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Marketing and Greek Yogurt

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1. From the information about Chobani in the case and at the start of the chapter, (a) whom did Hamdi Ulukaya identify as the target for his first cups of Greek yogurt and (b) what was his initial “4Ps” marketing strategy? (a) Hamdi Ulukaya was targeting Americans as he was convinced that Americans would like the Greek yogurt if they gave it a try. In more detail you could say that Mr. Ulukaya used the differentiation focus strategy, as he was creating a superior product that was geared towards Americans. He was more focused on selling his yogurt to a narrow target audience. His first cup of yogurt appeared on shelves of a small grocer in Long Island, New York. (b) The four “Ps” are product, price, promotion, and place. Initially Hamdi Ulukaya wanted to create a product that would be superior to other yogurt companies as he wanted to come out with a Greek yogurt that had a perfect recipe. As far as price I didn’t really seem to find an initial response. Price, however, would be asking certain questions like: Are there established price points for products or services in this area? Is the customer price sensitive?

How will your price compare with your competitors? He never stated what his plan was for price except that we knew the product would be superior in taste so we would make a generalized assumption that the product would be a little more costly. He did get some pretty good promotional ideas out there. Mr. Ulukaya at first relied on positive word of mouth. In 2010, he started CHOmobile and giving out free samples to encourage people to try it for the first time. Chobani yogurt could be found in places like BJ’s, Costco, and Stop & Shop. However, once it picked up it was selling nationwide in the US, UK, and Australia.

2. (a) What marketing actions would you expect the companies selling Yoplait, Dannon, and PepsiCo yogurts to take in response to Chobani’s appearance and (b) how might Chobani respond? (a) If companies like Yoplait, Dannon, and PepsiCo wanted to remain competitive I would expect them to create a new similar product so that they remained competitive with the different yogurts that are out on the market.  I would expect those companies to stay aggressive on the price so that they can try to maintain the market share compared to newer companies trying to enter the market. (b) Since Chobani is a newer company, I would suspect that they can’t do a whole bunch expect with regards to the price. Since Chobani already had its promotion, place, and product already lined up price would be the other factor that you can be flexible with. I mean, theoretically they could create a cheaper yogurt, however, then Mr. Ulukaya’s idea of creating a superior product would not be following his values.

3. What are (a) the advantages and (b) the disadvantages of Chobani’s Customer Loyalty Team that handles communication with customers-from phone calls and e-mails to Facebook and Twitter messages? (a) The advantages of Chobani’s Customer Loyalty Team is that they respond to nearly 7,000 customer e-mails and phone calls a month, and respond to almost all of them. Customers also get a hand written note, and to me it really personalizes the experience for the customer themselves. Doing this leads to word of mouth which to me is huge way of free advertising. (b) I can’t really a disadvantage of Chobani’s Customer Loyalty Team. Since they respond in a timely manner and look at responding nearly immediately I would suspect that they are putting customer service and quality first, and I view this only as a positive.

4. As Chobani seeks to build its brand, it opened a unique retail store in New York City: Chobani SoHo. Why did Chobani do this? I think the reason Chobani decided to open a “yogurt bar” was genius primarily for two reasons. First, from a business standpoint you can track more easily the flavors customers like and keep track of the data. Doing something like this will show the types of flavors (new or old) that customers like. So if you can be up-to-date with what the customer wants it keeps you in the game. The second reason I believe Chobani did this was to create a relaxing place where you can enjoy a product with new creations and just enjoy yourself and making it a friendly experience.

5. (a) What criteria might Chobani use when it seeks markets in new countries and (b) what three or four countries meet these criteria? (a) When Chobani seeks new markets in other countries I would suggest they keep in mind peoples taste buds, what the cultures food tastes are like, and is there a market in this area. Sometimes the market is just to huge. An example of this would be Europeans and they yogurt loving style as they eat nearly five or six times as much yogurt as U.S. customers. I would suggest aiming at the countries in which you can attack the market because there have been no manufactures or products that dominate that area. (b) I cannot advice to which three or four countries have a smaller yet more obtainable market. I would look towards the direction of what countries value superior tasting products that also have the room in their budget to make such purchases. I think they could possibly look at Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other close countries near the U.S. as they could slowly branch outward making it slightly less risky.

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