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The Cosmos Soft Drink Co. Ltd was concerned about its low market share. Despite extensive advertising in newspapers and magazines and colourful displays in most large retailers, sales remained disappointingly low compared to the well-known brands in the market. The image for its drinks that the company was trying to create was a sporty and youthful one. One of the reasons for this was because the directors had found out that the proportion of the population under 1818 was expected to increase in the next ten years and the sports-participation rates of most age groups were increasing. The directors were in agreement that the image was the correct one to have and that other factors were to blame for the poor sales performance. They decided to use primary research and conduct a survey of the general public. This was to be a telephone survey as they believed that quick results were essential to allow them to take the right measures to boost sales. A questionnaire of 3030 questions was drawn up asking for details of soft drinks bought and the reasons for purchase decisions, names and addresses of the respondents so that free vouchers could be sent, income levels to identify consumer profiles and many other details that the directors thought might be useful. About 120120 people were to be contacted by picking names using random sampling from the telephone directory.

The results of the survey proved to be very disappointing because many calls were not answered, some people refused to answer some of the questions and some of the elderly respondents said that all soft drinks were too sweet and fizzy for them anyway. In total, there were 3535 completed questionnaires. The directors were no clearer after the survey than before as to what could be done to increase sales of Cosmos soft drinks.

Evaluate an alternative primary research technique that Cosmos could have used to try to achieve more useful research results.

Apple has announced plans to open more of its own branded stores in the USA and China as it continues to develop this distribution channel. Just a few years ago, the Silicon Valley company, famous for the first popular personal computer in the 19701970s and more recently the iPad Air, always relied on other retailers and its website to sell its ever-growing range of products. The new retail stores are likely to be well received by consumers if recent reports from London and New York are any guide. They will be supported by a varied promotional mix including extensive use of social media.

Some business analysts believe that Apple runs a real risk of coming into conflict with its existing retail partners - including the US chain CompUSA. 'Why should other retail stores bother to sell and promote Apple products if the company is going to compete directly with them on the high street?' said one investment specialist. There are also fears that Apple could fall into the same trap as Gateway, another PC maker focused on the consumer market. Gateway had to close about 40%40 \% of its North American stores, saying it had over-extended itself at a time of slowing sales of PCs. Apple is investing heavily in property and there is always the risk of stock build-up at a time of slower world economic growth. Apple plans to open its two new stores in high-profile shopping centres near Las Vegas in the USA and in the Chaoyang district of China. Apart from selling the usual Apple products - computers, iPads, Apple TV and the like - the main draw in the shops will be the Genius Bar - a counter where shoppers will find several highly trained Mac Geniuses ready to advise on any technical questions. There will be a hands-on Apple Retail Store Experience giving consumers the chance to test-drive Apple's entire product mix. The stores will also run a series of daily creative workshops to teach customers how to make the most of the programs available.

Evaluate the importance of distribution as part of Apple’s overall marketing strategy.


The world's best-known fast-food restaurant has always prided itself on high standards for hygiene and levels of service in its outlets, no matter which country it is operating in. It also aims to achieve uniform product standards throughout the world. The principle of a common world approach is also extended to the marketing mix used by the business - same products, same decor, same promotions, same pricing levels. When the company first expanded internationally in the 19701970s, it was selling the 'American dream' but that is no longer acceptable in many countries of the world. The emphasis has now changed to 'global brand but local marketing'.

The need to be aware of cultural and religious factors when designing a global marketing strategy was made clear to the business when it was confronted with a lawsuit from Indian Hindus. McDonald's had to apologise to all religious and secular vegetarians for failing to make clear that beef flavouring is added to its chips in the USA. It is claimed that there are at least 1616 million vegetarians in the USA, who may have eaten these chips, and that they could be suffering from emotional distress as a result. In India, restaurant windows were smashed and dirt was smeared on statues of Ronald McDonald. Hindu leaders called for the food chain to be expelled from the country.

There are benefits to standardisation, however - the McDonald's double-arch logo is now the best-recognised in the world, for example, and internationally standardised advertisements as used by Coca-Cola offer economies of scale as well as reinforcing the global nature of the brand.

However, McDonald's is not alone in increasingly adopting the 'think globally, act locally' concept. Products that are too heavily focused on American culture, tastes and consumer needs are much less well received in some countries than they used to be. Adapting well-known brands to meet the cultural and social demands of countries that are becoming more independent in their approach to business and marketing is now a priority for companies like McDonald's. In India, McDonald's had to move away from reliance on beef and now has an Indian menu with local flavours, such as McCurry Pan and Chicken Maharaja Mac. In France, the changes have been even more substantial. Red and yellow colours are replaced with more 'adult' colour schemes. External restaurant signs are discreet and blend in with the neighbourhood. There are real leather seats, gas fireplaces and hardwood floors. Organic ingredients are used and healthy-eating messages are displayed on every wall. French desserts are offered instead of the standard options and a big seller is le P'tit Moutarde - a small hamburger with a French mustard sauce. McDonald's sales in France rose by 8%8 \% in one year after some years of much slower growth - perhaps meeting local needs and responding to national consumer tastes is the way forward.

McDonald's percentage sales revenue growth:

 4th quarter 2013 % 2 0 1 2 %  USA 1.45 Europe +1.08 Asia, Middle East, Africa 2.411\begin{array}{|l|c|c|} \hline & \textbf{ 4th quarter 2013 \% } & \textbf {2 0 1 2 \% } \\ \hline \text{ USA } & -1.4 & 5 \\ \hline \text{ Europe } & +1.0 & 8 \\ \hline \text{ Asia, Middle East, Africa } & -2.4 & 11 \\ \hline \end{array}

Evaluate McDonald’s’ decision to change from a pan-global international marketing strategy to a global localisation approach.


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In this problem, we are asked to evaluate the decision of the company to change its marketing strategy from a pan-global to a global localization approach.

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