School of Business
BUMKT 5901 – Marketing
Semester 2, 2011
Assignment One – Individual Report
The Running Company
Mr Robert Errey
Contents Executive Summary 3 Introduction 4 The Company 4 Service/Product 5 Personal Service 6 Experience 6 Customer Analysis 6 Comparison and Review 7 Footwear Selection 7 Try Before You Buy 8 Ongoing Database 8 Price 8 Place 9 Promotion 10 Conclusion 11 References 13
The Running Company is a boutique sports shoe company that is a differentiator in the athletic footwear market. Rather than look to volume sales, discounting and brand promotion as the larger chain stores do the Running Company promotes customer service and experience as its value proposition to customers and express this in promotion as “expertise through experience”.
At this store the shoes you eventually buy come second to the journey you experience to get to the sale. The Running Company focus on customer intimacy and making the customer feel that they gain value from every aspect of their purchase. They sell you the service of thoroughly evaluating your actual needs in relation to foot type, gait, intensity and type of sport or exercise an individual is doing.
Customers gain the value of experience through the salespeople who have extensive knowledge and qualifications. This experience aids in the customer being presented with several footwear options to firstly test, and then decide on for final purchase.
The presentation of the store in a professional and uncluttered manner aids the belief that the customer is the most important thing in the store and all attention is on you during the evaluation of your requirements.
The Running Company relies heavily on referral customers and word of mouth promotion rather than mainstream forms of media advertising. Through sponsorship of community clubs, businesses and charity organisations they add value to the members and participants and gain customer awareness. Alignment to podiatrists and other sports medicine businesses allows for complementary marketing where both businesses will be able to add additional value to their customers and customer service through referral partnerships.
Customers that come to this store are not after bargain, but the best pair of shoes for their needs and are happy to pay a premium for this value added service.
The purpose of this introductory assignment is to examine the marketing principle of the 4Ps. Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The assignment requires students to select a specific product or service and using the 4P’s explain how this product or service adds value to the customer.
For this assignment I have selected a service provided by The Running Company located in Geelong. The Running Company sells a wide selection of athletic footwear. This, however, is not its core business. Their main business is the service provided to find the most appropriate footwear for an individual and their needs using marketing, foot evaluation, biomechanics and customer questioning techniques.
The Running Company looks from the outside to be simply a sports shoe store and the name for all intents and purposes confirms this. It would then be fair to assume that the Running Company’s main product would be seen as the shoes on the shelves; The Nike, Addidas, and Brooks runners to name a few. However looks can be deceiving as the main product sold at the Running Company is customer service and more importantly the experience of matching the right shoes whether running or walking to a customer.
What the Running Company is selling is a service or brand experience and the value proposition for this service is embodied in their motto “expertise through experience”.
In the highly competitive market of sports apparel there are many companies willing to sell you whatever pair of