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Jones Blair - Strategic Marketing Management

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This case is discussing the U.S. paint industry and especially the case of Jones Blair Company under the direction of Alexander Barrett. This industry contains almost 600 paints firms and is divided into three broad segments: architectural coatings, original equipment manufacturing coatings, and special-purpose coatings where each segment serves a specific need. Jones Blair Company produces and markets architectural paint and original equipment manufacturing coatings under the Jones Blair brand name. In addition to manufacturing a full line of architectural paint, the company sells sundries under Jones Blair brand name but not produced by their firm. Jones Blair Company divided the market, which contains more than 1200 outlets, into Dallas-Fort worth (DFW) metropolitan area, contains 600 outlets and non-DFW nonmetropolitan area contains the remaining outlets. The estimated dollar volume of architectural paint and allied products sold in Jones Blair was $80 million; DFW area contains 60% of this figure and the remaining percentages in the other areas. Therefore, the Jones Blair Company is succeeding in the DFW metropolitan area but having some problems in the non-DFW nonmetropolitan area.

This industry contains a high level of competitors in this market:

* Large number of companies produces the architectural coatings segments such as Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, the Glidden unit of Imperial Chemicals, PPG Industry, Valspar Corporation, Grow Group, and Pratt & Lambert. These producers market the paint under their own brand names and for retailers under private, controlled or store brand names such as WAL-MART.

* In addition, specialty paint stores, lumberyards and independent hardware stores that sell architectural paint and paint sundries have been able to compete in this industry despite the existence for big stores and home improvements centers.

* Moreover, the architectural coatings and sundries demand are affected by the competition from alternative materials like aluminum and Vinyl siding, interior wall coverings, and wood paneling.

* The higher- quality products that reduced the amount of paint necessary per application and the frequency of repainting also affected the demand for the architectural coatings and sundries.

* Jones Blair Company were facing competitors at the retail level and the paint manufacturing level:

o At the retail level, competition has increased in recent years where Sears and Kmart, Sherwin-Williams and Home Depot have multiple outlets in DFW. Also the competition for retail selling in stores, lumberyards and hardware stores has increased.

o At the manufacturing level, competition has increased as well. Companies who sell to contractors serving the home construction industry have aggressively priced their products to attract a higher number of consumers.

o However, these companies still have weaknesses because they could not gain access to retail outlets.

* Mr. Barrett believe that mass merchandisers control most of the do it yourselfer paint market in the DFW metropolitan area because of their attractive prices.

A company must differentiate between its consumers whether they were painting contractors or professional painters; where professionals seek for good quality products because their image is going to be on the edge. They need a durable paint, washable, and will cover in a single coat. However, contractors simply want a coating in many instances and strive for the lowest price, particularly on big jobs. Therefore, in the case of professional consumers purchasing the best alternative is their objective. Therefore, after choosing a retail outlet for paint and paint sundries, they must choose the brand name. This process contains 4 steps:

Decide on product Gather information  Decide on Store  Decide on Product.

Decide on product: In this step, consumer sees a significant difference between his current states and some desired state. For example, a person would like to paint his furniture because it has been a while for buying it.

Gather information: here the consumer can not choose any brand because so he must search for information about the available companies in the market. He could get information from the internet, friends through word of mouth, advertisements in newspaper or magazines or even on media, from professionals, from retailers.

Decide on store: here comes the most

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