A case study is an opportunity to understand how the work is done practically and how different companies are working in the field. I choose national foods for my research project because it is a bigger name in the market, the purpose of the project is to understand how marketing products are changing globally and what are the best ways to introduce your product in the markets is now a day challenging because of the diverse and modern methods of advertising products through POSM materials. Due to these new and less expensive tools, the nature of markets is changing.
The purpose of the project is to identify are different types of POSM materials that are used in Marketing Exhibitions, Presentations, and Promotions. which enables National Foods to build themselves strongly in the market as compared to their competitors. My study provides detailed information about the marketing tools and techniques used by National Foods, and the Business
Model of National foods, Core Values, Organization Culture
Another reason for choosing this Research Project is I always want to know and understand how they are doing their promotional activities, especially inside stores. I choose this because in Pakistan whenever we visited a store or big Mall I see National foods everywhere they have to lock more spaces on the shelf their Order Booker are visiting the store once a week their merchandising or visibility is seen in many forms. They have different departments for this, and these are Visibility Department, Marketing and Sales Department. My Findings tell the importance of these Marketing Strategies.
In-store Promotion Now a day is very much important before this time in-store promotions are not very popular or important inside retail stores. It is important to understand which things customers are showing interest in and what they want to purchase. Important factors which influence the customers to buy a product are four PS and these are (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) but some other factors are as important as these factors and these are branding your Product to that extent to which customer is ready to purchase it but in branding your product, it also includes some important tools, or it is a strategy of a company to influence customers to buy products. These include POSM (Point of Sale Material) and in POSM (Price Discounts, free Samples of Products, buy-one-get-free, LED window displays, Bunting, Standees, Danglers, Posters they come in different shapes and of different sizes likewise Small, Medium, Large it depends upon what is the requirement) these are some types of POSM. The retail industry with every passing day is growing and customers are buying products this buying is very common and it is Impulsive Buying Behaviour.
Impulsive Buying Behaviour can be defined as when a customer is visiting a shop and after seeing a certain product on the shelf, He/she suddenly decides to buy that product this is due to in-store promotions which are attracting that customer the way product is displayed, or it is been advertised has a huge impact on consumer buying behavior. Some of the independent states that 75 percent of customers making decisions to buy a product of any brand is at the point of purchase. Both Manufacturers and Retailers need up to date information about the new Trends in Promotions to understand the extent of stimuli and how to influence consumers to purchase products of their brand (Manufactures) to understand the effectiveness of the resources so that they can understand the stimuli of Customers which is generating more profits. In-store, promotions help turn a store into a good and enjoyable store which is greatly affecting and has a positive impact on Customers due to beautifully displayed products and new innovative ideas of displaying it causes curiosity in Customers to see the product and then buy it. Some of the important factors which are important to that extent if are missing in-store promotions are not successful and are the availability of a product, customer service availability, and price.
In-store, promotions include both Push Strategy and Pull Strategy to target both Retailers and customers for promotions of their Brand. Some of the successful in-store promotions are if a customer subscribes to a monthly package inside the store then He/she will receive a 15% percent discount, but these discounts are not available on a website until and unless you visit the store physically all the information related to discounts are told by Retailers or Salesperson of the company. Visual Merchandising is one of the biggest and most important tools for influencing Customers to buy a product and it includes Planogram and window displays the main purpose of visual merchandising is to engage customers and motivate them to purchase a product.
The main purpose of this study is to investigate what are the problems faced by manufacturers if their advertising of products is not working and products are not giving profits. If manufacturers are spending money on billboards then this type of advertising has not that much impact on customers because they are placed on a certain maybe it is placed outside the city or at a place from where store location is far or when a customer reaches the store. He/she forgets about the product and he purchased some other products even retailer or salesperson of some other brand convinces the customer to purchase products same if manufacturers promote their products through bunting and danglers, they are not very visible inside the store and customers are not attracted.
Most companies are not paying much attention to in-store promotions and these are declining sales. The company is setting a budget for each of these advertising materials, but some materials of advertising are not useful likewise Flyers, Bunting (small stickers, ribbons), and Danglers (hanging Signage) Tent Cards, Swing Tags. These are not attractive, and Companies are investing a lot in these advertising Campaigns, but consumers are not interested, and they do not pay much attention to these.
The Objective Solution
So, the objective of the study is how these problems are overcome and to stay in the market competition and this digital what are those tools or strategies through which profits have generated this strategy is an in-store promotional strategy. In this strategy, many tools are used and companies do have not to waste money on not much effective advertising instead they are inside the store promotional tools and these are the use of LED Screen right on the entrance of the store, placed planograms which store all varieties of your company products after getting shelf space even your products which have high demand cover more shelf space and customers directly purchase it and on planograms paste headers and talkers. Wobblers on which discounts and sale offers are displayed and these things make the display of the product more attractive and visible to customers inside the store. Placed standees inside the store so customers notice your products from here and also place them on the side of the cash counter or before the planogram.
End cap and Gondola at the backside of the planogram so, when a customer enters at end of the store he stops and checks it to and might purchase something. So, all these are beneficial for manufacturers company and retail.
The retail industry is mostly Focusing on visual merchandising because it makes Brand Products unique from other Brands and competitors it also creates loyalty among customers it helps the brands to display their products according to their prices likewise premium price Products have there on shelf space and those products which are higher in demand, they take More shelf space instead of those products that are less in demand. Mostly these high selling Products are placed at the back of the store because both retailers and manufacturers want when customers come on them before reaching towards the required product, He/she sees some other products also. Some other visual merchandising includes Gondola, End cap, Headers, and talkers these all are part of (POSM) and POSM is the part of in-store Promotions of any brand. Another form of in-store promotion is Seasonal or atmospheric engagement in the company is not working that much because at certain events some things are automatically purchased by customers but if they advertise these products perfectly inside the store chances of more and more buying increase.
Proposed Betterment Solution
In the present times, markets are in full competition, and every passing day new products are launching with innovative designs and it is increasing customer marketplace. My report is based on what I experienced while working on the in-store promotional strategy of national foods limited how they are competing with their competitors and how they are using the techniques of in-store displays likewise POSM, Atmospheric, Seasonal Buying’s, incentives for retailers, FocusSKUs are high selling products and low selling products. The end goal is to discover and Understand what the association of in-store promotions is with customers buying behavior to purchase products in Pakistan.
Food Industry in Pakistan
The Food Industry is one of the most important industries in any country because they are making the products for every member of the society and household. Pakistan Food Industry is one of the best Food industries in the world they are making products from packed chickens to sauces, snacks, frozen meals, etc. the leading industries in Pakistan are National Foods Limited, Fauji Foods Limited, Engro Foods Limited, Rafhan Maize Products Limited, Murree Brewery Company Limited, Nestle Pakistan Limited. These are leading companies in Pakistani markets and some of them have a presence in the international market also like National Foods and Shezan International Limited. All of them are registered with Karachi Stock Exchange. These brands are present in General stores Hypermarkets and Super Markets.
National Foods Limited Pakistan
National is the leading brand in Pakistan. It was founded in 1970. National Foods starts its work by introducing spices in the market and after the success of the spices, it is now working in multiple categories, and there are over 10 categories. The main concept of national food is to provide clean and healthy food to the people and improve the performance of the food industry-main initiatives of the national food are to reduce the period of cooking for women and make products that foster the health of customers and show attractiveness in their products.
Nowadays working styles changed and the phenomenon of only women working is also changed and it is outdated. So, in this changing environment, national food is also developing products with are innovative and new to customers and it is helpful in quick preparation and convenience. It adds a modern lifestyle to customer lives while keeping in mind the traditional values of food products. Our Founder whose philosophy at the time of starting it is still present and it is unchanged. National foods have a history of three decades but still, it is satisfying the needs of the customers in a very fine way it served customers even in changing marketing conditions and with one product line now they are present in multiple product lines. Although its success is affected and influenced due economic depression, boom, political instability, and wars. But still, national food is one of the top companies in Pakistan it is also served in more than 30 countries having 300 SKUs and about 12 product categories which include jam, pickle, ketchup, rice, sauces, and desserts.
National Food is following a strategy which Cost Leadership and what is cost leadership it simply states that when the company is the leader in the low pricing and it projects itself lowing pricing with good quality products by the manufacturer which is a national food and it has a competitive advantage over its competitors and customers purchased this product category. National Foods while following a cost leadership strategy they are making cheap products, but the quality of these products is not inferior to other products, but they are making or producing good quality products big retail stores are also following this strategy.
National food is delivering the quality of products and reaching out to customers and listening to voices and providing them with the convenient segments of the food.
National Food CSR Activities
National Foods is working for the well-being of the society not only just by developing different products, but they are working on corporate social responsibility also known as National Foods CSR. The aim of this program is women’s empowerment and children’s health. Some of the programs which they completed are
- Water Filtration Plants in Rural Areas of Pakistan
Drinking water is not clean and it is a problem because no proper system of sanitation and purification of water so national foods and so safe Pakistan they installed three filtration plants in rural areas and they are planning more.
- Clothes and Toys
Before events like Eid national foods volunteers distribute clothes and toys among the poor families. Around 20 cartoons are given to needy people.
National Food Business Model
- Key partners are local farmers who are working in fields, Retailers and
Distributors who are selling our products.
- Our key suppliers are hyper store and departmental stores.
- We are acquiring key resources from our key partners are manufacturing,
Procurement, supplying, and delivering.
- Key Activities
- Key activities which our value propositions required are Research and
- Our distribution channels are Product development innovation in it and
- We can increase our customer relationships and revenue streams through
Giving more value addition as compared to our competitors.
2. Value Propositions
- We must deliver value to our customers we have to introduce a huge and new range of
- We must introduce products with unique tastes.
- Innovation is the recipe for different dishes.
- Make high-quality products.
- Introduce more SKUs in Plain mix, Spices, and Recipe mix.
- Make sure your product Availability.
- Women who cooked in the kitchen and need ready-made spices and recipes.
3. Customer Relationships
It is the most important department. Because this helps to build a strong relationship and long-lasting with the customers. It includes
- Customer satisfaction.
- Customer loyalty.
- Discounts on products so customers can buy more and show more buying behaviour.
- If a customer purchases one thing gives a second item to the customer for free.
Channels which national food is following is
5. Customer Engagement
- We are creating more value from the household and these are mothers, housewives, and sisters.
Our importance and from different segments and classes and these include:
- Women’s and Housewives.
- Upper class and Middle class.
- People with busy Schedules.
- People who want an easy lifestyle or seeking an easy life.
6. National Food Organization Culture
National Food is now a multinational organization and it has certain cultural values, norms, and practices, and to remind them of the employees’ principles of where we are standing and want, we want to achieve in the market we also want to create opportunities while following an environment of fairness. Success depends upon how innovative you are and we simply allow our employees to share our new ideas and promote them.
7. National Food Responsive Culture
National Food believes in performance and they want to hire or give tasks to those persons who have a strong desire to perform and manage tasks given to them. They work with keen interest. National Foods have also set up certain rules because rules are the most important thing in achieving success and people who are working in the organization, must follow the responsive culture. All job segments have a different responsive culture.
8. National Food Innovation Culture
National Food’s success story depends upon its innovation back in starting early days they have only a few product lines but with the passage of time due to innovative ideas by people working in the organization national foods is now working on 12 categories of product lines it all because we take risks and like to solve challenges. Our focus is on making the best and better products and we motivate our employees to share innovative ideas due to which we become the market leaders and make National Food proud and the best among others.
9. National Foods Spiritual Culture
National Food believes in working fairly and we have a passion for our work, and we have made rules of business conduct to ensure that our business runs without any hurdle. Our spirituality does not allow us to blame others for the loss and our mistakes.
My Research methodology includes both primary and secondary data. The collection of data was not an easy task for me, and it takes my time to find and collect the facts and figures for this research report. Mostly the data and the majority of it were collected I visited relevant and conspiring people in collection and gained some experience also through this process some of the data was taken by me from the websites. As far as information like more shelf space, book a shelf, or shelf rent they are taken from conspiring persons.
1.2 Primary Data
Primary data is gathering information personally and collecting it from the main source. I collected this data through interviews. Now interviews are of two types one is in-person interviews and telephonic interviews I used both methods to collect the data required to complete the research project. Further, my questions are both structured and unstructured. Some questions are prepared by me before conducting the interviews and some questions which I asked were based on my knowledge about the topic which I selected. I prefer in-person interviews because it is easy for me to remember. After all, forgetting it is human nature. I conducted recorded interviews for data collection. Noting the interview is a difficult task for me interviewer and the respondent also because it is time-consuming. Why I choose this mode of data collection because you can take and know more in-depth information.
1.3 Secondary Data
Secondary data is data on which work has been done already. The major part which I collected for my research project is collected through the website of the National food which is nfoods.com. other resources which I used are Books, Research Papers, and Websites, Wikipedia.
- Preliminary Data Analysis
2.1 Role of Order Booker
Order booker is one the important person who is working on in-store promotions. His daily routine is he firstly visits the distribution and he discusses the sales target with his supervisor and MSL products and tells his supervisor about the current market condition. At 10 am he visited his first shop and he told about the products of his company to the retailer and after telling him that he checks MSL products and after checking he tells retailers about different trade offers and after this, he asks what is your order SKU MSL products and then he sets the products according to shelf space on planograms, he has a PJP plan (Permanent Journey Plan) which means he has to complete all the shops which are targeted today before ending of the day. After this, he comes back to his supervisor and told him about the market and discussion about the next plan. If someone requires an order in an emergency, they mostly coordinate on phone.
2.1 National Foods Employees Interview
- Trade Marketing Supervisor (Irfan)
Our Outlets are paid outlets they get monthly rents. All this is happening because we have a contract with the outlets, and they are bound to display our products some of our SKUs are a must for them to purchase, and then display it we make sure about the availability of our SKUs. POSM is the part of the contract between the Company and Super Store, Bakers, General Stores, Shop. A shop comes into our perfect store when the owner of the shop agrees with our terms and this is the visibility of our products inside the store it includes Planogram, Headers and Talkers, and Gondola, provided by the company. The percentage is given to them on display, MSL products availability and percentage amount are given quarterly to retailers all this is because the company wants a strong instore promotion of their products.
- Regional Visibility Manager (Amir)
The merchandising program of national food is very dynamic. We are not just focusing on specific SKUs. Whenever our new product is launched, and we want to increase its demand it becomes part of our merchandising or visibility drive. If we talk about our Rozana range if we want to increase its demand in the market things come on Area Model (Availability, Visibility, Accessibility). Every month if we want to increase the demand of any focus SKUs what we do we make it part of the visibility drives so customers should know about our product inside the side. There are two types of demand Automatic demand and the other one is which we are working on increasing. What is automatic demand is a season-wise demand for example it is the season of winter and people eat fish in winter so our fish masala comes in focus SKUs so the demand for this fish masala is automatically increasing company doesn’t have to work much on this on increasing its demand we are not doing extra promotions on it inside the store. If I talk about 2 months back which is Muharram our focus SKUs at that time is Daygee Danay Dar Haleem and SKUs are related to it so the demand for this also increases automatically inside the stores and we don’t have to work much on our promotions through POSM and for new products. If we want to increase demand we give trade offers, we give promotions to shop keepers (Retailers). If I talk about our Premium products like Crush Pickle and how we are increasing their demand if I talk about modern trade we increasing demand through Planogram and how we are placing our products in it, we are placing our products on a high level and start of the category it is because any consumer visits a specific category on any specific store so the range of that consumer its height is high so the focus of that consumer directly goes in the product which we want to sale out. We have revised our pickle planogram it includes mango pickle, mixes achar pickle, and crush pickle, we have placed them on the shelf of the planogram on priority because we want our SKUs to place at the Bottom and above level but we want here is that this SKU always remains on the eye level. Trade offers are also coming. if a company wants to increase the demand for some specific SKUs they contact retailers and tell them if you purchase this amount of quantity of this SKU so retailers are getting the benefit. If our products are not purchased inside store even customers are not aware of that product how we know about these products we simply see these things at the end of the month which SKUs are selling or which are not and after knowing about that product which is selling company brings those products in their focus SKU. We target those stores first to where we have direct access. We add those Stores and shopkeepers who have minimum sale history of 6 months and National Foods adds those Stores and shopkeepers first. When targeting any area, we first see the layout of the store and shop because in modern trade mostly self-service is followed they purchase products for a week, and in general stores, customers are not following self-service so in that shop, most products are purchased on daily basis.
3.3 Abbottabad Stores Interviews
- Floor Manager Gelani Mart
National Food is very old in the market. National Food Recipes are coming in the market when there are just a few companies who are working in recipes and these companies started working 10 years before. National Foods have both Order Booker staff and Merchandising staff and what they are trying to do is they want their products inside the store and for the customer to find them and purchase them. National Foods provides us LED and they place it in the rack so when customers come, they see the Advertisement and then purchase their product. In a pickle, we have Shan Food, Mehran Food, Mitchell, and Shangrilla but what national food is doing to sell out their products inside the store is they want big space because if they have more shelf space their products are more visible to the customers and they will buy it more. We are giving proper rack just because they are paying more shelf rent that’s why their product is selling more it is visible and it has quality also. National Food is providing more range of products likewise mango pickle, Crush Achar, Mix Achar, simple pickle and they are available in kg, half kg, Pouch kg, 250 kg is all because they want to provide customers with more choices so customers do not go for other brands. In jams, we provided them more shelf space because they pay more shelf rent they also pay shelf rent on recipes is more because their product better quality-wise. Their order booker must come once a week and their merchandiser comes daily he came with his stock from the warehouse and then display the products and what the order booker do is check whether their product is available and he is trying that their product did not get short.
They are branding their products through shelf talkers and headers so customers will know that national foods have workout properly and it is also easy for them to locate and purchase the product.
- Finance Manager Save Mart
National promoters are present inside stores are promotors they are sale boys. All this is happening because companies who have more SKUs have their promotors present inside the store. What they are doing inside the store is they are giving concessions on products; they are displaying their products through gondolas and gondolas are placed in front because customers see them first and find them attractive. Another thing which they are for their in-store promotions is Planogram why they are using this because Planogram's basic purpose is to show their products in a good and attractive way. Because now a day’s customers are focusing more on advertisements if products are placed good, they buy that product and assume that the quality of the product is also good. National is a multinational company and they have the hiring merchandisers who visit shops, and LMT stores daily and he displays all the racks he does racks filling and National Foods have hired one merchandiser for every store. He captures pictures and sends these pictures to his company there is a system of attendance for merchandisers inside National Foods. There are two items one is an expensive item other one is a running item. How they are displaying products normally the height of any person is 5.6 to 5.7 and height of our racks is 7ft if they display products on the top no customers will buy that product so the main part of their promotions is normal range easy to pick. National Foods have many SKUs.
3.4 Sources of Data Collection.
I researched National Foods Regional Office Rawalpindi their employees give me data on my research topic and Gelani Mart and Save Mart Abbottabad give me data on a research project. Territory Sales Manager, Regional Sales Manager, Trade Marketing Supervisor, and Floor Managers are in the target population.
3.5 Initial Findings
Initial Findings are what is the problem statement before you start working on a research project and it simply states whether your problem statement is validating with initial findings. I mentioned in my problem statement that some paper and graphic boards which are used inside stores promotions are not very useful and customers are taking interest in it which causes a loss for company sales and the product itself is effected some these are Flyers, Danglers, tent cards, leaflets, and bunting. When I start my research project, I visit National Foods Rawalpindi Office for data collection and Super Stores in Abbottabad. I take interviews with employees and in this whole process, I asked questions about how National Food is doing its promotions inside the store and in Abbottabad and which strategies National Food is using to Visibility of its products.
My whole findings after interviews are findings are validating with the problem statement it is because in the whole conversation in interviews they mentioned the things through which they are displaying their products and these are Planograms, Gondolas, 3D Displays, Headers and Talkers, Standees, End Cap. Because these are those POSM materials on which National Food is spending more because using these materials it is easy for them to display products for a large the population of customers and customers also find them more attractive more appealing and it’s for them too because they find the product which they want to buy.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- Implications of the study
1.1 Managerial Implications
My study gives details and provides information about the impact of in-store promotions by the company in any area of their target and its impact on customer buying. The main purpose of this research is to understand the implications of in-store promotions strategies and how they can help managers in understanding customer buying behavior and these must be cared for by managers. Nowadays Instore Promotions are very important and is known as an important factor in creating more demand for a product in customer mind. All the information and study present in this report is useful and keeping this in view our recommendations can help managers and they can work on them.
1.2 Limitations of the study
These are the following limitations of my study. This is a Qualitative Study. The data was collected from the National Foods Regional Office and Abbottabad Super Stores.
The main reason behind the study is how the instore promotional strategy of National Foods is working and how they are working in Abbottabad City. What I explained in this report is about in-store promotions and things which are used in in-store promotions. The impacts of in-store promotions on customer buying behavior. A detailed history of National Foods. National Foods working environment, National Foods product Portfolio, POSM material National Foods used inside stores for their products and services promotions. National Food company makes Masalas, Spices, Jams, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Pickle, Snacks and not only making products they are working for the welfare of people also.
For my research work firstly, I meet the Territory Sales Manager of the National Food Regional office in Rawalpindi and through TSM I started my research work. I conduct interviews at the Visibility Department of National Food Rawalpindi with (Area Visibility Manager) and (Trade Marketing Supervisor) and I asked questions from them according to my topic and the results I found is exactly to my problem statement in which I mention that certain tools of POSM are not working and through interviews, one thing is visible that National Food is not using those materials. They talk about their advertising strategies inside stores and how they are dealing and giving incentives to Retailers for their product promotions.
For my research work Secondly, I go to some of the Superstores in Abbottabad and there I asked the same questions from (Floor Manager) and (Finance Manager) whose answers are the same in their stores National Food is using the instore promotional strategies which are more visible to customers and I haven’t seen any of those POSM materials which I stated in my problem statement. They told me about the order booker, salesman and how National Food is working on its POSM inside stores.
My Research Study states how National Foods is doing its in-store promotions and through these promotions how they are making their customers and leading the market in most of the product portfolios having more sales. Furthermore, in-store promotions can aware customers and retailers of the products and types of products. No store is a perfect store until and unless any company is not working on in-store promotions and without in-store promotions of new product promotions inside the store are a must. So, in the future National Foods have to work on more innovative and creative ideas for their sales promotion and inside-store promotions.