There are several different forces in the marketing environment that appear to pose the greatest challenges to Timberland’s marketing performance. Some examples of these problems are the following * Global marketing- meeting the consumers’ needs on a world-wide scale. Because consumers around the world all find different values in what they want to purchase, having a global appeal is difficult to do. * Having safe and reliable suppliers- In the first quarter of 2012, 6 out of 20 factories that were inspected had received rejected or ATBU-High Risk scores. (timberland, 2012) * A drop in the economy that causes consumers to spend less. Timberland faces many ethical issues when it comes to marketing. Every day Timberland tries to hold itself to high standards and rise above ethical issues like: * Being sustainable and protecting the environment. This is addressed by: * Creating earth-friendly products that use recycled, organic and renewable materials. (Pride, 2012) * They help protect the earth by lowering their energy consumption.
They use the Global Social Compliance Program to rate their environmental performance which has gone from 3. 2% in 2010 to 6% in 2011. (timberland, 2012) * Giving back to their community that supports them is done by * Paying their employees up to 40 hours of volunteer time which is spent helping out in their local communities. (Pride, 2012) * Creating a safe work environment. They address this issue by: * Timberland is faced with making sure that their work environment is safe and fair in all of their factories. Timberland was number 78 of the top 100 ranked companies by fortune magazine back in 2007. (CNN Money, 2007) * They have continued to keep their standards high by following a code of conduct and having a Supplier Sustainability team that analyzes the social and environmental management systems. (timberland, 2012) * High standards are even set for their suppliers which forbid discrimination, child labor, unsafe practices and they are audited regularly. (Pride, 2012)
Timberlands reputation for social responsibility serves as strength when consumers are turning away from showy, expensive products because right now the new “ it” is going green. Consumers want to know that the companies are sustainable and that they are working towards a healthy environment. Timberland wants to start adding labels that show how eco-friendly each of its products really is. This could be a great marketing advantage because consumers that did not know how environmentally friendly the product is may like it and purchase the item. It may also give Timberland the competitive advantage over their companies. This may also be a negative marketing strategy because there are people that do not want to pay for shoes they believe are made from recycled materials. Some consumers may find that it makes the product seem cheap. Some questions to consider answering about doing this is; would it appeal to the target market and would it be favorable on a global scale?
SWOT Analysis for Timberland
* Even when the economy is low (Unemployment rate is 8. 1% in 2012 compared to 4. 4% in 2007. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)) Timberland continues to make a profit. They reported a profit of $42. 1 million for 2011 which is up from $22. 3 million the year prior.(Jarzemsky, 2011) * Global Business- Timberland has many different factories all around the world and aid in competing in a global market. This also gives them a globally recognized name. * They have a competitive advantage of being a sustainable company. Weaknesses
* There are many different competitors in this market like Nike, Columbia Sportswear Company, and Wolverine World Wide. * They depend on the entire market globally to do well. If Europe or Asia has a fall in the economy, it will affect Timberland. * They spend more money than most companies do to maintain stability.
* An increase in consumer spending due to the economy beginning to strengthen. The unemployment rate has begun to slowly decrease. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) * Laws in other countries may help aid in creating a better work environment for the employees and helping Timberland have more eligible partnerships and suppliers. * Any failures of a competitor that may help drive them to choose Timberland. An example would be Nike having negative publicity and losing their customers. Threats
* Although the economy is slowly on the rise. It is still significantly worse than it has been in years according to the unemployment statistics (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and this may cause them to see a longer decrease in sales than expected. * Global trade regulations are constantly changing and because Timberland holds such a high standard on their suppliers, they could lose them. * Customers will change their preferences. (This is very hard to foresee especially in a global market.)
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012). Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. http://data. bls. gov/timeseries/LNS14000000
CNN Money (22 Jan, 2007). 100 Best Companies to Work for 2007. http://money. cnn. com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2007/snapshots/78. html
Jarzemsky, Mike (2011). Timberland Profits Leap 89%. Wall Street Journal. http://online. wsj. com/article/SB10001424052748704657704576150113081413084. html
Pride, William M (2012). Marketing: 2012 Edition. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Timberland (2012). About Us www. timberland. com