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Marketing Research Case Study For Kudler Fine Foods

1587 words - 6 pages

IntroductionThe first cookbook published in America, titled American Cookery, was written in 1796 and was used by the serving class to cook for the gentry (O'Neill, 2003, para. 17). While the gentry of the time, particularly the men, could hardly have imagined cooking as a hobby, today's upper middle class are obsessed with it. In 2002, America produced 145 food magazines, quarterlies, and newsletters that were read by 78 million readers. The Food Network claimed 19.7 million subscribing households in 2002 (ibid, para. 12) and saw a 25% increase in viewership from Fall 2004 to Fall 2005 (Channel Canada, 2006). Never has it been so stylish to cook and entertain, or so you would think. This paper examines the marketing plan of Kudler Fine Foods, discusses the importance of research and competitive intelligence in the development of its strategy and tactics, and identifies where it needs to do additional research.Kudler Fine FoodsKudler Fine Foods operates upscale specialty food stores in three California locations. Founded by Kathy Kudler, who turned a hobby in to a business in 1998, the firm was profitable within its first year. The company's mission is to provide customers "aspiring to purchase the finest epicurean delights" with "the finest in selected foodstuffs and wines" in stores staffed by "experienced, helpful, and knowledgeable" employees (Kudler Fine Foods, 2005). The firm's business objective is to offer the highest quality products at competitive prices, attracting customers who are willing to pay more for better quality and added value.Marketing OverviewKudler Fine Foods issued a marketing overview for 2006 that states that the company plans to increase customer loyalty by focusing on "expanding the services, improving the efficiency of its operations and increasing the consumer purchase cycle" (ibid). Kudler plans to accomplish this by embarking on three tactics:1. Offer cooking classes taught by well-known chefs, celebrities, food expert and Kathy Kudler herself in an effort to make the stores more of a social gathering place for its customers.2. Institute a fulfillment card program for customers, with premium rewards, to better understand the purchasing behaviour of its individual customers.3. Improve internal processes to reduce costs and improve the delivery of product to the customer. (Kudler Fine Foods, 2005a)While these tactics seem to make sense, the writer questions whether solid market research supports the decision to implement them.Importance of Marketing ResearchThe American Marketing Association defines marketing research as,"the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information--information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process" (American Marketing Association, 2006).What could be more important to a business that...

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