooi 2019). Market research also shows the spending habits, characteristics, needs and location of business target market and the whole industry. Market research is significant to the market as it provides relevant information which a business will likely face. All businesses need a market research for them to be successful.

Market Research Process

The abovementioned is a systematic methodology, which is significant to a business as it informs about the crucial decisions (Mooi, et al., 2018, p.17).The steps involved in a market research process depends on various factors, which include the time, cost, objectives, type of problem and people among others.

Figure 1 Market Research Process (Source: Hair, 2015)

The first step of the market research process is specifying the goal/objective. In the aim of opening a new shop in Southampton, lush cosmetics will have to come up with general market objectives, which have to be clearly set up and precisely specified. The objectives will be crucial for determining the intensity as well as the scope of marketing research. The second step involves problem identification. One of the main goals for market research is to solve the current market problems (Hair 2015). Therefore, lush cosmetics will need to carry out a market research in Southampton. A problem has to be identified, well defined and understood in the required perspective.

After identifying the problem, lush cosmetics will need to have a detailed design or plan to solve it. The detailed plan involves an outline or pattern of the research project’s workings which is mostly done in a written form. Moreover, the company will carry out the research project after laying down the research design in advance. The research design will show lush cosmetic’s analysis methods, the costs incurred, the time it will take to set up the shop and the probable actions or outcomes. In the fourth step, the company will need to collect important information. In order to have the solution to any incurred problem, the required data will be collected as stated in the research plan/design (McDaniel and Gates 2013). The data involves statistics, facts, calculations and any historical information. The company may use secondary or primary methods of data collection to get the information they need.

The fifth step of the market research process involves data analysis (Hair 2015). Analysis is crucial as it provides information, which is important for making crucial decisions for the business. After the data collected is assumed to be reliable and adequate, the next step is to analyse it and this will enable lush cosmetics to establish the inter correlations that exist among its variables. The data has to be analysed using appropriate mathematical or statistical tools or techniques. Use of a technique however, will depend on the cost, time and reliability as well as an expert’s ability.

After analysis, the data will need interpretation. Interpretation can sometimes be included as part of the analysis. This is the part where lush cosmetics will draw meaningful conclusions and inferences based on the outcomes of analysis (Hair and Lukas2014). The company will also make certain assumptions explaining the results and conclusion. Finally, the company will prepare a research report. The report may be oral or written and, in some                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cases, both presentations are required.

Questionnaire Design

A questionnaire is a research instrument, which consists of various questions crucial for collecting information from participants. They can be thought of as a type of written interview which can be carried out through a telephone, computer or post among other means (Brace 2018). Questionnaires are a quick and efficient way of getting data from a large group of participants.

The questionnaire prepared has open ended questions which allows the researcher to collect more data from the respondents. All the questions are related to the company’s desire to open a new shop in Southampton.

Table 1 Questionnaire

QuestionJustification
Why Southampton?Important to know how Southampton was selected as possible location
Was a market research done and what were the results?Know how survey results and comparing to other regions
What’s the estimated budget?Knowing costs is critical
Any resistance from employees?Find if there alternate views
Which are the main objectives?Determine what the firm wants to achieve
Is there a schedule? How is it?Timelines are critical to any project
Will the project manager and team members be from internal?Leadership is key to the project
What is the plan B if this fails?Having alternatives is key to any business
How is the competition in Southampton?Allow development of techniques to compete with rivals in the area

Marketing Mix

Product

A product refers to anything that is sold by a company including all the benefits, advantages and features enjoyed by customers from buying goods or services (Vanderfeesten et al., 2011, p. 526). Companies need to think about the important features and benefits that their customers need. Organisations need to know that all the products in the market have their life cycle which includes the growth, maturity and the sales decline phase. When a company is defining the characteristics of a product, it makes the setting up of strategies for the targeted audience much easier to develop. To do so, an organisation needs to identify the demands that the product can meet, how it can be used by people, its name, and the features that makes it stand out from competitors, the shape and description (Bolotaeva and Cata 2010, p.4).        

Creating the right product mix makes a company to be more diversified and it increases its depth with regards to the product line. The total product offering dictates that no matter how well a product’s costs are held down or driven, the product cannot be profitable if it does not sell. I would recommend the sale of a product such as soap which has always topped the selling charts over the years and its demand never seems to cease. Therefore, lush cosmetics can use Philip Kotler’s model to successfully sell their products. The model states that customers have five levels of need which range from core needs to emotional needs. The levels include core benefit, expected product, augmented product and potential product. The aforementioned levels recognise that a product is a means to satisfy the consumers varying wants or needs.  Project development refers to the stages involved in bringing an idea/concept through the market (Armstrong, et al., 2018). Product development involves Lush Cosmetic’s whole journey from identifying the market need to analysing and addressing user feedback.  The product life cycle involves the journey undergone by a product from its introduction to when it ceased existing in the market or to when it was declined. Therefore, lush cosmetic products such as shampoo or soap would undergo the four stages of a product life cycle which include introduction to the market, growth, maturity and decline. The Boston Matrix is a model which would help a company such as lush cosmetics to analyse the portfolio of their brands and businesses (Beuren, et al., 2013, p.229).

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/tutor2u-media/subjects/business/diagrams/bostonmatrix-model.jpg?mtime=20150313144619

Figure 2 Boston Matrix Source: Beuren, Ferreira and Miguel (2013)

Lush cosmetics has a range of products although in some cases, the product portfolio may be an issue to the business and therefore, the company must invest across the portfolio such as advertising the soap and promoting it to enhance sales.

Promotion

Promotion is a vital marketing component which boosts the sales of the company as well as making the brand more recognized (Andrews and Shimp 2017).  For organizations to create effective promotion strategies, they need to know how to promote their products and services to potential buyers, know when is the best time to promote products, have a concrete promotion strategy for the competitors, engage social media when promoting the product and ensure that the potential buyers and audience are reached through paid adverts (Clow 2016). Developing a promotion marketing mix is important to a company as the business is able to communicate directly to potential buyers using a planned budget. The business can use public relations as a way to promote its products and this is a method which is cheap since it involves common relations such as word of mouth and customer referrals (Novak 2011, p.25). Therefore, it is important for the company to sell quality products to enhance promotion by customer relation.

Promotion strategy is the plan used by a business to promote its products to customers (Clow 2016). Marketers use this concept to persuade, remind or inform customers about a product or service. Lush cosmetics can use this strategy to create awareness about their products, luring new customers, providing information about products, keeping loyal customers and identifying potential or target customers. Moreover, the company can use the following marketing communication tools to convey their promotional messages: public relations, sales promotions, direct marketing, sponsorship and interactive marketing (Wierenga and Soethoudt 2010, p.391).

Place

The abovementioned refers to affiliates and intermediaries which can be used to help a business person to sell their services. Therefore, a place indicates the ease of access that customers have in order to acquire a certain service. Distribution and placement are two important components of market mix. A business has to position their products in a place which can easily be accessed by customers (Haider, et al., 2017, p.22). Companies need to know the various distribution strategies when determining the place to establish the business. These strategies include selective distribution, intensive distribution, franchising and extensive distribution.

A company needs to know about the place concept in order to have a strong sales force, to enable clients to find their products or services, to allow consumers to easily access distribution channels and to know distribution strategies of competitors (Omholt 2013, p.38).

The concept of place management involves using programs to improve locations or to maintain the desired standard for business operation (Kotler 2012). When setting up a shop at Southampton, lush cosmetics should ensure that the place they set up their business is the best for effective carrying out of business. The marketing functions in a supply chain balances the procurement of a business by providing crucial information and building relationships (Green, et al., 2012, p.1015). Lush cosmetics can use the marketing functions to enhance more sales and increase the profitability of the business.

Price

The price is the amount that a consumer needs to pay for them to get a certain product (Talpau, 2014). When setting up the price of a product, companies should understand the perceived value offered by a product. Furthermore, the company needs to know how much it costs to produce a product, whether a slight decrease in price would cause a major change to the market share and whether the current price of a product can live up to the competition of others. Price is a crucial component to the marketing mix since it helps a company to know its profits or losses. Price adjustment has a great effect to the marketing strategy of a company since it greatly affects the sales and demand of a product.

Pricing objectives are the goals which direct a company on how to set the cost of a product or service to potential or existing customers (Chien et al., 2012, p.2873). Lush cosmetics can use pricing objectives to increase their sales volumes, maximize profits or match the price offered by a competitor. The pricing method concept indicates how goods and services are calculated (Dumas, 2013). Before setting up a shop, it is important for lush cosmetics to consider all the pricing methods to ensure profitability. They include cost plus pricing, sealed-bid pricing, break-even pricing, perceived value pricing, target return pricing and going-rate pricing among others. The pricing strategy is a method used by companies to set up the best prices for products or services (Snieškienė and Pridotkienė, 2010, p.252). Lush cosmetics can use the pricing strategy to maximize the shareholder value while at the same time considering the market and consumer demand. The pricing tactics considers the competition, shifts in demand and the market. Lush cosmetics can come up with pricing tactics such as giving seasonal discounts on specific discounts and on various products to lure more customers (Dumas, 2013). 

Overall Recommendations

This section entails recommendations based on the research done above about the marketing mix (7p) to lush Cosmetics.

https://techtalkdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/7_ps_services_marketing_mix.png

Figure 3 7 p’s of marketing mix Source: Saidani, & Sudiarditha, (2019).

Product

Based on the market statistics on cosmetics, I would recommend the sale of a product like soap or other soap products which are always in demand regardless of the season. Soap is among the best-selling products in Southampton that makes it one of the priority products when setting up a shop in this location.

Promotion

Some of the most preferred methods of conveying information about products to the public include sales promotions and sponsorship. However, I would recommend the use of a cheaper method to promote cosmetic products which is by the use of social media considering that most people in Southampton and the surrounding areas are conversant with the social networks especially Facebook which have a massive following in this location.

Place

The abovementioned is vital for a business to consider in order to facilitate distribution, franchising and to enhance more sales. Lush cosmetics should set up a shop where it can easily be accessed by people. The stores should have a good ambience both for the customers and the employees.

Price

Price is crucial to any business as this is how the business makes profits or losses. Setting up a business in Southampton will require lush cosmetics to come up with the best prices which belong to the same range as the competitors and can maximize the businesses’ profits. Thus, the company would adopt competitive pricing as the preferred technique in Southampton.

Physical evidence

I would recommend lush cosmetics to set up their shop in a location which targets the right customers. Lush cosmetic products include shampoos, lotions, soaps, moisturizers, hair and shower gels among others. I recommend setting up a shop where business can be accessed by more women considering that the cosmetics are mostly used by females although this statement does not rule out the possibility of men purchasing the products. At the same time, opening an online outlet would be advisable for the company. The world is experiencing more and more internet users. The company should target these individuals via an online shop.

People

Setting up a new shop means that the business has to get involved with people who play various roles to ensure the success of the company. Therefore, I would recommend lush cosmetics to set up the business where they can easily access people for supply, distribution, production, product delivery and production. Additionally, the company should train their employees on effective customer service for purposes of establishing rapport with customers.

Process

For the process, I would recommend lush cosmetics to use the online platform to keep their customers closer by asking them to sign up for newsletters which inform them about price changes, new products and other information regarding their favourite products.

Critical Self Reflection

There are several things which I can mention as being good from the portfolio. One is that I was able to follow instructions and include all portfolio sections from the introduction to the last part on critical self-reflection. Besides, I have structured the portfolio in a manner that is easy to follow and read through. The use of citations and a reference list is also something good about it. Importantly, I have been able to use the best techniques regarding the marketing mix on Lush Cosmetics, and I believe they are sound enough for consideration in setting up a shop in Southampton. Despite these, numerous things can be improved to make the portfolio more appropriate. In particular, I feel that I could have used more images to demonstrate the different aspects being addressed. The use of imagery is critical to enhancing the point being emphasised. At the same time, if more word count was allowed, multiple recommendations could have been appropriate to help the organisation select the one which they feel will ensure the new shop in Southampton is successful in attracting more customers and gaining a competitive edge. Additionally, the use of more examples in the portfolio would have improved it in terms of depicting how Lush Cosmetics can benefit from the various marketing concepts addressed.

When undertaking the portfolio, some of the problems encountered include the limitation of the word count, which meant not all information from different articles could have been accommodated. The selection of articles that would be included in the portfolio was also challenging as this particular subject is widely researched and written about. Having to balance the word count allocated to the seven parts of the portfolio was a problem that regularly occurred. I had to be careful not to write too much or too less in each of these sections.

The most rewarding aspect of the portfolio is being to prepare a marketing report for Lush Cosmetics that I believe can be implemented with minor changes or adjustments. Being able to relate the marketing needs of the company to various marketing concepts, and making multiple recommendations for consideration is rewarding. As noted, the most challenging aspect of the portfolio is balancing on the allocated word count. I have a feeling that some sections of the portfolio would have required more words than others.

In relation to the skills developed, they include internet researching skills, reading skills, formatting skills, writing/ typing skills, and proofreading skills. In the future, it is my opinion that I will be better placed to do this type of assignment, having acquired these essential skills. Another vital skill gained relates to time management. To successfully do this assignment, managing my time appropriately was crucial. I believe these skills will require more engagement to be fully developed. The tutor was excellent in providing guidance and breakdown of this assignment, and I have nothing against it. My attendance and contribution to the class were above average, and in the future, there shall be room for improvement.

References

Andrews, J.C. and Shimp, T.A., 2017. Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Nelson Education.

Armstrong, G.M., Kotler, P., Harker, M.J. and Brennan, R., 2018. Marketing: an introduction. Pearson UK.

Beuren, F.H., Ferreira, M.G.G. and Miguel, P.A.C., 2013. Product-service systems: a literature review on integrated products and services. Journal of cleaner production47, pp.222-231.

Bolotaeva, V. and Cata, T., 2010. Marketing opportunities with social networks. Journal of Internet Social Networking and Virtual Communities2010, pp.1-8.

Brace, I., 2018. Questionnaire design: How to plan, structure and write survey material for effective market research. Kogan Page Publishers.

Chien, Y., Cole, H. and Lustig, H., 2012. Is the volatility of the market price of risk due to intermittent portfolio rebalancing?. American Economic Review102(6), pp.2859-96.

Clow, K.E., 2016. Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications. Pearson Education India.

Dumas, B.A.B., 2013. Financial Securities: market equilibrium and pricing methods. Springer.

Green Jr, K.W., Whitten, D. and Inman, R.A., 2012. Aligning marketing strategies throughout the supply chain to enhance performance. Industrial Marketing Management41(6), pp.1008-1018.

Haider, A.A., Zafar, A., Khalid, A., Majid, A., Abdullah, M.A. and Sarwar, M.B., 2017. Marketing Management. Head, B, p.22.

Hair Jr, J.F. and Lukas, B., 2014. Marketing research. McGraw-Hill Education Australia.

Hair, J.F., 2015. Essentials of business research methods. ME Sharpe.

Kotler, P., 2012. Kotler on marketing. Simon and Schuster.

McDaniel, C. and Gates, R., 2013. Marketing research. Singapore.

Mooi, E., Sarstedt, M. and Mooi-Reci, I., 2018. The market research process. In Market Research (pp. 11-25). Springer, Singapore.

Novak, D., 2011. Promotion as instrument of marketing mix. In International Symposium Engineering Management and Competitiveness (EMC2011) June (pp. 24-25).

Omholt, T., 2013. Developing a collective capacity for place management. Journal of Place Management and Development6(1), pp.29-42.

Saidani, B., & Sudiarditha, I. K. R. (2019). Marketing Mix-7ps: The Effect on Customer Satisfaction. Jurnal Pendidikan Ekonomi Dan Bisnis (JPEB)7(1), 72-86.

Sarstedt, M., & Mooi, E. (2019). Descriptive Statistics. In A Concise Guide to Market Research (pp. 91-150). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Snieškienė, G. and Pridotkienė, J., 2010. Export pricing objectives and factors influencing them. Ekonomika ir vadyba, (15), pp.248-254.

Talpau, A., 2014. The marketing mix in the online environment. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences. Series V7(2), p.53.

Vanderfeesten, I., Reijers, H.A. and Van der Aalst, W.M., 2011. Product-based workflow support. Information Systems36(2), pp.517-535.               

Wierenga, B. and Soethoudt, H., 2010. Sales promotions and channel coordination. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science38(3), pp.383-397.

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