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NAMEA brand is a combination of name, term, sign, symbol and design intended to identify the goods or services of one seller, which helps him/her to differentiate from those of competitors (Kotler 2006, 269). Subway is first known as Pete’s Super Submarine in 1965. The name was shortened to Subway and it is also then, the first franchised unit was opened in 1974 in Connecticut (Subway 2008). Perhaps, the founder of subway – Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck – realized the importance of developing a good brand name. There are several desirable qualities for a brand name. It should (i) suggest about the product’s benefits and qualities, (ii) be easy to pronounce, recognize and remember, and (iii) distinctive.
Subway has fulfilled all these qualities. Its slogan ‘Eat Fresh” suggests the freshness of the ingredients used for the submarine sandwiches. Also, as Subway offers a wide assortment of products like sandwiches, salads, cookies, potato chips etc, making every visit a fresh one for its consumers. The colour green and the use of tomatoes in the logo symbolize the healthier aspect of Subway’s food products. Subway has a high degree of brand awareness; consumers are able to associate Subway with its submarine sandwiches that are filled with fresh vegetables. The brand name is not offensive; it did not create any inappropriate excitement like French Connection’s provocative slogan – FCUK, which has resulted in many controversies in countries including Singapore. Brand name is very important as a good one can add greatly to a product’s success (Kotler 2006, 273).
SUBWAY’S OVERALL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
StrengthsSubway has successfully market itself as a healthier alternative to traditional greasy fast food. In the press release on 18 November 1999, Subway has listed the seven low-fat subs with 6 grams of fat or less menu offering convenience and good nutrition food products for consumers’ fast-paced lives. This has made Subway as the best fast food choice for consumers who are concerned about eating right; counting calories or trying to eat healthy. Also, according to the press release, Subway is conscious of the dietary needs of vegetarian consumers and offer options for them – Veggie Delite, which is simply a salad sandwich.
At Subway, consumers are able to personalize their own submarine sandwich by choosing the type of ingredients, condiments and salad dressing they wish to have for their sandwiches. The choice of getting the sandwich toasted is available too. This personalized service is not common in most of the fast food restaurants. Besides, unique sides like freshly baked cookies and potato chips are offered instead of the usual mash potatoes, French fries or coleslaw. Generally, the portion served is relatively in comparison to normal burgers. Overall, Subway’s sandwiches are loaded with fresh ingredients that differentiate Subway from its competitors.
WeaknessesSubway’s sandwiches tend to become soggy after kept for a period of time without consuming. This will affect the overall tastiness of the sandwich. Such situation happens most frequently to people who do take-away. In addition, Subway’s sandwiches only come in Six-inch or foot-long sizes. This may be considered a relatively large portion to consumers whom may have smaller appetites, especially for the tweens and those younger. Also, Subway’s sandwiches are not Halal Certified. ‘Halal’ is an Arabic word which means lawful or allowable. Any food or drink that falls under this category is permitted for consumption. (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore 2008)
Since subway’s products are not Halal Certified, the affected people would mainly be the Muslims. As a result, Subway may lose such potential consumers, where actually there could be opportunities to tap a global Halal food market of about 1.4 billion people. Hence, stalls with Halal Certification will have a competitive advantage over Subway. (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore 2008)
1.To prevent Sandwiches from becoming soggy easily, Subway can separate Sandwich’s dressing for take-away orders. Thus, the taste of the Sandwiches will not be affected.
2.To overcome the weakness of Sandwiches being a relatively big portion to people with smaller appetites, Subway can introduce smaller sizes of sandwich. Also, even though Subway Singapore does provide kids meal to cater to the tweens and younger crowd, known as “Kids’ Pak”, when compared to kids meal available in McDonald’s and Burger King, Kids’ Pak is relatively unknown.
The image of Kids’ Pak. (Official SUBWAY Restaurants’ Web Site 2008)Kids’ Pak®, a specially designed meal package for children that includes a sandwich prepared on a 4-inch round deli-style roll, a fruit roll fruit snack, a 100% juice box and a toy premium. (Subway Singapore 2008) (Is it possible for this paragraph to shift to beside the above pic?)Hence, Subway Singapore should widely advertise on the availability of such kids meal to gain more consumer awareness of the product. This can be done through posters and TV advertising, especially on Kids Central – Singapore’s local channel for kids, where children are the main viewers. This way, it will appeal greatly to them and parents will see the meal as a great option for a healthier meal as fats contained within the Subway’s Kids’ Pak – similar to Subway Fresh Fit for Kids is much lesser than in Kids’ Meal offered by McDonald’s and Burger King. (Subway Fresh Fit n.d.)
The Image of Halal Certification (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore 2008)However, presently, Subway is not able to obtain Halal Certification due to various market, regulatory and business issues. However, Subway still does cater to customers who need a non-pork menu. Subway obliges by recommending them what is suitable in the menu and would change to a fresh pair of gloves to prepare the sandwiches. (Subway Singapore 2008)
IN GENERAL, GIVE 5 EXAMPLES OF PACKAGING OR BRANDING WHICH SERVES A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE FOR A FIRM
Coke: The packaging of coke not only offers convenience to consumers, but also helps consumer to identify the product easily through its shape and colour – red and white, of the bottle. In addition, the branding of Coke has facilitated the promotion of all same-brand products. Examples are Coke Zero, Coke Light and Vanilla Coke.
McDonalds’: The logo ‘M’ is well recognized worldwide which helps speed consumer purchases by identifying the firms’ product. The colour combination of the logo – red and yellow also acts as a tool in identifying its product.
Apple: The logo of Apple denotes product quality and a form as status and self-expresion as apple has successfully brand and market itself. According to Gobe, M., “The power of their branding (Apple) is all that keeps them alive”, where brands have established deep, lasting bonds with their customers. (Kahney 2002) This foster of brand loyalty serves as a competitive advantage over rival firms.
KFC: The acronym of Kentucky Fried Chicken makes it easier for consumer to say and spell. It also denotes the product that it’s selling and differentiates the quality of it chicken sold from competing firms. Moreover, the use of ‘Colonel Sanders’ as a mascot/logo further helps in identifying KFC’s product. (Armin. 2006)Nike: Nike has effectively brand itself using a ‘tick’ as its logo. The incorporating of the simple ‘tick’ onto the design of its products makes it distinctive from rival firms.
In general, all these brands are widely recognized, where consumers are simply able to relate the brand name and its products.
(Need to write conclusion?)Reference List1.Kotler, P., S. Adam, L. Brown, and G. Armstrong. 2006. Principles of Marketing. Australia. Pearson Education Australia.
2.Subway 2008. n.d. About Subway : History. http://www.subway.com.sg/exec/sam/view/id=540/node=206/ (accessed October 2, 2008).
3.Singapore. Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore. 2008. Halal Main Page: Basic Principles. Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. http://www.muis.gov.sg/cms/services/hal.aspx?id=1706 (accessed October 5, 2008)4.Singapore. Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore. 2008. Halal Certification: Halal Certification Benefits. Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.
http://www.muis.gov.sg/cms/services/hal.aspx?id=1704 (accessed October 5, 2008)5.Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore [Image]. 2008. http://www.muis.gov.sg/cms/services/hal.aspx?id=1704 (accessed October 5, 2008)6.Subway Singapore. 2008. About us: Subway FAQ’s. http://www.subs.sg/aboutus/aboutus_faq.html7.Subway Singapore. 2008. Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.subway.com.sg/exec/sam/view/id=544/node=294/8.Official SUBWAY Restaurants’ Web Site [Image]. 2008. http://www.subway.com/subwayroot/menunutrition/menu/menu_kidspak.aspx9.Subway Fresh Fit. n.d. Fit Kids: Nutritional Information.