New Age Wellness, Article Review Example

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Article Review

The article “New Age and Wellness” (The Globe and Mail, 1996) reminds us that the marketing principles of 4Ps are indeed timeless. Profitable marketing opportunities really depend upon the ability of marketers to identify needs and wants of customers that are not being met or not being met in a satisfactory way and design effective solutions to meet those needs and wants. In addition, it always pays to achieve differentiation in the minds of customers in the face of intense competition.

The article proves that what matters is not the real but the perceived benefits of a product or service by the customers (Butscher). The marketers’ job is to convince the customers that he has product or service which will provide a satisfactory solution to the customers’ needs and/or desires. The article gives the example of several companies from network chains such as Aveda to stand-alone operations such as Toronto Healing Arts Center and O2 Spa Bar that each claim to have a solution to the stress faced by customers in their everyday lives.

One great implication of the article is that the customers are attracted to novel and one-of-kind ideas. When a marketer offers one-of-kind product or experience, he also enjoys some pricing power. The article also demonstrates the importance of carefully monitoring the external environment for opportunities (NetMBA). In addition, marketers should also keep an eye on cultural trends because all of the businesses in the article successfully anticipated a cultural trend towards meditation and relaxing techniques as a result of the popularity of Yoga in the west.

The article also teaches us that communication is extremely important in cultural marketing and marketers should learn about the communication styles of their targeted customer segments. In this case, the marketers mentioned in the article are using jargons such as chakra, energy, and aromatherapy etc. to build credibility with their clients. In addition, we also observe that many businesses mentioned in the article understand the importance of retaining clients for the long-term in order to build reliable sources of revenues. Some have designed their services in such a manner that it forces clients into long term commitment while others verbally communicate that the clients will gain maximum benefit only through long-term commitment to the specific programs and/or products.

We also learn in the article that consumers are indeed influenced by social trends. The popularity of Yoga convinced more and more consumers that meditation and other relaxing techniques do work in terms of relieving stress and clearing mind and they are willing to try new products and services inspired by the trend. If the consumers were not willing to spend, we would not see so many businesses offering different solutions though influenced by the same trend. Judging by the high prices of the products and services being charged by these companies, one can reasonably assume that there is a significant market and the demand is relatively price inelastic. Products and services that are in fashion often have inelastic demand (Lakhotia).

Almost all the businesses mentioned in the article have specifically trained their sales associates to send a uniform message to the customers and provide them exemplary customer service. This demonstrates that these businesses realize that customer service can be another differentiation point (Tamis, 2011)and increases customer loyalty. In addition, a uniform message and consistent service helps develop a particular brand personality in the customers’ minds. Moreover, when sales associates themselves believe in the product and message of the company, they are more likely to come across as convincing. One particular example is Aveda which requires all of the sales associates to read a book by the founder.

We also observe that the businesses mentioned in the article specifically claim the benefits of their product and/or service in their marketing messages in order to attract new clients as well as reassure current clients. In addition, many founders themselves follow the products and services they advertise which also helps build confidence in customers’’ mind.

This article is a great exercise in several successful marketing strategies including differentiation, brand loyalty, and customer retention. In addition, cultures influence the communication style and preferences of customers so businesses should continue to monitor the external environment closely.

Reference

Butscher, S. A. (n.d.). Setting Up a Customer Loyalty Programme. In Customer Loyalty Programmes and Clubs (2 ed., p. 54). Gower Pub Co.

Lakhotia, G. (n.d.). Factors Determining Elasticity of Demand. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from http://economics.knoji.com/factors-determining-elasticity-of-demand/

NetMBA. (n.d.). The Strategic Planning Process. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from Strategic Management: http://www.netmba.com/strategy/process/

Tamis, M. (2011, July 14). Service Differentiation Based On Customer Capabilities. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from http://socialmediatoday.com/marktamis/551369/service-differentiation-based-customer-capabilities

The Globe and Mail. (1996, September 5). New Age Wellness. The Globe and Mail, p. D.1.

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