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Discuss the customer's perspective
The target market of designer salt is divided into individual consumer and business markets. According to Anglesey Sea Salt website (2009), it can be found that the target business markets are high quality restaurants, supermarkets and delicatessens, which are including Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Harvey Nichols. As well as over 100 of the nation's best delicatessens and 11 of the world's top 50 restaurants such as El Bulli, The Dining Room Ritz Carlton San Francisco, The French Laundry etc. Meanwhile, the company sells designer salt to individual customers who are part of a higher social class, professional chefs, cooking lovers, who are in pursuit of a high quality life style with higher incomes. In addition, designer salt can be a special present for buyers.
After identifying the target markets, it needs to be discussed why customers choose designer salt.
Analyzing the Individual Consumer Market
Who are the target consumers of Anglesey sea salt?
“Bosses at Anglesey Sea Salt have discovered they have a very important customer - none other than US President-elect Barack Obama.” by David Powell(2008). From David Powell (2008), this report presents that US President Barack Obama is one of the most important consumers of Anglesey sea salt. Other notable customers are bass baritone Bryn Terfel, the famous chef Gordon Ramsay and top Welsh chef Bryn Williams and Stephen Terry, who were both the chefs of the Queen.
According to this information, it can be known that the target consumers are of a higher social status, professional chef, cooking lovers, who are pursuing a high quality life style with higher incomes.
Why do consumers buy the designer salt?
Before analyzing why consumer buy the designer salt, one needs to refer to their motivation and needs. Defined by Mowen & Minor (2001:78), “Motivation refers to an activated state within a person that leads to goal-directed behavior.” Moreover, motivation could relate to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (See Chart 1)
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Chart 1 (Statt. D.A, 1997:98)
From Chart B, it can be clearly related to why consumers buy the designer salt.
ü Physiological: Salt, which is a basic necessity for life.
ü Safety: Sea salt, which is often marked as a more natural and healthy alternative.
ü Belongingness and love: The designer sea salt could be cooking lover's favorite.
ü Esteem and status: To be customers of Anglesey sea salt could represent their higher social status, since high social class, such as the U.S president Barack Obama and the British queen, love this salt.
ü Self-actualization: Famous chefs, just like Gordon Ramsay, he uses the designer salt to make fabulous dishes for his achievement in cooking.
In conclusion, there are several reasons for buying designer salt in the individual consumer market. Firstly, this salt is more specific, higher in quality and professional, which could satisfy cooking lovers' demands and they will get higher satisfaction from cooking. Another reason in favor of the designer salt is that it could represent consumers' higher social status. Finally, professional chefs would be a part of customers, because they need specific salt to create fabulous dishes in order to achieve their success.
Analyzing the Target Business Market
“The business market consists of all the organizations that acquire goods and services used in the production of other products or services that are sold, rented, or supplied to others.”(Kotler, 2003:216) Organizational buying can be analyzed from a number of aspects such as the target business markets, characteristics of organizational buying, participants in the business buying process and major influence on buying decisions.
l Target business markets
According to the research, target business markets of designer salt are high quality restaurants, supermarkets and delicatessens, which include Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Harvey Nichols along with over 100 of the nation's best delicatessens and 11 of the world's top 50 restaurants such as El Bulli, The Dining Room Ritz Carlton San Francisco, The French Laundry etc.
l Characteristics of organizational buying
There are several characteristics of organizational purchases including nature and size of customers, derived demand, negotiations, buying to specific requirements, economic and technical choice criteria, etc(Source: Lecture 4). From these characteristics, the key point is the relationship between customer and supplier, which should be closer (Kotler 2003:238). It takes for granted that salt is one of the most essential condiments using in foods. Every restaurant, foods manufacturer, supermarket need salt as raw material. However, as upscale organizational goods and services, their target customers should want to attract individuals of a higher social class.
As a result, the suppliers are expected to be specific, quality and professional, since these are what the consumers require. On the other hand, high quality, specific suppliers with excellent reputation could also promote these organizations values.
l Participants in the business buying process
According to the concept of the buying centre there are four main roles, which are Buyers, Users, Influencers, and Gatekeepers that have influence on the purchase decision (See chart A).
From Chart A, it can be analyzed that who influences the sales of designer salt in the target business market. Consider the top 50 restaurant in the world for instance: it could be deduced that the buyer is a High-level manager; User can be Chefs; Influencers would be famous chefs, Newspapers or Writers; Gatekeeper could be purchasing department.
In conclusion, suppliers' products are expected to match the demands of customers of organizations in target business market. In addition, marketers should consider how to satisfy main roles of the buying center.
Kotler Philip (2003) Marketing Management, Edition 11, Pearson Education, P216
Kotler Philip (2003) Marketing Management, Edition 11, Pearson Education, P238
Mowen J.C & Minor M.S (2001) Consumer Behavior: A Framework, Edition 1, Prentic-Hall, P78
Statt. D.A (1997) Understanding the Consumer: A Psychological Approach Edition 1 Macmillan Press P.98
Anglesey sea salt website (2009) The Halen Môn Story Available from http://www.seasalt.co.uk/wisscms-en-172.aspx
David Powell (2008) Anglesey Sea Salt on Barack Obama's favourite list Dailypost Available from http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2008/11/14/anglesey-sea-salt-on-barack-obama-s-favourite-list-55578-22254336/
Chart 2 Lecture 4 of Marketing Strategy “Organizational Behaviour- as Buyers & Suppliers”