plays a major role in information processing and consumer decision making. It
begins with consumer exposure to marketing stimuli and ends with
Vainikka) It is unique to each individual, so
it is not an objective reality. Different individuals may have their own
version of brand description and associations based on their perception. Perception refers to the senses that
any organism uses to collect information about its environment. (Hanna)
The concept of perception is just as important in
business as it is in life. (DR. BRIAN MONGER) When it comes to perception in marketing, it is about
recognizing how consumers perceive a product and service of the company. (Debbie Donner)
Thus, the motivation
of customer when buying products or services tends to depend on image.
It is important
that a marketer understands customer behaviour and uses perception to attract
target group of people in order to effectively affect their decision making. In
addition, perception and marketing strategy should be applied together in order
for a product or brand image to go through customer’s mind and stick deeply in
a long term. Marketing mix as the main concept of marketing strategy should
therefore be consider as a priority in this regard. Marketing mix or the so-called 4Psconsists of
product, price, place and promotion. It
is adopted to help a company to know how to put the product in the right place
at the right time with the right price. As a result, analysis of the four
elements of the marketing mix with perception is essential to understand how
the sharing economy has evolved and become viable. Each of the four elements
will be discussed in more detail below respectively.
Firstly, when it
comes to product, Dibb and
Simkin (2001) stated that it is the most vital component in the
marketing mix. “Products and services are the main factors to attract customer,
especially in new product development: the company should have new product design, new packaging look,
good quality, preferably branded product.” (Gautam & Singh, 2011) When it comes to
product of sharing economy, most of them will be intangible or services, for
example, Grab and Uber which provide transportation and logistics services.
In Thailand, Grab
provides many types of services including not only Grab Car but also Grab Taxi,
Grab Delivery, Grab Bike and Grab Hitch. Grab Car is the
standard unlicensed car service offered by Grab, which operates similarly to
Uber. Grab Taxi is a service that
pairs with many licensed taxi services in most of its cities, allowing you to
get a professional, licensed taxi through the application. Grab Hitch is a social
ride-sharing option with a cheaper price than others. A customer will tag along
with other customers who are heading at the same direction or destination.
Since motorcycle is very popular in Thailand, Grab also renders bike service to
customers in big cities where people suffer from serious traffic congestion. In
the past few years, Grab and Uber services have disrupted the taxi industry in
Thailand and have seen an enormous increase in popularity surpassing
conventional taxis. The main reason is that their services can solve the
long-lasting problem of conventional taxis refusing customers because of
traffic jam. Customers can
conveniently book a car in advance through online application without having to
wait on the street outside and possibly getting rejected repeatedly.
Secondly, price is
also essential for customers to make a purchasing decision, so it needs to be
reasonable. Price analysis and comparison with the competitors must be
conducted because it is important for a company to set the right price for its
product or service to be competitive. When it comes to price of Grab and Uber, fares are
dynamically calculated using various different factors in different countries.
In Thailand, compared with conventional taxis, fares charged by Grab and Uber
services are apparently lower. This is because it is the car owners themselves
who provide services to customers; hence, unlike normal taxi drivers, they do
not have to pay for a rent for their cars resulting in being able to charge
lower fares. In addition, customers can also choose to pay a fare in many ways
including debit card, credit card or cash, whereas they have to rely on cash
only when using conventional taxis.
also plays a crucial role in the marketing mix because it is the path where
people can have access to the product. Pour, Nazari and Emami (2013) stated that it is
the way of activity that aims to deliver product and service to customers. To
explain, a company should put its product into the right distribution channels
which are easily accessible for its target customers. When it comes to place,
Grab and Uber only focused on
densely populated cites such as Bangkok, Chiangmai and Phuket where traffic
congestion is severe and people are looking for new alternatives of travelling.
This strategy proves to be very successful since the usage rate of their
services has skyrocketed due to plenty of demand for taxis in these big cities.
Novak (2011) suggested
that it is a communication system between companies and individual customers in
order to inform and convince its customers to buy their products and services.
“It is the process that customers are persuaded and offered to accept brand and
product,” (Fill and
Turnbull, 2016). The promotional strategies can facilitate communication
and send messages to target audience through advertising, personal selling,
public relations, sale promotion and sponsorship. When it comes to promotion,
Grab and Uber has been promoting itself using social media such as Facebook,
Twitter, and other online advertisements. It successfully utilizes mobile application through
smartphone platforms to reach the majority of their target customers. They also apply several various
promotional strategies to attract new customers as well as existing ones,
mainly in a form of discounts provided to passengers.