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Kudler Fine Foods Marketing Research

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Kudler Fine Foods is a local high-end specialty food store located in the San Diego Metro area. The company has three locations, La Jolla, Del Mar and Encinitas. The stores are stocked with the very best domestic and imported foodstuffs. Due to a rapid growth cycle, Kudler Fine Foods is looking to expand its consumer base through a systematic introduction of new services. This paper will examine the importance of the companies marketing strategy and tactics as well as identify areas where additional market research may be necessary.

One way Kudler is looking to increase revenue is by offering parties in the store to show customers how to prepare specialty foods. "The draw for the consumers is to be trained by world-renowned chefs, local celebrities, other food experts, and even Kathy Kudler herself, and to be invited to exclusive, upscale events. (Kudler Intranet) The anticipated outcome is to increase the customer purchase rate of high margin food and beverage items and to get consumers to make an evening at Kudler Fine Foods part of their social network. This shall hopefully, increase time in the store and result in an increase to overall revenue per visit and increase the frequency of visits to the store. Consumers will be eligible to receive multiple entries in high-ticket item contests by bringing a friend to the parties. While the firm's preference is to have the events in-store, guests have the option to have Kudler cooking classes in their home for a price premium. Programs such as this encourage consumer loyalty and word-of mouth marketing.

A second new initiative by Kudler's is the tracking of purchase behavior at the individual customer level and to provide high value incentives through a partnership with a loyalty points program. The customer purchase behavior patterns will help Kudlers refine its processes and offerings to best satisfy their valued customers. Price does not appear to be the primary differentiating factor for Kudler consumers; instead, these consumers are focused on quality and finding specialized items. Therefore, rather than providing everyday discounts to the customers for their purchase frequency like some other lower end markets, Kudler has partnered with a loyalty points program to provide customers with points, which can be redeemed for high end gift items, airline first-class upgrades, or other specialty foods.

Kudler's is now in a position to focus on internal (both frontline and behind the scenes) processes, and how those can be improved to deliver increased value to the customer. From a service perspective, in 2006 Kudler benchmarked Nordstrom department stores. In addition, the firm is developing employee training programs and integrating new software systems to facilitate the effort.

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