In the latest Marketing magazine e-newsletter, bringing us up to date with the top marketing stories from the U.K. and around the world, two stories caught the eye. They focused on two very different industries – food & drink and airlines respectively – but shared a common theme.
In the first article, we were told that Mars and Snickers have reduced the size of their chocolate bars, while retaining the same prices. Both have shrunk 7.2% (from 62.5g to 58g), but a Mars bar will still retail for 37p and a Snickers remains at 41p.
The second story, coming after months of press speculation, is the news that budget airline Ryanair has confirmed that it plans to charge for the use of toilets on its aeroplanes.
Nobody is denying that many major corporations are under pressure at the moment. In fact, Ryanair last week reported its first loss for 20 years. But this low-cost airline could easily have decided to increase the price of all its tickets by just a couple of pounds without most customers noticing; instead it has chosen a controversial move which has caused uproar, will deter some customers from even considering flying with the airline in future, and does not position the company particularly favourably. Similarly, the Mars/Snickers strategy is being put in place to help these brands absorb the rising commodity costs they are facing, but their competitors are facing the same challenges and, as yet, have not resorted to such seemingly drastic measures.
Never forget how important your customers are. However tough the environment might be for you, things will be just as bad – if not worse – for your customers.
Certainly nobody wants to feel they are getting less for more – or even less for the same price – especially at the present time. The most successful companies when this recession ends will be those who have continued to research, understand and satisfy the needs of their customers. This may not mean offering your product at a cut price, but it almost certainly will mean offering value for money.