Strengths and Weaknesses of the Marketing Mix
Ossur as a company has stood the test of time by maintaining a strong marketing mix that is accurate for their specific target market. One of the reasons for their longstanding achievement is the successful marketing mix that they have been able to achieve as a company. Ossur is aware that their product is at the upper end of the pricing spectrum, but one of their strengths has been maintaining this price point by informing consumers of the quality of their product. As the quality of the product goes up, the price of the product also goes up (citation), so Ossur has been able to rationalize their high prices because of the high quality materials that they use. Ossur successfully accomplishes this by telling the consumers what each prosthetic is made of on their website (citation?). Another successful element of their pricing model has been offering a wide variety of products, at many different price points, that are affordable for all of their clients. As previously stated, these prosthetics are made of very high quality materials which is a successful way that Ossur promotes this product to their target audience. This is an important aspect to the marketing mix because Ossur’s target market is made up of the physically disabled who want to continue to have an active lifestyle. These people want to know that the product that they are buying is built to last, and Ossur helps reduce their dissonance in several different ways. Perhaps the most efficient way that Ossur helps reduce customer dissonance is by making the product customizable to the person buying the prosthetic. Customers have to be fitted for their new prosthetics and can customize their new limb to fit both their body type and their lifestyle. As mentioned, they assure their customers that their products are super high quality, but they also offer limited warranties on most of their products. Another pro of the product marketing mix is Ossur’s commitment to the consumer after purchase. Ossur offer classes that help teach amputees how to use their prosthetics in a multitude of ways. Reiterating the benefits of the product is one of the many ways that the marketers at Ossur try to help reduce the consumer’s dissonance. Perhaps the greatest champion of Ossur’s marketing mix has been the success they have been able to achieve with their promotion as a company. Due to the fact that purchasing prosthetics is an extensive decision, Ossur has promoted their product in a way to reach their target audience and help alleviate the stress of making such a big decision. Ossur does very little mainstream advertising (i.e. television commercials) but instead reach their audience in a multitude of other ways. One successful way that Ossur brings attention to their product is through old-fashioned positive word of mouth. When a doctor meets with someone who is now in need of a prosthetic, they remember the positive reviews that they have heard from their other clients about Ossur. Doctors who specialize in amputations are also expertise in the area of prosthetics and they can help steer new amputees toward Ossur’s products because of the quality and wide-range of products that Ossur offers. Another successful partnership that Ossur has entered into is their partnership with Nike. Along with Nike, Ossur created a running leg equipped with a Nike sole that is specifically good for running and triathlons (“Flex Run” 2019). Partnering with a national brand such as Nike is never a bad way to get more exposure for a niche brand. The most important partnership, however, is the partnership between Ossur and the people who already use their products. Potential consumers can go online to Ossur’s website and read personal stories from amputees who use Ossur prosthetics and love them. Their website also has reviews of Ossur prosthetics from Paralympic Athletes who used Ossur products at the highest level of their respected sports. The marketing team for Ossur does a phenomenal job of spreading their brand across all aspects of the marketing mix to effectively reach their audience.
All in all, Ossur’s use of each element of the marketing mix: price, product, place, and promotion, are spot on; however, as with any company, there is some room for improvement. Ossur is an Icelandic company and produces none of their prosthetics in the United States (citation). This could take Ossur out of the running if a consumer was torn between two alternatives and placed a heavy significance on American manufacturing. Another way that Ossur can improve their marketing mix is by helping decrease the negative stigma that is subconsciously associated with amputee. Ossur could do this by collaborating with their competitors to create a multi-dimensional marketing campaign that educates the public and brings makes amputees seem like a less negative product, and, therefore, normalizing the purchase of prosthetics. Ossur already does this, on a small scale, through their educational links on their website, but collaborating with their competitors could help them reach a larger audience which could lead to more sales. Ossur could also simply run more ads that reach the general public so that they can get even more exposure to their company. Outside of their niche market, it takes a fair amount of info search to find this company the most non-amputees have never heard of. As a whole, Ossur has much more success using their marketing mix, but there is also room for improvement to help increase sales even more. Ossur is almost a “dream” brand for their target audience due to the accurate pricing of their high quality products; however, they could benefit significantly by expanding their promotion to reach a wider audience.