Part One
Question 1
The success of an organization’s success depends on several factors. These factors are the marketing strengths and weaknesses. Among the strengths of marketing that an organization can have include a unique product. When an organization has a unique product, then there is less competition and that means that such a product can easily be pushed in the market. Resource is another marketing strength. Processes require a lot of resources and in this case money. An organization that has enough money can run marketing campaigns. It can also invest resources on advertising and other related marketing activities. Marketing strategies is also another source of strength. Organizations that are able to formulate the most ideally strategies is more likely to do well in marketing compared to those that do not have. Communication is also strength. The way an organization packages its communication influences the success of the marketing process (Senior, 2018). Therefore organizations ought to come up with the most appropriate way of communicating during marketing. Finally, the process of monitoring the processes of marketing is a source of strength. When processes are monitored well, then they are more likely to influence marketing processes positively.
Marketing can have weaknesses too. Weaknesses usually come as a result of vulnerable internal processes. The first example of marketing weaknesses is the failure to demonstrate. Some organizations have not hired staffs that are competent in demonstrating how products and services are used. This affects the perception that people have towards the products or services that are being sold. Secondly, incomplete analysis of the competitors is a weakness. Successful marketing requires organizations to effectively analyze the competitors. The strengths and weaknesses of the competitors help organizations to develop strategies that can be able to win over the competitors. Inappropriate understanding of competitors leads to failure. Overstating the size of the market is also a weakness. Usually, organizations need to come up with marketing strategies that are aligned with the market size. When organizations overstate the size of the market, they are likely to come up with imaginary figures that may never be realized. This ends up frustrating the marketing team because in reality the market size cannot give the number of sales that are estimated (Senior, 2018).
Our organization is a plastic manufacturing company. It has a number of marketing strengths as well as weaknesses. The first strength it has is communication. The organization has invested heavily on the marketing messages. This has enabled it to attract a number of customers who have boosted sales. Secondly, the company has unique products. As much as there are many companies manufacturing plastics, our company has reinforced its plastic by use of unique chemicals and manufacturing method and this makes it stand out. Finally, the company has a number of marketing strategies that are unique. Each of these strategies is reviewed continuously to accommodate the changing market environment. Other than the strengths, our company has a major marketing weakness. It has not analyzed and interpreted the competitors. This makes the company to work with figures on competition that is not accurate.
Question 2
The competitive position of a company is determined by a number of factors such as the organization’s competitors, the strategies and others. Our organization is a plastic manufacturing company and it has laid down different strategies in order to be the leader in the market. Currently, the organization has a competitive advantage over its competitors because of several factors. The organization has undertaken a number of benchmarking exercises in order to establish that indeed it is a head compared to its competitors. On top of this, the company has established a number of parameters that measure its ability to compete. There are strategies that the company is employing order to be a head. The first strategy is the cost leadership. The management understands that pricing plays a critical role in the way customers purchase. In doing so, this company has ensured that the prices the products are sold is affordable. In many cases, prices increase because of the high cost of production. The company has drastically reduced this cost in several ways. First, the company has its own production plant and therefore it does not hire any production equipment. Secondly, the company purchases raw materials in bulky and therefore enjoys huge discounts from the suppliers and this has greatly influenced the cost of production (“Competitive Strategy: Four Types of Competitive Strategy”, n.d.).
Even though the cost of production can be debated, it is relatively cheaper compared to many companies that are in the market. Therefore customers are able to compare our prices with other two companies instead of several others. Another strategy that the company has employed is differentiation strategy. Plastic products are unique because they are almost the same. However, our company has ensured that our products are different from those of the competitors in terms of features. Currently, we are considered the leading “decorated” company. This is because the plastic products that are produced in our company have unique decorations that make them different from others. On top of this, the products have been reinforced with special substance and therefore have superior quality compared to others. This has made it easier for the company to sell more products.
The availability of a product to the consumer influences how consumers make decisions to buy. When products are available, they are more likely to be bought. Many people around the world buy products because these products are near them when they need them. Our company has an elaborate distribution network. This has enabled its products to be available in most remote parts of the world. The concentration of our products in these parts of the world has greatly boosted our brand and therefore customers are able to access them easily and this has boosted our sales (“Competitive Strategy: Four Types of Competitive Strategy”, n.d.). The high sales in remote places where other competitors do not arrive leads to high generation of revenue which gives our company strong foundation for competition. When a company has enough money, it is able to compete well in the market because it can use the money for marketing exercises such as advertisement.
Question Three
Marketing objectives of a company refer to the goals of a brand that are defined. These goals outline the intentions of the marketing teams, they provide a clear direction that the marketing team members need to follow and they offer information for the senior managers to support and review in order to help the company to progress. Marketing objectives are very important for any organization since they form part of the marketing strategy. Corporate objectives on the other hand refer to the goals that related to the whole business. They focus on the desired results and performance of the whole organization (Simmons & Becker-Olsen, 2006). The corporate objectives of the organization focus on a range of important areas that an organization wants to achieve results on. Therefore for the marketing objectives, they focus on the marketing department and the results of marketing process such as increased sales, increased distribution channel and others. Corporate objectives on the other hand focus on the entire organization and therefore they influence parameters such as having competent employees, mergers and acquisition, corporate image of the organization and others. Our organization has a number of marketing objectives that are continuously reviewed. The essence of reviewing them is to help the organization to achieve the market needs. The objectives include:
Increasing brand awareness-Our organization recognizes the importance of a brand. When the brand of an organization is strong, it leads to increased sales which contribute to more revenues. Therefore our company is focusing on increasing the brand awareness (Simmons & Becker-Olsen, 2006). There are different strategies that have been laid out to achieve this. Among them include massive campaign and advertisements, promotional activities and many others.
Increased market share-The market share of a company refers to the number of customers that are associated with the brand of a company. When the market share of a company is big, then the company has more sales which lead to more revenues. Currently, the market share of our company is 7 percent. The other part of the market is shared by other competitors. Our company is focusing on increasing this market share from the current share to 11 percent in the next one year. The ten year marketing plan is to have a 20 percent market share. There are a number of activities that have been lined which will be done to boost this market share. Among these include launching of new products that are appealing, increased marketing and other related activities.
Attracting new customers-Customers form the backbone of any company. Creating a new customer is very important for any organization. Currently, our major customers are women aged between 31 and 57. This is because of kind of products that we sell. We are intending to create new customers. In order to create them, we want to create new products that needed by these other demographics of customers. Creating new customers will impact our company in two ways. The first way is that our market share will increase. Secondly, we will have increased sales which will bring in new revenues.
Question Four
Market segmentation is a core practice in marketing management. It is the process of dividing the target market to groups that are approachable. Segmentation process creates subjects of a market based on needs, priorities, demographics, common interests and other behavioral or psychographic criteria (McDaniel, Lamb & Hair, 2013). Many companies segment their markets and the process of segmentation continues as they continue to launch new products and grow. The mobile phone manufacturers are among the companies that have highly segmented the market. This can be seen through the kind of products that are launched each day and how they are different.
Samsung, which is among the biggest mobile phone companies, has products that target different market segments. Therefore, the company has segmented the market based on different factors. The first factor is the need. There are people that buy mobile phones because they want to make basic calls while there are those that buy them because they want extra features such as accessing the internet. In order for Samsung all these market segments, it has produced different categories of the mobile phones. There are mobile phones that are simple and are only able to make calls and send short messages. They therefore support simplest of mobile phone features. On the other hand, there are smartphones. These phones have advanced features and therefore users are able to access additional features such as the internet, applications and others.
Another segmentation is based on the economy. Some people want cheap mobile phones but there are others that need expensive mobile phones because they are associated with class. Samsung has different varieties of mobile phones that are based on different classes. Therefore in the market, you will find mobile phones from Samsung that are very affordable meant for the people that do not have enough money, there are those that are meant for the middle class and there are those meant for the upper class.
Different companies apply different strategies to increase their sales. A combination of these promotion activities to increase sales is called promotional mix. Our company is applying a number of these promotional mixes. The first one is advertisement. Advertisement is very important as it helps to promote the brand of a company. When the brand has grown, it has a direct impact on the sales and revenues. Our company has been advertising on different channels which include social media and magazines. Another promotional mix element that the company has been making use of is the distribution. Product distribution is very important as it helps to ensure that the product reaches the customer from the point it is produced. Our company has different sales channels and different outlets. These outlets have been very critical in ensuring that the products are as available as possible. On top of this the company has been engaged in public relations (McDaniel, Lamb & Hair, 2013). A good public image is very important for any company. Customers are always willing to relate with a company that has good public image. Therefore our company ensures that we retain that name.
Question Five
At all times, the customers think that the product is the physical item that they buy. That is not the case. A product has three levels that is often used by marketers in order to design marketing strategies. The three levels of a product include the core product, the actual product, and the augmented product. The core and the augmented product levels are not tangible but they have a great influence on the consumer decisions (Claessens, 2015). On the other hand, the actual product is the physical product that the consumer buys.
As a plastic manufacturing company, the major product is the plastic. The plastic has the three levels of the product like any other product. The core product of the plastic product is not the tangible or physical plastic that the customer purchases. Therefore it cannot be touched. This is the benefit that a customer gets from the plastic product. The core product is valuable. In plastic, there are different benefits that customers get. For example, the plastic containers that we manufacture are used for carrying food, liquids, chemicals and other things. The plastic items are also used for packaging of different products. These therefore are the core products of the plastic products that our company produces (Claessens, 2015). In fact, the core product of a product is what makes consumers pay for the product. If a plastic product cannot perform the task it was intended to, then the customer will not pay for it.
The actual product of the plastic product refers to the physical products that the consumer pays. These are the cups, the plastic containers, the packages and other related products that the customer pays for. The physical product influences the comparison of the products. For example, a customer can opt to buy a plastic product from our company and not from the competitor because our product is more durable and has good ratings. On top of this, the quality of the product is usually defined by the actual product that the customer is willing to pay. An actual product such as the plastic cups can be touched. The actual product is what any average consumer thinks about in the general definition of products that consumers buy.
The augmented product is not physical just like the core product. It consists of values of a product that are added. In plastic products, the extra value that is gained from it is the augmented value. For example, if a plastic cup can be used as a food packaging container, then such additional value is the augmented value. The augmented value can also mean the extra benefits that organizations give to the consumers. For example, if a customer purchase a plastic product, our company gives them a three months warrant to return it in case it gets a natural damage. Such is the example of an augmented product. The augmented value of the product also influences how consumers are willing to pay.

Part Two
Question One
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that is used to evaluate the competitive position of a company. The SWOT analysis framework helps to develop the strategic plan of a company. SWOT analysis evaluates the internal and external factors that affect the performance of a company. On top of this, it helps to evaluate the current and future potential of a company. SWOT analysis tool is designed to realistically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities of threats facing a company within the industry (Krwawicz, 2019). It is based on the facts and figures that are generated in the company and industry.
Strengths and weaknesses of a company are internal. For example, if a company has well trained employees, has enough resources and has ability to innovate, then such strengths make the company to be a head in terms of competition in the market. At the same time, if a company has poor communication amongst employees, there are conflicts within the company and have incompetent employees, then such are weaknesses are caused by the internal factors. The power to control the strengths and weaknesses of a company are within the management of the organization because they are not influenced by factors beyond the control of a company.
Opportunities and threats are external. For example, when there is good market potential, the political environment is favorable and the company operates in an environment that has a good tax system, then those are opportunities. A company can also have threats such as high competition. The external factors that are beyond the control of the company and therefore during the SWOT analysis, an organization needs to find ways of reducing their impact and not controlling them entirely (Krwawicz, 2019). When an organization is carrying out a SWOT analysis, it needs to ensure that it does it with utmost accuracy to avoid gray areas or pre-conceived beliefs which can create false hopes.
Question Two
Every organization has internal and external factor that influence its performance. The internal factors of an organization come from with the company and the organization can have control over them. The internal factors include the employees and managers, the strategies, company culture, and money and resources. The performance of employees and the management has a great influence on how the company performs. When employees are motivated, they are likely to perform better than when they are not. The motivation of employees is influenced by the internal factors such as remuneration and working conditions. It is therefore within the mandate of the organization to motivate the employees. The strategies of the company are also internal. Effective strategies are created by competent employees who take initiatives to analyze the working environment (Sherman, 2019). The company culture also has an influence on how an organization performs. A culture is a made up of the organization systems that are in place.
External factors include the economy, politics and competition. An organization has no influence on the external factors. For example, the economy of a country greatly influences the way an organization perform. When the economy is good, people will have more money to spend and therefore organizations are able to grow because of increased sales. On the other hand, the politics of a nation greatly influences how organizations are able to perform. Politics influences the tax systems and the business environment. Good political policies of any nation greatly influence how an organization performs in the market. The competition also has influence on the way an organization performs. When there are many organizations in the same industry, the competition is stiff and the organization has to spend more resources to market (Sherman, 2019). It is important to note that organizations do not have control over external factors.
Question Three
IKEA is faced by a number of threats that include social trends, economic factors and market forces. In order to manage these threats, IKEA is making use of different strategies. In managing the changing social trends, IKEA has built an online help to assist customers with life that is sustainable (Krwawicz, 2019). Because there is a slow growth in the housing market, the company has now focused on improving the homes that are existing. The online guide helps customers with ideas and tips on how to reduce the impact on the environment. The different tips that are shared on the website are aimed at educating the customers on the ways of saving money. On top of this, the employees at IKEA are trained on sustainability. They have enough skills on what IKEA is doing and how they can enhance responsibility on environment among the employees.
On the market forces, IKEA has been able to overcome them because of the size. As a large company, IKEA is able to enjoy the economies of scale. When a company purchases or produces in large quantities, the cost per unit is often lower. Therefore because IKEA is big and enjoys the economies of scale, the average cost of production is lower per unit. On top of this, the company has adequately employed technology as well as hired specialized managers. This positively affects the cost of production.
In order to overcome the threats because of economic factors, IKEA has set its prices to low compared to the competitors. This has an appeal to the customers during hard financial times. It is important for businesses to keep the prices to be as low as possible in order to deal with economic difficulties.
Question Four
The SWOT analysis information that IKEA got through the analysis is very instrumental in the growth of the business. The company has a lot of strengths. Among them is the strong brand. When a brand is strong, the customers will be appealed to it and therefore will purchase more. IKEA understands that this is important and therefore it has used the information on strong brand to ensure that the position that the brand has held remains the same. This ensures that the company will continue having a competitive advantage in the market. Another strength IKEA has is strong concepts. Concepts give rise to new products and services. This has enabled IKEA to develop products that are unique in the market and therefore have high sales. On weaknesses, IKEA understands that its size makes it hard to control it. Having this information has been helpful since the company has trained its personnel on the best management practices (Parsons, 2021). On top of this the company has been able to research on new management methods that can help in controlling the organization effective.
There are several opportunities that IKEA has. One of them is the increased demand for green products. On top of this, there is an increased demand for low cost products. With this information, IKEA is able to concentrate on creating products that support a green environment. This means that the company has a wide market that it can sell its products. With information on low cost products, IKEA has used this information to invest in technology that helps in reducing the cost of production. On top of this, IKEA has hired experienced managers that have guided into producing products of low cost and this has attracted customers. The company also understands about the threats such as economic factors and social trends. The company has used this information in investing in economies of scale. This has led to reducing the cost of production and therefore the cost of products has gone down. The low cost products will automatically attract the customers that need products that are affordable (Parsons, 2021).
Question Five
Our company is an International Plastic Inc. The Company has different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
• The company has qualified employees who are continuously trained. This has led to production of high quality plastic products.
• The company has invested in technology. With the technology in place, it has been able to reduce its cost of production and this has led to selling its products at low prices.
• The third strength is the strategies. Presently, International Plastic Inc. has leading strategies in terms of marketing, distribution and communication. With the strategies in place, the company is able to effectively market its products in the most effective and efficient way (“SWOT Analysis”, 2021).
• International Plastic Inc. has poor communication amongst the employees. The management does not have a defined communication system. This has led to some employees not getting some important communication or getting it when it is past the due date.
• The second weakness is the conflicts amongst the employees. Presently, International Plastic Inc. has been having conflicts which have led to breakdown of teamwork.
• International Plastic Inc. has a wide market. The company opened new international branches and it is evident that more customers are in need of the plastic materials.
• International Plastic Inc. operates in countries that have good political stability and therefore there are excellent opportunities for growth.
• International Plastic Inc. is facing stiff competition from three main competitors. These competitors have enough resources and finances and established networks throughout the world. On top of this, they have strong brands.
The changing business environment requires organizations to come up with strategies that will make the organization to be competitive in the industry. These strategies require organization to analyze the internal and external environments of the organization. The most appropriate tool to do this is the SWOT analysis. When conducting SWOT analysis, the data used must be as realistic as possible to avoid cases where the organization will strategize based on false hope. 
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McDaniel, C., Lamb, C., & Hair, J. (2013). Introduction to marketing. [Mason (Ohio, Estados Unidos]: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
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Senior, A. (2018). Mindset and Marketing Seminar: recognising strengths and weaknesses. Journal Of Aesthetic Nursing, 7(7), 391-391. doi: 10.12968/joan.2018.7.7.391
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