The Spicer: Clean Sheet Marketing Style

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Mission Statement

To provide the customer with state of the art electronics in order for him to make state of the art cooking. Spicer, the high quality electronic device that help you cook tasteful food.”

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Market objectives

The Spicer is a new small appliance product that electronically dispenses spices based on the recipes that are input in its electronic database. So, this is a product that has a direct relationship with cooking. It deals with something indispensable for the daily life of everybody. The company should notice this fact in its mission statement about this new line of products that is launching. The company already has very good brand name recognition in the electronic consumer market. Now it should point out that electronic consumers are indispensably also food consumers. The purpose of the company should be to attract all of its actual customer’s attention to this new product and also new ones that are not much interested in electronics but have a passion for cooking. Or even just have to cook for their families.

The first thing to do is to describe the target market for the new line of products. As I have mentioned above, the company is well known among electronic consumers for its products. The market share in part of industry is strong for the company. First thing to realize is that all of the actual or previous customers are, at least, potential customers for this new line of products. Everybody should eat for their life to go on. And most people do cook their own meals and not always buy ready-food.

Regarding the new potential customers, the ones that have no previous ties with the company, we ought to look at cooking-lovers and housemaids who have to cook for their person or their family every day of their life. The four P’s of the company should be as follows:

  • Product. To provide the market with a product with the highest quality possible in order to make it distinguishable as a leader in quality by the next two years. In doing this it should be taken in consideration that the use of resources (costs of production) should be done in the best way possible. This means to use as few resources and energy as it can in order to have a low cost operation.
  • Place. To introduce the new product line at the market sector that our company is already strong and parallel to the new market sector of the households and cook-passionate people in order to gain as much share possible by the next three years.
  • This “place” view relates not only the market sectors but also to all the possible distribution channels to do it. For our company to have success in this enterprise it should place the new products at the right place in the right time.
  • Price. To present the product immediately as price competitive in order to have an advantage toward the competition so that it will become market leader within the next three years. Thanks to the actual resources and the work of our engineering team we can offer the lowest price on the markets actual standing. This is already an important advantage over the competition, especially over the direct competition.
  • Promotion. To make an adequate advertising and spread-the-word campaign in promoting this new product line so that the market position and brand name are strengthened within the next two years. The promotion campaign should contain two parts, inter-related, but nevertheless autonomous of each other. The first should be the focus on the actual market sector that the company has strong ties and the other on the new market sector mentioned above.

Competitive situation analysis

  • Three-way consumer product classification system.

The three categories of consumer classification are:

  1. Convenience goods; products on which consumers use minimal effort for frequently purchased low cost items.
  2. Shopping products; products on which consumers make a considerable effort to evaluate.
  3. Specialty products; consumers make a significant effort to acquire the desired brand.
  • The Spicer’s place within the three categories.

Being an electronic allowance the Spicer can be considered as a more “specialty product” purchase. But this new product line has a direct impact on the quality of food which is a basic need product for every consumer of the planet. With the above mentioned strategies of product, place, price and promotion we intend to make the Spicer a convenience product, easily purchased, with the brand recognition of a specialty product.

  • Key strength and core competencies.

“A core competency is fundamental knowledge, ability, or expertise in a specific subject area or skill set.” (“Core Competency”, par. 1)

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The key strength of the Spicer is the combination of low cost and distinguishable quality. Our core competency in this is due to the very good production line activity, the excellent relations with suppliers and a good market position, with a significant brand recognition, within the electronic goods market.

  • Porter’s Five Forces model of competitive forces.

In order to have a clearer view of the situation we ought to analyze Company G’s competitive environment utilizing Porter’s Five Forces model of competitive forces. This model uses five market forces in order to analyze the competitive intensity and from it the attractiveness of the market. By using this model we can have a clearer picture of the competition and the “battle-field” we are going to. According to this model these five forces impact directly the ability of a company to serve its customers and make profits (Chapman, 2008). At the center of the analysis is the competitive rivalry within the industry. Then we have “around” it the bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of customers, the threat of new entrant (new competition) and the threat of substitute products (Chapman, 2008).

Let us take the five forces and see the positioning of our company. The rivalry within the industry is well managed by our company. The company has a very good brand recognition and sales revenue for its products and has a good market share position regarding electronic consumer market place. The launch of the new line in this market is easier from a rivalry point of view. On the other hand, the launch at the small appliances market sector will be a new domain for the company. We have the positioning of a starter and rivalry will be much stronger here. Still appropriate advertisement and usage of the already good brand recognition in other markets can, and would, facilitate the task. Regarding the consumer bargain power, our team has designed a production process that is very efficient in terms of labor and production-line time and that will result in very little raw materials waste. The combination of these efficiencies and the relatively small front-end investment for this line will result in the company being able to produce each of the products in the line at a cost that should enable them to emerge as the lowest-cost producer in the small appliance industry. This will minimize the consumer bargain power. The company will need new suppliers for two omponent parts that will be purchased ready for assembly into some of the small appliances. We enjoy excellent relationships with current suppliers, but because of differences in material requirements, new raw material suppliers will be needed to support the small appliance line.

And finally regarding the threat for substitute products, we think that the above mentioned positive factor of low cost, high reliability, excellent supplier relationships and good brand recognition from actual consumers, are a strong factor in minimizing the potential threat of substitute products.

SWOT analysis

The SWOT analysis is a strategic planning that is used to evaluate the strength, the weakness, the opportunities and threats for a business (Humphrey, 2008).

Some of the strengths of our company have already been mentioned in the pages above. I would start with the good brand recognition we enjoy in the electronic supply market. Another very important strength is the low debt-to-equity ratio that our company has.

Regarding the new product line we are launching the biggest strength is the low investment and efficient labor and production-line timing required. The excellent relations with the suppliers are also a positive factor.

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But every business has its weak points too. In our case, I would argue that the typical for industry credit term that we offer intermediaries of distribution channels is more a weakness that a strength. This because it leaves open the door for rivalry competition to offer better credit term for the distribution channels and this would damage our company. In fact, this could turn to be a threat for our business. Without appropriate distribution all the new product line strategy would not be successful. As far as I am concerned this is the biggest threat to our business. The second is the new suppliers needed for this new line. Not being attentive in selecting the adequate suppliers would result in a lowering of the quality of the materials that will result in the lowering of the quality of the final product. And third would be the rivalry matching our criteria. At the moment we are leader in the low cost in production, high reliability of products, excellent supplier relationships and fair distribution relationships. It would take a while for the competition to catch up but when they do we would not enjoy these points as strength anymore. So we have to move since now to further delay this catch-up from the rivalry.

Regarding the opportunities part, it can be argued that this new line would consolidate further the market share and position of the company in the existing electronic consumer market. But the greatest opportunity would be that to secure a highly competitive (at least) if not dominant position in the new small-appliances market. The third opportunity would be that to turn the company in a cash-cow of liquidity.

Marketing strategies, tactics of implementation and monitoring

Our marketing strategy should be based on the brand recognition already there for our company and the low price- high reliability ratio of the new product line we are offering. Our marketing plan should be based on advertisement, being that TV type, online type of printed-paper type. But this would be the second phase.

First, we have to launch a campaign of consumer survey. You do not go to the customer and tell him what is good for him by showing the brochures of what you offer, but instead take a clean sheet of paper and ask him for what he wants (Reed, 2001). This campaign would be composed of different sectors. It will be launched with the existing customer of our other products. I have explained above why they are also potential customers of this new product line. We will note what they want and desire. The second target group would be that of housemaids. The third would be the cooking passionate persons.

We will launch a door-to-door survey as well as an online and phone survey. This will be done within 6 months. The data will be collected, classified and analyzed. Then it will be passed to the engineers showing them the design, expectations of the consumers regarding a product like the one we want to introduce. The production line will do the necessary adjustments accordingly to the consumer’s desires and after that the second phase of the plan will begin to implement. We will re-contact the consumer’s of the survey and show them the brochure of our new product line. At the same time a TV, printed paper and online advertisement regarding the product line to be launched will begin.

This will take 3 months, after which the third phase will begin. This third phase is the phase of the product launch. Prior to the launching of the product we, as marketing team, would advice that better conditions and agreements should be made with the distribution line so that they prefer us over the competition. This is order that the distribution be fast and attentive.

After the launch the feedback and monitoring process begin. We can consider this as a fourth phase. I would argue it is the most important phase. It will begin 4-6 months after the launch of the product. The purpose is to make necessary adjustments if something is not going as it should be. A second survey campaign will be launched 6 months after the launching of the product line and it will be focused on the existing customers of the new product, the Spicer, and will note their feedback regarding it along with propositions of what should be different in it. This information will be processed and the necessary results will help in shaping the advertising campaign. The features that the customers most like from the Spicer will be emphasized in the advertisement campaign after the feedback survey. The features not liked much will be changed in the production line for the new units to be launched into the market. This way the Spicer will appeal to even more consumers.

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References

Reed, B. (2001). Clean Sheet marketing. Sales Concepts Website. Web.

Chapman, A. (2008). Porter’s five forces model. The Businessballs website. Web.

Humphrey, A. (2008). SWOT analysis. The Businessballs website.

Core Competency. SearchCIO-Midmarket.com Definitions. 2008.

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