Please respond to each student with 200 words
Identify your unit of analysis (second most primary purchase). This could be a specific company or a product category, such as grocery stores.
H-E-B is a Texas-based supermarket chain. Although citizens outside of Texas may have never heard of it, H-E-B is a large supermarket chain with over 340 locations in Texas and Mexico. H-E-B was recently recognized as America’s top grocery retailer, beating Trader Joe’s (Dooley, 2020). The company is known for its Texas pride, customer service, and locally grown produce section. H-E-B also has a large line of its own-brand products, with a total of 17,700 different items.
Evaluate the branding strategy used by this purchase unit of analysis. (You should use the most relevant concepts outlined in this unit’s assignment branding concepts table to provide depth.)
H-E-B’s strategy revolves around its customers. One word to sum up H-E-B’s branding strategy would be unity. H-E-B thrives on the fact that all of its customers are from Texas, and is proud to be a Texas company. H-E-B is also aware that most people from Texas are also very proud to be from Texas, and built their strategy around that idea. H-E-B locations will carry locally grown produce, a selection of beverages from Texas wineries and breweries, and will even sell Texas-themed products such as Texas shaped cheese wheels. The company uses marketing and signs to show its brand personality and key brand attributes. H-E-B takes advantage of family branding, using its same brand name on every product, to offer 17,700 different items of its own (Ferrell & Hartline, 2021). H-E-B strives to form strong, emotional relationships with its customers to gain true customer loyalty. H-E-B seeks to satisfy customers by offering them an exciting shopping experience rather than the chore of grocery shopping.
Describe how your purchase SBU is positioned against its competitors. Use a positioning chart or verbal description. Justify your analysis.
H-E-B was recently named America’s top grocery retailer. Below are a few reasons they are so successful.
- Its size. The average store is around 45,000 square feet, whereas H-E-B stores are typically 70,000 to 80,000 square feet (Lee Yohn, 2016). H-E-B stores are well laid out so although they are large customers are able to easily find what they need. Their size allows them to create a full shopping experience for customers, offering items from the bakery to the sushi section. Some locations may include BBQ restaurants, sampling stations, and make your own peanut butter services.
- Its own brand products. As previously mentioned, H-E-B offers a wide variety of its own brand products. The success of these products alone can create customer loyalty, as customers are only able to purchase its products at H-E-B locations. The company also sells products that differ from other retailers, such as Whataburger sauces. One of the products H-E-B is most well known for is its freshly made flour tortillas.
- Its relationship with its community. As touched upon earlier, H-E-B is proud to be a Texas business. The company’s branding focuses on the state of Texas. No matter where a consumer goes in an H-E-B store they will see Texas everywhere, from Texas shaped products to coffee blends named after Texas cities. H-E-B’s branding strategy is to play on the fact that they are similar to their customers: they both reside in Texas. The company is known for selling local farm’s produce, creating disaster relief funds, and awarding education scholarships.
Evaluate the IMC strategy used by this purchase choice and make recommendations for improvement.
Integrated marketing communication, also known as IMC, is the coordination of all promotional activities to produce a unified, customer centric message (Ferrell & Hartline, 2021). H-E-B’s IMC strategy is to relate to its customers by focusing on what it shares with customers, which is being in Texas. This strategy obviously works as H-E-B is a successful grocery retailer with over $31.2 billion in sales as of last November (Forbes, 2020). As H-E-B has such strong brand loyalty, I would recommend they research the idea of creating more of their own brand products and/or creating a company mascot. Right now they mostly offer food related products, with the exception of candles and other small items. H-E-B may do well by producing and selling branded items such as masks, t-shirts, water bottles, etc. Another Texan company with a strong image is Buc-ees, which is a gas station convenience store chain. Their locations include extensive gift shops, with products ranging from bathing suits to dog toys. Buc-ee’s is known for all of their products featuring their very own Buck-ee the Beaver mascot. Most locations even have an employee in a Buck-ee the Beaver suit that customers can take pictures with. I recommend H-E-B take advantage of their strong brand image and customer loyalty by creating a company mascot and/or branching out in their line of products.
Dooley, R. (2020). H-E-B: The Smartest Supermarket You’ve Just Heard Of. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2020/01/10/heb-smartest/?sh=3949a5fd3e76.
Ferrell, O. C., & Hartline, M. (2021). Marketing Strategy (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. https://ebooks.cenreader.com/#!/reader/650b6451-95…
Forbes. (2020). H-E-B. https://www.forbes.com/companies/h-e-b/?sh=3332cd241b7d.
Lee Yohn, D. (2016). Brand Experience Brief: H-E-B. Brand-as-Business Bites™. https://deniseleeyohn.com/brand-experience-brief-h-e-b/.
1. Identify your unit of analysis (second most primary purchase). This could be a specific company or a product category, such as grocery stores.
My unit of analysis is Garmin Smartwatches, which is one of the top 5 smartwatch brands in 2021.
2. Evaluate the branding strategy used by this purchase unit of analysis. (You should use the most relevant concepts outlined in this unit’s assignment branding concepts table to provide depth.)
Garmin has focused their strategy through developing purpose-built wearables targeted at customers who want to improve or track their active lifestyle activities (Garmin, n.d.). In addition to this strategy, Garmin also leverages their online user community where fitness goals are tracked and online groups provide motivation to each other, as well as offering the ability for third party apps to be developed and used on their devices which further expand on personalization. This strategy started evolving 11 years ago with their online community, Garmin Connect, which fostered a community of individuals getting together and recognizing the value of tracking, analyzing and sharing their fitness data, which today has expanded to Nike, Strava, MyFitnessPal and MyFitnessMap users (Garmin, n.d.). Garmin Connect has since branched into their wearables strategy with the Connect IQ App store that allows Garmin wearables users to download a wide variety of apps for their wearable. By allowing third-party apps to be developed and used on their devices, they have attracted and retained a growing population of users that leverage these custom apps, widgets, and watch faces to make their devices personable and provide the most benefit to each individual user (Garmin, n.d.).
3. Describe how your purchase SBU is positioned against its competitors. Use a positioning chart or verbal description. Justify your analysis.
The impact of covid-19 pandemic and stay at home orders has impacted the wearables industry significantly, as more people not only have time for health and fitness, but are committed to improving their health and fitness and leverage wearable fitness trackers to help them reach their goals. The top 5 brands in 2021 for smartwatches were Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Imoo, and Garmin (Adhikari, 2021). Garmin has used the following to position themselves against their competitors:
Garmin has positioned themselves with product offerings that can span all ages of users, competencies, and customer needs/wants. Their product can track a broad variety of activities, ranging from outdoor to indoor activities, as well as sync with your mobile phone to relay messages, calendar notifications, and many other options through use of their iConnect app, which creates an ecosystem with your mobile phone, regardless of the brand.
Number of product offerings
Garmin also offers a range of products that spread different price options and user optsion. This allows them to be able to market towards all income classes and users, reaching a much more expansive customer base than their competitors. Their models also have distinct visual characteristics from each other, with additional color, size, and feature options available for each model as well. By having this many options for users to select from, it makes it much easier for a person to be able to find the watch that fits their needs as well as their budget. Garmin has recently even expanded into offering watches with solar capability, which can support extreme outdoors enthusiasts for longer with this capability.
Garmin is unique in that they allow third party apps to be developed and applied to their watches. This strategy allows them to attract an additional user base that is either needing or desires the opportunity to further customize the watch. Because Garmin targets such a broad base of customers that span a range of outdoor activities, this is critical so that as new fads or activities come and go, the watch can quickly adapt and maintain relevancy and usefulness for their customers beyond it’s original design.
4. Evaluate the IMC strategy used by this purchase choice and make recommendations for improvement.
The integrated marketing communication used by Garmin specific to their smartwatches, is to generate the idea that regardless of the person’s age, lifestyle, and activities, there is a watch to get them to their goals. One particular ad has a lineup of their watches matching a lineup of their customers, including business professionals, outdoors enthusiasts, exercise enthusiasts, sports professionals, etc., with a simple statement of “beat yesterday”. This demonstrates how they can target a very broad group of individuals with varying needs to target a central message to “beat yesterday” that they all can collectively share. I think Garmin could potentially leverage their strong online community to improve. With the impact of covid-19 still restricting normal activities, this online community could have a strong ability to pull in more customers seeking that need for socialization and group motivation for their goals. They could possibly even seek to develop some online fitness programs where users can meet online with an instructor from their own homes. With many people now working out from home more than ever, this could be critical for many fitness brands to take advantage of.
Adhikari, Sumit. (August 27, 2021). Smartwatch market grew 27% in Q2 2021, Samsung & garmin on the rise. Retrieved September 21, 2021 from https://www.androidheadlines.com/2021/08/smartwatch-market-grew-q2-2021.html
Garmin.com. (n.d.) Garmin grows in the wearables market with device, community, and third-party app strategies. Retrieved September 21, 2021 from https://www.garmin.com.my/news/pressroom/news2016-garmin/