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Kudler Fine Foods Marketing Research

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Essay title: Kudler Fine Foods Marketing Research

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders”. (2005) Simply put, marketing is the process by which businesses assess the needs and desires of consumers in order to provide products and/or services to meet those needs in the most efficient and cost effective manner. Truly effective marketers do market research in an effort to understand their target market and create marketing strategies based on the characterization of those in the target area.

Market research “is the process of defining a marketing problem and opportunity, systematically collecting and analyzing information, and recommending actions…market research seeks to reduce risk and uncertainty to improve decisions made by marketing managers”. (Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, Rudelius, 2006). In this paper, the author will assess the relative value of two pieces of market research done Kudler Fine Foods in addition to evaluating components of the marketing mix for Kudler’s new catering service.

Kudler Fine Foods is a specialty gourmet store with three locations in La Jolla, Del Mar and Encinitas, California. The company prides its self on providing premium gourmet food items to its customers and they operate on the premise that their target customers are willing to pay a premium for premium goods and quality service. With this in mind, Kudler has initiated some key strategic strategies to promote their services and build relationships with their customer base. These strategies include: (1). offering parties in the store to show customers how to prepare specialty foods. The draw for the consumers is that enjoy the privilege of training with world-renowned chefs, local celebrities, other food experts, and even Kathy Kudler herself, and are invited to exclusive, upscale events. The anticipated outcomes will be to increase the customer purchase rate of high margin food and beverage items and to get consumer to make an evening at Kudler Fine Foods part of their social network (2) tracking purchase behavior at the individual customer level and providing high value incentives through a partnership with a loyalty points program. The customer purchase behavior patters will help Kudler refine its processes and offerings to best satisfy their valued customers (3) focusing on internal (both front line and behind the scenes) processes, and how those can be improved to deliver increased value to the customer. From a service perspective, Kudler is benchmarking Nordstrom department stores. In addition, the firm is developing employee training programs and integrating new software systems to facilitate the effort. (Kudler Fine Foods)

In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, Kudler is planning to integrate a new catering service as a part of their strategic plan. In the process of making this decision, Kudler devised a market survey geared towards understanding their strengths and weaknesses from the customer perspective. To produce an effective market research tool, the information collected must consist of both primary and secondary data. “Primary data are facts and figures that are newly collected for the project while secondary data are internal and external data that have already been collected and exist inside the organization and published data from outside the organization”. (Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, Rudelius, 2006)

Kudler’s management team decided to use a questionnaire approach to collecting internal data for their marketing survey. It does not appear that these questionnaires were of much value in regards to developing a catering service, primarily because the questionnaire asked general questions about such things as store dйcor and hours. The questionnaires would have been of much more value had they asked specific questions about what the customers want, would they utilize a catering service, and to garner suggestions on what improvements the customers would like to see in the stores. However, the value of the marketing surveys collected did provide Kudler with good information regarding how customers view their products and pricing and the general customer service experience. By establishing relationships with their customers, the mangers of Kudler’s three stores were able to observe the customers’ buying habits and obtain information about what other services the customers might utilize. By devising a questionnaire, management is able to see areas in which customers felt the company there was room for improvement and which areas the company excelled. Although the questions could have been more specific, a general view was enough for the company to see the areas in which they needed to concentrate improvement strategies. Kudler could also use some of the information

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