Ciao Bella Gelato: Marketing Mix

Introduction

Marketing mix involves various concepts of marketing and it refers to the marketing policy and strategies that involves a combination of tools in delivering a product to the consumer. It helps competing companies in a specific target market segment to manage their market through the policy tools. The marketing mix instruments that are used in delivering the required product or services in the market include product, price, promotion and placing/ positioning. This instruments are used in refining the marketing strategy that assists the business attain their objectives. Without these tools of product, promotion, positioning and price, the companies’ objectives of maximization of the shareholders value and maximization of social investment will not be attained.

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Critical literature review

Marketing mix offers companies’ an opportunity to have good marketing programs that will enable them succeed in attaining their objectives. Below is an outline and description of marketing mix tools.

Product

Product is the most important instrument in attaining the organizational objectives. Product involves a number of elements such as product planning and development, product range, product line, product services such as warrants, branding and brand extensions and packaging of the product. It can be defined as an offer to the market segment by the organization and it is core element of marketing mix. The target market creates relationship with company because of product. Without product, there will be no customers and no company targeting any market. Therefore product that is being sold in the market plays an important role in the marketing mix. Therefore companies should manage the product mix with care to ensure that it attracts attention, satisfied the customers’ utility and it is accepted in the target market in order for it to succeed. A product can be physical goods or services which are not physical.

In developing a marketing strategy for a product the management should consider the brand name, the brand, and the brand mark, trademark and copy rights. This will form part of product that is being sold in the market. When selling a product in the market, the marketer will rely on the brand to convince the customer of the product. Therefore product being the most important instrument in the marketing mix, management should have good decisions on product line, product mix, product brand and servicing.

Positioning / Place

Positioning of a product involves a number of activities that helps the product of the company reach the market. Positioning involves distribution channels that are used, market exposure of the product, storing facilities for the product, delivering the product to the market through transportation and inventory control. All these are aimed at ensuring that the product is accessible and available to the target market or consumers when needed.

Positioning in the modern world involves online shops, retailing, wholesaling, and other channels. Therefore firms choose which channel or value chain they will follow in delivering the product to the market.

Pricing

Pricing is another important marketing mix instrument that is considered before the product is introduced to the market. Price constitutes of the monitoring benefits to the entrepreneur as well as covering the cost of capital used in producing the goods to the market. It is the company that decides the price at which the product that will retail in the market and the price must be the price that is acceptable win the market through the forces of supply and demand in a competitive market. Price can be grouped into three or four groups such as market price, target price, actual price and skimming price. It is upon the company to choose which price to use in delivering the product to the market. The price charged if not determined by demand, the competitors’ price will influence the price to be charged.

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In order for a company launching a new product to penetrate to the market they must have a promotional price which may be lower than the normal marketing price. This will simply be encouraging the customers to consume the product of the company. Some products have discriminatory prices where customers are charged prices to accommodate differences in levels of income, locations and time. This form of pricing is good in ensuring that the companies’ product is consumed by all. For example, a product may be sold at contribution margin price where the company intends to maintain the market so that they can produce at full capacity if the cost of production is not influenced by the quantity produced. This price is good when a company feels that shutting down part of the machine will be costly in the long run.

Promotion

Promotion is one of the elements of marketing mix that is used by the companies in designing marketing strategies. It involves communicating to the target market about the merits of the product thus persuading the target customers to buy the products. It involves advertising, set up sales promotion, publicity, personal selling, displays used by celebrities and many other conventional methods. Promotion informs the target market of the existence of a product. Therefore this is a major element in the companies marketing mix.

Critical Analysis of Marketing MIX in Ciao Bella Gelato

Ciao Bella Gelato is a company that Manufacturers and Retails ice creams, sorbets and frozen yoghurt and is situated in New York and California. Their marketing mix is as follows:

Product: Manufacture and retail fifty two varieties of ice cream, twenty eight varieties of sorbet and fourteen speciality and seasonal flavours including a low fat range. They have just started generating a range of biscuits to complement the ice cream. In addition they merchandise a stylish T-shirt emblazoned with their branding. The ingredients are sourced from traditional Italian imported goods and everything used in their products is natural. Ciao Bella pride themselves on their unique and eccentric flavours, such as lychee and blood orange.

They have a Strong brand name and distinctive packaging. This includes colourful muted primary colours in shades of blue, red, pink and green with a characteristic snowflake motif and trademark ice cream scoop flourish. This appears on all of their packaging and is incorporated into their gelato store fronts and signage.

Price: Across the Ciao Bella Gelato bars the prices range from $1.50 for a scoop of ice cream or sorbet to $4.75 for a small cup. Their ice cream is sold throughout selected grocery stores in standard pint units and costs in the region of $8.00 to $9.00. The customer has the option of purchasing their products online. The Ciao Bella website retails their product in bulk at a cost of $32.95 for four individual pints available in a variety of flavours. At even better value eight pints can be purchased for $49.95. Their biscuits can also be acquired online at a cost of $61.75 for a packet of nine with T-Shirts retailing at $20.00.

Place: Ciao Bella owns eight Gelato Bars in California and New York and its ice cream products are distributed in various selected retail stores across the same two states. It also distributes its products and merchandise through the website online shop.

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Promotion: Promotion is by advertising through its network of walk-in Gelatarias. More recently Ciao Bella has also featured on a number of television programmes including the Oprah Winfrey Show and The Apprentice, which have both succeeded in raising their profile considerably. Ciao Bella have just announced that they will be touring around the US in an ice cream van. On their journey they will stop at a number of different towns to serve taster samples of their products. Merchandise like their T-Shirts will also create more awareness for the business.

Critique of the existing marketing mix and recommendations for development

As ice cream is quite a seasonal consumer product predominantly popular when the weather is warm it might be advantageous to consider introducing another product that can be sold during the colder and winter months. This might include a range of ice cream, flavoured hot drinks and coffees in the same flavours as the ice cream varieties that are currently being retailed by the company. In addition to this perhaps chocolate gift sets maintaining the theme of the existing ice cream flavours could be developed to capture the Thanksgiving and Christmas market.

The concept of selling T-Shirts could be expanded upon, by designing a long-sleeved sweatshirt version and a baseball style hat with the emblazoned Ciao Bella logo. Another idea would be to produce an ice cream that is more portable than the standard pint size. To manufacture an individually wrapped Ciao Bella ice cream on a stick or in a small tub that is more consumer friendly for those customers who want a ‘quick fix’ type of ice cream experience that is on display, accessible and conveniently priced in grocery store refrigerator cool boxes.

A variation on the theme of Ciao Bella’s travelling ice cream van might extend to investing in a traditional ice cream cart. This could be fully decorated and stocked for corporate and private hire at parties, functions and events. The overheads would be minimal and the profit margin could be considerable from an enterprise such as this.

Where promotion is concerned the Ciao Bella Gelato bars could invest in running themed Italian promotional days or even weeks throughout the year. This might best be achieved by teaming up and working in partnership alongside another high profile, mainstream Italian related manufacturer and retailer such as Pizza Express or one of the large coffee shop franchises. The concept could work on the premise of purchasing an ice cream and receiving a packet of dough balls or an espresso free of charge.

Conclusion

Marketing mix is very important for any company that wishing to succeed in the local and in the national market. Companies who have blended product, promotion, positioning and pricing have succeeded in the market they operate in. marketing mix is a marketing strategy that needs to be considered with seriousness otherwise no company will succeed in any market without properly choosing the levels of marketing mix elements to be used. It is clear that marketing strategies depends on the kind of product and targeted market segment.

References

Armstrong G. & Kotler P. (2007). Consumer Markets: Influences on consumer behavior, Principles of Marketing.

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Ennis S. (2001), Entrepreneurial marketing Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Kotler, P. (2005) Principles of Marketing. New York.Melbourne Press.

Schaik J.L., (2002); The Task of Marketing Management; J.L. van Schaik (Pity) ltd.

Wickham p (2001) strategic entrepreneurship 2nd Edition, financial Times. Prentice hall.

Winer, R.S. (2007). Marketing Management, Prentice Hall, Upper.

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