MBAビジネス英会話 第2回 “4P’s in the Laptop Computer Market” (2)

マンツーマン英会話スクール「 bわたしの英会話」による新連載。

Teacher: How have customers for laptop computers changed over the last ten-odd years?
A: When laptops were first 【1.released】, they were only bought by a certain small group of people who liked 【A】so-called “gadgets”. Recently however, they are being used by large numbers of business people, students and so on, 【2.irrespective of】 gender.
Teacher: Why do you think that the customer base has widened in this way?
B: Product improvements have been realized, with for example 【3.advances】 made in the quality of design and reductions made in the weight. And I think a number of makers having entered the market, 【Point.1】resulting in an increase in choice, can also be given as a reason. Prices have also dropped as a result of mass production. Furthermore, communications infrastructure for mobile telephones and so on has been put in place allowing people to email and to use the internet when away from the office or home.I suspect this can also be put forward as a major contributing factor.
Teacher: I see. So the “Product” and “Price” elements of the 4P’s have come to match the needs of the ordinary business person and student. Is there anything we can say regarding the “Promotion” element?
C: Exposure in mass media has also become 【B】prominent. This includes not only advertising in such specialist publications as computer magazines but also television and the like. Adverts with popular celebrities appearing and which feature scenes bringing to mind writing mails in coffee shops or working while on the bullet train have also become commonplace, haven’t they?
A: Changes can also be seen with regards to the “Place” element. Previously people going to volume retailers and specialist shops in Akihabara’s “Electric Town” and other such places to 【4.purchase】 laptops stood out. However recently, the number of people using the Internet and mail order to make purchases has also been on the increase. There are also laptop makers like Sony, which has established a consultation desk 【5.aimed】 at women who are not familiar with computers but are thinking of buying one. Apple has opened shops in Ginza and Shibuya which are directly operated by them and have the outside appearance of a boutique.
Teacher: That’s a good point. Ideally, in marketing, 【C】we want to be using the 4P’s in such a way as to perfectly match the target customer.
Q. When is the product release planned for?
Q. 新商品の発売は、いつ頃になるのですか。
A. We are planning to release the product onto the market in September.
A. 9月の発売を予定しています。

2.irrespective of

「irrespective of」+「目的語」で、「~に関わらず」、「~とは無関係に」という意味になります。
Our firm is an equal opportunity employer and employs people irrespective of age, gender or nationality.
We aim for high returns on investments irrespective of market conditions.
3.advance(動詞) advance(名詞) advanced(形容詞)
「Advance」は、「前に進む(move forward)」ことを意味します。それが人やモノが物理的に移動する意味としてだけではなく、「進歩する」「進出する」など、比喩的に物事が前進する意味として使われることも多いことを覚えておきましょう。
The company is hoping to advance into the Japanese market some time next year.
There have been many significant technological advances made in mobile telephony over the last 30 years.
Growth in the economies of advanced countries is expected to slow substantially in the coming year.

4.purchase(動詞) purchase (名詞) purchasing(形容詞)

Q. What should we do in response to this criticism from an environmental group?
Q. 環境保護団体の批判に対応するため、我々は何をすべきでしょう?
A. I think we should reconsider our purchasing policy.
A. 購買政策を考え直さなければならないと思います。
We purchase from a variety of suppliers in the Kanto Region.
「Aim」は、「狙う」の意。「Target」に似た単語です。用法として、「aimed at」+「対象とする顧客の種別(customer type)」、つまり、「aimed at women」、「aimed at people in their twenties」といった言い方をします。「aim to」+「動詞」の場合は、「aim to increase sales」、「aim to expand into South Korea」というようには使います。つまり、後に来るのが人の場合は「at」 ,動詞の場合は「to」になりますので、注意しましょう。
Our company’s new barrier-free home is aimed at the elderly.
We are aiming to double sales in the third quarter.

Point1:「as a result of」と「result in」の使い分け
「as a result of」は「結果(effect)」を示し、「result in」は「原因(cause)」を示します。一見すると似た表現ですが、因果関係を間違って使わないように気をつけましょう。例えば、「A happened as a result of B(Bの結果としてAが起きた)」は、「BがAの原因となった(B caused A)」ことを意味し、「A happened, resulting in B(Aが起きたことによってBという結果になった)」は、「AがBの原因となった」ことを意味します。
We attracted many new customers as a result of the marketing campaign we conducted in February.
=The marketing campaign we conducted in February resulted in many new
customers being attracted.
Shelf prices have risen as a result of the rise in transportation costs.
=The rise in transportation costs has resulted in shelf prices rising.
※「shelf prices(店頭価格)」は、「shop prices」と同意です。
【A】 「So-called」という表現。「いわゆる~」、「世間でいうところの~」と説明する際、「どんな言い方をするのかなぁ」と常々、思っていたのですが、一つ疑問が解消しました。

【C】 ネイティブの方は、「~というふうにしたいものですね」「~というふうにしましょう」といったニュアンスで、「We want to be 動詞+ing」という言い方を、よくされるように思います。こういう言い方は、伝えたいことを日本語から英語に直訳するだけでは、なかなか出てこない。この、Johnさんの誌上講座をはじめ、やはり生きた英語にジャブジャブと漬かり、英語で考え、英語で話せるところを目指したいと、改めて感じました。来週も、どうぞお楽しみに。

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