The Cheesecake Factory, Inc is a leading US food chain with 146 restaurants nationwide. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc proposes unique products reflecting the national traditions and food preferences of the American nation. The current strategy includes the determination of the basic long-term goals concern the conceptualization of coherent and attainable strategic objectives. Marketing analysis includes the main aspect of market penetration and market analysis. The research suggests that the real value of strategic planning may be more in the future orientation of the planning process itself than in any resulting written strategic plan. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc proposes customers extensive menus and unique décor, good locations, and large portions.
The Cheesecake Factory, Inc is located in the USA only. In general, the company obtains a stable market position with $ 1,32 billion in revenue a year. in 2006, the net involve of the company was $81.3 million, SWOT will be used as a thinking framework for identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, opportunities, and Threats SWOT analysis will help to show that Four The Cheesecake Factory obtains a strong position in the market because of its unique vision and services proposed to customers. SWOT shows that The Cheesecake Factory successfully identifies the main advantages and threats of correct market position and company’s operations. The Cheesecake Factory is a public company. It is positioning itself as a market leader and pioneer in this industry (Crawford 2006).
The strengths of the Cheesecake Factory are a strong brand image and expert system, excellent website, and customer support. Resource-based philosophy and innovations create new opportunities for market development and brand recognition. Customers’ loyalty can be achieved through the people who are employed by the Cheesecake Factory. Innovations in technology and bakery processes allow the Cheesecake Factory to attract millions of customers each day. Technological factors involve the Internet access and development of the company’s infrastructure, new methods of cooking, and information availability. Such factors as continued economic growth, increased disposable profits, dynamic domestic and local competition, accelerating technology, automation, population decentralization, expansion, and innovation will spur the appearance of this new marketing form. The application of computer technology and the use of new analytical techniques have added greatly to the efficacy of planning activities. In order to attract more customers, the Cheesecake Factory has a special proposition, RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen. The competitive advantage of the company is its unique product proposition and location. Low prices and high quality of products appeal to middle-class consumers (Bearden et al 2004).
For the Cheesecake Factory, the opportunities include the high potential for growth in America and penetration into European markets. Also, the company has financial and human resources to improve its profitability, professional management team, and corporate culture, customized order system, and free shipping. There are great opportunities for the Cheesecake Factory, because specialized restaurants, throughout the world, are interested in goods produced in an environmentally friendly manner. The company tries to expand its activities by introducing self-service, limited-menu express (Crawford 2006).
The main weaknesses are fierce competition in the food industry and limit the ability of the proposed products. Competition is the main threat for the Cheesecake Factory, In spite of weaknesses and threats, the Cheesecake Factory, has an attractive position based on a combination of cost management and customer services. In recent months, the economic situation and crisis have had a negative impact on the company as many potential customers try to save money and prefer to cook at home. Some of the repeat customers prefer to buy cheap food and visit the restaurants seldom.
Limited geographical market and increased competition are the main threats for the Cheesecake Factory-demographic factors suggest fast population growth and decreased mortality rates. Both in physical appearance and in most aspects of their culture-notably, their language, their traditional form of administration, and their religion. It is the northern half of America, and, in spite of provisions for moving refugees to the south, this distinction is not likely to disappear entirely. The threat of new entrants is low because entry barriers are high and competition among companies is strong. The problem is that volume size does not significantly change the cost base. Competitors provide ‘commodities’ with little differentiation and customer loyalty is low. In addition, high inventory costs and competence barriers prevent many companies to enter this market. The bargaining power of suppliers is high because the Cheesecake Factory relies heavily on high-quality products and on-time delivery. the Cheesecake Factory, suppliers have a unique availability product they can exert a strong influence over prices and conditions of supply, therefore potentially putting pressures on the businesses purchasing their product. as the most important, there is a limited number of suppliers in this industry. Competitors follow the same strategies as the Cheesecake Factory, relying on product differentiation and cost leadership (Bearden et al 2004; The Cheesecake Factory Home Page 2009).
Today, the Cheesecake Factory develops an effect8ive and efficient marketing mix that helps the company to attract millions of customers in spite of the economic crisis. The impact of a message on customer behavior, which is governed by principal variables, stipulates its marketing effectiveness. Since the Cheesecake Factory, cannot control the personality of buyers, the environment in which advertising messages are relayed, the environments surrounding responses, the class norms, and the relationships of people, they have difficulty in assuring efficient communications (Crawford 2006).
The Cheesecake Factory’s marketing mix consists of price, place, promotion, and product proposition. The peculiarity of the Cheesecake Factory is that they propose a wide range of products available for diverse customer audiences. Advertisements; in the local and national press, radio and TV, off-the-page advertising, direct mail, catalog selling, posters, billboards, signs, and free gifts. It will help to control product perceptions and feelings toward the brand in real-time. Promotion: TV programs and press clubs, newsletters, press releases. Press conferences will help to inform potential clients about recent developments and innovations, about the future directions and strategy of the company. Newsletters will inform all clients about recent changes and innovations applied by the company. This information will help to create an image as a unique brand. online promotion: online community. Since business is not, as usual, the promotional plans of the firm should be somewhat similar to a contingency plan. This contingency plan is designed to maintain the proactive orientation of the firm. Channels of distribution involve and restaurant chains. unique décor and attractive prices allow the Cheesecake Factory, to attract millions of customers daily (Hollensen, 2007).
In the case of the Cheesecake Factory, promotion essentially reinforces rather than changes consumer attitudes and opinions. Such forces as social norms; interpersonal relations; the awareness, retention, and selective experience of buyers; and the impact of opinion leaders, are very influential. The Cheesecake Factory’s customers tend to reinforce their existing positions by selecting communications items that cohere with previous stances and by filtering out conflicting information. As a result, the greater the disparity between a communicator’s claims and the predispositions, the greater is the change in attitude required and the less likely is the promotion message to be effective (Bearden et al 2004).
The Cheesecake Factory underlines that effective market promotion requires an integrated promotional system that reaches from primary producer to ultimate consumer. Advertising flow to markets through long, complex channels that include manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, consumers, agencies, and media. Each advertising campaign breaks the chain or passes on the information as it sees fit. Formal channels, however, do not account for all marketing communications. Publicity, which is an integral part of many promotional campaigns and sometimes precedes the advertising and sales effort, lies outside them. Although it can be important in gaining customers’ acceptance of products, publicity, like word of mouth, is often a relatively low-grade advertising channel with a high degree of interference, distortion, and noise. The menu proposition of the Cheesecake Factory involves such types of products as appetizers, pizza, specialties, lunch specials, pasta, fish and seafood, salads, sandwiches, eggs and omelets, desserts, and cheesecakes, etc. In this case, promotion serves the main purposes. First, promotion bridges information gaps existing among the company and its customers. Second, promotions help coordinate the advertising activities of the total marketing system to achieve a coordinated response. Third, promotion help adjust the system to consumer requirements. For, the Cheesecake Factory, coordination of marketing mix effort is a strong area of marketing management. Lack of coordination can affect sales and profits unfavorably, and both sales and costs can be pushed beyond optimal levels. However, the organizational changes reflected by the marketing-management concept and the brand-manager system are designed to provide more effective promotional campaigns that have greater market influence (Bearden et al 2004).
In order to improve its value propositions, the Cheesecake Factory should introduce an aggressive advertising campaign and individualize its products. It means that customers will associate unique food names and menus with the Cheesecake Factory only (Bearden et al 2004). A value proposition can be explained as the ability of the company to meet and respond effectively to changing customer’s demands and needs. For the Cheesecake Factory, the value proposition is a marketing tool that helps it to deliver superior customer service, differentiate and remain operationally efficient. The value proposition should not concern themselves with which group gets the biggest budget or is more important to the company. Rather, managers develop the most effective total Value proposition. Both assess their relative contributions to the total Value proposition and view each other as an alternative and supporting communications capital. As alternatives, they present Value propositions with different means of cultivating markets. The problem at this level is one of deciding what proportion of the total promotional budget should be allocated to each. Other than product category, factors that influence the relative use of advertising or personal selling include the volume purchased, the use of the direct or indirect distribution, and the geographic spread of the market, the product costs, and the repetitiveness of the purchase (Kotler and Armstrong 2006).
For the restaurant, the value proposition is based on superior customer service and a unique product proposition. The value characteristics of products are considered. Variations in menus and such features as packaging, color, size, style, and variety décor of the restaurant are a heavy burden on the management. Now more restaurant chains have to be handled with lower volume per item and higher costs of storage, inventory, and handling. Transportation and handling costs, distant locations, and time are barriers to the development of markets.
Through effective value chains, costs are reduced and time and geographic barriers are hurdled, thereby enabling companies to cultivate additional markets profitably. Logistical costs have, in fact, forced firms to withdraw from previously served markets. The fundamental activities performed by a physical distribution system are concentration and dispersion. The Cheesecake Factory understands that value propositions should be performed several times in the distribution of a final product as products are assembled and stored and bulk is broken. Terminals are located at points to balance market requirements with the movement and shipment size. The latter are dictated by movement-and-handling technology.
The core strategy of the Cheesecake Factory will be based on value propositions and product differentiation is well developed. The main strength of this strategy is the clear identification of the product advantages and potential target audience. This strategy will result in a plan that can assist the company in selecting and positioning the product. A greater product differentiation strategy will help the Cheesecake Factory to create an entry barrier for other companies and creates a unique market proposition. This strategy makes sense because of a product’s perceived uniqueness. Differentiation should be achieved as a result of unique product attributes and effective marketing communications. In the case of the Cheesecake Factory, product differentiation and brand loyalty increase for would-be industry entrants who would be required to make substantial investments in R&D or advertising. As with the selling philosophy and relationship strategy, The Cheesecake Factory must include comprehension of the target market’s characteristics and the fact that prevailing needs and wants may mandate products that are different than those offered in the home country. As the first marketing tactic element, differentiation should create a truly different and unique product for customers. The Cheesecake Factory not only has to be perceived differently by customers (positioning), it has to be really different in content, context, and infrastructure (differentiation). In addition to differentiation strategy, product positioning will help to establish trustworthiness, confidence, and competence for customers. If the Cheesecake Factory has those elements, customers will then have the “being” of the company within their minds. It is about earning customers’ trust to make them willingly follow the Cheesecake Factory. So positioning is not just about persuading and creating an image in the consumers’ minds, it is about earning consumers’ trust and loyalty. The positioning strategy will support a differentiation strategy in order to widen the product potential market. It will help the Cheesecake Factory to occupy the consumers’ minds with unique offerings and will lead the customers’ credibly (Boone and Kurtz 2002).
The main risks of the proposed strategy are low response rates and the low purchasing power of buyers (caused by the current economic crisis). The Cheesecake Factory has the tendency to advertise or promote when the economy is in an upswing, and they cut down advertising and promotion in times of economic slowdown. However, the Cheesecake Factory must continue with its total promotional program and make only a few adjustments at the periphery as the economic conditions change or competitive conditions necessitate. Accelerating promotional activity may not be quite adequate to counteract the turbulence. Changes in lifestyles and market environment have had a direct impact on the Cheesecake Factory, expenditures, and the consumption process.
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Boone, L.E., Kurtz, D.L. (2002) Management, McGraw-Hill, New York.
The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant Home Page (2009). Web.
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Hollensen, S. (2007). Global Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 4 edition.
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