Marketing: Social Responsibility and the Law
The new deodorant product that our company intends to introduce into the retail chain could present great opportunities for our company. This calls for proper and effective marketing of the deodorant. While doing this, we need to consider ethical and legal issues that may arise of which I have researched and considered carefully.
I have then considered appropriate options available that are there for us and ones that would seal loopholes that can be exploited legally by interested parties. In this regard, I have looked at agreements that may be interpreted as contracts by courts of law of which our company is party to.
This of course is the priority issue whose consideration should integrate with other issues like marketing costs, effective method for marketing among other considerations. (Mitchell & Mitchell 2008)
Since several parties may consider that a contract exists between our company and them, it is important for us to first of all consider the idea of contracts. A contract may be considered as a legally binding agreement between two parties that is recognizable by a court of law. When dealing with contracts, courts of law consider the following important elements: offer and acceptance, consideration, and intention to form a legal agreement. (Ewan 2005)
The deodorant was bought from a South American company at an obviously lower value than the economic value of the deodorant. On this basis, the company may sue us in the future especially if the deodorant becomes very successful in the market.
For them to do this, they will face some legal challenges that may not favor their case. This may include the fact that the company accepted our offer that was devalued due to our inability to produce any paperwork on the deodorant. We also have an advantage here in the sense that it would be more difficult for a foreign company that does not have great financial clout to pursue international legal means that have many procedures and require a lot of patience.
Since the offer was very good, our hurry to secure the agreement displayed failure on our part to ensure that the agreement is legally binding. Moreover, lack of paperwork did not either make things easier. However, looking at it from all view points, I do not foresee this company suing us at any given time in the future. (Holton & Glyn n.d.)
There is however another problem that could easily develop on our side. This problem is inherent by failure of the South American company to produce paperwork on the deodorant. We cannot therefore trust the South American company that this product is original.
We may actually be breaking copyright laws by selling this product in the market. We therefore need to pursue means by which in case this happens, the blame will be on their side and they will be legally responsible for breaking copyright laws. We therefore need to use whichever method possible so that the South American company signs another contract with us that would invalidate the current contract hat has many weaknesses.
This contract would include among other things liability on the South American company in case we are sued on the ground that we are breaking copyright laws. To do this, we may need to use whichever bait we can including giving them a better offer in terms of monetary value or sacrificing some of our rights by partnering with the company. This would be painful but a worth sacrifice on our side. (Maclntyre 2008)
On the other hand, we may need to do research on our side in order to establish that this deodorant is actually original. One can almost smell a rat from the fact that it produces a similar smell when compared to an existing brand in the market. Again, this process is costly and would damp our prospects in case we find out that we may need to drop our venture.
In this case, we need to look at how we can present a strong case against the South American Company which would not be easy in the current situation so that we are compensated for all damages.
This explains further why we need to sign a new contract with the South American company. This contract terms need not necessarily be explicitly stated in any case especially considering the fact that the South American company may actually have tricked us. (Ewan 2005)
Another contract that we need to consider is that between us and the celebrity who was supposed to promote the deodorant in the market. Much more than the contract considered above, this contract is valid and it could present problems for our company. The requirements of an offer and acceptance, consideration and an intention to form a legal agreement all hold in this situation.
The question that then arises is that regarding failure to fulfill the requirements of the contract which in this case can be argued against both parties. The fact that our intended promoter has put on extra weight and developed sores puts him in a position where he cannot effectively fulfill part of the contract by effectively marketing the product for us.
Although this could form our argument, we need to remember that in many cases that have come before courts of law, judges have shown to be stricter on companies. This is especially because it is more of a perception scenario than that in which the other party is unable to play his part. (Mitchell & Mitchell 2008)
It would therefore not be in our interests to allow this case to come before a court of law. We can still use the promoter to market our product and this is bound to still have some positive effect in the market since the promoter has some celebrity status however small.
One option available to us is to get another promoter to market the deodorant while maintaining our terms with the current promoter. Another option would be to use Gordon Brown’s earlier photos for marketing which portray him in better form.
In case the company drops Gordon as our promoter before his term ends, then we would be compelled to pay him all compensation regarding his contract with us besides running the risk of putting our company in a bad image. This would play against our products in the market. I therefore see it ethically and legally wrong for our company to drop Gordon as our promoter before his contract expires. (Sullivan, & Steven 1996, p.57)
The Idea of using David Beckham’s photo using a deodorant could be a great idea apart from the reality that it presents many legal and ethical problems for us. First of all, the information that we would be giving to the public is misleading.
This is because the deodorant that David Beckham is using is not the deodorant that we would be supplying in the market. This however is the idea that would be communicating to the public. (Fry, Keim, & Meiners1982, p.96)
For us to legally use this celebrity’s image on our products, we would have to sign a contract with him. This contract is obviously beyond our capacity to afford. Using this celebrity’s photo on our deodorant without his permission is illegal and I think legally impossible.
This is because David Beckham has almost obviously signed advert contracts with another deodorant company. By advertising for another company, he would be breaking his initial contract and could therefore be sued for this.
It is therefore illegal to use this celebrity’s photo on our deodorant and we are almost certain to be sued for this. What’s more? Our credibility will be put to question since we would be seen to be only interested in raking profits at the expense of honesty and integrity. (Holton & Glyn n.d.)
The idea of sing Photoshop to come up with a photo of a celebrity on our deodorant is in itself a process intended at misleading the public. Apart from illegally using the celebrity’ photo, we are also using it in a way that he does not intend. Moreover, products marketed by David Beckham are normally high standard products that are on the most expensive end when compared to others in the market.
High-class people would be immediately be interested in this deodorant and are likely to read a lot. By comparing the price, the quality, and the photo of this celebrity on our deodorant, they are likely to find out the truth that we are lying. These kinds of conclusions would also come from middle and low class buyers in the market. This idea should therefore be discarded completely. (Mitchell & Mitchell 2008)
Although it would be a good idea to cut on advertising costs, it would also be illegal and unethical to use the name of an existing brand. It would be illegal because brand names are protected by the law. Besides, it is unethical since we would mislead the public into thinking that they are buying a brand that already exists in the market. (Sullivan, & Steven 1996, p.57)
It would also be unethical to use a packaging similar to that of an existing brand. This would also amount to misleading the public that they are buying the existing brand when in reality, they are not. It would also be unfair to the existing company since they have painfully worked to build their brand on which we would unfairly intrude.
On the other hand, since our product is different, dissatisfied customers may actually complain to the company responsible for marketing the existing brand. Moreover, their loyalty to this company could be eroded. We could also be sued for misusing a company’s brand. (Fry, Keim, & Meiners1982, p.97)
The new deodorant that our company has acquired presents as many challenges as opportunities for us. While we consider financial strains that limit our capability to use expensive marketing means, we need to stick to lawful and ethical behaviors while marketing our deodorant.
One may feel that we stand no chance to compete with well established companies that are more financially endowed which supply well known deodorant brands in the market. One thing that we need to know is that there is no better approach of surviving and succeeding against expectations as taking a creativity approach. This has been shown time and again to always work in any conditions. (Holton & Glyn n.d.)
The first thing that we need to do is to believe in the new product our self. I have personally examined the deodorant and I see a lot of potential in it. We need to take time and appreciate the worth of our product before we introduce it into the market.
It would be very difficult for us as a company to try to convince others on the product’s strength before we believe in it ourselves. This is a rule that needs to be applied by every one in our company from the most senior to junior workers. (Sullivan, & Steven 1996, p.57)
On believing in the product ourselves, the next thing for us to do would be to creatively market the product as an alternative brand to existing brands. The product needs to offer something different and one that is not in the market.
Using similar packaging to a deodorant with a similar smell is obviously not the best way to go regarding this. A niche of customers that we would target would include those who are currently using the other brand. I have considered several options that would help us make great sales on our deodorant. (Sullivan, & Steven 1996, p.57)
Although our product has unique strengths considering its unique smell, other aspects of the product when it goes out there to the market will determine its success. Instead of using black packaging, I recommend we use golden color packaging.
This would help in immediately attracting people’s attention and interest in our product especially since this is a new product in the market. The golden packaging would also help in marketing our product as a unique and a classic deodorant. We need to remember that since this is a kind of a product where customers make a lot of choice, the first thing that is important is drawing their attention. (Holton & Glyn n.d.)
To ensure that our new brand name becomes quickly known in the market, I recommend that the brand name is inscribed in large letters in a classic font type on the golden packaging. It should not be very large and one should be able to read at least thrice from the wide area of the packaging. Considering the brand name, I would prefer one that sounds classic but is short and easy to remember.
All this would serve to ensure that as many customers as possible become acquainted with our band within the shortest period. Apart from other reasons, I have an issue with the name Stynx since it almost sounds like “stinks” hence could be rejected by some customers on this ground. (Sullivan, & Steven 1996, p.57)
On the shelf, our product may have several advantages that we may need to utilize. For example, the fact that most supermarkets lace deodorants on a single section may cause buyers to sample the test of our product. Other features that we may place on our product including better packaging as compared to our competitors can then be exploited to market our product.
In this regard, it would also be appropriate for us slightly lower our price especially when compared to an existing brand that has a similar smell to our deodorant. The difference should be just by a few cents. Lowering the price by a considerable margin would lead some buyers to doubt the quality of our brand. (Fry, Keim, & Meiners1982, p.99)
Since many people use this brand that is our immediate competitor. We should ensure that as many buyers as possible get to know that we are offering a product with an almost similar or better taste but one that comes with better services. To do this we will need to strategically provide free samples and carry out demonstrations among other approaches aimed at familiarizing people on our product. (Holton & Glyn n.d.)
Since our company is financially strained, we need to use marketing methods that greatly utilize our current resources that we posses without significantly increasing our financial burden. Our current chain of sales men and sales women can be effectively utilized here.
It would be better and easy for them to carry out demonstrations which would have an advantage discussed above. They could also be used to distribute free samples of the deodorant and have the advantage of directly reaching out to customers. (Holton & Glyn n.d.)
There has never been a time of greater competition in business than the one that is currently being experienced in the business world. We have seen many companies disregard ethical and legal rules in their advertising with a primary aim of just increasing sales and nothing else that may be describes as noble. The customers concern and concern for other companies is no longer an issue.
The result of such a trend is the collapse of genuine businesses and deterioration of the value provided to customers. Rather than use these shortcuts, it is better for any business to regard ethical and legal issues in their marketing as they embrace other methods like creativity in reaching out to their customers.
We need to embrace high integrity values as a company even in the face of competition. Armed with creativity and patience, we are certainly guaranteed of success.
Ewan, M. 2005, Contract Law – Text, Cases and Materials.Oxford University Press
Fry, L. W, Keim, G. D, & Meiners, R. E.1982, “Corporate Contributions: Altruistic or for Profit? The Academy of Management Journal, Vol.25, No.1, pp. 94–106.
Holton, Glyn A.n.d., “Investor Suffrage Movement” (PDF). Financial Analysts Journal, vol.62, no.6
Maclntyre. E.2008, Business Law, Forth edition, Pearson Education Limited, Essex, UK
Mitchell. C & Mitchell. P.2008, Landmark cases in the law of contract, Hart Publishing, Portland, USA
Sullivan, A, & Steven M. S.1996, Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 074589: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 57, 305.
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