Marketing plan of “DE LIGHT SHOES”
With the increasing demands of new products in the market, it is very hard for a company to maintain its goals and objectives resulting in profitable business. There are new ongoing trends every day in the market. Driven by the aim to satisfy customers with better quality shoes and watch, my new business plan will be “De Light” focusing on high quality of shoes matching up with the watch. After planning and projection of the new product, we will be able to establish customer base starting from the small areas as making the product familiar and trendy in the market. The vision of the company will be excellent management with right product and right marketing strategy to gain greater share of market with betterment of the community and the mission will be providing good, reliable and affordable high quality, environment-friendly products that will grow satisfying the needs of the people. The product will be sporty shoes with advanced wrist-watch that has same colors matching with the shoes.
Footwear is big and increasingly diversified business which are largely driven by different factors such as social income, lifestyle, fashion trends etc. According to Shoes Market, “Research indicates that the world shoes market is forecast to reach US$195 billion by the year 2015. Volume sales, on the other hand are projected to reach 13.3 billion pairs by 2012.” In terms of watches and clocks, the market value here in the United States does not have cost benefit and is decreasing. While traditional clocks and watches have experienced downward trends in the United States, smartwatches, which are wrist-worn wearable devices with functionalities the surpass those of the traditional wristwatch, have grown in popularity and estimated to be valued at $702.5 million in 2013 (MarketResearch.com).
Enhancing the marketing plan
A thorough competition analysis is a must for any business to know about its competitor’s strength and weakness. For De’ light, there are many competitors in the area like The Shoe Boutique, Shoe show, Payless Shoe Source, Foot Locker, Hibbett Sports etc. in Lexington area. Among all the competitors, the Hibbett Sports and Payless are tough competitors of De’ light. Hibbett sports offer Brand name shoes like Nike, Reebok, Adidas shoes of different varieties which is their main advantage because of their brand name whereas Payless shoes has reasonable and affordable price for their shoes. Both the competitors offer coupons and discounts to encourage customers to buy on their website. They have descriptive details of their company and sells customize shoes of latest trends. An analysis of strong performers should reveal the causes behind a successful track record (Entrepreneur.com, 2006). Hibbett Sports have many strengths as well as weaknesses in their business. One of their advantages is they have a strong marketing strategy which helps them to earn a profit in the market. They have different marketing schemes like Birthday offer, VIP offers, Points redemption and exclusive offers. Their website is well maintained and designed very attractively showing famous brand names sportswear, shoes, Levis, clothes etc. As a strength, Hibbett Sports constantly update their merchandise assortment to offer the latest in product technology and fashion (Hibbett Sports, 2017). Furthermore, adding to their strength, their vendor partners design their products to precise specifications focusing on the needs of the customers by bringing their best products from brands like Nike, Under Armor, Mizuno, New Balance, Asics, Adidas and so on. The major strength of any company is to know their customers depending on the locations of the customers in that area. Our competitor knows what the customers need to achieve peak performance in their chosen sport. They also have an advantage as they are an established brand in the area. New companies like De’ light should have exceptional products in order to compete with such famous brands that are already known and popular in the market. But along with all the advantages, they have few weaknesses for the business. The strategy of the popular brands such as Nike, Reebok etc. are not that effective anymore with the change in trends of the market. Hibbett Sports are competitive but their prices in the industry are highest. Hibbett Sports has only popular brands in their store. If the stores do not produce new product lines, the store is dependent on all the brands. Nike is perceived by their core customers (teenagers) not only too common but also too expensive as the last collection of footwear is priced around 200$ which is above industry’s average (writeworkessays.com, 2002). Organization has a divided multiplicity for sportswear, the production proceeds, however, it is motionless a great transaction conditional winning its contribution to the footwear marketplace which undergrowth it at a moderately subject mark for some motivation its marketplace supply to erode (Essays UK, 2013).
De’ light’s shoes and watches will generally have a high quality and attractive designs that will attract the consumers to buy the product. Having the product with eco-friendly products with refined value quality products will be a great advantage of the company. De’ light’s product will differ from other products as it will have matching watches that are uniquely designed and made up of eco-friendly materials too. One of the major factor will be the price differentiation. Our company will try to reduce unnecessary expenses as much as possible and make it reasonable in industry average with optimum quality. Our company will have a unique and compelling advertisement promotions for the marketing of the product. With the help of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and other sources to create contests which will include e consumer participation in the next big design or color for the product. Such participation of consumers will make our brand known in the market.
With our eco-friendly products that are reasonably priced, and are ongoing with the market trends, providing customers with latest technology and best experience with our products will make an impact in the market. The leader in an industry benefits more from its product hitting the market first than the followers, but the follower can gain more of a return from its product than the leader as the follower can improve on the product (Coursehero.com). Being a follower at first will help the company gain insight and know about the leader company products by following them. With constant hardships, effective strategies that are similar to market leader will help our company at minimum risks exposure. The strategy following the current market leader will give us advantage of less expensive R&D failures, less risk of bad business model and so on. Other benefits include less risk of competitive attacks, don’t waste money in a head-on battle, no risk of government anti-combines actions and will be able to capitalize on the promotional activities of the market leader (Coursehero.com). With the right strategy and following the market leader, our company will be in the lead in future after gaining market share by constant effort and knowledge.
Macro-environmental issues or forces can increase or decrease the market demand and need for the products. Businesses need to be aware of changes in the general population (Jim Tischler). Major changes in the community of Lexington, future potential shifts, population is an important factor to be considered for the business. Recession makes consumers less willing to spend their disposable income. The estimated median household income in 2015 is $61,912 which rose from $53,865 in 2000 (Citydata.com). Therefore, the economy of this area is changing and greater percentage of people are married and employed which indicates that the consumers can be more willing to spend their disposable income. The values of society changes with time and lifestyles from different perspectives like medical factors that include healthy eating habits, exercises, life-style, economic factors like employment, loss of jobs, budget cuts etc., cultures such as music, foods, living accommodations etc., technologies like cheap electronics, internet shopping etc. Legal factors include the tax systems, various laws and consumer Act. Which all affects the prices, condition of the business. Technology has huge impact since it makes our company and business gain competitive advantage over the competitor. Technology makes it easier for consumers as well as us, the company to communicate about the products, trends in the market. Therefore, it is equally significant to maintain a good relationship socially with customers and community to help grow our business.
Trends in the market doesn’t necessarily mean invention of new products. The trend should align with the overall vision and mission of the company (Mike Myatt, 2016). The vision and mission of the company is to provide excellent management with right product and right marketing strategy gaining greater market share with betterment of community with affordable pricing and environment-friendly products. So, the company’s product will create products of fashionable as well as benefit to the community. Nothing is without risk and when you think something is without risk that is when you are most likely to end-up in trouble so all the initiatives should include details risk management provisions (Mike et al).
There are different market trends in the business that will make an impact on the business. Some of them are pricing factors such as interest rate could be changing with the time, changing demographics. My target market could be the employed and adults, married couples but if the demographic of the area is changed, it could bring damage in my business too. Social factors like changes in the social behavior of the consumers such as online networking could be the next trend that can hamper the business. Among the various trends in the market, trends like communicating to media, cyclical factors, Technology such as increase in online purchasing and changing customers’ needs are the major trends affecting the business. Keeping up-to-date information’s on the consumers and the market will help to minimize less risk for the business. The management team of De’ light will make an adequate research for coping with the technology and market trends. De’ light will also keep a good relationship with the business partners if any, or suppliers as they may directly or indirectly affect our market. It will also analyze the current market trends, consumer behavior concerning certain products, consumer’s response to the competitor product’s etc. and track them to help achieve our business goals and gain profit in the market. Hence, with proper strategic initiatives and new ideas, trends in the market, our company will implement such strategies to help our business from stagnating.
SWOT Analysis helps the business to analyze its strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to develop a strong business strategy that will enable us to implement and formulate our plans for the business.
- All the employees and staffs of the company are highly skilled and have high knowledge about their products’ leading to greater sales.
- The watch and shoes will have advanced technology in today’s market with affordable price.
- Healthy gross profit margin from first few months.
- Within the first year of operation, there are plans to open one more store/outlet in another city.
- Establish good loyal base of brand and customers.
- The plan to open multiple outlets might have negative impact on financial resources.
- Brand may not be well recognized by the consumers.
- Competing with well established brands like Nike, Adidas etc. will require additional and strong financial investment.
- Frail online presence as the company has not invested in online operations.
- Limited in variety of products being offered in the market.
- Does not do much advertising since the company is new.
- Expanding economy in the area of the business which enables company to grow and expand.
- With the growing population and decreasing unemployment rates, the market is large.
- Close to Orangeburg where there are two major big universities.
- Not a lot of direct competition in the area.
- New brand and fashion trends attracts consumers to invest in new and exciting products.
- Lots of consumers prefer to purchase online.
- Since it is a new brand, it is difficult to convince brand loyal consumers to purchase.
- Competitors have huge financial backing to invest in advertising which makes them more popular.
- No real brand recognition in the location.
- Increase in tariffs and trade barriers.
De Light will produce its main product line in a very attributable features and benefits that will cover the market share and continue to grow in future. The main features and benefits of its core product to its consumers include attractive shoes design and matching watches with varieties of shapes and colors featuring superior quality at a reasonable price. Some of the strengths of its core product as it focuses on environmental friendly products to be used in its manufacturing. It also provides shoes with comfortable sole and soles that are helpful for the diabetes patients. The sole of the shoes can also be made of recycled tire soles that will help the usage of the waste products. Similarly, the watches will also be eco-friendly, sustainable materials to have the least impact on our environment. The watch will have an important feature of indicating the stress level of people and giving solutions in that time. For example, if I am working in a company and feel having stressed out, the watch will indicate the stress level and help mediate or show some positive message in the screen hence, filling my day with positive thoughts. Thus, this product will not only be attractive and trendy but will also contribute to the society and the world by producing eco-friendly products that will not harm our environment.
With the development of brand, Branding is no longer limited to a product or service (Wall Street Journal, 2014). In this case of introducing the product to the market, the business objective is to introduce the brand to a small area of people and observing their reaction for the product. According to the data from Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 72% of people who have daily stress and anxiety say it interferes with their lives at least moderately, 40% experience persistent stress in their daily life. Therefore, launching the product as private brand labels will enable the brand to stand out among the popular strong brand names. By the help of private branding strategy, the company will produce high profits for manufacturers and sellers. They align with some other companies which makes the product cheaper and affordable. So, the major people living in Lexington are married couples and workers, the target market are set to them. The Strategic planning tools for branding of the product involves planning in three ways i.e. sales process, campaign planning and marketing planning.
Sales process planning includes branding through the help of traditional media, direct mail, publicity, telemarketing and creating number of events for the product. We can start by sending mails after doing surveys of potential consumers and hosting small events around Columbia, Orangeburg etc. Campaign planning helps our brand to encourage online advertising and involve directly on social media to anticipate people to have some familiarity with the brand. The third step will focus on customer retention, business development, expansion and sales management.
Different attributes make the brand more popular among the consumers. Company/Product attributes that possess elegant, captivating, tempting, health benefits etc. are more to attract consumers to purchase the product. It is important for the brand to build on the strong brand promises and mitigate the negative ones (www.studymarketing.com).
De Light Implicit Brand Contract includes:
- Provide high quality shoes and watch with eco-friendly materials in producing them with greater health benefits on the market.
- Offer customers different options of colors and shapes as well as after sale services.
- Have an atmosphere of friendly staffs that are ready to help and solve your questions.
- Recognize that visiting and purchasing the store will make their contribution to the society and themselves for better future.
The company will offer and expand other options of product mix like product line extensions for the products sold in the future. The product extension should offer different number of products for diversifies market, depending on the size and objectives of the entities i.e. to make product reach to different types, age groups of people that will enable all to enjoy the benefits. The length for the product will have long product lines offering consumers with other various exciting products like caps, socks etc. to achieve the organizational goals and strategies. Also, the depth of this product will be obtained after the product reaches the market but the company has high capability of achieving its vision by consistently producing and distributing quality and reliable shoes and watches.
Integrated marketing communication
Integrated marketing communications helps the business to coordinate using various methods like advertising, sales promotions etc. that integrates the elements of each marketing strategies into practice enabling the customers aware of the product. As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications “It recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.”
Advertising is the core step for introducing your product in the market. De’ Light will publish ads featuring discounts and prices, sales date, coupons to increase customers to make a purchase. With the help of advertising, consumers will know in advance about the sales, promotions and persuade them to come in the store. The advertisement strategy will focus on multiple channels for promoting and introducing our product. The channels of advertisement such as print, television, and direct mail will help company to achieve a maximum consistency. The company goal is to build a strong brand name and make it known to the public. So, the advertisement strategy will help build that image through marketing channels.
The work is not complete if the goal of advertisement and effectiveness is not measured (Management Study guide, 2017). The effectiveness can be measured but it will not be as accurate. Some companies advertise more, yet their sales is not advantageous, and some advertise less and their sales are grand. According to Philip Kotler and Armstrong, there are two most popular areas which need to be measured for knowing the effectiveness of advertisement and they are Communication effect and sales effect. Communication effect comprises of asking directly to customers about the product or by portfolio tests and laboratory tests where the customers are asked to recall the ads and measure their body conditions. Sales effect depends on the number is sales in the area. However, De’ Light will use the internet, which is the most cheap, easy tool to measure the effectiveness as the ad is only viewed when the customer wants to view it.
The ad campaign for De’ light should be effective in order to have impact on the customers. The advertising is working when the customers purchase the product and gives feedback to our product. In order to achieve the goals, it is necessary to find out the data in a weekly or monthly basis. It is also important to agree on goals with the management team and take advice from the team. We will keep track of the data with the help of a spreadsheet. Everyone who is working on the marketing team needs to know the core KPIs and analyze the report on performance of the company (Cathy McPhillips, 2014). The effectiveness of advertising will help us to know the possibility of growing our business.
There are different promotional strategies that may be used in addition to advertisement like Personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations. In terms of personal selling, effectiveness can be measured simply because personal selling focuses on each individual customer which helps to know immediate buyer response. Mabry and porter (2010) studied the effectiveness of a promotional contest in Myspace compared to a brand Website at driving intent to purchase. They found out that the brand Web site was more effective than the social promotion but noted that the results suggested a greater intent to purchase would have been achieved by a campaign that used both promotions and a branded web site.
Public relation builds up a firm’s product and its credibility. Without a good public relation strategy, a successful marketing plan cannot be achieved. The point of public relations is to make the public think favorably about the company and its offering and lessen the gap between how an organization sees itself and how others outside the company perceive it (Guest author, 2011). De’ light will maintain good public relations with the potential communities, media, and newspaper and magazine writers in the area of Lexington where the new store will be opening. Our company will take PR opportunities to take advantage of to help craft a positive public image for my business.
The best approach to measure the customer’s satisfaction would be to conduct surveys. A survey can be both for online as well as in-store customers. Customer survey for De’ light after the purchase can help identify the factors that strengthen the sales, loyalty and relationships with the customers. The survey will provide company with beneficial information’s for decision making process. The response of the customers on the business will have direct effect on its growth and profit. The employees in De’ light will be trained to good and etiquette in the company. Customer behavior can be analyzed and their implementation on the short-comings if they are not satisfied in the purchase can be helpful. The customers will be asked questions regarding their purchase and visit at the store encouraging them to do the surveys for discounts and benefits.
To address any customer expectations and experiences, the gaps should be located and taken care of as fast as possible. In order to reduce the gaps, it is necessary to conduct analysis of before and after sales process. This can be done in several ways (Coursehero.com). First step in this process is to do an evaluation of the business in its current state and another evaluation in its desired state. After finding out the results of gap between the two evaluations, definite course of action should be taken into place for De’ light. Secondly, the point where customers’ expectations and experiences are not met which created the gaps, it can be solved by creating focus-group interviews. The target group of my business are salary workers and couples, so the group is formed and they talk about their experiences about the product or service they may have purchased recently. This process is effective in case where the products attributes and services are implemented to customer satisfaction. Once, the interviews are completed, the results from the interview are analyzed and measured using formal, quantitative methods. The management team of De’ light will hire mangers, advisors who can work in the results of the interviews and come to a good strategy to overcome the discrepancies (Coursehero.com). After the gaps are filled, management team of De’ light can take necessary steps to fill the gaps and implement their required plans to achieve the goals of the business.
Pricing Strategies and Channel Distribution
In general, De’ Light products are made with high quality and eco-friendly raw materials, the pricing could be high relative to other branded companies. But, Pricing penetration strategy will be followed by De’ Light in marketing the products. De’ light will start selling the products with low prices to initiate and encourage consumers to buy the product as a realm of their decision. We can see potential in the price penetration strategy and plan to meet according to the needs of the consumers. When consumers start consuming the products, since the town is quite small, the products may establish brand among the area of sale. Word of mouth advertising and good brand start can help the product introduce in the market and gain some costumers. Small businesses normally have such advantage of price skimming strategy as it will generate profits to the business by giving competitive advantage of the idea before any other competitors. Price Penetration can be successful if our company will tackle pricing across four dimensions, pricing strategy, pricing architecture, customer & trade execution and capabilities. According to an article published by Lee Delaney, Andrew Cohen, Tim Morningstar (2014), profit ranges vary based on the nature of the category and the position within it. Therefore, our company will focus on innovation, good in-store experience and heavy advertising. It is also important to analyze whether there are crucial price or pack sizes offerings for the products or not. For example, buy one, get one free, Buy at the price and other half the price etc. pricing schemes. Determining what’s most likely to unlock incremental households, and then designing a pricing architecture to support it, can unleash considerable growth (Lee et.al, 2014).
To find the trick to balance its pricing, De’ light will differentiate its product line on the basis of pricing; economy, standard and superior versions which will help them to gain an edge over their competitors and to globally gain the market share (UK essays, 2013). Product Line pricing refers to the practice of reviewing and setting prices for multiple products that a company offers in coordination with one another (Sam Ashe-Edmunds). Some businesses sell products in their line at a low price to get consumers to use the base product and then they encourage them to buy ass-ons or complementary products (Sam Ashe-Edmunds). De’ Light can use this tactic to make consumers an impulse purchase while giving various coupons and discounts to visit the store. The core strategy for popular brands like Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Seiko etc. are that their products have higher prices and carry high value and clearly differentiate their products. The advantage of private brands are the product wins the consumer based on price and self-involvement to the betterment of the country. De’ light is a private brand offering consumers with innovative and environmental friendly products. The company’s branding and pricing tactic will build a foundation of strong and effective relationship with the customers through optimum pricing where the consumers will receive perceived value and satisfaction.
Pricing ethics and legal issues involves examining what constraints are needed on the pursuit of market share and profits when the actions of a company affect others adversely (Lisa Nielsen, 2017). De’ light will charge an optimum price for the combination of shoes and watch to its consumers without any rivalry of direct competitors pricing and will justify if there are changes in the price of the products like if there is an increase in labor or material costs that can be demonstrated clearly to the customers. Price Gouging is an example of an unethical pricing strategy. Similarly, various counterfeit goods at same high price as the “real” goods can also be found in the market. Therefore, our company will not produce or imitate any other brands products to sell the products. DE’ light will have its unique design watches and athletic shoes that will be hard to counterfeit. The Institute of Business Ethics suggests that companies issue statements of ethical practice in regard to their dealing with customers which includes pricing and statements when company can raise prices and how pricing should be communicated to the consumer and the company’s pledge to follow all applicable pricing laws (Lisa Nielsen, 2017).
The materials used for producing the shoes and watches includes rubber, Hemp, solar cells that are environmental friendly and other raw materials for production. Nowadays raw materials can be ordered verified with the help of technologies anywhere around the world. However, ordering from Chinese sites like Alibaba and other wholesale businesses will help us to produce the products in affordable prices. Their marketing channels are diverse to global wholesalers like jewelries from United Kingdom, materials from Alibaba sites from China, Usable rubbers made out of tires, using Bark cloth, cork, recycled ultra-suede, Pet polyester etc. from different sources. De’ Light will develop a very healthy relationship with the other vendors and distributors and arrange meetings to visit each other’s company periodically.
Choosing the right channel of distribution is very important for a company. De’ Light will use multiple channel strategy in which the product is available through multiple channels of distribution such as internet, sales force, call Centre, retail store, departmental store and direct mail. The distribution strategy will define how we are going to move the product from production phase to consumption phase in pace with managing its brand. My strategy starts with taking and analyzing samples from all the potential wholesalers from around the world. This will help to choose the right suppliers and produce the products ensuring better quality products. After the products are ready to be supplied, we will provide some samples to different stores and give them the option of returning the products if the consumers do not like it or half of the products are not sold within a certain date. We can generate some ideas of how the design and positioning should be given in terms of the new products. Within the date, we can open store and start emailing the consumers and sending those advertisements pamphlets to their doors through post offices. Due to the economic downturn companies have made huge cuts on their marketing budgets, De’ light can use this latency in the market to its advantage; they could increase their promotional marketing activity, which may enable them to increase their market share (UK Essays, 2003). Based on the research conducted, the most lucrative segment identified is the 15-35 age group; they prefer creative, fashionable and innovative timepiece accessories with an active lifestyle. The target market will focus on these market segments and distribute products to these consumers. The overall objectives of De’ light was to provide quality products with trendy fashions style shoes and watch of reasonable price which are environmental friendly that helps us all to give something back to the society and country.
Market Segmentation Strategy
There are many different strategies where a market can be segmented. A marketer should decide which marketing strategy is best for the given product and service. The marketers will need to tailor the strategy in such a way that the consumers will be attracted to it. The marketing strategy I am choosing for my product will be according to the demographic segmentation. Since the product will be similar to the fashion trends which is mainly related to age group and gender, demographic segmentation will cover the strategy for the product. The strategy assumes that consumers who are under same age group or gender profiles tend to show similar purchasing patterns, interests and lifestyles that will result into product or brand preferences.
According to the data published in Area Vibes, Lexington South Carolina demographics, the racial makeup of the city was 78.54% Caucasian, 13.78 % African American, and 0.33 % Native American, 4.35% Asians and, 2.39 % from mixed races. There were 21,158 households out of which 18.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6 % were married couples living together. In this 5-mile radius the population was spread out with 17.7% under the age of 13, 7 % from 19 to 29, 22.1 % from 30 to 44, 20.0 % from 45 to 59, and 16.4 % who were 60 years of age or older. The median age was 35.0 years. The per capita income for this area was $25,548. The target market for the product will be the married couples, the age group from 19-44, who will mostly be young and active users of the product and females from the gender segmentation because females are more attracted to the fashion trends than that of the male groups.
The strategic plan to open a store in Lexington has come into place after study of its population, business operating in the area, its area etc. There were 66,631 people, 19,010 household, and has an expected growth rate from 2016 to 2021 of 1.6 % for the surrounding 5-mile area of this location. The median income for a household in this 5-mile radius was $57,358, and the average household income was $65,735. Males had a median income of $30,310 versus $21,935 for females. The per capita income for this area was $25,548. Other census numbers that stand out about this local area is 44.3 % of this population are College Educated, 33.0 % are Management and Professional Employees, 87.7 % drive alone to work, 77.0 % drive between 15 to 59 minutes to work, and out of this population in this 5-mile radius of this location the total amount of consumer expenditures is $1.11 Billion (http://www.areavibes.com/lexington-sc/demographics/).
The area of Lexington has high business possibilities of growing its business from different food, clothes as well as entertainment industries. According to the latest data by www.City-Data.com , the population of Lexington (city) is 19,898 thousand which grows by about 32% during the daytime hours due to commuting, whereas the population of Lexington County is 280,000. The average median household income in Lexington is $58,820/- which has grown by 9.2% in the last 10 years which is higher than the state’s average. In addition, the unemployment rate is lower here than the state average. This can be good result in case that there is a large amount of Lexington’s population who are living busy lifestyles that can spend their income on their clothing and fashion trends.
De Light will implement their goals as to increase market share by coordinating worker’s productivity for company growth and development. Its approaches concentrate the individual participation of every employee and staffs of the company to achieve its goals and build a solid foundation to establish its business.
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