Subway is currently the largest fast food restaurant that operates throughout the world, perhaps the main strategy that gave subway its competitive edge is largely attributed to its marketing philosophy. Subway's marketing approach revolves around the philosophy of a product and the firm's brand Subway.' The firm's brand is recognized as one of the superior brands in the fast food industry with almost unrivaled product mix (Lamp, Hair & McDaniel, 2012). Subway's focus on product and marketing as its main marketing philosophy had proved to be the most fruitful ever since its humble beginning in 1965 when the firm was started. The firm develops its products based on extensive market research, and then they tailor make the products to fit the needs of the customers.
Regarding societal orientation, Subway does not experience any challenge of recognition in any market throughout the world; its brand is almost a household name of fast food restaurant across the world since it has the presence across the world. Subway has a strong marketing approach with its customers; the company takes the need of the customers very seriously while ensuring that they implement customers feedback. Additionally, the firm has a robust employees empowerment strategy that helps its employees to develop their skills and experience in different departments of the firm thus making them all rounded and efficient when discharging their mandate (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2015). Subways employees empowerment approach entails; training and development of employees where employees are taken through a process well-developed training plan that will see them be promoted as they serve. The move to empower employees is another competitive edge that results in raise motivation levels for employees as they serve thus impacting positively on their satisfaction.
Subways target market is well defined, regarding demographic, geographic, behavioral, and psychographic. Regarding demographic, Subway targets people within 16-39 year age bracket without age, education, gender, family, or income bias thus making it highly inclusive. While target the age group, Subway has tailored its products to match the needs of the group, perhaps some are concerned with calorie levels so they need products that they can have without affecting them. Geographically, Subway has more than 2400 branches outside US and Canada that are spread throughout the world thus making it readily available for its customers throughout the world. Psychosocially, Subway targets different range of customers such as those in different social classes, lifestyle, and personalities (Lamp, Hair & McDaniel, 2012). Behavioral wise, subway targets customers who are occasional loyal users of their products. Subway has an elaborate strategy in place that responds and deals with the external market. The firm is very responsive to social-cultural factors such as having products that are suited to a different social status which is mainly achieved through price discrimination. Family and working women have different roles in as far as Subway is concerned, Subway has products that best fit working women or families which are provided to enable them to concentrate on their core duties instead of cooking. Regarding ethnic market, Subway has products that are tailored to the respective culture of the regions they operate in, for instance, in the Middle East they have products that are compliant with Islamic cultures as well with Islamic faith a case which applies to other regions as well. Just like any other firm in the fast food industry, the firm is experiencing few technological challenges stemming from its web/internet market due to coverage in some regions thus hampering its prospects.
Growing Ethnic Markets
The growth of ethnic markets across the world has proved to be a new marketing challenge to most fast foods restaurants across the world, Subway included. To grow an ethnic market, there is a need for an extensive market with a focus being on the development of product and marketing concept to capture the market. In the Middle East, Subway is faced with Islamic ethnic market thus requiring it to conform to the Islamic market cultural requirements by tailor making its products as well as its marketing strategy to be in line with the Islamic market structure (Pride & Ferrell, 2016). For a while now, Subway, just like any other firm from the west, has been tasked to conform to the market by ensuring that its products are acceptable as well as by ensuring that its marketing strategy is in line with the required standards.
A marketing approach that will work best for Subway in the Middle East ethnic market includes a strategy of tailor making its products to be in line with the local needs. For instance, instead of selling some of introducing its popular western product brands, the firm should instead use local names while developing brands that have a taste of the local food. In the marketing strategy, the Middle East market demands that firms must participate in CSR where they not only promote their products but be actively participating in the social development (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2015). Therefore, to grow its presence in the Middle East ethnic market, the firm must use the product and marketing approach that best addresses the needs of the market.
The first food industry is highly competitive, firms compete by few competitive edges that make them better than their competitors from being able to generate more revenues or being able to capture the new market and grow. Subway encounters competitions across the different regions that it has operations, for instance, in the west; America and Europe, its top competitors, include; KFC, Pizza Hut, and MacDonald's. The three top competitors are competing with Subway by various products that they offer. For instance, MacDonald's and Subway have cut-throat competition with regards to Pizza, while it competes with KFC on the meat pie products (Pride & Ferrell, 2016). The competition that the company encounters on other regions other than that brought about by the western firms are generally due to several small local brands situated in the regions they operate in. The position of Subway by market share, brands, and overall image in comparison with the top three competitors, KFC, MacDonald's, and Pizza Hut can be best summarized in the chart below;
Market Share position of Subway in comparison with its three main competitors
Market share of Subway and it top three competitors
As per the chart above, MacDonalds and Subway share almost the same market in as far as the Western market is concerned, each commands 30% of the market share. On the same note, the leading brands of the three firms compete on an equal market share, the top brands of the four firms stands as follows; Pizza Huts Pizza brand commands 25% of the market, KFCs Fried Chicken brand commands 27%, Subway's Sandwiches commands 32% of the market while MacDonalds Hot Dog commands about 34% of the market. The market share for the brands is done in comparison of leading competing brands only and not with regards to all brands in offered by each firm (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2015). To improve the position, Subway should ensure that it has a competitive market strategy in place, more so with regards to the various brands that they compete on, for instance by Sandwiches, it should market more on the market share commanded by their competitors.
Effectiveness of Internet/Web
Subways website is an area that gives the firm its competitive edge as compared to its competitors. The firm has a responsive website that allows customers to view menus of different products as well as make an order in case they want the products delivered to their doorsteps. The online purchase approach that is being offered by the firm's website saves the firm a lot of trouble that other firms go through as they do one on one marketing, the online ordering platform also opens up the company's products to a wide market thus, in turn, driving up sales and profits. Buyer decision cycle is aided by the website in that it allows customers to decide on the products that they want for various reasons or seasons, such as celebrations, family gets together, or just casual snacks (Lamp, Hair & McDaniel, 2012). The website enables customers to arrive at an informed decision on which products they want to purchase because it has the well updated list of products, price list, weight, quality among other details thus aiding customers on their decisions. Additionally, the website allows for one-on-one interactions with the sales personnel, in case someone wants to make an order through a video chat, the website allows.
Czinkota, M. R., & Ronkainen, I. A. (2015). International marketing. Mason, OH: Thomson/Southwester.Bottom of Form
Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2016). Marketing: Concepts and strategies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, C. D. (2012). Essentials of marketing. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.
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