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Godrej Interior and Haworth Firms’ Product Strategies

Introduction

Modern-day business environment is ever more challenging and complex. Dramatic shifts are constantly altering the business landscape. In today’s fast-paced markets, business organizations are required to constantly revitalize themselves for long-lasting success. Unlike the conventional business environment, modern firms’ focal point is on the construction of successful strategies that are converted into a long-lasting competitive position. In such an ever-changing and turbulent markets competition is as similar as shooting on moving objects. In a nutshell, organizations need to grab opportunities, and business entities have to continuously revitalize themselves for lifelong survival and success. It needs constantly assessing the effectiveness of the strategy constructed and followed. This eventually results in a domino effect on competitive advantage. However, one point to be noticed is that strategies once formulated need not be fruitful forever. The firm should keep on checking and evaluating the strategies in conformity to the opportunities and challenges posed by the external environment. This paper focuses on the product strategies of two organizations engaged in the business of furniture manufacturing. Two organizations selected are Godrej and Haworth. The paper bases itself on primary and secondary sources and complete enumeration study was possible in no situation. The paper attempts to examine mainly the product strategies of both companies, which positioned them in the minds of consumers and enabled them to attain brand equity. (Marketing Mix; Chapter 2 Class Notes; Godrej to Expand Product Portfolio. 2008).

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Objectives of the Study

The present study is undertaken to examine the competitive strategies of two firms manufacturing similar products. The study does not cover the entire aspects of competitive strategies, but focusing on the product strategies, which differentiate them to attain market share for their products. Both Godrej and Haworth are doing the same business of furniture manufacturing, but with lots of difference. The difference in the design, manufacturing and use of technology is what helped them to achieve market and brand loyalty. Though the product strategy information are somewhat confidential in nature, a close look at the companies’ products and their quality, consumers’ and dealers’ opinion can be made use for studying difference in product strategies of two companies. The study entails a detailed study of Godrej Interio products—Office and Home and its competitors’ product portfolio. The project also evaluates the major factors which are paid attention by a consumer before going for the purchase of branded furniture. The main purpose of the study is to give insight into the product strategies of both companies.

Company Profile

Godrej

Godrej Group, started in 1897 as a lock manufacturing company, is today one of the most successful and diversified business houses in India. Commitment to innovation and strive for success are the key factors that has been driving the company. Over the years of success and reputation, the company has achieved the consumers’ confidence and loyalty. By the year 1930, the company came to be known as the first of its kind in the world to develop the technology to manufacture soap with vegetable oils; that spirit of innovation has continued throughout the organization’s history. And at present, the company is offering a range of products with amazing quality and innovation. Godrej is delivering consumers exciting innovations across a spectrum of businesses.

“In September 2006, Godrej brought its entire range of Home and Office, and a special range of furniture businesses under one brand—Godrej Interio” (Godrej Unveils Godrej Interio. 2006). “The Godrej Interio brand covers all of Godrej Furniture and Interiors Group which includes home, office and special projects interior business lines, a perfect amalgamation of time-tested values and contemporary outlook. Godrej Interio recognizes the needs of modern lifestyle and stands dedicated to meet these dynamic trends. It is targeting at 33% growth (Godrej Unveils Godrej Interio. 2006) and has made huge investments in technology and brand building.” The Home furniture product line caters to home furniture demands. “Some of the major products in this line are: sofa-sets, safe lockers and wardrobes, dining sets, modular kitchens, TV units, study centres, computer workstations and floor carpets” (Godrej Unveils Godrej Interio. 2006). The Office furniture product line caters to complete solutions to institutional furniture needs. Some of the major products in this line are: modular partitions and cubicles, desking systems, seating solutions, office storages and designer carpets. The special solutions two main product lines: laboratory solutions and marine solutions. (Brand Philosophy. 2007).

Haworth

Haworth, founded in 1948 has been constantly adopting a flair for innovation and flexibility. “Originally known as Modern Products, the company’s founder G.W. Haworth was driven by two dreams—to start his own business and to put his five children through college. Today, those dreams have led to Haworth becoming a global leader in workspace solutions, with quality products and customer-focused members propelling our growth.” (Haworth 1948). The principles of innovation and flexibility still remain unaffected by the changes in the positions of CEO or President. “To start with, Modern Products represented a variety of wood products. But that shifted in 1954, with the development of modular office partitions, predecessors of panel systems.” (Haworth 1948). After that, the company focused on office environments. “The company name was changed in 1976, with the introduction of the world’s first pre-wired modular panel. That year, Dick Haworth also became president and CEO. Business remained centred around office furniture systems until the early 1980s, when office seating was added to Haworth’s product offering. Since then, the company has continued to move toward complete workspace solutions.” (Haworth 1948).

Today, Haworth has become a global furniture manufacturing company that meets the home and office interior needs of consumers across the world. In the course of its winning development in furniture and interior designing and manufacturing business, Haworth has earned awards for sustainability, leadership, community service, and member job satisfaction. “The company has been offering a large number of products which are generally classified by the company as Floors, Utilities, Systems, Seating, Lighting, Desk/Case Goods, Storage, and Tables Surface Collections.” (Haworth 1948).

Methodology

The basic approach of the present study is sample survey and observation. As the study basically concentrates on product portfolio and the product strategies of both companies, data are collected by visiting the major outlets and offices. The survey has enabled to collect accurate and reliable data for studying of Godrej Interio and Haworth. The survey is carried out among the home and office users of furniture of both Godrej and Haworth. For the purpose of studying the product strategies, three similar products each are selected from both companies and data concerning the three products alone are collected. The three products selected are Dining Table, System Furniture, and sofa sets. Based on the survey results obtained from respondents, the study is expected to arrive at logical conclusions on product strategies. The study heavily relies on survey results to frame conclusions on product strategies as information on product strategies is normally confidential in nature and hence cannot be collected from the company.

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Population

The entire consumers and dealers of product of both companies represent the population of the study. Therefore, the population is infinite and hence complete enumeration study is highly impossible. The sample size can be a very meager percentage of the total population. However, maximum efforts have been made to collect accurate and unbiased data.

Sampling Design

As the population is infinite and hence complete enumeration study is impossible, the researcher goes for a sample survey by selecting a part of the population. The survey is conducted among the users and dealers of both Godrej and Haworth products. Therefore, the users and dealers constitute the sample units. The sample units are selected by Convenience Sampling Method. A Convenience Sampling is one by which the researcher identifies the sample units on his own and selects those units as the sample for the study. Though convenience sampling has many limitations- the important being highly biased- the researcher has no means to avail the population frame, which is a pre-requisite for random sampling. The researcher has located 20 retail outlets each for Godrej and Haworth to collect data from dealers. In addition to that, 50 customers each for Godrej and Haworth who have been using Godrej and/or Haworth products. Therefore, the total sample size for the present study is 120 (20 +50*2).

Questionnaire Design

Two sets of well Structured Questionnaires have been drafted after a pilot-testing. One is meant to gather data from retail outlets and the other one is for users of products. All the questions are open and the respondents can answer them in short span of time. The questions have been prepared taking into account the various factors identified in the pilot study and indeed in the initial visit of retail outlets. Also, information obtained from manuals and reports on furniture industry has been employed in the preparation of the questionnaire. For dealers, the questions are more or less of business-related and technical comprising more of technical specifications, the make and mechanism employed in various products. The questionnaires for customers aimed at eliciting feedback from them about the products they are using—their awareness, perception about the brand, and the level of satisfaction. The questionnaire also aimed at a ranked order data with regard to factors like reliability, cost, services, etc.

Survey Structure

The survey was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, the survey was conducted among the dealers who have been in the field for a minimum period of five years. The main purpose of such a survey is to measure the awareness level of Interio products among the dealers and how supportive they are in selling the products of the companies. In fact, the dealers will be able to sell only those for which there are demands from customers. Dealers are in a position to gauge why some people like (or dislike) the products of Godrej (or Haworth). As these people are experts in this field, they are able to give valuable insights into the furniture industry—the various players, their USP (Unique Selling Proposition), drawbacks and the level of competition prevalent in the market. Also, it is possible to get insights into latest trends in the furniture industry. In the second stage, a detailed survey was carried out among the users of Godrej or Haworth products, who are known to the researcher. They were approached with the questionnaire and requested to respond about their experience with the products they are using. They were also asked to opine about the competitor product and its features and how far their products deviate from those of competitor in terms of quality.

From these surveys, the researcher could derive a comparative ranking for Godrej and Haworth products. Also, it envisaged the task of identifying the various factors that played a major role in selecting a particular brand of furniture. Comparative ranking for Godrej and Haworth in three selected products are obtained. The main purpose of the survey was to obtain feedback from the customers. The various factors about which majority of questions have been asked include:

  • Brand awareness/Loyalty;
  • Consumers’ Perception;
  • Satisfaction level of the customers; and
  • Rating of products on various factors like reliability, price, services, etc.

Data Collection

Data collection is a major step in the survey phase of a research as it consumes lion’s part of the time and finance allocated for the entire work. The data relevant for the study are primary and secondary. Primary data are collected through sample surveys, whereas secondary data are collected by means of manuals, reports and magazines on furniture industry. The dealer respondents have been met at their respective retail outlets/offices after taking appointments. The consumer respondents have been met at their home at their convenient time. The practical difficulty in the data collection phase has been getting appointments from the respondents. The respondents were briefed about the survey and were administered about the questionnaires.

Data Tabulation

Table No.1- Customer Survey on Godrej Interio

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Variable Rating Total
Definitely Yes Probably Yes Definitely No Probably No Can’t Say
Brand Awareness 36 12 2 0 0 50
Satisfaction Level 35 13 2 0 0 50
Perception 30 12 4 2 2 50
Services 25 20 3 2 0 50
Reliability 18 18 2 6 6 50
Cost 28 20 2 0 0 50
Ergonomics 30 15 2 3 0 50

Table No.2- Dealer Survey on Godrej Interio

Variable Very High High Average Low Very low Total
Quality 6 4 8 2 0 20
Brand Image 4 6 6 4 20
Market Leadership 4 6 4 3 3 20
Ergonomics 3 8 9 0 0 20
Pricing 2 4 14 20

Table No.3-Customer Survey on Haworth

Variable Rating Total
Definitely Yes Probably Yes Definitely No Probably No Can’t Say
Brand Awareness 15 14 10 5 6 50
Satisfaction Level 12 18 12 4 4 50
Perception 18 19 12 1 0 50
Services 13 20 11 3 3 50
Reliability 14 12 20 4 0 50
Cost 13 20 12 3 2 50
Ergonomics 18 12 14 0 6 50

Table No.4-Dealer Survey on Haworth

Variable Very High High Average Low Very low Total
Quality 5 8 6 1 0 20
Brand Image 11 5 4 0 0 20
Market Leadership 9 8 2 1 0 20
Ergonomics 8 8 3 1 0 20
Pricing 7 9 3 1 0 20

Data Analysis

The data tabulated are analyzed to arrive at meaningful conclusions about the brands and their product strategy. The present study heavily relies on data gathered from customers and dealers to analyze the product strategies of two companies. The data on product strategies are normally of confidential in nature and hence cannot be availed from the producers. Therefore, the data collected from the customers and dealers are used to analyze which of the two producers is having superior product strategies. The data gathered are purely of product related and the researcher believes that the same can be used to conduct a comparative study on the product strategies. The tabulated data are analyzed using MS Excel Spread sheet Program. The results of analysis are put below:

Table No. 5-Analysis on Customer Survey Result on Godrej Interio

Variable Percentage
Definitely Yes Probably Yes Definitely No Probably No Can’t Say Total
Brand Awareness 72 24 4 0 0 100
Satisfaction Level 70 26 4 0 0 100
Services 50 40 6 4 0 100
Reliability 36 36 4 12 12 100
Cost 56 40 4 0 0 100
Ergonomics 60 30 4 6 0 100

Table No. 6-Analysis on Customer Survey Result on Haworth:

Variable Percentage Total
Definitely Yes Probably Yes Definitely No Probably No Can’t Say
Brand Awareness 30 28 20 10 12 100
Satisfaction Level 24 36 24 8 8 100
Perception 36 38 24 2 0 100
Services 26 40 22 6 6 100
Reliability 28 24 40 8 0 100
Cost 26 40 24 6 4 100
Ergonomics 36 24 28 0 12 100

Table No. 7-Analysis on Dealer Survey Result on Godrej:

Variable Percentage
Very High High Average Low Very low Total
Quality 30 20 40 10 0 100
Brand Image 20 30 30 20 0 100
Market Leadership 20 30 20 15 15 100
Ergonomics 15 40 45 0 0 100
Pricing 10 20 70 0 0 100

Table No. 8-Analysis on Dealer Survey Result on Haworth:

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Variable Percentage
Very High High Average Low Very low Total
Quality 25 40 30 5 0 100
Brand Image 55 25 20 0 0 100
Market Leadership 45 40 10 5 0 100
Ergonomics 40 40 15 5 0 100
Pricing 35 45 15 5 0 100

Findings

  • The majority (96%) of the respondents felt that brand awareness is an important factor in the selection of Godrej brand. But, Haworth has only 58% customers who believe that brand awareness is highly important.
  • Price is one of the most significant factors for the selection of furniture. Price sensitivity of the consumer is a major factor in furniture market. In the case of Godrej, 96% feel that it is of utmost importance, whereas 4% give it moderate importance. But, as per the result of Haworth customer’s survey, only 66% of customers believe in price sensitivity.
  • As per the observation, 70% of the Godrej customers are highly satisfied by the product. Only 4% of customers are dissatisfied with the product. However, 60% of the respondents are satisfied.
  • As far as the reliability of Godrej brand is concerned, 36% are highly satisfied with the product. In the case of Haworth, 52 % customers feel that the product is reliable.
  • The Design/Ergonomics is also an important factor in the product strategy. Because, 90% Godrej customers are of the view that design does matter in formulating the product strategy. But, only 60% Haworth customers support ergonomics of the product.
  • Services are a very common but decisive word in any business. In the furniture industry also, services has a major role to play. This is indicated by almost 90% of respondents rating it as an important parameter for judging a particular brand. In the case of Haworth, 66% customers are of the opinion that services also have a role in deciding the product strategy.  (The worksheet of analysis in the Excel Spread sheet is attached)

Conclusion

Based on the findings, it is clear that Godrej pays more attention to product strategies to improve the qualities. Because, most of their customers and dealers believe that the most important reason for the large customer support for Godrej is that Godrej is considering the feedback from the customers and dealers positively to improve the quality and to frame appropriate strategies.

Bibliography

  1. Brand Philosophy. (2007). [online]. Godrej interio: No one Knows Interiors Better.
  2. Chapter 2 Class Notes.[online]. Web.
  3. Godrej to Expand Product Portfolio. (2008). [online]. Business Line: Business Daily From The Hindu Group of Publications. Web.
  4. Godrej Unveils Godrej Interio. (2006). [online]. Business Line: Business Daily From the Hindu Group of Publications. Web.
  5. HAWORTH, G W. (1948). Haworth History. [online]. Haworth.
  6. Marketing Mix. [online]. Learn Marketing.net. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 19). Godrej Interior and Haworth Firms’ Product Strategies. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/godrej-interior-and-haworth-firms-product-strategies/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 19). Godrej Interior and Haworth Firms’ Product Strategies. https://studycorgi.com/godrej-interior-and-haworth-firms-product-strategies/

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"Godrej Interior and Haworth Firms’ Product Strategies." StudyCorgi, 19 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/godrej-interior-and-haworth-firms-product-strategies/.

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StudyCorgi. "Godrej Interior and Haworth Firms’ Product Strategies." October 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/godrej-interior-and-haworth-firms-product-strategies/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Godrej Interior and Haworth Firms’ Product Strategies." October 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/godrej-interior-and-haworth-firms-product-strategies/.

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