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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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Despite the numerous retailers offering beauty and health problems and some have pharmacies, the Boots Company have managed to retain its market share and penetrate new international markets.

Innovative approaches

The company has expanded since its inception, and it is currently one of the leading health, beauty and pharmaceutical companies. It launched an e-learning program to ensure that their pharmacist wren well equipped to deliver services. Additionally, they launched an online library of health information. It introduced the No7 Match Made service in partnership with Boots Web MD.com (Alliance Boots 2014). It has successfully launched new products from Ibufen, No. 7, Strepsils and Nurofen (Dobson 2004). The products are among the top products in their categories. It also launched Natural Collection. The company's proprietary products include No. 7, Soltan, Botanics and Almus (Plunket). They also offer optical service, dentistry, health insurance and health checks.

The company uses product differentiation to create a competitive advantage. For instance, the company has plans to further their generic drugs Almus and Alvita its patient care products. It also develops new products such as beauty products with new serums that have been proven to be more effective at reducing the appearance lines and wrinkles (Alliance Boots 2014). This is important as most of their customers are between 20-45 years. With the current trend of maintaining the illusion of youthfulness, their product is bound to have willing buyers. This is especially true as they are traditional with quality. The company's No7 products which have the serum have shown a remarkable success.

The company launched an online system where the customers were allowed to order and the pick the products at the store. This system has ensured efficiency in their operation and provided customers with convenience during shopping.

Innovation and entrepreneurial theories and strategies

The Boots approach to strategy has been a result of seeking shareholder value. Its goals are utilizing new opportunities with strong margin potential (Dobson 2004). It has employed exit strategies in areas where the margins were not promising such as leisure sector including music, videos and cookware (Dobson 2004).

The company has utilized market developments strategies which involve expanding their products to new markets. For instance, it is aiming to penetrate the Australian market (Mitchell, 2016). This after more than a century passing after the company was denied operating in Australia. With its strategy to expand internationally, it cannot resist the billion dollars Australian pharmacy market. The company wants to establish a Boots franchise network and to find distributors of its products including the health and beauty products in local pharmacies.

The company uses its extensive customer loyalty and market share when launching new products and services.  For instance, it has the largest and best loyalty card scheme in the UK where four points are awarded for every £1 spent (VARLEY 2014). It is estimated that over half of the women over 16 in the UK have the Advantage Card (Grimsey 2012). Additionally, around 905 of the card holders are female. This is a potent tool that rewards customer loyalty. This phenomenon works for the company as when they launched their chiropody sector, 50% of their clients had not sought chiropody services before. In additional to ensuring they have a strong market share by rewarding their customers for their loyalties, their market penetration strategy is helped by the already existing market share and trust. The loyalty cards are also used to monitor customers shopping behaviors and the company can utilize the information to tailor accurately their marketing strategies to cater to the needs of their clients. The company utilizes its strengths including market share, customer loyalty and trust, own brands and high margins.

 Under the Marketing Mix, the organizations ensure that the products are of high quality by utilizing the cradle to cradle to policy. Using the marketing mix ensures that organization plans their resources accordingly (FERRELL & HARTLINE 2014). This ensures that there is traceability of any ingredient used in their products. Additionally, the consistently quality products and services create a brand, and the Boots sign is now easily associated with quality products and services. Branding is an effective market strategy that increases the profits of an organization (SHANKAR & CARPENTER (2012).

The merger with Walgreens has enabled it to penetrate the American market that Walgreen held.  Walgreen controlled 20% of the American market share serving more than 6 million daily across its stores. It makes more than 800 million prescriptions annually.

Social responsibility influence on product innovation

They have endeavored to ensure that the products they offer are safe. To give back to the society, they trained their pharmacist how to provide support to cancer by providing customers with information on cancer.  The company realized in 2010 that it came into contact with 30% of the people diagnosed with cancer each year (Levitt 2015). As a result, it launched a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Care which had a presence in all the main Boots stores.  Macmillan trained around 1000 Boots staff to provide medical and emotional support to cancer patients (Alliance Boots, 2014).   They beauty consultants have also been trained to provide the necessary support to women having visible signs of cancer.

The company developed flushable facial wipes due to the concern that the wipes previously manufactured were not flushable and were causing sewer blockage. To demonstrate their commitment to their social responsibility, they created new wipes. In a move to build sustainable products, they developed new standards covering the use of ingredients such as palm oil, wood, and pulp.

 To ensure the health of the community, the company launched a program in 2015 where it awarded loyalty points for customers showing healthy behaviors and activities. This was with the aim of helping people suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

Conclusion

The company has grown tremendously since it was established. It is always coming up with new products to cater to the market. They have used acquisitions, product development, market development and branding to remain competitive. Its first patent drug was ibuprofen, and it has regularly developed new products such as its significantly successful No. 7 products. It has diversified from being a pharmaceutical company to launching services such as dentistry and optical care. With innovation and successful strategies, the company has become an international brand.e...

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