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    Consumer Distribution Channels: A Marketing Case Study

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    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).

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    Solution Preview

    Consumer Distribution Channels: A Marketing Case Study

    The numbered answers in the Solution below correspond to the questions posed in the Problem stated above. Ultimately, you will be responsible to conduct the research (mostly online) to further answer the questions posed in the Problem. So let's begin!

    1. The company's name is TransCoreĀ® http://www.transcore.com/:

    As you can see from their website, they serve the transportation industry.

    Their top competitors can be found at Hoover's a good source to research companies: http://www.hoovers.com/companies/100003475-1.html

    2. Answers to Question 2 can be found under the "Industries & Applications" tab. The initial drop down menu lists the individual distribution channels (i.e. Airports, EVR, Freight Solutions, Parking, Toll way Solutions, etc). These each represent the "vertical markets" of the company's multi-channel distribution system. Vertical marketing is a term used to define a company's approach towards targeting that focuses on specific industries (Emerge Marketing http://www.emergemarketing.com/ within their industry. For example, within the transportation industry there is the aviation, railroad, ferry, highway, parking, freight, and toll road industries.

    The drop down menu under the Parking channel lists the "horizontal" markets within that distribution channel. Horizontal marketing is when you single out a target audience that shares other ...

    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.