1.0 Introduction The general opinion amongst writers is that SME?s are typically poor at marketing and that this acts as a constraint to their development (see for example Carson et al, 1995, p83). This opinion coupled to the suggestion that small organization marketing is inherently different from larger organization marketing, both in its focus and application, provides the writer an opportunity to explore these issues within this dissertation, and apply them within a case study of one such SME ? The Total Sound Group.
1.1 Background and Rationale The Total Sound Group (TSG) provides music programmes and audio, vision and lighting equipment to many of the UK?s leading retailers. TSG serves four distinct market sectors of pubs/bars and restaurants, hotels, leisure and shops/stores. TSG is a recently merged entity comprising Candy Rock Recording, the music and video programming arm based in Kings Heath Birmingham, and Total Sound Solutions, the equipment, installation and service provider based in Sheffield.
The varied customer base includes amongst others Whitbread, Arcadia brands, Mothercare, Vodafone, Pizza Hut and Jaeger, all of whom use aspects of TSG?s services to create in-store environments that support their trading styles.
Through a mix of programmed music, mood or effects lighting, pop or promotional video and dynamic or static point of sale via state-of-the-art vision equipment, TSG can help the customer to create a dynamic atmosphere within their establishments that supports both their brand personality and trading pattern needs. The market for these services can be described as being both mature and congested, with competition split into two distinct areas ? equipment providers and total solution providers. Equipment providers, are as their name implies, providers of the equipment only, generally relying on pricing tactics to achieve success, of whom there are approximately fifty, whilst total solution providers offer both the...