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What Top Stocks Foretell (Part 2)

3 February 2008 - Features - Editor

What Top Stocks Foretell (Part 1)

Marketing Mix Appraisal for Top Stock Picks

Stock analysis has become a financial matter, though marketing is at least as important in appraising business and management. The Sears infrastructure is not meaningful for today’s consumers unless stores drastically change ambience and server profiles. A catalog must have lower value for consumers with broad-band Internet connections than it did for the pioneering families of early settlers. Another aspect is that consumers in emerging countries such as China and India may value traditional product lines and services of Sears more than its traditional western segments. Is it time for the company to return to the drawing board?

Philip Kotler enunciated four elements of the Marketing Mix, but Adrian Payne and other Services Marketing Gurus have expanded these to eight. Perhaps Sears has not addressed the four new elements of People, Process, Physical Elements, and Preferential Customer Services. Even the original axes of Product, Promotion, Price, and Place may have different meanings for 21st century consumers. Baby boomers may retire, but Sears has to reinvent itself!

Fresh Branding Initiatives to Resuscitate Stocks

Since stock investment is all about buying hidden stock value, perhaps this is a good time to buy Sears stocks, provided the management displays the sagacity to recast the brand. Let no one forget that Sears weathered the Great Depression, two World Wars, and a host of lesser economic storms. The stock has heritage values not just for Americans but for students of business management everywhere. Sears must woo customers afresh, and what better place to start than a fresh clustering exercise? Customers have never liked profiling, but custom products and services have heightened in importance during recent times. The core values of the Sears brand remain relevant for consumers everywhere and of all times, but the Highest Common Factors must have changed.

Market segmentation is a creative exercise, and there is no use in second-guessing consumers. Marketing professionals everywhere must agonize at the fall of Sears and wonder what can be done to revive this once giant success symbol. Will you help us in a voyage of discovery? Are you still loyal to Sears? Why have you switched to competitors? Are there missing things you would like to see in the brochures and stores of Sears? What do your family and friends make of this? We do not serve Sears, but this is a marketing case study. You are invited to join our forum and give us your prescription for restoration of this symbol of Interactive Marketing excellence. Write today!

 


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