City of Kingston Co operative Credit Union Ltd

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was incorporated in 1967 in response to the need for an inclusive credit union that offered membership to citizens of Kingston and St. Andrew. This was important as, although there were some 130 credit unions at the time, their membership was restricted to certain professions or church groups. The COK concept meant that, for the first time, people could join a credit union once they were residents of the Corporate Area.

This initial concept was first proposed by Mr. Albert Morris, but he was years ahead of his time and the idea did not catch on. However, in 1967, Mr.Paul Chavannes, a CUNA Mutual sales representative to Jamaica and Belize, recalled Morris' proposal and approached members of Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League (JCCUL) and the Registrar of Co-operatives.

Mr.Chavannes' lobbying efforts were successful, Registrar of Co-operatives, Mr. James Kirlew, gave his blessings along with two shillings and six pence - the required registration fee for incorporating a credit union. On October 26, 1967 the vision became a reality.

Just a month after registration, COK held the first Annual General Meeting on November 24, 1967. At that time there were 13 members and total shares of sixty pounds (J$120).

Mr. Chavannes voluntarily ran the office from his desk in CUNA Mutual's Office, located at JCCUL headquarters at 2A Manhattan Road, Kingston 5. This continued until February 1969, when the first employee was hired.

On March 1 1970, COK rented a room from the JCCUL. But by April 1973, one room was insufficient and a property at 27 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5 was purchased. COK continued to grow, and further expansion became critical so property, previously acquired at 66 Slipe Road Kingston 5, was occupied in December 1979.

By 2005, COK will occupy new offices, now under construction, at 68 Slipe Road Kingston 5.

 

Mission Statement

To improve the well-being of our members by providing savings opportunities, affordable credit and other financial products to our members and customers. We will achieve this by delivering superior service, by being innovative and by consistently living the co-operative principles

Vision

To be the leader in all markets we serve; by being a member-focused, financially-sound, profitable and technology-driven organization with a highly competent and motivated team.

Description Of Core Products/ Services Offered

The Golden Harvest Savings Plan is a savings and insurance plan designed specifically for credit union members. If you are between 15 and 69 years old, you may agree to contract with the credit union to make regular monthly deposits for a specific number of years. This savings instrument offers you a guaranteed interest rate for the duration of your plan

COK's Wealth Maximiser Investment Plan is a great way to make your money grow. It is a long-term, tax-free savings plan that allows you to put away lump sums for five-year periods.

All you need to start the plan is a deposit of $25,000 and you will get maximum returns on your money - tax-free! You can make additional deposits monthly to a maximum of $1 million dollars per annum and you have the option of withdrawing up to 75% of your interest semi-annually.

The COK partner plan operates like the traditional "partner" system; but you don't have to pay the banker, COK pays you. You can earn up to two extra hands on your savings, your money is safe and your draw is guaranteed.

Features of the Partner Plan:

Minimum of $500 per hand weekly (there is no limit on the number of hands)

Hands can be paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, at your convenience

You can have several Partners running simultaneously

If you do not wish to claim the returns on the Partner at the end of the set period, the amount can be transferred to the Golden Egg or Share Account - according to your preference

The C.A.R.E.S account is specifically geared towards young savers aged 0 -18 years. The account was set up to encourage children to develop healthy and responsible saving habits, encourage parents to make preparations for the continuation of their children's education and to promote the Credit Union Philosophy among young people.

The C.A.R.E.S account offers a guaranteed interest rate of 3.50%, credited quarterly, as well as dividends at the end of the year and can also be used to qualify for education loans.

The Golden Egg Deposit Account exists for members who wish to earn attractive returns on savings, along with having access to their funds at any time. This deposit account offers competitive interest rates.

Unlike Fixed Deposit Accounts, members can lodge and withdraw funds at any time without attracting a penalty. Interest is credited monthly and paid on the minimum average monthly balance

Fixed Deposit Accounts exist for members who wish to earn attractive returns on their savings with no risk. This deposit account offers competitive interest rates.

Open a Fixed Deposit Account with a minimum of $10,000 and over.

Deposits mature in 30 days, 90 days, 180 days or 1 year, whichever you prefer.

Members must maintain a ordinary share balance of $1,000 in order to open a Fixed Deposit Account.

No penalty for breaking a fixed deposit for the purpose of adding on to the deposit.

Rates subject to change without notice

The Organization Overall Positioning Strategy

City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union Limited (COK) has long been regarded as the largest credit union both in Jamaica and in the English-speaking Caribbean. Sodality Co-operative Credit Union Limited has also been hailed as the pioneer of the movement and as such holds the honor for being the oldest credit union within the same demographic.

B. (i) Discuss three macro environmental factors currently impacting the organization's marketing efforts.

Technological environmental forces - these are factors that create new techniques, creating new products and market opportunities. New technology emerges and replaces older technology and therefore COK Co-operative credit union have to create new products and market opportunities to satisfy customers needs a change in technology can have both positive and negative impacts moreover company's must learn to adopt to rapid change in technology and seeks to accept these changes rather than refusing them.

Positives

Online banking - it speeds production and attracts more customers as they spend less time dealing with finances.

Web access - company's information is readily available via website and customers having access to this information are better able to conduct business with the organization such as bill payments, information on products offered.

Social networking systems - take for instance face book, it gives COK Co-operative credit union ltd the opportunity of advertising their products online; it is considered cost effective and time consuming.

Emails/Text Messaging- updates are been sent on a timely basis to the customers advising them of the products and services offered, promotion and accounting information.

Negatives

Online banking - online transactions can be exposed and personal information can be gained if hackers can crack the company security code and get past the firewalls created. COK Co-operatives has very little to worry about due to their present security system put in place, privacy and copyright policies has also been implemented to secure its members.

(ii) Repositioning of the COK Co-operative credit union ltd

Technological factor - when new technology emerges COK Co-operative credit union accepts the change by ensuring that a particular team of highly qualified personnel's forming a special team is been made aware of these changes in technology. This team after doing there necessary tests of the products then further trains the staff, improving their skills and extends their ability to achieve the task.

COK Co-operative credit union been able to readily adapt to changes has aided them to incorporate new products and distinguishing them from their competitors

Economic environmental forces

These are factors that affect consumer buying power and spending patterns. These include:

Income level

Interest rate/ Increase taxes

Recession

Prices of products

Inflation

Employment level

These factors influence the buying and spending patterns of customers, which reduces profit for the firm and as such COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd has put measures in place to cite the enforceable events such as investments and purchasing of shares.

Recession

This has force management to reduce job availability, meaning less job opportunities and as such the marketing efforts are affected where there is more work/task to be carried out with fewer laborers - productivity level decreases. It has also caused the firm to advertise less and this reduces the number of new customers who would normally conduct businesses.

Reposition itself

COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd plans for the enforceable and as such forecasting play a vital role, making preparations that cater to the long-term needs of the organization. COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd has the option of selling their shares and re-invests the proceeds into performing stock.

Payment from creditors may be slow, late or paid in part or not at all; this reduces company revenues. Late payments received reduce the valuation of the co-operation debt, bonds and the company's ability to survive its debts may be impaired. COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd often offers promotional products to its customers by offering longer payment plan and easy access loans.

Political Environmental forces

These include laws of government agencies and pressure groups that influence and limit various organization and individuals in a given society. The political environment in COK Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd operates affect the marketing activities of the organization.

Changes in government also result in change in policies and procedures set by the organization, COK Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd have to adjust their policies in accordance as such changes are been made. It can cause the company to reduce its operation, withdraw from the market entirely. Laws are enforced to protect consumers from false advertising, product safety and to protect the organization from competitive behavior and product liability. These are laws that cover truth in advertisement.

Repositioning of the firm

Rules that are enforceable by law have to be obeyed by all organization in the market. They must adjust their policies to suit these laws/regulations and also considering the needs of the customers. COK Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd seeks to ensure that advertisement is true and as such this will increase customer loyalty. Customers are to be made known that they are protected from unfair practices and what the rules and regulations of the organization are.

© Pricing approach utilized by COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd

Price

The amount of money charged for a product or service, or the sum of the values that consumers exchange for the benefit of having or using the product or service.

COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd sets their prices based on internal factors such as marketing mix strategies, cost and marketing objectives, external factors such as recession, inflation and interest rates.

COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd utilizes the competition based pricing approach when pricing their products/ services. This is a price set by a company for a product to compete with a company's pricing.

Going rate pricing

This is where they set the prices based largely on following competitor's prices rather than on company costs or demand. Take for example interest rate when the competitors set their rate. COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd tries to charge the same amount or make it less than what the competitors charge. Keeping in mind if products are too high they might raise the market share and if it's too low they might be forced out of the market.

Recommendation for advertising

COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd could try not to use advertisement as a means of getting customers to make final purchase.

(D) Effectiveness of the promotion mix currently being used by COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd.

Promotional mix consist of specific blend of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing.

Advertising

This is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor; this includes print, broadcast, outdoor etc.

This is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually perceived in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media such as print, broadcast, outdoor etc.

The use of the various advertising media helps to inform and remind customers of the existence of a product, it builds the brand image for the company, where it test their awareness of brand recognition and perceived values. It is also effective as it builds a relationship with the customer and encourages customer loyalty and it is ideal with the repeat purchases

It helps the customers to receive and compare the messages of different competitors.

COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd are able to express their products through the art of print, visuals etc. this helps to build the long-term image of the product and the company.

Personal selling

This is the oral communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. It may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer but will always ultimately end with an attempt to choose the sale. These include sales presentation, trade shows and incentive programs.

Effectiveness

Involves personal interaction- needs of the customer can be addressed quickly

The sales message can be customerized to meet the needs of the customer-the message is delivered to suites each customer needs.

It allows representatives to get across large amount of information as it relates to the product.

Frequent customer meetings- helps to build good long term relationship

Recommendations

Personal selling can be costly so COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd should utilize other promotional mix methods in advising customers.

Sales Promotion

This is any initiative under taken by an organization to promote and increase sales. These include coupons contests, point of purchase and display discount.

Effectiveness

It attracts customer attention and provide information that may add to a purchase

It offers quick response relating to a product.

It boosts sales and increase profits as customers might think that the product won't be available for long.

Recommendation

Try not to have too many promotions as it might damage the image of the brand.

COK Co-operative Credit Union Ltd should evaluate their sales promotion programs by company sales before, during and after promotion.

Public Relations

This is the art of science of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public.

Effectiveness

In selecting the right media many customers can be made aware of the products and services offered.

Company information is used to attract the attention of customers

Emphasis is placed on specialized products

Promote products to boost sales

Interactive- it allows dialogue between marketing and consumer therefore the message can be altered depending on the consumer's response.

It cross- sell related products so they have the opportunity to relate other products to the customers

It is flexible in achieving result; information can be logged immediately.

Recommendation

In order for COK'S promotion to be more effective one would recommend the sponsoring of more local events, make them selves available for social events which can contribute to their social responsibilities.

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