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Marketing the Rubric Cube

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Running Head: Marketing The Rubric’s Cube

Marketing The Rubik’s Cube
Teresa M. Taylor
Principals of Marketing
Business 330
Instructor, Garlyn Lewis
November 26, 2014

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube Marketing across cultures around the world is increasingly becoming a thriving business with the fast-speed globalization nowadays. The Four ‘Ps’ of marketing, namely product, price, place and promotion, include most of the elements of marketing decision-making. However, socio-cultural factors, in considering the combination of marketing strategies, will always run through them. Socio-cultural factors have a huge influence in people's concept of product and buying behavior. Lack of cultural awareness not only can lead to a decrease of product sales, but can even collapses the company’s whole international image. In this sense, understanding cultural differences plays an incredibly significant role in process of developing marketing strategies. The partnership should be cohesive and be aligned with one another’s future endeavors and goals. Demographics, psychographics, and data from general areas in a given target market are beneficial information that is useful in developing marketing strategies. It assists with the marketing decisions that are results of the four P’s. When deciding if a company should expand business into a global market, it is important to conduct market research. Global market research gathers and collects data and information and identifies possible issues that an organization may face. Conducting market research would be a positive step to begin a globalized marketing strategy. Economic prosperity of China, South Korea, and India, that was considered to be a Third world country 15-20 years ago, are now successfully thriving in the global market. Although there is a vast discrepancy in wealth between the developed and less developed countries, tremendous progress is being made to balance the economic inequality. For purposes of this essay, I am choosing the Rubik Cube toy to market both in the United States and in Canada. Canada is one of the top three markets to conduct international business with.
Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube

Its inventor, Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik, created it in 1974 as a way to teach his students three-dimensional geometry. The cube remains the top selling toy of all time with 350 million sold since 1980. There's one solution out of 43 quintillion possible combinations, and even the man who invented it spent a month of solid research trying to figure it out. But that hasn't stopped the Rubik's Cube from becoming the most popular toy in history. (Webster, 2012) Since the Rubik cube is the top selling toy worldwide and the buyer can use the product no matter what language they speak, marketing internationally should be fairly easy because it does not matter what language a child speaks and just about any age can play with it. Rubik's Cubes instantaneously became an international sensation. Everyone wanted one. It appealed to youngsters as well as adults. There was something obsessive about the little cube. (Rosenberg, 2014) The cube is simple to package and the only instructions that you need is your brain! The goal was to make each side a solid color, as it was when you first took it out of the box. After a couple of hours, you realized you were mesmerized by the puzzle and yet no closer to solving it. This exact situation happened to millions of people in 1980 as the Rubik's Cube became an obsession around the world. (Rosenberg, 2014) Also, I will offer different variations of the toy, such as the keychain, pen and mini-cube. The first step is to develop an international business plan and I would already have a local business plan in place. First of all, the reason for marketing the product globally would be to expand the business and profit increase. Next step would be to determine if all finances are in place.

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube

Marketing internationally involves expenses and may require an additional loan or investment. Next step would be to determine which method to export; direct or indirect. I am choosing the indirect method. Because both types of companies usually take care of all aspects of the export transaction (including conducting market research, promoting your product overseas, accessing proper distribution channels, and locating foreign distributors), making them a viable option for smaller companies that lack the time and expertise to break into international markets on their own. EMCs and ETCs usually operate on a commission basis, although some work on a retainer basis and some take title to the goods they sell, making a profit on the markup. EMC and ETCs are Export Managing and Export Trading companies and operate in the country where the goods are to be exported. The International Business plan will cover the following items; why the company is interested in global trade what import/export pricing strategy will be, who are the potential export markets (or import sources) and customers are, what will be plan to enter the foreign market, what additional costs (travel, shipping, marketing, sourcing) will incur, what revenues the venture is expected to bring in, how the plan will finance global expansion, what the legal requirements are to enter the markets that interest, how the plan to transport the goods, whether the plan will pursue overseas partnership or investments. Next step is to analyze the industry by doing the following; identifying where the toy industry is today and predict the trends and

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube

direction that it will take over the next three years. How competitive is the toy industry in the global market? This can be done by consulting the following resources:

* Talk to people in the same business or industry, research industry-specific magazines, attend trade fairs and seminars. * Consult the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB), obtain import/export statistics from the Bureau of the Census, and contact the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) district office in your area. * Contact the SBA or the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US & FCS) district office and contact a DOC country or industry desk in Washington, D.C. * Contact SBA, state international trade office, a DOC country or industry desk in Washington, D.C., for federal or state government market studies that have been conducted on the industry's potential international markets.
Next, would be to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s business and to determine what approach to take in the international market. Once all of the above as been conducted, then I would conduct a market analysis. First, I would look at the demographics and geographic factors. Marketers have also used geographic segmentation, based on where consumers live or work, to find groups with common needs and desires.As researchers grew more sophisticated about segmen
Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube

tation, these two techniques blended into geodemographic segmentation. (White, 2012) As far as the geographic factors, here are some things to consider is the shipping distance economically feasible and is there a sufficient physical distribution and communication network? Other factors that I would consider are the political issues, the economy, social and cultural differences, limitations on trade such as tariffs, quotas and are there any patent restrictions. Also, I would investigate labor laws and storage availability in Canada. As far as the four business marketing utilities of customer value, I would focus on the following for form, I would have a product development team ensure that the needs of the customer or client and provides a quality delivery of the product. Next I would consider the utility of place which refers to the availability of a product or service in a location that is convenient to the customers. In business marketing, place can refer to the convenience of your distribution channels or direct sales operations. This could also mean a place on your website, in which customers can navigate easily to find the product, order it, or to post question about it. The third business marketing utility of customer value is time. Time is always an important factor to consider. Logistics plays a very important role in improving the utility of time. This area would almost be at the top of the list, if you can’t deliver the product on time or in a timely manner, then this could be the death of any business! As far as the fourth step, possession, I would allow customers in both the U.S. and Canada an opportunity to have ownership of a product. In this case, I would allow toy stores and other stores an option to finance their purchases.
Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube As far as targeting the Rubik Cube in the U.S. , I would contact big retail stores like Wal-mart, K-Mart, and ToysR-Us, Target and major toy stores. Next, I would set-up contracts with these stores. I would use websites like Chainstores.com and TheSalesmanGuide.com, which both provide contact information for hundreds of buyers. For example, Target has a vendor hotline to answer questions. Tips that I would follow, would be to make sure the packaging of the cube stands out and to make sure it deters sticky fingers. Wal-Mart also teaches manufacturers to be more cost effective so product prices can stay down. For example, Wal-Mart might suggest that a supplier cut its labor costs by shipping toasters in their cartons, rather than packing them in bigger boxes and shrink-wrapping them onto shipping pallets, says James Champy, chairman of Perot Systems' consulting unit, which advises Wal-Mart suppliers. Such close communication between a retailer and supplier is unusual. But it's being adopted by more companies, including Dell Computer, as U.S. businesses seek more productivity to better compete. (Hopkins, 2003) Also, I would prepare my story as to why my product will sell. Of course making sure that I can deliver the product and making it retail ready would be very important. Marketing to Wal-Mart would be huge, since they have stores all over this nation and abroad.

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube

Almost any marketing textbook will tell you that the key to successful marketing can be summed up by the STP strategy—that is, segmentation, targeting, and positioning. This approach suggests that the mass market consists of some number of relatively homogeneous groups, each with distinct needs and desires. (Lynn, 2011) The strategy would only be different in Canada, due to the different demographic data. Segmentation would come before targeting because it helps in being more selective as to who I would be marketing to. This type of strategy will help divide the broad target market into subsets. For example, using segmentation by regions or geographic criteria would be the first step. This could be done by looking at postal zip codes, cities, neighborhoods, nations, states, regions and countries. This type of segmentation approach combines demographic data with geographic data in order to create a more accurate profile. Next, would be to target the audience for selling my product. I would use the focusing marketing approach, because I would primarily being targeting one or two groups and ignoring the other ones. I would target families with children and math departments in middle and high schools. By targeting families with children this would put the company in a position of itself using price and product by mentioning the affordability of the Rubik Cube. As far as positioning the product, I would use the four “P’s”. I would place advertisements on family and children websites, family and children television programming, school and educational magazines.

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube Marketing in Canada would be similar to the United States, however depending on the region would depend on which language to use. Therefore, I would ensure that the French language be used in certain regions when advertising and in the packaging include the French and Spanish language. The reason for using the Spanish language would be because it is one of most widely spoken languages and second language in International communication. As far as the environmental issues are concerned I would definitely look consider the following; first the Political/Legal/Regulatory, the Economical Financial concerns, Social Cultural/Ethnic/Linguistic, Competitive and Technological. From the political/legal/regulatory perspective, the rules and regulations created by the politicians, have significant influence on the cost of running a business and the way it can market products and services , for example in Canada there are severe regulations about advertising for alcohol and tobacco. As far as the economical financial perspective, in many countries, the economic / financial environment is heavily influenced by the political environment in the context of government rules and regulations as to how businesses make money, as well as how businesses are taxed. When looking at the overall cultural awareness, I would consider the following when marketing to Canada, selling consumer products, it is increasingly important to use all the languages of your customers in your promotion campaigns and communicate effectively with your target demographic. Our text states that these trends reflecting values of consumers are relevant to marketers because people express their values through their purchasing behavior. Buyers favor products and services that support their values, self-image, and societal concerns. (White, 2012)

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube
The competitive environment is probably the most important of the six environments that will influence the marketing plan. In order to stay on top of market, I would attend to all the considerations of the social/cultural environment. Also, I would carefully analyze the trends in the economic environment. This would be done by keeping up with the changes in government and rules and regulations to include tax increases. The technological environment covers road and rail and ocean transportation as well as communications. Therefore, the technology part of the environment goes beyond the internet. All of these would have an effect on the sales of the product.For companies considering doing business in foreign markets, either as buyers or sellers, a detailed understanding of the environment in thosemarkets is essential. A scan of the culture, technology, ecology, economics, and political/legal factors in the country of interest is a must. (White, 2012) As far as the four P’s are concerned, first I would ask the following questions; the quality of my product, whether or not the product would do well in foreign markets. Pricing of a product depends on a lot of different variables and hence it is constantly updated. (Bhasin, 2012) Therefore, I would look at the different variables when considering the price. These variables include advertising and marketing expenses. Also, price fluctuations in the market and distribution costs. Thus the pricing has to be such that it can bear the brunt of changes for a

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube certain period of time. However, if all these variables change, then the pricing of a product has to be increased and decreased accordingly. (Bhasin, 2012) Placing the product refers to distribution of the product. Distribution has a huge affect on the profitability of a product. (Bhasin, 2012) The final step is to determine the promotional plan. This plan will be determined by the product and pricing. If the promotions are effective, you might have to increase distribution points, you might get to increase the price because of the rising brand equity of the product, and the profitability might support you in launching even more products. (Bhasin, 2012) The U.S. and international ethical considerations that I would take into account for marketing the Rubik Cube would be to be honest with all customers, partners and offer a good quality toy. This would be done by having a good honest relationship with all parties that are involved, from the distributor to the store and everyone in between.
An expectation of ethical behavior is part of the relationship among partners in organizations' supply chains. A few negative events can undothe cumulative effect of many positive activities. (White, 2012). This leads to “word of mouth” testimonies, which could make or break a business! Researchers today announced the results of a landmark study that measured the impact of "consumer word of mouth" in six diverse categories, finding that online and offline consumer conversations and recommendations account for 13% of consumer sales, on average, which represents $6 trillion in annual consumer spending. In higher price-point categories, word of mouth's impact is almost 20% of sales. (Smith, 2014) There are a number of areas of ethical concern in marketing. For example, there are strict laws in place about marketing to children in

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube many regions of the world. Such laws are not in place to cover marketing to minorities, some of whom can be very vulnerable to certain types of marketing campaigns. Therefore, I would take these laws into consideration both in the United States and Canada. Bottom line, as the marketing manager, I owe both the customers both in the U.S. and Canada due diligence and the ethical responsibility. Our text pretty much sums up this subject and responsibility.
When you accept a marketing position, you become ethically bound to serve the public and the marketing profession. (White, 2012) In conclusion, there are a lot of variables and regulations when marketing a product both in the United States and in Canada. Such as, limitations on trade, high tariff levels or quotas, local standards, practices and other non-tariff barriers. Often these tariffs make it difficult to for businesses to make a profit. The marketing manager has to keep up with all the new laws and changes when selling the product outside of the United States. Also, keeping up with the U.S. laws and changes can be a challenge. Done properly, your marketing plan will be the roadmap you follow to get unlimited customers and dramatically improve the success of your organization. (Lavensky, 2013) Therefore, the Rubrik’s Cube toy will be a great toy to market both in the United States and in Canada, because this toy can be played with no matter what language a child or an adult speaks!

Running Head: Marketing The Rubrik’s Cube References
White, S. (2012). Principles of marketing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. George Webster, (2012) The Little Cube That Changed The World, CNN, Thursday October 11, 2012. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/10/tech/rubiks-cube-inventor/index.html

Jennifer Rosenberg, (2014) History of the Rubik's Cube, A Small Cube That Obsessed the World http://history1900s.about.com/od/1980s/a/rubikscube.htm Jim Hopkins, (2013), USA TODAY http://usatoday.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&urlID=5243978&fb=Y&partnerID=1661
Michael Lynn, (2013) Cornell University, wml3@cornell.edu http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1238&context=articles
Hitesh Bhasin, 2012 Marketing Mix – The 4 p’s of marketing, http://www.marketing91.com/marketing-mix-4-ps-marketing
Smith, Nancy. (2014), Landmark Study Shows Word of Mouth Drives 13% of Consumer Sales November 18, 2014 9:00 AMhttp://news.yahoo.com/landmark-study-shows-word-mouth-drives-13-consumer-140000977.html;_ylt=AwrSyCVknXxUhXMA43fQtDMD
Dave Lavinsky, (2013) http://www.forbes.com/sites/davelavinsky/2013/09/30/marketing-plan-template-exactly-what-to-include/Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What To Include 9/30/2013 @ 2:26PM

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