1. As described in the case study, a sudden change in regulations can have costly effects on an exporter. What steps could Kickstart have taken before and after its products were removed from shelves to decrease its risk or avoid it altogether?

Kickstart can liaise with a legal and a trusted Supreme Council of Health policy makers in Qatar who can be updating the company on any changes so that the reaction time is fast which will ensure that the relabeled goods will be back to the market as soon as possible to minimize losses. Another strategy that can minimize the cost is to label the cans with a removable sticker instead of the metallic can itself which might require new cans to be manufactured hence losing more time. The Company can also inform the customers about the situation at hand through media and other platforms so as not to leave them guessing. This will help not only in clearing the likely false rumors but also assure the customers of a better comeback and improved services.

  1. Kickstart doesn’t follow a traditional sales and marketing model. It brings the consumer to the product through “buzz marketing” achieved by hosting extreme sporting events and

sponsoring athletes. Why does this strategy work so well for the company?

By sponsoring athletes and hosting extreme sporting events as a mode of buzz marketing is very efficient due to the following reasons. First, major sporting activities are most likely aired live through media platforms such as Television sets which means that there is a lot of brand exposure. Such sporting events gain worldwide attention due to their popularity. The drink will, in turn, gain popularity and all the fans will be attracted to buy it which builds the brand awareness. Secondly, buzz marketing makes it easier to expand to a new geography since the sponsored athletes may be coming from areas that the brand was not known and this can inspire opening a new store I that region. Thirdly, the credibility of the brand increases since acceptance and trust are as a result of the recognition. Lastly, advertising costs are lower for the company for one can pull back the advertising expenses once the brand becomes popular and the audience will continue sharing for the company.

  1. What are some of the advantages Kickstart reaps from marketing and exporting a standard domestic version of its product to all markets internationally, customizing only the outer package?

To start with, customizing the outer package plays a major role in customer satisfaction. When it is done in the right way, customizing creates a positive and a memorable experience for all customers from various markets. In the case of new customers, the first impression can go along way. Secondly, the original taste of the drink is maintained in all the markets that are ventured. This helps in building the brand’s awareness and is also cheap as no other processes are required to produce a different taste. The other benefit is that the company meets all the legal requirements and stays out of trouble. For instance, some countries such as Qatar requires all the warnings written in the cans and when that is done, the company is allowed to sell in their markets thus avoiding delays and other issues that may negatively affect the drink’s reputation and image.

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