Finance Senior Manager Brand Awareness

As a Finance Senior Manager, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Sme Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Senior Manager it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

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If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Starbucks portrays itself as a high quality coffee for the high class and is priced slightly higher than the coffee of Caffe Nero. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes solely on its wide range of coffee drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks distinguishes itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes on its Italian blend and portrays itself as not only a café but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Due to this many people visit Caffe Nero to have meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European vibe to their cafes thus remaining true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attracting they have also launched loyalty cards.

MARKETING STRATEGY:

Marketing strategies help businesses in promoting their products and services in a certain way that they want to. While cashing on their most important points they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers so as to achieve their target sales and a favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses in gaining a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others fail to identify. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in duration from one year plans to those extending well over many years. A lot of factors are taken into consideration when devising marketing plans and strategies that are defined by the environment within which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses in pinpointing the areas which they can take advantage of and the areas which they need to be careful of.

The most important factor that any business has to take into consideration, when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. Competitors' actions have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in UK like the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of both Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed after which a critical analysis will be given of the both.

STARBUCKS

The first Starbucks outlet was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks proudly stands at $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but all over the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so fast. The marketing strategies being adopted by Starbucks at present will be discussed in this assignment (voteforus.com 2011).

Unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They didn't adopt the common styles of advertisement using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Rather they relied on word - of - mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first ones to introduce the true Italian "burnt espresso" flavor to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

Comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes for their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as that perfect place to relax when out of home and out of the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity in their outlets so that their customers can browse the internet as well while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is the strongest favorable point of Starbucks. Each customer that enters a Starbucks outlet is given such a special treatment that they truly feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has truly taken full advantage of the latest hype of social media. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media websites like creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to all customers and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.

Innovation:

Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly coming up with new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest hit drinks have been the Green Tea Latte considering the health conscious consumers along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and thus decided to rely on word - of - mouth promotion only. This served to be a quite useful marketing strategy as comparison to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. They have recently begun utilizing the social media websites in the most effective manner ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have proved quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to have direct communication with all their customers on one platform

CAFFE NERO:

According to chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is 'the largest independent coffee retailer in UK, with over 400 stores in the UK'. It was founded in the year 1977 and today has its outlets open overseas as well in Turkey and Middle East. They distinguish themselves from other café's in UK by emphasizing on the fact that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), 'is to provide a European style coffee house experience offering premium espresso - based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store'.

Caffe Nero has been given many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for its outstanding experience that they deliver in their shops. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as 'The best espresso this side of Milan while Egon Ronay has labeled it as "The Traditional Italian Café". Caffe Nero has also been given the label by UK consumers as "The best UK Coffee House" in nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK's definitive guide for the coffee industry).

CAFFE NERO'S USP:

The Caffe Nero's marketing strategy mostly emphasis on its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays its self from more than just a café. Rather it has created a perfect blend of a café cum bar and restaurant. Therefore Caffe Nero is not limited to only providing a place for coffee and snacks rather you can go there just to enjoy a meal. They have a wide range of exquisite desserts along with many Italian dishes like the Italian wraps, soups, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.

CAFFE NERO'S TARGET MARKET

Caffe Nero mainly targets tourists in UK or the Italians searching for their Italian taste in cuisine. They are targeting the middle - income group of people who are middle - aged, students or business people who prefer to go to a café during their lunch breaks. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which around 145 cafes opened up, many of which were located within House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies being used by both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be done on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero distinguishes itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee beverages which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of assortments.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand positioning by emphasizing on its European - style coffee shop as compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point which emphasizes on the cafes continental - style whereas Starbucks is of American style.
  • Starbucks has successfully opened thousands of outlets overseas and in the international market whereas Caffe Nero still lacks in international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has plenty of outlets all over UK whereas Caffe Nero does not have sufficient outlets in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential of growing because it enjoys many unique selling points like its pure European authenticity.

References

1. Ford, G (2008), 'THE BEST ESPRESSO THIS SIDE OF MILAN'

2. Voteforus.com (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is It's Word Of Mouth/Social Media/Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

4. VoteforUs.com Starbucks Marketing Strategy Unconventionally Effective

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, 'Catching the Starbucks Fever', Missouri State University. Unpublished.

6. Rajul (2010), 'Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?'

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With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Senior Manager, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

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What is e-Marketing?

e-Marketing is still quite a controversial subject to talk about, since no one succeeded to unify the various theories around it; however there is one thing upon which there is no doubt - that e-Marketing first appeared under the form of various techniques deployed by pioneer companies selling their products via the internet in the early 90's.

The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the internet rapidly gave birth to a new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: the e-Marketing (electronic Marketing).

There are many definitions to what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest one being formulated by Mark Sceats: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the internet as manifestation media. A working definition is that coming from a group of CISCO specialists: e-Marketing is the sum of all activities a business conducts through the internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining customers.

e-Marketing Strategy

The e-Marketing Strategy is normally based and built upon the principles that govern the traditional, offline Marketing - the well-known 4 P's (Product - Price - Promotion - Positioning) that form the classic Marketing mix. Add the extra 3 P's (People - Processes - Proof) and you got the whole extended Marketing mix.

Until here, there are no much aspects to differentiate e-Marketing from the traditional Marketing performed offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P's) is built around the concept of "transactional" and its elements perform transactional functions defined by the exchange paradigm. What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, that can be synthesized in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion.

These 7 functions of the e-Marketing stay at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and they have a moderating character, unlike the classic Marketing mix that comprises situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderate, operate upon all situational functions of the mix (the classic 4 P's) and upon each other.

1. Personalization

The fundamental concept of personalization as a part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need of recognizing, identifying a certain customer in order to establish relations (establishing relations is a fundamental objective of Marketing). It is crucial to be able to identify our customers on individual level and gather all possible information about them, with the purpose of knowing our market and be able to develop customized, personalized products and services.

For example, a cookie strategically placed on the website visitor's computer can let us know vital information concerning the access speed available: in consequence, if we know the visitor is using a slow connection (eg. dial-up) we will offer a low-volume variation of our website, with reduced graphic content and no multimedia or flash applications. This will ease our customer's experience on our website and he will be prevented from leaving the website on the reason that it takes too long to load its pages.

Personalization can be applied to any component of the Marketing mix; therefore, it is a moderating function.

2. Privacy

Privacy is an element of the mix very much connected to the previous one - personalization. When we gather and store information about our customers and potential customers (therefore, when we perform the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial issue arises: that of the way this information will be used, and by whom. A major task to do when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is that of creating and developing a policy upon access procedures to the collected information.

This is a duty and a must for any conscious marketer to consider all aspects of privacy, as long as data are collected and stored, data about individual persons.

Privacy is even more important when establishing the e-Marketing mix since there are many regulations and legal aspects to be considered regarding collection and usage of such information.

3. Customer Service

Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the support functions needed in transactional situations.

We will connect the apparition of the customer service processes to the inclusion of the "time" parameter in transactions. When switching from a situational perspective to a relational one, and e-Marketing is mostly based on a relational perspective, the marketer saw himself somehow forced into considering support and assistance on a non-temporal level, permanently, over time.

For these reasons, we should consider the Customer Service function (in its fullest and largest definition) as an essential one within the e-Marketing mix.

As we can easily figure out, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed upon any element from the classic 4 P's, hence its moderating character.

4. Community

We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the existence of this impressive network that the internet is. The merely existence of such a network implies that individuals as well as groups will eventually interact. A group of entities that interact for a common purpose is what we call a "community" and we will soon see why it is of absolute importance to participate, to be part of a community.

The Metcalf law (named after Robert Metcalf) states that the value of a network is given by the number of its components, more exactly the value of a network equals the square of the number of components. We can apply this simple law to communities, since they are a network: we will then conclude that the value of a community rises with the number of its members. This is the power of communities; this is why we have to be a part of it.

The customers / clients of a business can be seen as part of a community where they interact (either independent or influenced by the marketer) - therefore developing a community is a task to be performed by any business, even though it is not always seen as essential.

Interactions among members of such a community can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be placed next to other moderating functions.

5. Site

We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place on a digital media - the internet. But such interactions and relations also need a proper location, to be available at any moment and from any place - a digital location for digital interactions.

Such a location is what we call a "site", which is the most widespread name for it. It is now the time to mention that the "website" is merely a form of a "site" and should not be mistaken or seen as synonyms. The "site" can take other forms too, such as a Palm Pilot or any other handheld device, for example.

This special location, accessible through all sort of digital technologies is moderating all other functions of the e-Marketing - it is then a moderating function.

6. Security

The "security" function emerged as an essential function of e-Marketing once transactions began to be performed through internet channels.

What we need to keep in mind as marketers are the following two issues on security:

- security during transactions performed on our website, where we have to take all possible precautions that third parties will not be able to access any part of a developing transaction;

- security of data collected and stored, about our customers and visitors.

A honest marketer will have to consider these possible causes of further trouble and has to co-operate with the company's IT department in order to be able to formulate convincing (and true, honest!) messages towards the customers that their personal details are protected from unauthorized eyes.

7. Sales Promotion

At least but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when we build an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are widely used in traditional Marketing as well, we all know this, and it is an excellent efficient strategy to achieve immediate sales goals in terms of volume.

This function counts on the marketer's ability to think creatively: a lot of work and inspiration is required in order to find new possibilities and new approaches for developing an efficient promotion plan.

On the other hand, the marketer needs to continuously keep up with the latest internet technologies and applications so that he can fully exploit them.

To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing implies new dimensions to be considered aside of those inherited from the traditional Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the concept of relational functions and they are a must to be included in any e-Marketing strategy in order for it to be efficient and deliver results.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.