Consumer Distribution Channels: A Marketing Case Study

Chose a company that 1) creates products (not a retailer) that are ultimately sold to consumers, 2) is part of a market involving at least one other independent firm as an intermediary, and 3) uses at least two different sales channels (e.g., direct sales, retail). Your analysis of this organization should deal with the following issues covered in the readings:

1. Briefly describe the organization, its target market, its competitive situation, and the products that it produces (NOTE: If the company is very large and produces many diverse product lines, you should narrow your focus to just one division or product line of that company).

2. Classify and describe the multi-channel distribution system for the product line and assess the appropriateness of its design in relation to its desired service output levels (e.g., lot size, waiting time, spatial convenience).

3. Discuss how the organization benefits by using one or more intermediaries.

4. Discuss how the distribution channel is or ought to be managed (e.g., selection, training, motivating, and evaluating channel members).

5. Explain how the distribution system does or could operate as either a vertical (VMS) or horizontal (HMS) marketing system and the benefits associated with that system strategy, or why a VMS or HMS doesn't make sense for the channel.

Please give a great deal of consideration to your selection of the organization and the product that will be used in your analysis. Again, our selection must meet the following criteria:

* The organization should produce a physical product that is eventually sold to consumers.
* The organization must be part of a distribution system that includes a minimum of one intermediary.
* The organization must sell its products through two or more channels (e.g., retail, online sales, telephone sales, sales force).

Solution Summary

This solution is comprised of a detailed explanation of how to identify a corporation's channels of distribution aimed at consumers. It contains concepts and definitions, source material, links and websites in order to enhance your research. This marketing topic provides a deeper understanding of one of the 4 elements (or four P's) of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place and Promotion); namely Place or the distribution component.