Marketing Research Brief

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Introduction and SWOT Analysis

Procter & Gamble have a hair care product line named Pantene. Pantene has become one of the popular hair care brands that seek to provide customers with significant value. Pantene Pro V represents a trademark under the Pantene hair care line owned by Procter & Gamble (Pantene.com, 2018). The Pantene brand has existed since 1945 in Europe. The products range from shampoos to conditioners, hair sprays, as well as styling products. Pantene Pro V has been marketed as a significant brand that can meet customer needs. The hair care industry has become significantly competitive and dynamic with customers interested in quality products that do not register adverse effects on the hair (Clow & Baack, 2012). Particularly, female customers in this industry are well informed regarding the appropriate ingredients that support hair growth, moisture content, the required texture, and shine (Kokenge & Grubow, 2010). For this reason, Procter & Gamble has worked on an overhaul of the Pantene Pro V products with specific emphasis on rebranding to meet customer needs. Notably, Procter & Gamble registers annual sales of about 40 billion US dollars due to its increased efforts in advertising. The company has branded Pantene Pro V as a hair care brand that promotes the health of hair and leads to a unique shine. 

SWOT Analysis of Procter & Gamble

Strengths

Over the years, Procter & Gamble has established a global positioning of Pantene Pro V. Globally, Pantene Pro V products receive recognition as reliable hair care products available in more than 72 countries. Pantene Pro V products contain unique ingredients that can foster hair growth and increase the strength of hair shafts. Particularly, Pantene Pro V products have proven effective in repairing damaged hair and restoring the proper balance of nutrients in the hair (Pantene.com, 2018). Pantene Pro V belongs to a company that has been honored with numerous awards due to its significant commitment to high-quality levels and delivering value to customers (Kokenge & Grubow, 2010). Pantene Pro V products are economical due to the reduced prices while still offering remarkable quality. Pantene Pro V products are available in a diverse range of choices that allows customers to choose the product that can address their specific hair problem or needs. There are products for processed and traditional hair types. Procter & Gamble has ensured that the Pantene Brand represents a complete product line that meets the different hair needs of customers (Clow & Baack, 2012). The Pantene brand has remarkable brand recognition due to its persistent presence in the market since 1945. In its recent efforts to improve the Pantene products, Procter & Gamble has enrolled multiple researchers to work together in the development of unique products that can resolve different hair problems and meet the needs of customers (Hair care: conditioning composition for hair, 2017). Procter & Gamble invests widely in advertising and marketing, explaining why Pantene products are likely to succeed in the market. The company has been utilizing research and development to undertake product differentiation. 

Weaknesses

The company relies on animals as subjects in different studies to test the effectiveness of various products. The prices of Pantene Pro V products are significantly high compared to other supermarket brands that deliver quality. In the recent years, there have been increasing levels of customer dissatisfaction with different products (Clow & Baack, 2012). Similarly, the saturation of the market had led to the decline in sales over the years. There is a high potential for customers to switch to other brands that are easily available and more affordable. Over the years, Procter & Gamble has faced challenges in achieving effective price control. 

Opportunities

The company has the potential to increase sales from conditioners through the education of customers on the benefits of using the product. There is an emerging generation of consumers that is well informed concerning different hair products and their objective (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). Procter & Gamble can focus on ensuring that the Pantene Pro V products meet their needs effectively. Procter & Gamble can still venture into new markets and register an increase in sales. The utilization of research and development will enable the company to expand its product lines and provide a diverse range of choices for its customers (Clow & Baack, 2012). The company can register improvement by focusing on the needs of the customers. Additionally, Procter & Gamble can change the marketing strategy designed for Pantene Pro V products (Pantene.com, 2018). The company can utilize its global recognition to increase the awareness of Pantene Pro V products. 

Threats

There is an increasing level of competition and saturation in the market. These factors threaten to lead to a decline of Pantene Pro V products. The increasing number of substitutes in the market makes it difficult to achieve product differentiation (Shimp, 2010). Increasing the levels of advertising noise is likely to prevent customers from buying products that are frequently advertised (Hair care: conditioning composition for hair, 2017). Excessive competition from well-established brands is likely to affect the sales of Pantene Pro V products. 

Initial Industry Strengths

Customers are more informed regarding hair products and their effects, an aspect that is becoming a critical trend in hair care industry. Similarly, there is an emerging preference for natural hair that compels Procter & Gamble to develop remarkable products for people who prefer natural hair (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). There is a revolution in the hair care industry that has compelled more people to critically analyze the available products in the market before making a purchase (Shimp, 2010). These industry trends are likely to affect product development of Pantene Pro V products and to ensure that the company conforms to market dynamics. 

Marketing Mix Elements

Potential Target Demographics

Procter & Gamble targets women, men, and children aged between 3 and 55 years. Specifically, the Pantene Pro V products were developed to meet the needs of the younger generation with an emphasis on women as potential decision makers in the purchase of hair products (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). For this reason, Procter & Gamble targets women who are responsible for purchasing different hair products. The company also adopts other approaches to segmentation such as psychographic segmentation. Particularly, Pantene Pro V products are designed for individuals who recognize the need for dynamic hairstyles and who pay attention to enhancing their looks by maintaining healthy hair. The company believes that Pantene Pro V products are suitable for individuals with a significant interest in beauty and fashion (Pantene.com, 2018). For the hair defense serum, the company should target women who rely on heat styling procedures. Currently, a great percentage of women use blow-dry and other heat treatments to style their hair (Shimp, 2010). These women need protection from the adverse effects of heat on their hair. For this reason, the hair defense serum is the modern woman who appreciates versatile hairstyles for different occasions while still committed to maintaining healthy hair. 

Internal and External Organizational Factors Aligned with the Potential Target Demographics

Analysis of Procter & Gamble Core Competencies

A critical analysis of the company’s internal factors reveals that the company has unique core competencies. The company considers productivity, consumer understanding, innovation, brand building, scale, and a go-to-market as its leading core strengths and competencies (Shimp, 2010). However, the company also has a well-established advertising and marketing strategy with adequate funds to invest in marketing. Procter & Gamble also has a well-established segmentation and targeting strategies for the Pantene Pro V products. These core competencies demonstrate the importance of internal factors that are likely to influence the formulation of the marketing mix. 

PESTLE Analysis

Political factors are likely to influence the marketing mix elements in various countries. Taxation rates in various countries and political instability may influence the pricing strategies of the products. Economic factors will directly influence the pricing strategies in different locations. In the developed world and emerging markets, Procter & Gamble will need to set high prices due to the significant economic growth. In other countries, the company will need to reduce prices to encourage the customers to purchase the products. Social factors affect people’s perception towards different product features (Shimp, 2010). Increasing the levels of education has served to inform the public concerning the basic hair care and the choice of hair products. Technological factors also influence the marketing mix elements depending on how much the company has invested in research and development. The increased use of online marketing and business automation is likely to affect the marketing mix elements. Procter & Gamble must conform to the existing environmental regulations regarding the use of recyclable materials in the packaging of its products. Legal factors surrounding product quality and the sustainability of businesses are also likely to influence marketing mix elements. 

Product Need in the Market

It is evident that customers need quality hair care products in their efforts to promote the proper health of their hair. Customers are becoming familiar with the need to maintain healthy hair as a part of grooming as well as beauty and fashion. The changing attitudes towards hair products are likely to influence customer perception towards the products. The hair defense serum is likely to register a significant demand in the market because customers need a product that can protect their hair from the adverse effects of heat (Shimp, 2010). Particularly, many customers are in search of a product that prevents heat damage during different forms of styling that require heat. A large percentage of customers experience heat breakage because the available products are not sufficiently protective. For this reason, the hair defense serum formulated to retain the moisture of hair and eliminate the adverse effects of heat will be of critical importance to a large percentage of women. 

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Pricing Strategy

The company will need to adopt a remarkable pricing strategy that is appealing to the customers. In the past, the saturation of Pantene products led to a significant decline in sales. As a result, many customers sought to purchase other products that are more affordable and that provide reliable solutions to hair problems. For this reason, Procter & Gamble should introduce lower prices for the Pantene Pro V products so that customers may gain interest in the products(Pantene.com, 2018). The significant competition in the industry also explains why the company will need to attach lower prices to the Pantene Pro V products. The company should consider the potential of a geographical pricing strategy (Shimp, 2010). In the developed countries and the emerging markets, the company may settle for higher prices. However, the company should attach lower prices to Pantene Pro V products in the developing world. For the hair defense serum, the company needs to attach a price of $6.5 for the smallest unit. Such a price will be lower than that of Dove and other competitors, but will still reflect the value of the product to the customer. 

Product Placement

Product placement is of critical importance in marketing different products. In the case of Pantene Pro V products, the company should consider using the Black Panther movie for placement. Currently, there is great excitement about the launch of the new movie and customers are likely to be excited if the company uses the movie to promote the products. Similarly, Procter & Gamble should consider using new music and television series for extensive placement. The choice of a television series or music should depend on the target audience (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). Procter & Gamble will ensure that the product is available in major stores that sell household products. Particularly, the product will also be available in leading beauty shops that focus on hair products and salons that sell hair products. 

Promotion of the Product

Procter & Gamble has exhibited its expertise in marketing and promotion. For this reason, the company is likely to rely on integrated marketing strategies that make use of television and internet advertising to create awareness concerning the new products. The integrated marketing approach should also utilize print media and billboards for advertising (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). During the launch of the products, the company will need to utilize discounts to attract new customers and encourage existing customers to try out new varieties of the products (Shimp, 2010). The use of television and internet advertising will ensure that Procter & Gamble targets a larger audience. 

Ethical and Legal Implications of the Recommended Marketing Promotion

The company will comply with the existing legal requirements of carrying out different forms of advertising. Moreover, the company will ensure that its adverts depict the true potential of the product without deceiving consumers and taking advantage of them. In the case of offers and discounts, the company will specify specific stores that will be providing the discounts. 

Alignment of the Marketing Mix Elements with Industry Trends

The marketing mix elements exhibit a significant level of alignment with industry trends. Particularly, there is an increasing demand for hair defense serums in the market because customers need to protect their hair from the adverse effects of heat. Additionally, the price reflects a significant level of competitiveness compared to the price of other hair serums on the market. The main competitors of Procter & Gamble stock their products in various stores to increase accessibility (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). As a result, the company will ensure that the hair defense serum is easily available in various stores, beauty shops, and salons. Many companies use integrated marketing strategies to target the larger audience (Shimp, 2010). For this reason, Procter & Gamble will succeed in creating product awareness by using different forms of media as well as the internet for advertising. 

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Concluding Findings and Limitation

Internal and External Factors that Support Organizational Objectives

Some of the internal factors that support Procter & Gamble’s objectives include a greater understanding of consumer expectations, high levels of innovation, extensive marketing capabilities, and expertise in productivity as well as the brand establishment. Additionally, the company has adequate revenue to invest in research and development and rigorous marketing that will support the success of the hair defense serum in the market. Marketing research demonstrates that internal factors are critical determinants of whether an organization can achieve its objectives (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). On the other hand, external factors such as political stability, remarkable economic growth, and social factors are likely to influence organizational objectives of registering significant sales with the hair defense serum. Favorable political factors will increase sales in different countries while stable economic growth will ensure that more customers can afford the product (Clow & Baack, 2012). Recent trends in hair care will also influence the reception of the product in the market. The availability of modern technology in developing products that protect hair from heat damage will determine whether the company can achieve its objectives. The company must also meet environmental regulations that determine the best materials for packaging. 

Plausible Future Trends that will Affect Organizational Objectives

There is an emerging revolution in hair care that encourages women to grow natural hair and to avoid any form of heat treatment. The revolution is likely to have many followers in the future, an aspect that will influence the demand for the hair defense serum (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). Individuals who choose to grow natural hair are less likely to need the product if they do not use any form of heat treatment. 

How Industry Trends support Marketing Research

Marketing research reveals consumer expectations and needs regarding specific products. Industry trends determine the products that are likely to be profitable and also influence consumer preferences. On the other hand, marketing research provides the future direction for different industries (Tocquigny & Butcher, 2012). In this case, marketing research indicates that the natural hair movement is likely to influence industry trends as customers seek to meet emerging customer needs (Clow & Baack, 2012). At the moment, both marketing research and industry trends point out to the need for a product that can protect hair from heat damage. 

Alignment of Marketing Strategy with Legal, Ethical, and Industry Standards

The proposed marketing strategy conforms to current industry standards such as price, product features, placement and promotion. The strategy also takes into consideration ethical and legal requirements surrounding product development and marketing (Kokenge & Grubow, 2010). The strategy meets the basic requirements of compliance with advertising ethics as well as the legal procedures of product development and marketing. 

Implications for Implementing the Marketing Proposal

Implementation of the marketing proposal will mean that the company will invest a significant amount of its revenue. Additionally, the company may improve its reputation in the market and increase customer satisfaction through the launch of an effective hair defense serum (Kokenge & Grubow, 2010). However, customers are likely to be concerned about the real functionality of the product as depicted in adverts. The use of animals for testing may be a concern for some customers and regulatory bodies. 

Limitations of the Marketing Proposal

The marketing proposal has several limitations based on the available research. The pricing strategy may change due to industry adjustments to external forces. Moreover, the effectiveness of using different forms of media for advertising is not certain based on the available research (Kokenge & Grubow, 2010). Finally, the available research cannot adequately predict the real performance of the product in the market. 

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  1. Clow, K. E., & Baack, D. (2012). Cases in marketing management. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.
  2. Hair care: conditioning composition for hair. (2017). Focus On Surfactants2017(11), 6.
  3. Kokenge, E., & Grubow, L. (2010). Transforming the brand narrative: The global redesign of Pantene Pro-V. Design Management Journal (Former Series)14(1), 74-80. 
  4. Pantene.com. (2018). Pantene.
  5. Shimp, T. A. (2010). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  6. Tocquigny, R., & Butcher, A. (2012). When core values are strategic: How the basic values of Procter & Gamble transformed leadership at Fortune 500 companies. Upper Saddle River, N.J: FT Press.
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