Marketing mix of Costco (7Ps of Costco)
This is a detailed analysis of the marketing mix of Costco (7Ps of Costco). Costco is an American membership-based warehouse club. It has been thriving for a long time in an increasingly competitive environment because of its efficient marketing mix strategy. In fact, its marketing mix plays a pivotal role in its success.
Product strategies of Costco
Costco sells everything from food and electronics to clothing and home appliances. It offers brand-name and high-quality merchandise at substantially lower prices than those of other retailers. It offers different services as well e.g. carpet and flooring installation, solar panel installation, and insurance (Costco, 2022).
Costco has implemented several strategies to differentiate its products from those sold by other competitors. One way it differentiates its products from those of others is by selling them in bulk. It sells everything from food to toilet paper in bulk.
Costco does bulk selling for several reasons. Firstly, it gives customers the opportunity to save money. Secondly, it is useful to reduce the amount of packaging waste. As such, Costco can also differentiate its products on the basis of sustainability. However, it is worth mentioning that the company was criticised and indeed sued for some of its product strategies.
Pricing strategies of Costco
Price is an important part of this marketing mix of Costco (7Ps of Costco). Costco is committed to providing its members the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise (Costco, 2022). It has very appealing low prices on virtually every good or service offered in its stores and on its website. However, some analysts argue that though the company offers low prices on most items, it also charges members an annual fee.
Place strategies of Costco
Place is the context in which buyers and sellers come together for commercial transactions. Costco relies on two main place-related strategies to attract customers: offline and online.
Costco’s business strategy is based on having a physical presence. It runs over 815 brick-and-mortar stores in different regions around the world (Statista, 2022). This allows it to be in close proximity to its customers. This is important because it gives customers the opportunity to touch and feel the products before buying them. It also gives employees the chance to meet their customers and talk to them face-to-face which can lead to better customer service.
Costco has substantial online presence as well. It offers same day delivery service in most areas. This is very useful given that many competitors have started doing the same as well. However, Stein (2021) reports that Costco would begin limiting purchases on items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and bottled water because of multiple supply chain challenges such as higher labor costs, higher freight costs, port delay etc.
Promotional strategies of Costco
Promotion is a key element of analysis in this marketing mix of Costco (7Ps of Costco). Promotion is any activity that encourages or persuades customers to buy a product or service. A well-crafted promotional strategy can be an excellent way to attract customers to a company’s products or services.
Costco relies on a number of promotional strategies to encourage customers to visit its stores or purchase products online. One promotional strategy it uses is the membership program that offers members a variety of benefits. This strategy is important because it gives customers a reason to visit Costco stores/website more often. This helps increase its sales in the long run.
Many American celebrities loving shopping at Costco. This is very useful for the company to attract the followers of those celebrities to its stores. Costco’s social media presence is very good as well. For instance, it has over 2.5 million Facebook followers. However, many of its Facebook posts have very little engagement in terms of views and shares. This shows that the company should review its social media strategy.
People strategies of Costco
People refers to the employees and contractors that a company uses to create and deliver its products and services. An effective people strategy can be crucial to a company’s success. Costco relies on a variety of people strategies to ensure that its employees are well-equipped to handle their jobs and provide customers with the best possible service.
Costco has a reputation for hiring high-quality people who are passionate about serving the customers. It is also an employee-focused company. In fact, it is often noted for being much more employee-focused than many other Fortune 500 companies (Costco, 2022). By offering fair wages and top-notch benefits, it has created a workplace culture that attracts positive, high-energy, talented employees. However, Costco was sued by some employees in the past over several issues.
Process strategies of Costco
A process refers to the way in which a company produces and delivers its products or services. This can also include the way a company organises, manages, and structures itself. As an example, what is the shopping process in Costco? Potential customers must become a member first by completing a form. They can then use their membership cards at any Costco warehouse worldwide and online at Costco.com.
Physical environment of Costco
The last element of this marketing mix of Costco (7Ps of Costco) is the physical environment. Physical environment can have a significant impact on a company’s success. Costco is committed to maintaining a clean and comfortable physical environment for its customers and employees. This helps it attract new customers and keep existing ones happy. Its logo is easily recognisable as well.
Summary of the marketing mix of Costco (7Ps of Costco)
Costco relies on its marketing mix elements to attract customers and help them save money on high-quality products and services. It has devised some excellent marketing mix techniques; however, some of them need rethinking as well.
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Last update: 05 July 2022
Costco (2022) About us, available at: https://www.costco.com/about.html (accessed 04 July 2022)
Statista (2022) Number of Costco warehouses worldwide, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/269769/costcos-number-of-warehouses-worldwide/ (accessed 01 July 2022)
Stein, S. (2021) Costco addresses supply chain pains by chartering their own ships, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sanfordstein/2021/09/24/costco-addresses-supply-chain-pains-by-chartering-their-own-ships/?sh=2c5a57216c4f (accessed 03 July 2022)
Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.