Marks & Spencer is among the UK’s leading retailers in the world. It deals with clothing, food, home products, and financial services. It is approximated that over ten millions people shop every week. It has several stores in the Middle East. The group structure is a well business unit covering food and general merchandize. The general merchandise is divided into small divisions for better management like women’s clothing, men’s clothing, lingerie, beauty, and home. The units help in keeping the company’s vision. The units are checked to guarantee quality, value, service, trust, and innovation. This is to make sure that the products sold on the market are of high quality. It also ensures that the products are uniform in the market.
In the Middle East, each unit develops its own CSR (corporate social responsibility) strategy depending on the brand value of the trust. Strategies are compiled from customer research, maximum understanding of the problem and regular communication with stake holders (Kirton, 2000, pp122). In Dubai, action plans are undertaken that balances customers and stakeholder expectation, in addition to other commercial pressures. Issues are grouped into three namely; people- what refers to employees and those who are employed by their supply chain. Products; the company put a lot of emphasis on high quality; value for money goods that posses positive environment al benefits. Community; this guides the group in working together with the neighboring community.
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M&S in the Middle East experienced a lot of the importance of creating a close relationship with employees, suppliers and the wider community. This helps the company in the long-term success. Building on the foundation of trust M&S has the best reputation due to its policy on quality. Charity work from the company helped in achieving the environmental and social issues (Noack). The impact was to be revealed when the company treats workers, suppliers, customers’ staffs, and the manufacturers. This contributes a peaceful, working environment for everyone in the company.
Partnership in the Middle East between the community and then company was a must for one to succeed. They work together to increase their impact on society. In the Middle, the program took two years and opened up some schools. Working with community creates a solid foundation for a company to expand market areas (Worth, 2007, pp113). Customers will think positive about the company if they are in touch with them. In Dubai, the workers of M&S were absorbed in the system by creating many community services like water supply among others. The Marks & Spencer program gives the opportunity to workers to gain experience from experts training them.
It is in the Middle East that they benefitted from the full-time employment of workers, which led to diversification at the work place. Specialization was introduced. The company benefitted immensely when workers were handling what they understand more. Training of workers was both beneficial to workers and to the company. It was able to train workers that they could handle whatever the product they had. The training schemes in the Middle East helped Marks &Spencer get the quality workers they needed at the beginning. Job efficiency was discovered after training which forced the company to educate workers from all branches.
The constant consultation with its employees in the Middle East through market research that focuses on the community program proved fruitful. There was an agreement for the company to work together with other social organizations outside the company. The company had to educate the public and gain enough knowledge about the business. The company took to school many children and helped those who did not have a chance like the disabled, homeless among other who were needy. The benefits were seen in their annual calculation. They realized that they had made many sales due to community involvement.
Presentation of the Competitors with the Help of a Perceptual Map
Marketers employ the graphics technique that use visual to display the perception of customers and potential customers. The positions of a product or brand line are displayed relatively to their competition. Perceptual maps can have a lot of dimension depending on the function but mostly they are two since it is confusing challenging to interpret. The chart below shows an example of perceptual mapping (Maye, 2007, pp132). It shows how a competitor can use either the price or quality of the product to beat their rival company in sales.
A high quality product; will attract many buyers who assume the price tagged on is very correct. Other buyers may not appreciate cheap products. Low quality will edge the manufacturer out of the market since their competitor will produce products of high quality that will be appreciated in the market. Low price product might not be pleasing to the consumers since they are related to poor quality and are meant to stay short term. Perceptual mapping can be used to counter the steps made by competitors in the market (Maye, 2007, pp309). A competitor will study how the public perceive certain products, and then relates it to the price. This information will make it possible for him to develop a good market strategy to beat the competitor. Perceptual maps are plotted depending on personal perception and what might seem expensive to someone might be cheap to another.
Marks & Spencer faces stiff competition from different companies in the Middle East. Tesco is among the competitor (O’Shaughnessy, 1995, pp220). Tesco is a business firm that is specialized, in food and drink, clothing, electronics, retailing among others. Tesco is all over the world, and it has stores in Middle East relatively equal to the Mark & Spencer. Tesco have their stores with different sizes depending on the product that is to be stored. Woolworths are very active in initiating products, pilot projects and keeping a low profile. Woolworth is a retail branch that is extended to Africa and the Middle East. The stores are more than 300 in the world compared to the M&S. Tesco has adopted the traditional Middle East foods which they package them then sales them to the market afterwards (Kochan, 2000, pp123).
Avon Product Company is the leading provider of portfolio of beauty and related brands. The company is doing all possible means to beat the competitors in terms of quality, innovation, and value. This company is a threat to the Marks & Spencer in terms of beauty products; they are only specialized into the beauty business while the M&S are general with a lot of products. Their products are of low price compared to that of M&S (Oxford Business Group, 2008, pp8). The distribution channels employed in the business gives it a bigger edge than any other company does.
Avon Product Company has branches almost everywhere in the Middle East. The leadership of the company was left to the manager who comes from the same area. The use local language while carrying out their advertisement gives them an upper hand in delivering the message at home. Since they are local and international companies, they enjoy low tax from the governments hence having enough money to carry out heavy advertisements and promotions.