Topic 1:
What differences ways can companies use to promote their products or brands? What are the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.

There are a number of ways to promote a product and/or to increase brand awareness. Firstly, a company can introduce sales offers: 2 x 1, etc… The main advantage is that it will increase demand as it appears more attractive and a better deal than its competitors. The disadvantage is that a company sacrifices products to gain customers: This is especially hurtful for small companies that cannot operate on economies of scale.
Secondly, companies can reward loyal customers so that they keep returning (loyalty cards which store points that can be used to buy products). The advantage is that its good customer care and it betters the brand image (word of mouth maybe). The disadvantage is that it is costly and it might not be profitable if the company does not get new customers.
Another strategy could be sponsoring. By sponsoring a team in a popular sport, for example football, a company will have their name displayed to a large audience which will increase brand awareness. Also, a company could sponsor a charity event which, as well as brand awareness, it will better the company's image. The disadvantage is that it is very costly and, although it might reach a large audience, many will not know what the company is about, its products/services, etc…
The main strategy to promote a company's products/services is advertising. It can take many forms: radio, television, internet, newspapers, etc… The advantage is that it can reach a lot of potential customers. The disadvantage is that is very costly.

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