Case Study: Applying Total Quality Marketing Concept At Thermos Co.

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's October 2001

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Case Study: Applying Total Quality Marketing Concept at Thermos Thermos is a very successful company that knows how to satisfy the consumer's wants and needs. They are famous for their Thermos bottles and lunch boxes, but they also manufacture cookout grills. To be successful they had to reinvent their way of marketing to keep up with their competition. They did this by modifying the bureaucratic firm by replacing it with flexible, cross-functional, self-managed teams. The purpose of this was to focus on a particular customer group, and in this case, it was the buyers of outdoor grills. To excel over your competition you have to master what the buyer is looking for in a product for them to buy it over the other company. By getting rid of bureaucracy it enabled the "chain" to go from the bottom up, instead of the bottom down. You can't have the managers saying what to put on the market when they're not the ones who are buying it.

So I believe that by Thermos restructuring their system helped them meet the needs of the consumer, which helped their profits out tremendously.

If auto repair shops had organizations to research and study what people are looking for in an auto repair shop they might be more successful over the competition. For example, what draws them to their competition? Is it the friendly service? Their prices? Or maybe they get it done quickly? The consumer could bring new and fresh ideas to the auto shop to increase their business if they knew what the customer wanted.

Thermos studied grill users to view how they lived and what they are looking for in an outdoor grill. As they found out, people needed something that was pollution free, nice looks, and safe enough if someone wanted to use it in an apartment setting, so it had to be electric. They got together and developed a prototype and took it to the potential customers to ask them for advice for any suggestive changes. They also let the employees take home sample grills to find the different strengths and weaknesses. By doing the research and studies they could continually improve the grill to make it the success that it is today.

Interacting with your customers and knowing the market is the only way to be successful. And to market your product you have to socialize with your potential customer. The shy, non-sociable person would be the most resistant for marking.

In marketing, you need one who is willing to "dive-right-in" and find out what the consumers are wanting and needing so you will be able to sell the product or service successfully.

If the Thermos team had asked the customer what they thought about having to assemble the grill themselves instead of buying them preassembled, it would have been a waste of their time and efforts. Nobody wants to take time out to assemble something if it can come already assembled. It takes time and work to put a grill together, especially if you are not familiar with grills and/or putting things together. And what happens if you assemble it incorrectly? Then you have a grill that probably doesn't even work. It was a good move to just leave that question out and have them already assembled for the customer.