MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 8

‘‘ It makes sense to let the market leader move first; because you can always adjust your prices later to consistently keep that price gap and price position. There are consequences of moving first. The leader may not follow. That means your products may suddenly be more expensive than those of the leader and customers won’t buy, can’t buy.’’ The market leader may move their prices to take their usual number 1 position, but may reduce the price gap. That means their product may now become more attractive to your target customers and you lose sales and share. You may be tempted to adjust the prices to correct the price gap, but that is not good for sales. Both the trade and consumers don’t like frequent and sudden price changes. Following or copying has its good and bad sides. Some people just copy exams and they never get caught, and they even pass with flying colors. China has copied and succeeded, Ole Sankan copies, and 06 MAL 18/17 ISSUE he often succeeds. I nevertheless copied and failed. Let me tell you my personal experience from college days. I did not get ready for this Accounting Continuous Assessment Exam, commonly knowns as a CAT. In the exam room therefore, I had to sit next to an Accounting guru. The exam started, and I also started. I quickly went through the paper once. I was absolutely clueless. The guy next to me was seriously calculating stuff and writing. I decided to copy from him. I went ahead and copied 2 answers. I was feeling pretty good with the progress. I even took a stretch break. I looked up, stretched, and observed how the others were going on. Soon after that, my lead also took a break. But his was a bit disturbing. He looked up, cursed a bit, took his pen and cancelled his 2 answers that I had copied. Have you ever felt like slapping an innocent guy for misleading you? I gave him that look of, ‘what the heck are you doing?” He just shrugged his shoulders and moved on. Anyway, I decided to go with what I had copied since I was so ‘empty’ I couldn’t recreate anything else at that point. consumers. Distinctive features of a familiar brand’s packaging are hijacked in order to dupe shoppers into buying something they believe to be that brand, made by the brand manufacturer or sharing the reputation of that brand. The designers of such packaging tend to ensure that they do not infringe intellectual property rights such as trade mark and design rights and a passing off action is very difficult and expensive to bring. Be careful though because besides legal consequences, the leader may play skunk. When chased by an enemy, a skunk unleashes ‘tear- gas’ like farts, that put the enemy into disarray. Just like the skunk, a market leader can set you up for failure. There is this one time McGrath, the large scale Narok wheat farmer, started to plant wheat, just like my guy in the exam room, he stopped half way at a time when Ole Sankan had already finished planting his 5 acres. The season failed and Ole Sankan lost. In business, a follower may go up in price first, but the price leader holds. The follower loses. When the results came, as you would expect, I got the least marks awarded just to recognize effort. That was the first, and the last time I copied. You could, unintentionally, also get misled. This happens a lot to Kenyans who go asking everyone in the streets for business ideas. There is this Peter guy I met. Copying is also not new in Marketing. Copying packaging of familiar brands with strong reputations has been around for ages. According to a British Brands Group Report, “Parasitic (or copycat) packaging has been used by competitors to boost sales by confusing and misleading I had gone to his hotel for lunch and I was tired. He wanted to know what business I do as a side hustle. I decided to create a story just to see how long I can hold a lie. So, I told him I operate camel rides in key weekend spots in