Founded by a man named Yong Koon in 1885, Royal Selangor Pewter is a Malaysian pewter manufacturer-retailer which has since become the largest global brand leader in the line of pewter objects manufacturing and a prominent one in the metal craft industry. It is also recognized as a very highly celebrated Malaysian brand icon because of the success that it has gained throughout more than a century of existence.
Looking at what Royal Selangor has done, it is needless to say that Royal Selangor has expanded its product range beyond mere pewter objects to a broader variety such as certain glassware and jewelry. Due to the fact that Royal Selangor made such a bold move by venturing into foreign shores, it cannot be denied that the company is bound to face a myriad of possible challenges if it were to carry on with what it is doing. In this case, having a well-planned STP strategy which allows the company to identify its intended market segment thus enabling the company to single out specific groups of buyers would be a very beneficial move.
At the same time, it will also help Royal Selangor to set its target market and position its brands in which as we can see, it is already something that they have accomplished because Royal Selangor is a high-end luxury brand name in the minds of many and that the company makes pewter objects of the best quality. Therefore, on a personal level, I’d like share my insights on the STP strategy and marketing mix of Royal Selangor.
STP Strategy: Royal Selangor has been able to divide and partition their market segment in a somewhat organized manner. From where I see this, Royal Selangor has catered to a couple of highly notable figures such as the likes of the former U.S President Bill Clinton, Hollywood actor Mel Gibson and lifestyle talk-show host Martha Stewart.
Notable figures like celebrities and political icons are supposed to make up a large portion of Royal Selangor’s market segment because they likely come from the higher-income group which is why they would therefore behave in a very lavish way. In addition, the company also creates trophies for major sports events and tournaments like the Petronas Malaysian F1 Grand Prix and the Sime Darby Golf Tournament.
This means that Royal Selangor already has a few clear-cut market segments which consist of notable figures, other companies or organizations that need to have pewter objects given as gifts or prizes and probably higher-income people who are likelier to have a stronger purchasing power of buying luxury goods and that is just what Royal Selangor makes; pewter objects that are categorized as luxury goods.
Also, I believe that another group of buyers that are a part of Royal Selangor’s market segment would be people who want to decorate their household with pewter objects. From a personal point of view, I have been able to notice that a lot of affluent people tend to display pewter objects and glass wares in their homes for ornamental purposes because they are characterized by their desire to flaunt their status and hence, this leads me to believe that these people are also a part of the market segment of Royal Selangor.
Now, as I further on to the target market of Royal Selangor, it seems like as though there are only a couple of target markets that Royal Selangor focuses on and these target markets tend to be very niche ones. The first would be notable figures, as I’ve mentioned earlier in the market segment. These people play a very pivotal role as customers and actual buyers of Royal Selangor and its products and the strategy that Royal Selangor has come up with to satisfy their needs and wants is by creating beautiful tableware, wine accessories, jewelry and various luxury products.
As we speak of this, the fact that Royal Selangor is a leading brand when it comes to pewter objects and other accessories is already an advantage for the company because this group of people would feel a need to purchase pewter ware and other luxury items from a well-renowned company like Royal Selangor. Moreover, Royal Selangor also forges rather good entrepreneur ties with sports organizations like Formula 1 by manufacturing their trophies. This is an example that clearly tells us that organizations like Formula 1 are also part of the target market of Royal Selangor. In this circumstance, Royal Selangor fulfills the need of Formula 1 to have a pewter trophy made for a grand prix.
Moving on to how Royal Selangor positions itself, it is without doubt that in the Royal Selangor sets itself apart as being the leader of its industry. This is why Royal Selangor is able to attract its buyers because they already know that Royal Selangor is second to none in the metal craft industry.
Furthermore, Royal Selangor incorporates very unique designs and excellent craftsmanship in their products. This is the reason Royal Selangor allows itself to be ingrained in the minds of its customers that it is the top pewter objects manufacturer that produces the best pewter objects and other accessories. Secondly, the international reputation of Royal Selangor as a brand that has catered to notable figures is also possibly a reason why the affluent are willing to buy its products. This could have created a mindset psychologically because people are going to believe that Royal Selangor is a brand that has been used by people of celebrity-like status.
Marketing Mix and the 4P’s:
Product: Considering the fact that Royal Selangor has transformed itself into a highly-revered pewter object manufacturing company synonymous with quality, I feel that it is necessary for the company to have a well-controlled marketing mix in order to monopolize the industry. First and foremost in the marketing mix, Royal Selangor already possesses the trump card of having products that are superior in terms of quality and design. Besides that, the variety of products will also appeal to more market segments since Royal Selangor no longer focuses on just pewter objects.
Packaging wise, from what I’ve seen, Royal Selangor packs its gifts in very elaborate boxes and packages like those of wedding-ring boxes so the packaging itself is something that most people may possibly be attracted to. As the common belief exists, ‘’you pay more for the packaging than the goods sometimes’’. This is why the packaging of Royal Selangor is equally important as a part of the product’s characteristic because it is what helps the products to stand out by enhancing its attractiveness.
Promotion: Although advertising and other promotional activities have never really been done on an exceptionally large scale by Royal Selangor, one will notice that the company predominantly relies on the use of print media as their primary media platform of advertising despite a few marketing communication events being held probably to gather a bigger crowd. By doing so, they have been able to successfully enforce their tagline ‘’ Pewter has a new attitude’’ with the use of print media. From what I’ve noticed based on a personal observation, there are a lot of Royal Selangor print advertisements like posters and billboards in these 2 places particularly;
Central Market and Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur. This could possibly be because these 2 areas are frequented by high-income people and not to mention the definite fact that there are a lot of handy-craft and pewter ware for sale in these 2 places.
Place: Where Royal Selangor sells its products has never really posed a problem to the sales it generates every now and then. As I take a look at the retail outreach that Royal Selangor has been doing, it is undoubtedly a good idea for the company to make its presence in higher-end shopping destinations because it obviously does a lot of good by strengthening the prominence of the brand Royal Selangor. International expansion is also a very bold move because by venturing into the markets of other countries, it allows the company to attract more customers and set more target markets beyond the confines of the local market segment.
This attests to the fact that Royal Selangor has indeed brought the brand beyond the Malaysian target market because in the 1970’s era, the company began selling it products abroad in stores like Harrods’s in UK, Myers in Australia, Mitsukoshi and David Jones. This bold move had initiated the global expansion of Royal Selangor and therefore, the brand could then succeed beyond the regional and local market.
Price: The money factor plays an indispensable part of Royal Selangor’s marketing mix because as we all know, what ultimately matters at the end of the day, to most people is how much they have in their wallets. This is why the prices of Royal Selangor are closely linked to the target market the company focuses on. As we all know, Royal Selangor is a company that sets high prices for its products probably because the company dominates the metal craft industry as well. Discounts, as most customers and buyers would expect, are not so easy to come by because if the company were to lower its prices, there will be no standardized price and it will definitely be a loss to the retail outlets.
Opportunities and Threats (External Environment): Nobody denies that almost all companies are bound to face its fair share of threats and opportunities, therefore, the same would go for Royal Selangor as a manufacturing company that has existed for more than a century. On the positive side of things, an opportunity that Royal Selangor has would be its long existence as a Malaysian brand icon and one of the earliest Malaysian brands that dates back to the pre-Independence era.
So in this case, the company’s strong position as the market dominator definitely gives them the opportunity. Secondly, the broad product range that the company offers that is recognized worldwide is also another opportunity for the company because I feel with this, it is the key for the company to sell its products abroad at a much better pace because it builds the brand recognition at an international level.
If there are opportunities that the company might possibly have, it comes in an inevitable package because there should also be some underlying threats that the company is likely to face. As the saying goes, ‘’when there is life, there is death’’. So assuming that the situation is similar, one of the threats that the company may face is an economic recession. In short, when the times get tougher and inflations start happening, people will most likely cut down on luxury products. At the same time, they might have problems adapting to other target markets even though they are a dominant force when it comes to manufacturing pewter objects.
For instance, if Royal Selangor were to sell its products in the jewelry market, they could face fierce challenges from jewelry companies like Poh Kong, Habib, Tiffany & Co if these other companies lower their prices. This is when the factor of price intertwines with the purchasing power of the buyers should there be an economic recession because in that case buyers tend to opt for the cheaper brand.
In final consideration, Royal Selangor is able to manage its marketing mix very well and it has done a tremendous effort in boosting the economy of the country as a manufacturer that exports its produce to foreign lands. Thanks to the right marketing strategy and not to mention, quality control being just as important, these have made what the company is today; a leading brand in the industry of pewter objects manufacturing. Last but not the least, being a leader of an industry that is almost certainly unchallenged is what gives Royal Selangor the edge and it is definitely a bold move for Royal Selangor that brings a whole new challenge when it goes into other industries by crossing beyond the world of pewter manufacturing.
So in my opinion, I don’t think it would be surprising if one fine day, Royal Selangor succeeds as a very highly respected global conglomerate brand that is successful in various industries and not just the pewter manufacturing. At the end of the day the fundamental principle is the more territory you control, the more powerful you are. So this is exactly what Royal Selangor ought to do. Expand its product ranges to a broader variety and engage the brand name in the lives of more people that would cut across all walks of life.
- Royal Selangor Pewter (n.d.) Royal Selangor. [online] [Accessed: 20 November 2012].
- Peopalove (2012) BrandTalk: Branded means Wanted. [online] Available at: http://www.peopalove.com/brandtalk/2005/jul/wanted.html [Accessed: 20 November 2012].
- The Star Online (2012) Royal Selangor on expansion mode. [online] Available at: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/9/18/business/6935822&sec=business [Accessed: 20 November 2012].