Business organizations which thrive on success are identified by a mix of unique business components which identify their strategic positions in the market. The striking characteristics inherent in DoCoMo and its subsidiary partners such as KPN, NTT DoCoMo, and a range of other mobile subsidiary partners uniquely identify pricing, value to customers, and product differentiation as marketing components that strategically place the mobile company in the market.
As a marketing strategy in a market strewn with rivals such as Vodafone which offers the same mobile products and services, DoCoMo had inherently priced its products tailored at capturing a market share in a competitive environment. Striking examples from the above case study include the competitive service pricing in Japan where users paid an attractive monthly access charges of 300 yen (US $ 2.48) in addition to the fee varying from 0.3 yen for a data packet of 128 bytes to 60 yen for transferring funds, subscription fee varied between 100 yen (US $ 0.83) and 300 yen (US $2.
48) for any site as is evident from the case study on (p. 346). This unique pricing mechanism outpaced competitors and provided a tough challenge for could be new entrants in the service industry. Profiteering is the main objective of any business organization. Profits helps sustain a business organization and revenue generated in terms of profits strengthen it and provide it with an impetus in investing in promotional activities and staying afloat in the market. This was the case with DoCoMo.
The unique pricing mechanism coupled with product differentiation raked the company in profits in the Japanese market with increased usage. This was a successful marketing endeavor.
Customers are important assets a business organization can posses. They determine the market share, profitability, product and service image and acceptability, and customer buying behavior. DoCoMo had researched its target market very well.
This is evidently revealed in the way DoCoMo has designed mobile sets with different features and offered attractive pricing strategies for services in different markets. Porte’s Five Forces (1) identifies factors such as the buyer’s power determining strategic success of a company. This has strategically steered the company into success. Product features include larger screens designed for the i-mode for specific markets such as in Germany and Netherlands, good quality display characteristics, improved service capabilities such as the i-mode technology based mobile set that incorporates features such as its capacity to send and receive 1000 emails, with a 160 characters capacity SMS. According to the case study on (p.350), the phone incorporated entertainment features particularly for the Japanese market, which, as the case study identifies like to be entertained when they are on their long journeys to work.
Another key factor that propelled DoCoMo to success was the need to differentiate its products and services to suit target market. The case study illustrates this from the genius of the company in tailoring products that competitively substituted products and services offered by other companies such as Vodafone, the company’s 3G mobiles as compared to FOMA’s 2GHT bandwidth capacity illustrated on (p. 347). According to the article on Porte’s Five Forces (1), the company researched on its key strengths and placed emphasis on its strengths that place it at a strategic position in the market. A strong and reliable supply chain and good and strong working relationship with subsidiaries were factors incorporated that saw the companies succeed in a wider market share for its differentiated products. These substitutes ranged from different versions of web browsers for mobile phones, use of hybrid technologies such as WAP and e-HTML, and a diversity of others as illustrated on (p.48) of the case study.
Analyzing the case study, pricing, customer value, and product differentiation marked the succeed story of DoCoMo. These are elements which stand out which have been the drivers of success. However, the business organization suffered from key weakness, in exploiting presented opportunities and threats in the market.
Porte’s Five Forces. A Model for Industrial Analysis. 1999-2007.
1 April, 2010. http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/porter.shtml