Principles of Marketing in an International Context
This report is devoted to a new marketing campaign of KeepCup, an Australian company specialising in reusable coffee cups that do not bring harm to the environment of our planet. Although the company is quite popular in Australia, we have decided to enter the Canadian market. The plan that we are going to propose is interconnected with the primary concepts related to marketing theory as we realise that entry into a new market requires us to conduct a thorough analysis and apply the aspects which are most relevant to the specific situation of our company. First, we need to consider the specific needs of Canadian consumers and the characteristics that make them different from our customers in Australia. Therefore, in order to apply the ideas peculiar to marketing theory, we are required to pay close attention to such things as stimulating demand, working with regard to the characteristics of this new environment, and adjust our advertising methods to meet the needs of Canadian customers.
As for the broad international business and marketing context into which the plan proposed by our company fits, KeepCup is planning to focus attention on Canadians’ interest in products that are not harmful to the environment and which have an attractive design. There is no doubt that such goods are becoming more popular (Leonidou, 2015, p. 452).
International marketing context requires us to study preferences of customers in Canada and use this information in order to define the particular changes that need to be implemented to allow our products to become popular among the new target customers. It is known that the standard of living of the people in Canada is quite high (Estes, Land, Michalos, Phillips, & Sirgy, 2017). Therefore, many consumers from Canada and similarly developed countries will not be likely to consider our products as unique, due to the fact that a lot of companies sell goods safe for the environment and for human health. Nevertheless, taking that into consideration, we may try to rely on other positive characteristics that our products possess.
The mission of the company is connected to producing goods for everyday use that would act as better alternatives to the use of disposable tableware which is bringing significant harm to the environment of the planet (“About us,” 2017). If we take into consideration the willingness of KeepCup to sell its products in Canada, the mission of the company also involves promoting the values supported by KeepCup among the citizens of different countries. The objectives of the new marketing strategy of KeepCup are as follows:
- To thoroughly analyse possible risks for the company and the advantages that its products have over those produced by local companies.
- To ensure that the company has a positive image and the values promoted by its representatives align with those supported by our target customers.
- To study the preferences of people from the target country and develop profitable and sustainable business activity in the market.
- To enter the Canadian market with regard to the laws and ethical principles peculiar to this country.
As for the strategy that we are going to follow in order to achieve these objectives, it will be necessary to take a few essential steps. In the beginning, it is important to collect and analyse data on the target market and the range of external and internal factors that influence it. Then, we are going to define and apply specific methods which will allow the company to expand into the Canadian market. Finally, we will generalise the data collected and start selling our goods, paying close attention to risk factors defined during the analysis and preparatory stages.
There are a few methods that can be used in order to add value to the discussed expansion of our company. To begin with, it may be important to analyse the performance of the company in the Australian market in order to detect possible weaknesses and fix any previous mistakes made by its marketing specialists. Furthermore, we suppose that it will be important to critically assess the quality of the products proposed by KeepCup. In order to do that, we can collect and analyse the feedback received from customers. The points of analysis should include the convenience of the products, their design, and value for money as reported by customers (Milner & Furnham, 2017, p. 350).
We strongly believe that this measure can help KeepCup to detect certain problems and address them. In addition to considering past or existing performance, adding value to the company may be related to preventing future problems. Thus, it would be necessary to use the results of the market analysis and predict possible problems that may occur because of Canadian customers’ preferences or assumptions.
Forces Affecting International Marketing
The strategy was developed with regard to international marketing environments that include four important factors. To begin with, while planning the strategy, it is essential to pay attention to all of them, collectively. The first factor to consider is an economic one that involves the analysis of regional trade agreements. Analysing this factor, it is important to mention a trade agreement signed more than twenty years ago, that was aimed at liberalising trade between Canada and Australia (“Canada-Australia trade and economic cooperation arrangement,” 2013). In general, it can be stated that economic relationships between the two countries are growing and quite successful despite certain disagreements that took place in the past.
As for the socio-cultural aspect of international marketing environments, it can be stated that the style of the products proposed by KeepCup is quite popular among the younger generations in different countries (Paju, 2015). Nowadays, the preferences of people all over the world are changing; customers are more likely to buy products with simple but bright designs, and we suppose that this fact will contribute to the success of the products manufactured by KeepCup.
The political environment can also be regarded as important as political changes may affect the performance of many companies. As for the present situation, it cannot be stated that Canada and Australia are involved in open political struggles, and this is why this factor is not likely to have a significant impact on KeepCup.
Ecological factors also remain important in the context of the proposed products intended for the Canadian market. It is known that a lot of people in developed countries try to focus on mitigating the negative impact of human activity on the environment, and this is why they are likely to opt for reusable products containing no harmful substances (Karakaya, Hidalgo, & Nuur, 2014, p. 392). For that reason, alongside many others, the products made by KeepCup are going to be appreciated by Canadian consumers.
Market Research and Segmentation
In order to establish the market demand, we analysed information on KeepCup’s commercial activity in other developed countries, including the United States. As is clear from KeepCup’s annual financial performance, the company is successful. Apart from reusable coffee cups, the company sells other types of products such as accessories, bags, and towels. It is obvious that companies promoting the use of safe materials are received gladly in developed countries.
There is a range of products that KeepCup proposes to market in Canada, but the company’s activity is primarily related to reusable coffee cups. In fact, the company was established in order to create products that are able to substitute the disposable cups used in many countries. The coffee cups proposed have many advantages over standard or disposable cups; they are made from materials that are safe for consumers, and they are very convenient and light. KeepCup products also help to keep drinks hot. Importantly, the cups are available in many colours and styles, and the company also proposes manufacturing personalised cups with logo designs (“Design your own KeepCup,” 2017).
There are different ways that the company may use to segment the market; we suppose that it would be better for KeepCup to segment the market paying particular regard to such characteristics as age, lifestyle, and income level. It is expected that the proposed product group is more likely to be appreciated by young people, such as students or people related to business and creative work. Taking into consideration the company’s willingness to expand into this new market, our target market is represented by young people from Canada with moderate and high incomes, whose occupations are connected with business and art. Sales are expected to be highest among this group due to the price and design of the products proposed by KeepCup.
In order to become popular among this particular group of people living in Canada, the company may implement a few important strategies. There is no doubt that younger customers tend to pay more attention to the visual appearance of products and any relevant advertising material. Therefore, we suppose that it will be important to employ skilled specialists who will help us to design a website that will attract our target customers. What is more, we suppose that making additional cup designs available for the customers may be necessary.
To position the products by KeepCup, we will need to emphasise the difference between this company and other brands producing reusable plastic dinnerware. Thus, it will be important to make the customers understand that KeepCup stands out because of the safe materials that it uses and the wide range of product styles and colours available.
The International Marketing Mix
The product strategy that we propose is expected to encourage target customers to choose our product. In order to do that, we are going to apply the principle of differentiation, allowing us to make customers more interested in KeepCup and emphasise the difference between these products and tableware produced by other companies (Jones & Bonevac, 2013, p.112). Therefore, in order to apply this strategy, it may be necessary to increase the number of design elements that can be chosen by the customers. For instance, it may be helpful to introduce coffee cups of different shapes or cups with patterns. We suppose that these measures may help us to attract the attention of customers from Canada who are already familiar with such products.
As for the branding strategy that we suppose to be the best in this particular case, it can be stated that the needs of KeepCup are closely related to its communication with its customers. There are different branding strategies that can be used, but we suppose that there is a need to make this brand iconic and make people associate it with almost unlimited opportunities for self-expression (Torelli, 2013, p.111). Therefore, it is necessary to attract more attention to the range by making different styles and colours available for customers and convincing them that a reusable coffee cup can be an everyday accessory capable of helping them to express their personality.
Another important detail that needs to be considered is the packaging. There is no doubt that goods produced by the discussed company are quite popular in Australia and other countries, and people tend to be satisfied with the quality of products that they get. For that reason, we do not think that there is a need to change the packaging. As for the product itself, there is a logo on one of the details of the cup. Nevertheless, customers who order products from KeepCup are provided with an opportunity to make their cups more personalised; for instance, they can use other images that they want to substitute in place of the brand name on the cup. As for the packaging boxes that the company uses, they bear all the necessary information, including the data on materials, the most important characteristics of the product, the logo, and the image depicting the product.
In order to test the proposed products in the new market, we are going to use a sample consignment that will be distributed in Canadian shops and then determine if sufficient numbers of new customers will find the products appealing enough to purchase. Although the brand can be regarded as well-known in Australia, there is a danger that it will remain unnoticed among the numerous brands presented in Canada, and this is why additional advertising materials and events such as promotional lotteries will be needed.
As for pricing strategy, we suppose that the products have to be sold at prices comparable to those sold in Australia. Nevertheless, considering the fact that customers in Canada do not know much about the company and the high quality of the products proposed, it may be important to stimulate sales with the help of discounts and sales promotion. We suppose that these measures will be essential due to the necessity to gain popularity in the new target market. There are a few factors that can affect our pricing decisions, and they are primarily connected with prices set by the competitors of KeepCup, whose products are available in Canada. If our prices turn out to be too different from ones set by similar brands, we will have to adjust them in order to make them more appropriate and avoid losing customers.
International Supply Chain Management
In order to distribute the products to the Canadian market, we are going to fulfil the following functions: provide different points of sale located in Canada with the range of products (for example with the most popular designs) that are appreciated by customers in other countries. Furthermore, it is necessary to organise and facilitate processes related to delivery and provide Canadian online shops with the opportunity to sell KeepCup products. Therefore, it will be necessary to address a wide range of problems related to safe packaging, shipping routes, and storage of goods. In the beginning, it may be advisable to sell the goods only in two or three of the largest Canadian cities. This experience will help us to define whether KeepCup can become one of the favourite brands of Canadian customers.
About us. (2017). Web.
Canada-Australia trade and economic cooperation arrangement. (2013). Web.
Design your own KeepCup. (2017). Web.
Estes, R. J., Land, K. C., Michalos, A. C., Phillips, R., & Sirgy, M. J. (2017). The pursuit of human well-being. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.
Jones, C., & Bonevac, D. (2013). An evolved definition of the term ‘brand’: Why branding has a branding problem. Journal of Brand Strategy, 2(2), 112-120.
Karakaya, E., Hidalgo, A., & Nuur, C. (2014). Diffusion of eco-innovations: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 33(1), 392-399.
Leonidou, L. C. (2015). Marketing in transition: Scarcity, globalism, & sustainability. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.
Milner, R., & Furnham, A. (2017). Measuring customer feedback, response and satisfaction. Psychology, 8(3), 350.
Paju, K. (2015). Influencing sustainable consumption: A case of KeepCup. Web.
Torelli, C. J. (2013). Globalization, culture, and branding. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.