The Firewood Gatherers Writing Sample

A frail and hard-working family doing all they can to help out with their community is seen in the short story “The Firewood Gatherers,” by Thierry Mallet. The narrator is at his camp when he sees three people in the distance on a hill. Fuelled by curiosity, he climbs the hill in hope he will encounter them. In a matter of time, he finds the three figures, who turn out to be a very old woman accompanied by two young girls. The three women are gathering firewood for their own campground, but the narrator notices odd movements from all three of them. He concludes that the old woman is blind, and the two girls are deaf and mute. Despite their disabilities, the three women muster up all their strength and exemplify that everyone can help with community affairs and contribute to their people.

The narrator comes across the three workers, but they have bodies unfit for working. The three included, “Two little girls, nine or ten years old, so small, so helpless, and an aged woman, so old, so frail,” (paragraph 6) that it awes the narrator how they are able to work with such weak bodies. The girls are more able and nimble than the old lady, in that they can go around and pick up firewood, but “Their little hands were bare and black, the scratches caused by the dead twigs showing plainly in white, while their fingers seemed cramped with the cold.” (Paragraph 8). The girls are also missing the ability to hear and speak, making matters worse. The old woman is even worse off, as she has no teeth, almost no hair, dry and wrinkled skin, and has gone blind. Working in the woods gathering firewood would certainly shorten the few days she has left to live. Even though the three women should not be working with such health conditions and handicaps, they carry on with their work to do the best they can for their tribe.

Working through frail bodies and disabilities, the three women exemplify that everyone is able to contribute to community affairs. The narrator is marvelled at the thought of “all three contributing their share to the support of the tribe.” (Paragraph 7). In an urban area, the three women would certainly not survive very easily if they were to work, or most likely would not be allowed to work at all, because of both their age and conditions. At the campground, they are allowed to work for the better of the tribe. The bond between the three women and the tribe is further seen within the three women themselves. If anyone one of them was working alone, it would be very dangerous for them, as their disabilities would prevent them from communicating and returning safely to the campground. Together, the three women are able to combine their efforts and support their tribe. On their way back to the campground, the narrator sees “the old woman carrying painfully for the young, the deaf and mute leading and steering safely the blind.” (Paragraph 15). Not only do the three women support the tribe, but they support one another.

Much is to be admired from these three women. They do not let their weakness get the better of them and prevent them from being useless figures. More so, they overcome their disabilities and carry on working. It is unknown whether they are being forced to work, or whether they want to do what they can and show to the rest of the world that they are not as useless as they seem. The bonds between each of them are also to be admired, as they do not leave each other behind and take great care for one another. They also show that no matter what a person has or are, they should not be cast aside from the rest of the world. They should be treated as a normal human being and should be respected greatly.

Hank Kolb – Director Of Quality Assurance

Hank should first analysis the cost of quality since the high quality problems are made by lack of training, motivation, communication and testing. They can measure the appraisal costs, prevention costs, internal failure costs and external failure cost through the cost of quality measurement.

After the measure of the cost, the Hank should follow “ plan, do, check and act” steps to make improvement to satisfy the six-sigma standards. To implement a six-sigma improvement program, the company should follow “ define, measure, analysis, improve and control”.

Then, the hank needs to train and make the new policy for all the employees. To make a good communicate and motivated environment among current workers.  Thereafter, the company needs to define the limit and the boundary for their equipment, and change to more efficient machines.  The hank also needs to define a team leader. The leader should translate the needs from different customers to the requirements of the products. And then, the company can come up a new flow chart that better fit for their production process.

Once all the processes have been defined, the Hank should set up a new measurement system. The new measurement system should identify the key process that affects most on the cost and the process that gets the most defective products. Then the company can analysis the cause of the defective products and try to decrease the rate of defective products.

b) What problems will he have to overcome to make it work? One of the problems for the Hank is “ lack of quality attitude”. To avoid this problem, the company should take more time to redirect all the employees with a specific process definition.

The Main Focus And Principles Of Guinness Marketing Analysis

1. Principles of marketing

The essence of marketing is value creation, where the goal is a long-term satisfaction by building relationships and attracting new customers by offering better value than the competition. Because marketing is based on exchanges where the objective is for all parties in the exchange to feel satisfied and gain some kind of value (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). Customer value is determined on how the customer perceives the benefits of a product and the sacrifice that is associated with the purchase, so when the perceived performance matches or exceeds expectations it provides customer satisfaction (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). Customer satisfaction can lead to customer loyalty and profitability, because it can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than to maintain an existing one. Loyalty is a reaction that a customer shows, when they repeatedly return to the same supplier, because they are satisfied with the products or services they receive (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013).

Hence, whether the aim is to build relationships with customers or to offer short-term incentives to customer loyalty, then you need to focus on your marketing strategies by applying an effective marketing mix (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). The classical marketing mix consists of product, price, promotion and place. These four key elements are used to create a competitive advantage, which is the achievement of superior performance through differentiation to provide superior customer value or by managing to achieve lowest delivered cost. So an effective marketing mix is designed by ensuring that it satisfy customer needs, creates a competitive advantage, is well mixed of the four elements and matches corporate resources (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013).

2. Guinness principles of marketing

Guinness marketing is focused on the consumers by offering what they want, which are quality. The company want to deliver high quality standards and uses it as an advantage to stand out on the market by offering a stout beer, which is made from their own raw materials, on high-level of equipment and having employers with well-trained capability (Vanguard, 2013), because they believe that you cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you (Sohn, 2013). They have also increased their focus on the marketing of Guinness brand name in 2013 by £34 million to boost its quality association on the beer market, so the drinkers get a feeling of quality when they taste a Guinness. This strategy is based on their market research, which confirm that consumers associate a quality pint with a quality pub and 80% of male drinkers believe getting the quality of serve right is more important in draught beer than in any other drink category (Charles, 2013).

Therefore Guinness manages to implant a special place in the collective consumer conscience, which leads the consumer into thinking about the great heritage and consistency in quality they possess, wherever it is sold (Diego, 2013). This can be seen in their advertising and communication of slogan, which says that “Good things come to those who wait”, which is referring to the time it takes to pour a perfect Guinness. Furthermore they launched a new marketing slogan called “Made of More”, which states that Guinness is better than their competitors on the beer market, because they are providing more than just the experience of a great beer. This slogan is also related to the old history of the company by the special way of pouring a Guinness and its traditional look (Guinness a, 2013). Another key element of the “Made of More” advertising is reaching the consumers values on many different levels by telling stories, that reflects human values and present the brand in a clear way, which distinguish themselves from their competitors and breaks the industry stereotype, who usually focus on football, party and hot women in their advertising (Taube, 2013).

The human values from their advertising signals the importance of doing things together with your friends and how Guinness should be enjoyed in social contexts (Guinness a, 2013). To summarize that, Guinness wants to ensure that the whole company signals high quality on everything of what they do and reflect human values in their advertising to distinguish themselves from their competitors, so they can have a competitive advantage and establish a value brand (Vanguard, 2013).

3. Analysis marketing principles of Guinness

The analysis is based on the understanding of the principles of market and the marketing principles of Guinness. Guinness is a marketing-orientated company, who follow the principles of marketing by getting close to their customers and demands, so they can understand their needs and achieve profit and objectives by satisfying the customers better than the competition. This marketing strategy is very suitable for Guinness and works very well, since they are the best selling stout beer in the world and have a competitive advantage on the stout market that distinguish them from their competitors on the beer market (Guinness b, 2003). The competitive advantage is based on their product, promotion and place in the marketing mix by offering a high quality product that meets the customers demand, which match a report from brand index on Samuel Adams day, where the customers on the beer market have ranked Guinness as number two in quality out of all major beer brands (Marzilli, 2013).

The promotion of Guinness also breaks the beer industry stereotype by using new innovative advertising on the communication of beer market, which distinguishes them from their competitors by relating the beer to human values. Furthermore Guinness place is brewed in 50 countries and sold in countries, which gives a solid distribution channel worldwide and move them closer to their customers. Based on that, Guinness has achieved a differential advantage through a strong brand personality and they have built a loyal relationship with their customers.

4. Conclusion

This reflective essay concludes that the principle of marketing is based on creating consumer value to maintain and attract new consumers by satisfying their needs. Guinness marketing strategy is focused on the consumers demand by offering a high quality stout beer and making innovative advertising that breaks the beer industry stereotype by reflecting human values, which distinguish them from their competitors on the market. Thereby, Guinness has achieved a competitive advantage by having an effective marketing mix, which makes them the best selling stout beer in the world.

5. References


David Jobber and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick (2013). Principles and practice of marketing. 7th edition. United Kingdom: McGraw-Hill Education. Online articles: Our strategy is to have the best and necessary brands – Guinness Director. Vanguard, 2013. Vanguard News. [ONLINE] Available at: God and Guinness: The Missional Drink that Changed the World. Paul Sohn. 2013. Marketing Week. [ONLINE] Available at: Guinness reinvents ‘Surfer’ Ad for ‘Quality’ marketing push. Gemma Charles. 2013. Marketing Week. [ONLINE] Available at: Guinness launches £12m bid to push quality to push quality credentials. Sebastian Joseph. 2013. Marketing Week. [ONLINE] Available at: Guinness. Diego. 2013. Diego PLC. [ONLINE] Available at: Guinness a. 2013. Guinness Advertising. [ONLINE] Available at: An incredible New Guinness Ad Breaks The Industry Stereotype. Aaron Taube. 2013. Business insider. [ONLINE] Available at: