“Atlas” Sri Lanka’s favorite stationery brand is the brainchild of Ceylon Pencil. Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. Established in 1959 it has grown from strength to strength and has successfully gained the majority market share in school, corporate and home stationery products. Today the company is the No. 1 manufacturer of ballpoint pens and exercise books. Atlas stands not only for quality but also for innovation. They have manufactured all their products using cutting edge technology, adding sophistry and efficiency to the stationery products. Atlas products are guaranteed to give an enhanced experience; and high value for money.
The Company started out by producing it’s maiden product the “varsity Pencil”, today it manufactures over 300 stationery products and is proud to be the only stationery brand available all over Sri-Lanka. Atlas has even tapped into international markets by forming strategic partnerships with Atlas pencil company UK. During the 80’s and the 90’s Atlas brought about fruitful change by establishing Atlas Plastics (Pvt.) Ltd. and Care Products (Pvt.) Ltd. ( the former dedicated to the production of adhesive tapes and strapping tapes, the latter for personal care and cleaning items.)
Vision, Mission & Values
Every organization has a main objective or goal, which can also be termed as its end product. All these are merged into a corporate vision and mission. That of Atlas is given below:
ATLAS VISION STATEMENT
“Our vision is to be the most preferred brand for office and school products in south Asia.”
The vision is simple but strong. It shows that before declaring world domination Atlas would need to take small steps and first try to conquer the South Asian market. The vision of Atlas isn’t farfetched, one day in the near future Atlas would be able to fulfill its vision, if it grows in its steady pace.
“We at Atlas firmly believe in upholding high moral values and in being an ethical corporate citizen. In doing, so we continuously inculcate high values in our workforce and strive constantly to give them sufficient independence to use their imagination and creativity.”
The above given values of Atlas clearly states, that it cares not only about giving high quality goods to its customers. But it also focuses on protecting and helping its staff grow and become better employees.
The main objective of the Company is to provide quality goods at a reasonable price to its customers while successfully facing competition. To achieve this the company uses technologically advanced means of production and also uses high quality raw-materials, because of all of these steps the company was awarded with ISO 9001:2000 certification for its stationery items manufacture under the “Atlas” trade name and numerous other social awards like “the community leader award”.
Along with its subsidiaries Atlas has a wide range of 300 products including stationery items, plastic (tape) and Care products. These products are icons of quality and are used by many students and corporate bodies around Sri Lanka. The product portfolio/line of Atlas company is stated below:
Figure: 1 Product portfolio of Atlas (Author’s work, based on information receives from SO)
Marketing philosophy or marketing concept used by the company should be clearly identified. With the growing importance of society organizations were enforced to act as good corporate citizens. Therefore businesses were made to realize the importance of being socially responsible.
That is why Atlas has chosen the “Societal Marketing Philosophy”, under this philosophy marketing decisions have to be made balancing 3 criteria-
â€¢ Consumer needs and wants
â€¢ Societies interests
â€¢ Profit maximization through customer satisfaction for Company welfare
Figure: 2 (lecture notes)
As a result of choosing this marketing philosophy Atlas has achieved many awards such as:
Ceylon Pencil Company (Pvt) Ltd. was awarded with ISO 9001:2000 certifications for its stationery items manufacture under the “Atlas” trade name. This proves that Atlas caters to consumer needs by providing quality products.
The “Community Leader Award” from the Chartered Institute of Sri Lanka was awarded to Ceylon Pencil Company (Pvt.) Ltd., for Corporate Social Responsibility activities for the contribution made to education sector.
Ceylon Pencil Company (Pvt.) Ltd. received a Merit award for 5S standard by competing with “Jastica Society”.
The Ceylon pencil company (pvt) Ltd is the leading stationary manufacturer in Sri Lanka with a wider range of products with the brand of “Atlas”.
The stationary market in Sri Lanka is an “Oligopoly Market” with few manufacturers offering very similar products. The competitors of Atlas are Richard Veny, Weerodara, Reynolds, Cross, Parker and Pilot.
Atlas stationeries mainly focus the customers that school students, and office workers. Customers in stationary market mostly prefer the products that convenient, attractive, affordable, creative and innovative.
Introducing this product can lead to trend because Atlas Wiz Maker will attract younger customers due to,
It is also being noted that younger customers have an attitude of wanting products which includes above criteria’s.
SWOT analysis for Atlas Wiz maker.
Brand loyalty of customers
Atlas is a well known brand which has been operating in the Sri Lankan market for more than 50 years. Therefore even though it’s a new product customers will purchase it because of the confidence they have about the brand.
Atlas products are known to be of good quality. This will attract customers to purchase this product.
Larger market share
Atlas is the market leader in the stationary sector therefore it could be a challenge for their competitors to grab that market share from them.
Convenience, attractiveness and innovativeness.
Atlas wizmaker is a convenient, attractive product using innovative technology, because of the fact that it has a pen , pencil , highlighter and eraser all in one it’s a convenient product. Also the fact that it comes in a variety of colors makes it attractive to both school children and university students alike.
Limited Product assortment
The Atlas stationery company is lacking variation in products. The products that Atlas has brought out at present are similar to their competitors, it doesn’t draw you away from buying the products which are offered by other competitors
Because of the busy life style of people they look for convenience. There for coming up with this product will bring opportunities to Atlas since this products main advantage is convenience.
Atlas company has recently formed a partnership with Atlas stationeries UK, this partnership allows them to use new technology to produce the best quality products.
The recent partnership that Atlas has formed with Atlas stationeries UK, has allowed it to tap into the foreign markets like that in South Asia, UK, US etcâ€¦ because of its ability to provide high quality products at reasonable prices.
Other competitors might come up with a similar product. Also companies like bic and cross have invented stationeries with pen, pencil and stylus.
The Sri-Lankan market is slowly being flooded by imported stationeries, who are slowly capturing the Sri- Lankan market share.
Competition for the Atlas Wiz maker
Competition could be known as a contest between two companies, individuals, countries etc in order to perform better than its competitors by providing a product or service which will lead to more market share and long term profits.
There are many substitutes for this product in the market as well as many brands. By the time of the new arrival of the Wiz maker many other established brands such as Weerodara, Richards and Reynolds will come up with a counter product. And also there is a higher possibility of strong competitors being active in the market.
When looking at the stationary market there are a few competitors to Atlas who are;
Among them the direct competitors of Atlas would be;
Barriers to entry into stationary market
There are many barriers to entry in this market. These barriers are not common to all companies because of structure, financial strengths etc.
Because of high initial investment needed to produce stationary items many companies will avoid coming into the market.
Technology of the firms will have to be high tech and updated at all times. For this to proceed much cost will be incurred. Thus many companies will not be able to afford this
Many of these stationary items require standards to be met (e.g.-ISO 9001, ISO 14001).For these standards to be checked a payment in different steps must be done.
Advertising to promote a product such as the Wiz maker can only be done with a budget which Atlas or a large rival company possess.
Different customers have different preferences. Some might find Atlas unique and easy to use but some might prefer other brands. Thus customer loyalty and preference will be a hard factor to fight against for new companies.
Market structure of the stationary market
By analyzing the stationary market in Sri Lanka it is clear to us that it is of Oligopoly nature. That is where there are only a few large firms in the market. Thus it is dominated by a few interdependent firms. The Wiz maker will thus be competing with only a few items which will be able to substitute its features.
Objectives are building blocks of an organizations marketing plan. It states what a company wishes to achieve in the near future. What objectives a company would have will be determined after carrying out a comprehensive Environment analysis such as SWOT.
INFLUENCES ON OBJECTIVES
The environment affects the organizations objectives. There are internal and external factors influencing an organizations objectives.
Corporate culture- This refers to the values of the company as a whole. The company values of Atlas is to be an ethical corporate citizen and tries to inculcate high values in their workforce by giving them sufficient independence.
Staff Aspirations- It differs from department to department and team to team. Atlas wishes to give its staff sufficient independence so that they can grow as an individual and increase satisfaction in the labor force. All this ensures that the workers contribute to the maximum to produce high quality goods.
Resource constraint- In the beginning Atlas used to import its raw material, but now in order to help the local market the raw materials used by Atlas comes from Sri-Lanka itself. Atlas has also formed a partnership with Atlas stationery UK which helps them get a hold of modern technology which helps Atlas produce quality products at minimum cost.
Customer/ Market- Atlas stationeries focuses on serving to three main categories in the market- school children, graduates or university students and office worker. Atlas is the only stationery company in Sri-Lanka which has an island wide market.
Economies- Atlas has been recognized as a company which provides high quality products at really affordable prices. Thus it has a wide scope in the market.
Competitors- Being the only stationery company which is sold island wide Atlas has only a handful a competitors like weerodar, pilot, bicâ€¦ which don’t seem to be a threat to Atlas’s market reach.
The corporate objectives of a company includes, trying to achieve maximum profitability and market share. Atlas plans on achieving maximum profitability by providing maximum satisfaction to its consumers by using innovative technology to manufacturer high quality good at minimum cost. Atlas can increase its market share by catering to the nees of its consumers by providing quality products at reasonable prices.
SMART MARKETING OBJECTIVES
A smart marketing objective should be:
Based on the above factors its safe to assume that Atlas plans to achieve the power of branding i.e. Atlas strives to provide high quality goods. So it wants to build a good brand name with its consumer.
This is dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers with different needs, characteristics, or behavior who might require separate products, services or marketing mixes.
In order for market segmentation to be useful they should be measurable, accessible, substantial, differentiable and actionable.
Bases in consumer segmentation for Atlas Wiz maker.
This shows how you divide the market into different geographical segments. Such as countries, cities etc. Atlas focuses on urban areas.
This includes dividing the market into different demographic segments such as age group, gender etc. Atlas focuses mostly on the younger generation.
This is dividing the market into different groups based on social class, life style etc. Atlas mainly focuses on the middle class
This is when u divide the market into groups based on attitudes of the consumer , use of the product etc. Atlas mainly caters to the needs of younger students.
The process which evaluates the segments attractiveness and selecting segments to offer their products is called targeting. In this step companies have to decide what is the most suitable segment to achieve their objectives. Its based on the result of ranking the segments.
The target market which a set of buyers with common needs and characteristics that company decides to serve is selected by evaluating the followings.
Company objectives and resources
Evaluating the segments
Segments of Evaluation
Size of the group
Level of competition
High percentage of competition
Average percentage of competition
Average percentage of competition
High percentage of competition
Company Objectives and resources
Contribution to market share
Relatively high contribution
Source : Authors Work
Atlas Wizmaker is the new product. It stands not only for quality but also for innovation. Wiz maker product is a different positioning product .That means it competes for a smaller and less competitive market to locate a brand.
wizmaker product check
Positioning strategy focuses on, this products differentiation strategy.
This new product is unique and will be profitable (for the market).And it also has other distinctive criterias that will differentiate it from the many other products.
Points of differentiation
Must be important and valued by your customers (for example, being marketed as an economical product in a give you an enhanced experience; and high value for money)
Positioning your product needs to be focused on delivering
A valued and distinctive product to a specific market and delivering in a way that customers accept (that’s the hearts and minds part of the equation).This Atlas Wiz pen Good product positioning will make it easy for intended customers to define why they want to buy the product (they will see the unique benefits).
Market leader (first in)
This Wiz pen being challenged by market followers, focus the marketing message to reinforce this pen is the first (the ‘real’ thing, rather than the imitation).
Wiz pen positioning to
Conduct market segmentation.
Define the target market.
Identify the product attributes.
Determine the product’s share of heart and mind. Being ‘first’ in the market usually is a significant benefit in mindshare.
Place your product in the right ‘space’ (e.g. economy market; low volume; Quality etc.)
Display the consumer perceptions of their brand versus the competing product on important buying dimensions.
This Atlas wiz product we can show like this
Pilot Atlas wiz
The positioning statement of Atlas Company is “Be creative” and that of Atlas Wizmaker is “Atlas wizmaker- Its All You Need.”
The reason that it says so is because it has all, the pen, pencil, highlighter and eraser together in one product.
The product which is being marketed is the Atlas wiz maker which is a stationary item which includes 4 main items important to any student, worker or employer. Several factors must be considered when this product is being marketed.
The core product is a stationary item that includes a pen, pencil, eraser, and a highlighter together.
This includes value for money, affordability and convenience.
The buyer expects a product which is;
Has value for money
A product with many features together.
Individual product decisions
This is an item which includes different items in one body. Thus it will be more portable and affordable.
This is a revolutionary idea which has not been developed in the Sri Lankan market. Due to that special quality the demand will be much higher leading to greater profits.
The body of the item has a simple cylinder shape which includes a detachable pencil head in one end.
The other end of the cylinder consists of a ball point pen head which can be extended or withdrawn at will.
The cylinder shape of the item is infused with an eraser which is mounted to the top of the device.
It also has a highlighter included in it which comes in 3 colors which are pink, blue and purple to match the color of the pen.
This product is being manufactured by Atlas stationary limited (Pvt) therefore the brand of this produce will be Atlas.
The company being a very well reputed brand in the Sri Lankan stationary market, people will be drawn to use the product because of low psychological fear created by strong brand image.
Packaging of this product is done with a plastic molding done on top of a cardboard structure (the structure is mainly a simple cylindrical shape).
To be eye catching the product is packed in 3 different color schemes which are Blue, white and Pink. (This feature makes it stand out from the rest of the products packaging).
This product will have the name of the product which is “Wiz maker” written on the body of the product.
Atlas has made sure its product is readily available.
This product can be found in any book shop or any communication outlet. This includes major supermarket chains as well.
Forecasted Product life cycle for Atlas wiz maker
Source: Authors work
The amount of money or the monetary value which is charged for a product can be defined as price. (Kotler 2006, p: 307)
Special characteristics of price
Most flexible element in marketing mix
Only element of marketing mix which generate revenue.
Pricing a new product is the most challengeable decision which managers have to take. Because customers’ buying decisions mostly depend on the price of the product . Therefore taking a successful pricing decision is very important to the company.
Factors, influence to price
Company and marketing objectives
With regard to Atlas company maximization long run profit, market share leadership and enhance the positive image of company and its products are main company and marketing objectives.
Marketing mix strategy
When deciding the price of “Wiz Maker” it must be matched with its design, distribution and promotion.
The cost of the product “Wiz Maker” will be directly affected to its pricing decision. Costs are mainly divided as fixed cost and variable cost. wiz maker’s fixed cost includes expenditures such as plant, equipment and executive salaries etc. Variable cost includes labor, material and other direct expenditures.
The nature of the market
Atles Company has oligopoly market with few manufactures/distributers.
The nature of demand
There is no direct competitor to wiz maker in existing market. Therefore the demand will be inelastic to a certain extent.
Competitors cost, prices and offers
Company must consider the cost and prices of the stationeries in local market before setting the price.
Customer expects convenience product in affordable fair price. Customer should be satisfied with the price and the value on return.
Other external environmental factors
Company must consider external environmental factors such as government policies, changes in tax policies and existing economic conditions before setting the price.
Source: Authors work
Selecting the pricing objectives
The first step of pricing process is selecting an overall pricing goal for the company. Mainly the pricing objectives of Atlas company can be summarized as follows.
Maximization long-run profit
Maintain market share
Enhance positive image of company and its products
Be regarded as “fair” by customers.
Demand is a relationship between two variables which price and quantity. The quantity which customers are willing to buy is depend on the price if other factors are equal. Further demand and price have negative relationship. The result is if price is increased the demand will be decreased. Also Wiz makers demand will mainly depend on price. There are different methods to estimate demand of wiz maker.
Conducting product experiments
By asking customers that how many units they would buy at different proposed prices
Mainly the cost of a product can be divided into two categories as fixed cost and variable cost. With regard to Atlas wiz maker fixed cost includes cost of purchasing needed machineries, equipments and other indirect expenditures such as executive salaries. Direct labor cost and materials such as plastic, ink and rubber will be included in variable cost.
Total cost per unit
Source : Authors work
Analyzing competitors cost ,price and offers
Atles market is a oligopoly market with few manufacturers. Further Atlas wiz maker is a innovative product. There is no same product to this malty task pen in stationery market.
But customer will compare the prices of pens, pencils, erasers and highlighters in stationary market before buying wiz maker.
Selecting the pricing strategy
Considering all the above findings and overall pricing objectives market penetration strategy is the most suitable strategy to Atlas Wiz maker. But because this is a innovative product company’s main objectives are maximum long run profit, maintain market share and provide the products in fair prices.
This policy stimulates growth of the market for the new product and allows a large market share to be more quickly obtained. ( Hisrich & Peters,1991 p:346)
Selecting the final price
The final step of pricing process is set the final price. After considering all the above facts Atlas Wis maker can be priced as follows.
Final price of Wiz maker
Place is the physical space of or virtual location where the product will be made available at the market place for target consumer.
use to get the offering into the hands of the customer. These include:
On-premise Sales involves the sale of your offering using a field sales organization that visits the prospect’s facilities to make the sale.
Direct Sales involves the sale of your offering using a direct, in-house sales organization that does all selling through the Internet, telephone or mail order contact.
Wholesale Sales involves the sale of your offering using intermediaries or “middle-men” to distribute your product or service to the retailers.
Self-service Retail Sales involves the sale of your offering using self service retail methods of distribution.
Full-service Retail Sales involves the sale of your offering through a full service retail distribution channel.
Of course, making a decision about pricing, promotion and distribution is heavily influenced by some key factors in the industry and marketplace. These factors should be analyzed initially to create the strategy and then regularly monitored for changes. If any of them change substantially the strategy should be reevaluated
Consumer Market Chanel (1Level)
Is set of interdepended organization involved in the process of making a product available for customer
The Nature of Distribution Channels
Most businesses use third parties or intermediaries to bring their products to market. They try to forge a “distribution channel” which can be defined as
“All the organizations through which a product must pass between its point of production and consumption”
Why does a business give the job of selling its products to intermediaries? After all, using intermediaries means giving up some control over how products are sold and who they are sold to.
The answer lies in efficiency of distribution costs. Intermediaries are specialists in selling. They have the contacts, experience and scale of operation which means that greater sales can be achieved than if the producing business tried run a sales operation itself.
Functions of a Distribution Channel
The main function of a distribution channel is to provide a link between production and consumption. Organizations that form any particular distribution channel perform many key functions:
Gathering and distributing market research and intelligence – important for marketing planning
Developing and spreading communications about offers
Finding and communicating with prospective buyers
Adjusting the offer to fit a buyer’s needs, including grading, assembling and packaging
Reaching agreement on price and other terms of the offer
Transporting and storing goods
Acquiring and using funds to cover the costs of the distribution channel
Assuming some commercial risks by operating the channel (e.g. holding stock)
All of the above functions need to be undertaken in any market. The question is – who performs them and how many levels there need to be in the distribution channel in order to make it cost effective.
Numbers of Distribution Channel Levels
Each layer of marketing intermediaries that performs some work in bringing the product to its final buyer is a “channel level”. The figure below shows some examples of channel levels for consumer marketing channels:
Book shops, Food Cities (Cagiels, Arpico, Keells)
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