Free Essay

Family Furniture

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ashwa
Words 1738
Pages 7
BACKGROUND

Family Furniture was established in 1953 by Sy Sokol and Patrick O’Reilly to pent up housing demands after World War 2. The firm was renowned for an inviting store appearance, good service, extensive collection and moderate prices. The firm occupies a large warehouse and shipping facility along with an 80,000 square foot store. It dealt with the business of Exclusive Furniture Material.

COMPETITORS

➢ Local Departmental Stores

➢ Pottery Bern and Crate & Barrel

➢ Mass marketers Like Wal-Mart

➢ Internet Buying by most of the customers to whom the products were shipped in directly to their homes.

CHANGING MARKET SCENARIO

➢ Majority of the companies customers are in the Age bar of 45+

➢ There is low unemployment in the market

➢ Lack of young consumers, which can then become the potential business for the company by offering the products and services for the youth

TARGET AUDIENCE

➢ Middle to higher income families above 45 age

➢ Specially targeted to the married women who make the maximum purchase related decisions

CHALLENGES

➢ According to a survey conducted 50% of the people are single

➢ There was a problem in targeting to the female customers and hence was calling for Brand Repositioning

➢ No- No- No Ad campaigns that were promoted by the competitors in order to attract the consumers towards their products by giving very flexible discount schemes

➢ The changing habits of the consumers wherein most of the decisions were then impulsive in nature

➢ There was a lot of influence of the SALE Promotions on the behaviour of the consumers and big retail giants like Walmart were taking the benefits from this.

RESEARCH STUDY AND FINDINGS

Three components were considered in the research survey-

1) Secondary Research

2) Focus Groups

3) Questionnaire from 100 consumers

The main aim was to know the needs of the untargeted consumers.

The parameters on which the research was conducted are:

1. Need Recognition

2. Search processes

3. Pre-Purchase

4. Alternative Evaluation

5. Purchase

6. Consumption

7. Post-Purchase Evaluation

8. Divestment

FINDINGS

➢ Maximum customers brought the Furniture because they were either Moving to different locations or needed more furniture to fit in their house

➢ Sales promotions in forms of discounts was the major driver for choosing a particular store for the purchase

➢ Maximum people didn’t want to go for the financing options because of the hidden costs associated with it or because of the heavy interest charges imposed by the companies on the consumers.

QUESTIONS

Q1. BASED ON YOUR OWN SECONDARY RESEARCH, HOW IMPORTANT AS A TARGET MARKET SHOULD GEN Y & YOUNG PROFESSIONAL BE FOR FAMILY FURNITURE?

Gen Y, consists of those people who were born between1979 to 1996. This was a big population; most probably the biggest after the baby boomers. This population was different from its previous generations in many ways. One reason for this was the options available to this generation, due to expansion of internet and increased efforts and creativity of marketers.

This resulted in, the Gen Y becoming rebellious and defying the rules and discarding the products and services made for the older generations.

In case of Family Furniture, the problem was its target consumers. These were older people, which were less in number, and the numbers were continuously decreasing. In addition, as more and more people from baby boomers and Gen X were taking retirements their purchasing power was decreasing.

Furniture was purchased only when something good happened such as a marriage, setting up a new home or increase in salary. All this factors were less likely to occur to the older generation. Hence, their volume of purchase was also low.

Since, the people who were getting jobs, entering into the age where a person gets married or takes a new home were the people from Gen Y, hence they were the most profitable potential customers for furniture business.

Also according to various studies, Gen Y has many options and does not mind switching for better services hence there is a need to have a separate focus on them.

Hence, Gen Y and the young professionals should be considered as a very important target and companies like Family Furniture should have special strategies for them.

Q2. USING A MULTISTAGE CDP MODEL, DESCRIBE HOW CONSUMERS IN THIS MARKET SEGMENT (GEN Y) TYPICALLY MAKE FURNITURE PURCHASE DECISIONS.

According to the CDP model there are 3 steps involved in decision making process, they are: Input, Process and Output.

Input: In this stage, the consumer faces the external influences like firm’s marketing effort and Socio-cultural family environment. As seen from the case, we can say that the most important factors influencing a consumer while making purchase were Socio-cultural environment i.e. when a person enters into one stage of life from other he thinks of changing the existing furniture or buying new furniture. For eg. When a person gets a job, relocates, gets married, and moves out of home at these times he needed furniture.

Then the influencers were firm’s marketing efforts i.e. 4Ps. Of these, most important was Promotion that too Sales promotion. As seen from focus group results as the purchase decisions were made instantaneously when there was some kind of promotional scheme available. Price and product were two other important variables. Place was not such an important variable as from the case study we can make out that consumer went out of the city to purchase furniture from the competitors.

Process: Process includes Need Recognition, Prepurchase Search and Evaluation of Alternatives. The psychological field and experience of consumer influence this Need Recognition. For the Gen Y the time for need recognition has just started because most of them have just crossed their teen age and many have just graduated or are about to graduate. So this is the time when a person moves out of his/her house to find his own space. And then the need for new furniture comes in. They could now reach the marketer through their websites, they could read blogs and find out the reviews many such things that helped them to understand more about the product/ service and helped in better evaluation of alternatives.

Output: It includes purchase and post purchase evaluation. Purchase includes trial and purchase while post purchase evaluation includes comparing the performance with the promised performance.

Q 3. HOW SHOULD FAMILY FURNITURE RESPOND TO COMPETITORS?

Family Furniture had various competitors. First one was IKEA which is a major furniture store but it was in another city 125 miles away. Others were small stores like Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, which have stores in regional shopping centers, retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target, which sold furniture that needed to be assembled, Big Boss office supply stores which also carried desks, chairs and table lamps and specialty carpet stores.

Thus, Family Furniture was facing competition from various competitors in different segments.

Therefore, Family furniture should have different strategies for different competitor, which should be made by identifying their weakness.

Some of the steps that Family Furniture can take are:

➢ Giving a larger part of promotional budget to Sales Promotion rather than advertising. Because it was seen from focus group summary that the purchase of furniture is impulse purchase if any kind of sales promotion is available.

➢ It should use nontraditional media targeted towards GenY and young professionals such as redesigned website and purchasing words from Google. This because GenY uses internet for most of the prepurchase search.

➢ It should change the products (in terms of style) that it keeps, and make the products more appealing to GenY.

➢ It can start a loyalty program for its customers.

➢ It provide home delivery of furniture (if presently not there) to take on the competitors having online presence.

This and similar marketing efforts targeted towards GenY and Young professionals could help Family Furniture better respond to its competitors.

Q4. WHAT PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY AND MEDIA DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR FAMILY FURNITURE?

As can be seen from the research given in the case majority of the people considered some sort of monetary benefits as a driver for selecting a particular store and most of the purchases that were made were impulsive in nature. The following strategies can be implemented taking into consideration the above facts:

➢ On-Store Display of the Furniture items in a very attractive manner. The company must try to induce more of cross selling by selecting the ambience and the environment in an effective manner which then leads to impulsive purchases

➢ Promotional Discounts on the complimentary products in order to induce the cross selling and to sell more products available

➢ Company must rely more on Word of Mouth publicity by efficient post purchase services

➢ Direct Mailers can be used to the prospects in order to introduce new designs and collections of the company to the prospects. For the same the company can also use catalogues as inserts in the local news daily which shows the various product ranges that are available with the company

➢ Tie-Up with the construction agents or the builders in order to get the bulk order for the residential complexes.

Q5. WHAT SHOULD BE THE RESPONSE OF FAMILY FURNITURE TO NO- NO- NO ADVERTISING USED BY THE COMPETITORS?

As given in the survey 40% of the consumers do not opt for the financing options when it comes for the purchases. In addition, there are a very few who rely on the No- No- No promotions for the purchases. Hence, Family Furniture needs to respond in a manner, which attracts the customers towards the store rather than competing for price.

➢ Promote more to the customers through direct mailers or sales promotions programmes

➢ Induce cross selling in order to attain rapid turnover rate from the stores

➢ Engage in discounts or Loyalty Programmes

➢ Co-Branding with other brands who sell the complimentary products

➢ Reducing the service gaps in the company of the customers’ expectations are not satisfied

➢ Targeting the new customers in the age group of 25-30 with exclusive materials, designer furniture

➢ Customization can be a key to the success wherein most of the consumers want to design their furniture in their own fashion without accepting the conventional ones

➢ Internet Website can be developed which shows all the product ranges along with their specifications so that the customer can have a look at the product ranges before turning up to the store and also Online order taking must be started in order to attract the youth who believes in technology.…...

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