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Marketing Mix Of Shading Technology Products:

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Marketing Mix of Shading Technology Products:

Shades and Blinds in the USA

1. Introduction

The aim of this report is to present the marketing mix of blinds, shades and shutters in the United States. As a result of the real estate boom over the last decade in the USA during which house prices (especially near affluent, developed metropolitan areas) have steadily increased while mortgage rates have continuously declined, a significantly larger segment of the population had both readily available discretionary spend and financial incentive to upgrade their homes. Homeowners continuously re-financed existing mortgage loans to lower rates (thus lower monthly payments), freeing up available monies otherwise allocated for house payments. Additionally, more and more lenders began offering "home improvement" loans at very attractive rates. These factors have contributed to a significant upturn in the sales of shading technology products, such as blinds, shades, curtains and other interior decorations in the consumer sector. To a great extent, the consumer market growth has offset the even or slightly declining demand of the commercial sector. This report's focus will be the consumer products of shading technology, rather than commercial or industrial applications.

Let us start out with the basics, by giving a short definition of what marketing mix is, what it means. Marketing mix is the combination of elements that are used to market a product. The term marketing mix became popularized after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article, The Concept of the Marketing Mix. Jerome McCarthy later established four categories as the 4 Ps of marketing, as product, price, place and promotion. These four Ps are the parameters that are subjects to the external and internal constraints of the marketing environment. The goal is to make decisions that center the four Ps on the customers in the target market in order to create value.

* The focal point of the marketing mix is the product. It includes more than a good or service offered for sale. It includes all the planning before production, research and development, and it includes all the services that accompany the product (packaging, repairs and support, warranty)

* Price is the cost of the product. Pricing is an important strategic issue because it is related to product positioning. Pricing affects other marketing mix elements such as product features and promotion.

* Place or distribution involves making sure that the product is available to the customer when and where it is wanted. Distribution decisions should include inventory management, warehousing, distribution channels, order processing, transportation, logistics and market coverage.

* Promotion is perhaps the most visible to consumers. In the context of marketing mix, promotion represents the various aspects of marketing communication, the communication of information about the product with the goal of generating a positive consumer response. It results in consumer awareness of the product's existence. Marketing communication decisions include promotional strategy, advertising, sales promotions, public relations and publicity.

The following section will define and describe the different types of blinds, shades and shutters that are the most popular throughout the US. I will give a brief description of each:

2. Blinds, shades and shutters

* Cellular Shades

Of all the soft window treatments available today, the cellular (honeycomb) type shades are the most popular for several reasons. They come in a large array of colors, can be designed to be bottom-up top-down which simply means they can be raised and lowered in either direction to allow for privacy similar to that of a cafe curtain. They are one of the most energy efficient products which make them very popular choices during the winter months and the heat of the summer. They can be ordered as light filtering which provide privacy, but allow light to fill a room, or they can also be totally opaque to block out all sunlight, which is great for bedrooms. Coordinating arch top shades are available. Cellular shades are available in specialty shapes: arches, hexagons and more and are great for layering with drapes and curtains.

* Roller shades

Roller shades ( solar screens ) are a time honored treatment with a contemporary look and feel.

Their beauty is their simplicity. Roller shades increase energy efficiency and protect from

harmful UV-rays. Metal rollers make shades more durable, are easy to operate with strings or

beaded, and are offered in a variety of materials, patterns and textures.

* Roman shades

Roman shades have the beautiful look and feel of draperies, but with the practicality of a

modern cellular blind. Roman shades are available in numerous styles, but most often are seen

in teardrop ( also known as hobbled or balloon ) or flat fold styles. They are available in a wide

selection of fabrics.

* Shadings and sheers

Window shadings combine the softness and light filtering effects of a drapery with the light

control of the horizontal blind and the operating ease of a window shade. Window shadings

feature horizontal fabric vanes suspended between sheer white front and back fabric facings.

* Woven wood blinds ( bamboo, reed, jute and grass )

Woven wood shades, also known as bamboo shades, are a contemporary window treatment that

has a unique, tropical appeal. They are constructed of natural material combinations, including

bamboo, rattan, jutes, reeds and wood. They offer easy care and maintenance.

* Wood Blinds

They are often called the fine furniture for the window. Whether

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