When it comes to companies, especially companies that work on a large scale, marketing and marketing analysis becomes essential for success. While many environmental and/or internal factors can be unpredictable in various aspects, in many ways, markets show patterns that can be used as a general basis in research. A prime example of this is the company: FedEx.
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FedEx, while involved in a field where environmental and social factors are prone to fluctuate has still found a way to thrive and improve throughout the years. While some question how the company is able to do this, in a concise answer, it is because the company has been able to analysis the product-market, external situation, marketing mix and environmental sustainability as they continued to develop their company.
Product-wise, as a delivery business, FedEx offers various options for their customers, both, international and domestic. While mainly being a part of the delivery-service market, FedEx offers a saving program, various shipping and screening options, in addition to safety security for one’s package(s). In terms of shipping, the company provides: Priority Overnight, Standard Overnight, 2-day, Express Saver, International Priority, and International Economy?”all vary in delivery time, but all are options for anyone and anytime a person may need it. When it comes to the savings program, people are able to apply various discounts up to 16% off, depending on which FedEx Express service that they choose to follow through with. Additionally, FedEx states that they also have the ability to benefit growth of businesses. According to the website, FedEx is able to assist with more shipping destinations, and services than other providers. The company also allows a peace of mind to the customer and simple shipping processes that enable the business to be a convenient, and ready to access service (“A savings program tailored just for you” n.d.). Above all of this, FedEx also has the capability for screening if a customer wishes to utilize the function with international orders. This services allows for shippers to see if companies and/or individuals have been denied business transactions in the past, and continues to develop overtime (“Business Wire” 2006). While benefits may vary, in a general basis, FedEx claims that their deliveries will be on-time, effective and quick, and secure.
In terms of their target market, FedEx extends its hand towards anyone and everyone who is in need or wants to ship an item to another party. More specifically, FedEx’s target markets tends to range from domestic to international shippers, along with small to medium-sized businesses. Because FedEx is accessible 24/7, it also allows for people who are in time-sensitive scenarios to still have their package(s) delivered in a timely manner. Furthermore, FedEx is able to reach over 200 countries, and connects over 90% of the world’s GDP; their power to connect trade and transportation allows for more efficient and cost-effective methods within the company. For this very reason, the targeted market not only includes people who are wanting to send parcels to others, but also includes people wanting and/or willing to trade products through an aerial means (“Business Wire,” 2006).
As for branding, FedEx claims and identifies as having its own unique way of branding and meaning behind its mark. When using the FedEx logo, not only is a person identifying with the logo, but they are also associating their product with the “well-known [and] well-respected FedEx brand” that sends the message: “customers . . . deserve the very best service” (“Use the Power of the FedEx Brand,” n.d.). In addition to this, their brand is not simply just a brand, but also an extension of the FedEx company culture. Their culture extends from the lowest employee all the way up the latter to managerial levels. FedEx has concluded, and understands, that success begins with the person in charge of the customer service and deliveries: the drivers. The company has recognized that by rewarding and acknowledging proper behavior, along with making expectations clear, success is sure to follow (Adamson, 2017). By approaching branding in this way, FedEx has become more than just a logo or a name, and has also become an experience for customers. The company has created a concrete position in peoples’ lives, not by advertisements or publicity, but by how they execute their day-to-day business. For this very reason, while the logo still catches the attention of the viewer, by seeing the name on the logo, the brand means exponentially more to the customer.
When it comes to the competitors in this market, there are only a select few that compete on par against FedEx; this include: UPS, USPS and Amazon, although there are various others as well (“Top Competitors of FedEx In Datanyze Universe,” n.d.). Amongst these competitors, each offer a similar yet different delivery service. UPS, USPS and FedEx are the three that are most similar in terms of what the service(s) offer; in all three cases, each service is used for delivery purposes, however the pricing, speed and reliability may vary from company to company. Amazon on the other hand, while also doing deliveries, is more known in the retail-market; however recently has integrated shipping into their repertoire. While it is debated whether or not Amazon will threaten companies such as UPS and FedEx, with this new start things may change within this specific market (Berman, 2018). The changes include factors such as price fluctuations(s), delivery speeds, package security, and everything and anything in between. These aspects also reflect the competitive issues and conditions to consider in this particular industry. When it comes to a delivery service, people look for various things, but three main factors include: 1) the cheapest option; 2) how quickly the package(s) will arrive; and 3) whether or not their package is secure in transition. These three points are priorities to keep in mind when it comes to new and old companies wanting to compete against the already established players. Unlike many things, these aspects have carried throughout generations, and will continue to do so in the future.
However, that does not mean things are unable to be changed and/or shifted. Every market, including and outside of this one, has the potential to be affected by new and old trends that occur in the marketing environment. Within these changes, there are various influences for each trend, and these factors include: political, cultural, social, technological, economical, demographical and environmental changes. When it comes to FedEx, four out of the seven tend to influence the market place more frequently than the others. The basis of these four are social, technological, economical, and environmental factors, but the trends can include one, if not more, of each influencer. Whether or not these trends negatively and positively affect the company depends on the trend itself, and in many cases, it is not necessarily black and white. While not covering every trend, in the delivery business, companies have started to pick up on more personalized options in delivery, social media marketing, different uses of technology, and more accommodating measures for those who may prefer self-checkout in comparison to speaking to a representative (Newman, 2016). Despite trends changing over time, as the generations evolve into more technology-based and individualistic ways, companies can use the trends we have currently to gauge what may or may not be desired in the future.
FedEx, as a company, has found its own ways to combat and integrate these trends into their regular business?”although the trends listed have not proven to be negative(s) for the company in the long-run. When it comes to social and technological aspects, FedEx has continued to prove that the company remains on top of its game as it strives and does not blink when making investments in technology that will optimize their success in the future. In addition to this, the company relies heavily on social factors and reputation for their business. FedEx puts in the extra effort in order to provide the most optimal care and service for its customers (FedEx 10K, 2016). Noting this, the company does not shy away from changes, especially when it has high potential to benefit them in the future. For this very reason, marketing trends do not create havoc or serve to be negatives.
Marketing Mix. As for other aspects of the FedEx company, as stated before, FedEx has started to initiate their own savings program, in addition to doing seasonal promotional offers for the average customer and extending additional deals for businesses. While businesses would need to create an account with the company, by doing so, they are able to save on sipping labels, manage their orders and/or deliveries, and continue the growth of their business operations (“Offers and Discounts From FedEx and Our Alliances,” n.d.). Customers on the other hand, have no need to create an account with the company and are still able to receive the coupons and benefits of discounts with or without any commitment to the company; however, are welcome back to return at any time they wish to (“FedEx Coupons, Offers and Deals Available Now,” n.d.). Though, because FedEx is a privately-owned company, their funding is not as provided as their government-owned, -controlled and/or -subsidized competitors such as UPS or USPS. That being said, that does not necessarily mean that their service is any less than of their counterparts; however, it does reflect in the pricing that FedEx offers (“FDX Sales vs. its Competitors Q3 2018,” n.d.). That being said, FedEx is still often the better choice for heavier and/or larger parcels. When it comes to weight, and shipping select weighted-packages, FedEx may also be a better option when it comes to speed of delivery as well (Fabregas, 2017).
Environmental Sustainability. When it comes to the environment, FedEx not only encourages environmental responsibility, but has also contributed towards various environmental causes. The company has installed solar panel fields, assisted in building all-electrical trucks, and has aided in transporting endangered sea turtles to more sustainable grounds for breeding. As stated on the FedEx website: “After all, when you deliver millions of packages to 220 countries every day, you can’t help but want to make the world a better place” (“Citizenship,” n.d.). But this is not all that FedEx has done for the environment. As a delivery service, there are many concerns for one main issue: carbon and gas emissions. However, FedEx has already initiated a plan to increase fuel efficiency 30% from a 2005 baseline by the year 2020, and had already succeeded this by 2016. These goals did not stop at purely vehicle emissions, but also extended to reducing aircraft emissions and seeking alternatives for jet fuels by the year 2030. The reduction in their environmental footprint became more prevalent in 2015 as they reduced by 100 million gallons of air fuel and over one million metric tons of carbon emissions (FedEx 10K, 2016).
While FedEx is already contributing and doing an outstanding job in conserving the environment, there is always more that a person and/or company can do. For example, on a more day-to-day scale, FedEx could initiate a recycling program or find a way to encourage customers to reuse boxes instead of purchasing new ones that may or may not be recycled in the future. Outside of this, similarly to what they have already been doing, they can donate and/or aid in the creation or survival of other environmental organizations, whether it relates to animals or greenery. However, at the end of the day, FedEx is and has continued to make a contribution towards the sustainability of the environment, and that should not be ignored.
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