Effects of positioning and differentiation strategies on product performance (a case of Telkom Kenya Limited, Migori District - Nyanza Province)
Orwa, Samwel Okinyi
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The research is a study of Telkom Kenya Limited which is a fixed line Telecommunication service provider in Kenya and it focused on its operation area in Migori District, Nyanza Province .Having been in the industry longest and with it's the year 2003 was posed to effectively handle the challenges of maintaining the market leader position and customer loyalty . Even though today there is still no direct completion, the Company's product performance seem to dwindle owing to the recent licensing of indirect competitors to the extend that TKL' s sales and market share has dropped in spite of the current price quality positioning strategies being implemented leading to retrenchment of many employees and sale of 51 % of its stake to France Telecom (Nyabiege et al,2007) all imply poor product performance . This may pass off as a positioning error that if true may make TKL vulnerable to threats of entrant and especially direct competition. The Research Objectives were to assess the effects of positioning & differentiation strategies as used by TKL on its product's performance and also suggest to the management how best to improve on them in order to retain the declining products market performance and to enable it complete successfully in today's highly competitive global environment where companies have made customer satisfaction an overriding priority ,adopted new management approaches ,changed their manufacturing systems and invested in new technology ( Bouverot et al 2007). The research was conducted in Migori District and it was cross sectional, that is ,various sub-groups of TKL' s customers and TKL staff was studied at the same time period .Samples for study were obtained through stratified and purposive sampling methods .Both Primary and Secondary Data were used . Primary Data was collected via administered questionnaires and interview. The finding revealed that TKL positioning & Differentiation strategies currently in use were not effective in ranking the product high in the telecommunication industry; however, it also revealed that its tariffs are still fairer in the market. Customers were also able to distinguish TKL' s products from competition .Staff believed that TKL payphone services can still perform better in the market if more appealing features, advertisement and customer education activities are enhanced. In Conclusion, it was established that TKL ignored the role of advertisement as a tool of positioning and failed to identify with the society through public relation activities, still the staff felt that more marketing activities could be done through all media channels to expose new products, it was also suggested that TKL should come up with more effective ways of cubing vandalism and improve on the service. Further research should focus on the development of new product such as wireless communication services and data transmission which are popular with corporate clients.