If you were chosen as the new head of Parker Pen, what overall direction would you recommend? (Please support your position with references to relevant class discussions, assignments, or handouts; these will influence your grade). In your response, please describe how your overall recommendations will affect Parker’s:
In order to diversify the product line, while still maintaining the market positioning and the reputation of the Parker Company. The recommended strategies that have been identified are presented below.
The company should be built around divisions that manage the different products of the company. The strategies for the marketing, management as well as business practices need to be centralized which are made with consent from the headquarters of the company in the US. The product-specific structure of the business will enable it to take momentous decisions and focus on the different product lines it has for targeting different segments of the market.
The management of the Parker Company needs to be diversified. The new talent in the industry needs to be acquired by the company by recruiting innovative entrepreneurial skilled personnel. This would bring new talent, ideas, and approach towards the markets and the products in the Parker Company. Aside from this the management also needs to be diversified according to the products, the regions of operations as well as market segments while still being integrated and centralized in terms of decision marketing and organization/ business strategy. Examples of this strategy would offer work placements and internship programs to graduate students who can be trained and recruited as management executives or management trainees for the regional operations of the company.
The marketing strategy of the Parker Company needs to be derived from its top level of management. The global marketing strategy for the company needs to be uniform and cater to the global audience. The product-specific marketing strategies of the company however need to be adjusted to the region of operation and the market which the company is targeting. This would result in the product-specific marketing strategies being more oriented towards regional and local markets, catering to their needs, and their specific motivators. The sense of the marketing strategy for the company however needs to be universal and maintained in all its different products and brands.
The role of the advertising strategies that are hired and employed by the Parker Company will essentially be focused on the regional marketing and positioning initiatives for the company. However, the agencies need to be handled and controlled by the company and not the other way round. The case depicts that the advertising agencies conduct the marketing activities and positioning of the products for the company. This increases discrepancy in the company and its product positioning in the different markets as well as portrays a confused product marketing strategy to the consumers.
The role of the agencies needs to be identified and derived from the centralized headquarters of the company in the US to maintain control over the operations of the company and its market positioning in the different regions and markets of operation.
As mentioned earlier, a uniform production facility design should be maintained to increase control over the operations and make them more predictable and manageable. The Parker Company will have to concede to some change in the production procedures and facilities as per the local laws and rules governing operation in the local market as well as the demand of specific product lines. Those products which are more in demand in certain markets will be more focused upon when setting production lines to sin the local markets.
It has already been identified that the company needs to have a product-specific approach to managing its business while still maintaining centralized decision-making for its global operations. The products need to be managed by the company according to the market preferences. The case depicts that the products are being managed according to the markets, however, control needs to be increased through a uniform business and product strategy derived for the global operations of the business. Research and development need to be invested in by the company to develop new products while the current products of the company need to be managed as per the local market positioning and preferences of the consumers as well as through global marketing strategies derived by the centralized head office.
Subsidiaries, including their British Operations
Currently, in the case, it is depicted that the operations of the Parker Company in the different regions were operating as independent silos. This needs to be changed and the subsidiaries of the Parker Company need to have a regional focus towards managing their products in their specific markets while still being multicultural. However, the global strategy for operations should be derived from the centralized head office of the company in the US. This is to maintain control over the mission, vision as well as business strategies in the international markets, while still having diversification in the local markets.
How would you categorize your recommendations for Parker’s future overall direction:
- strongly global,
- strongly multinational?
The recommendations that have been charted out in the above sections are more oriented towards the multinational orientation of the company in the international regions of operations as well as for the global market. The main problem that has plagued Parker Company is the lack of diversification of its products, the improper marketing strategies and orientation it has employed as well as the lack of control that the company has over its operations and market positioning in its regions of operations.
The multinational-oriented strategies have been adopted in order to promote and increase control of the company in its international operation around the world with a global marketing strategy, global production design as well as global mission, vision, and objectives. This also provides for the required diversification in the local markets of operations in terms of the marketing strategies employed for increasing sales of the products. Moreover, the R&D also has to be established to identify new products which can fulfill the demands of the consumer in the market for Parker Company and pens.
Anderer, C.I., Keegan, W.J., (1986), Parker Pen Co. (A), International Marketing Strategy Review.