Stand-Alone Project: The Marketing Plan
ABC Company was established in 2000 to process, bottle, and market beverages. It has grown in size and achieved immense market success over the years, becoming one of the world’s driving producers of beverages. Today, the company operates in more than seventy countries, with its headquarters located in New York, United States. ABC has a product portfolio of more than ten soft drink brands and five alcoholic beverages. It has a good reputation in many countries, making its brand highly competitive across the world. To further achieve growth and take advantage of its strong and highly valuable brand, ABC Company plans to introduce a new beverage product, Zucchero Zero, which will be sugar-free and fortified with vitamins and minerals.
The new product targets to fulfill the objective of meeting the needs of customers who are becoming more health-conscious, especially consumers that are looking for beverages with no sugar and that have higher nutritional value. The new product will be branded, Zucchero Zero, an Italian name that loosely translates to “sugar-free”. The name targets consumers who are looking for sugar-free drinks as a result of increased health consciousness, especially in developed countries. Various aspects will need to be addressed to ensure that the new product achieves market success, including market research, product positioning, and the development of a marketing mix. It is important for appropriate marketing strategies to be used in the promotion of the new product to ensure that it achieves competitiveness against existing ‘sugar-free soft drinks’ produced and marketed by competitor companies.
The performance of the product in the market will affect the company’s success and strive for mission achievement, the mission of the company being “to produce and distribute quality beverages across the world to quench thirst and enrich lives”. To assess the performance of the new product and the effectiveness of the marketing strategies that will be used, financial performance metrics will be put in place. A situational analysis was conducted to assess and identify the target market for the product, market trends, and the needs of target customers. A SWOT analysis was also conducted to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the product, and strategies developed to take advantage of existing opportunities while eliminating threats. Controls were developed to guarantee the success of the new product in the market.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Stand-Alone Project: Marketing Plan
ABC Company’s new product, Zucchero Zero, is a soft drink that has zero sugar content. The drink is fortified with minerals and vitamins to add nutritional value and be healthy for consumers. The beverage has an equal amount of caffeine as the common soft drink brands in the market, but with no sugar added. Zucchero Zero is artificially sweetened to mirror carbonated drinks but with no calories. The introduction of the drink has been motivated by the increased demand for beverages fit for consumption by athletes, diabetics, and people who want to lose weight or reduce their sugar intake. The beverage will be packaged in small attractive bottles with labels on them. There will be different quantities with prices set depending on the bottle size.
The target market for the new product is composed of a demographic of people from all age groups. This target market has been arrived at after product testing that was concentrated on the wealthy people who are focused on living healthier. Zucchero Zero gives consumers a healthier beverage option, enriching their lives with an extraordinary tasting drink that has zero sugar and no calories. The test marketing campaign focused on people who were engaged in sports and traveling since these people are cautious of what they consume and want to have an amazing experience daily.
There exists a need for beverages that have less sugar content and are fortified with additional nutrition. In the modern, health-conscious world, consumers are aware of their health needs and demand products that are good for their health. Customer preferences seem to be moving towards products that have lesser sugar and more nutritional value. A thorough consideration of this demand prompted ABC Company to safeguard its customer lifetime value and customer loyalty through the development of a product that meets the new and developing customer needs. Customers, especially young people between the age of 18 and 25, are also looking for convenience and portability. Therefore, the new product will be packaged in small bottles and cans that occupy less space and are easy to walk around with. Their small sizes will improve convenience since they can fit in a container hold in a car, a handbag, and a candy machine. A customer commuting from school to home or from home to work will find the small package convenient to walk around with.
The beverage industry continues to experience significant changes in trends over the past five years. Sugary carbonated beverages continue receiving increased criticism, with a majority of consumers focusing on new drinks and brands that were not known a few years ago (Sylvetsky & Rother, 2016). These brands are rising fast as a result of their “sugar-free” nature and marketing that focuses on informing consumers that products are healthy for them. Consumer buying patterns are moving further away from sugary beverages towards the beverages with nutritional features such as being “sugar-free” or “with natural sweeteners”. The new product has the potential to attract this consumer segment that is moving towards “healthier” beverages. The company will capitalize on the identified need and the changing market trends to meet the changing consumer demands and changes in preferences.
Key strengths in the new product include the new product having the same great taste and caffeine content as the other, well-performing ABC brands. The new product also has zero sugar, which means that it will attract companies that sell health brands, such as Subway, and consumers looking for healthy beverages. The beverage’s attractive and small packaging will attract youngsters and health-conscious consumers. ABC plans on developing affiliations with health brands for the development of healthy food combos to promote the new product. This way, the company will benefit from promotions by such companies, which will help eliminate the “unhealthy beverages” perception that some consumers have developed for the company’s brands. A key weakness of the new product is that it is a soft drink and soft drinks are not preferred by many people today. Sugar is just one of the reasons why people avoid soft drinks.
Another weakness is the challenge that the company will encounter trying to convince consumers that the new product is sugar-free. Moreover, health-conscious people consider soft drinks, whether sugar-free or not, unhealthy. Key opportunities for the new product include the growing market for healthier beverages, partnerships with health-focused organizations such as Subway, and health-focused advertising which can attract consumers seeking to change their lifestyle. Zucchero Zero faces threats from other sugar-free beverages from competitor companies, home-based beverages such as buttermilk and lime water, and from soft drinks and juices. Key competitors include brands such as Diet Coke, Pepsi Diet, Pepsi Max, and fruit juice brands (Banutu-Gomez, 2012). Products from PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company are the main competitors of products from ABC Company.
Some of the sugar-free brands from these two key competitors are performing well in the global market and have been available for quite some time. Consumers are, therefore, aware of these products since they are familiar. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo use customized branding, intense advertising, and attractive packaging and pricing to attract consumers and ensure the development of consumer loyalty (Banutu-Gomez, 2012; Drummond et al., 2010). Pricing competition works to their advantage and ABC will need to develop effective marketing strategies to achieve competitiveness. The environmental impact of the production of the new product will be significant as a result of the use of plastic bottles in packaging. The company will address this concern by encouraging consumers to recycle packaging and ensure the appropriate disposal of plastics.
The following are the financial and marketing objectives that the company hopes to achieve with the marketing plan for the new beverage product:
Our target markets are the following two demographics:
The following is the positioning statement for Zucchero Zero: “For consumers who want to enrich and vitalize their lives, sugar-free Zucchero Zero is the leading health beverage that vitalizes and refreshes without harming your health.” To effectively compete with other players in the beverages industry, ABC uses competitive positioning for all its products. The company has strategically positioned itself in the global beverage market. The goal of the company is to continue operating and positioning itself both locally and globally by maintaining the reputation of its major brands while building the new brand. In comparison to other industry players, the company is amongst the top three companies in the industry. Its various brands are popular with consumers across the world, prompting loyalty from consumers. The value proposition at ABC, especially with the new beverage product, is to quench and refresh the world with healthy and quality drinks, meeting the needs of consumers.
Pricing. Competitive pricing will be used for the new product, where the price will be set at the same level as the price of competitor products. This strategy will be effective since the company already has an established brand and a good reputation in the market. through competitive pricing of its other beverage brands, the company has achieved market success and is on the path towards becoming a household name across the world. Sugar-free beverages by Coca Cola and Pepsi will be the benchmarks for the setting of prices for the new product. A lower price point will be taken to infiltrate new markets overseas, but market average prices will be set thereafter to reposition the brand as “premium” in contrast to its competitors.
Promotion. Advertising will concentrate on informing consumers of the health features of the new product. On-pack advertisements will be attractive and will showcase the “sugar-free” and “zero-calorie” messages. The internet will play a huge role in the promotion of the product. Brand online advertisement will be carried out through the use of pop-up ads, banners, social media ads, on-site sponsorships, and targeted ads. Also, various websites and forums are dedicated to ABC consumers where customers share their experiences and stories. These platforms will also be used for promoting the new product. The health features of the product also market it. All advertisements will focus on the health features and will aim to strengthen the existing markets while reaching new ones.
Distribution. Distribution is key to ensuring the new product is readily available to consumers across the world. ABC has authorized and experienced distributors in all the foreign markets of operations. These distributors ensure that the beverage products are readily available at an affordable price to consumers. With a reputable company name, distributors and retailers have no problem distributing products to consumers across the world. The company will also distribute the new product through the internet. The internet helps in the creation of brand awareness while the wholesalers and retailers get products to different markets. Consumers can also order the product through the company’s website and have it delivered to them through the traditional distribution channels.
The project is expected to be complete in the next six months, with the product set to be launched in the local market in the next three months. Over the next two years, the company expects to increase its earnings at an average annual rate of 5 percent. The expected startup costs for the new product are as follows: production costs $5 billion, promotion and distribution cost $6 billion, and action program strategy expenses $5 billion. A monthly budget of $ 1 billion is approximated, with the ROI projected at 20 percent by the end of the first year. Unexpected costs may arise as a result of changes in variable costs. However, the marketing plan is expected to realize an even higher ROI than the projected value.
Banutu-Gomez, M. B. (2012). Coca-Cola: International business strategy for globalization. The Business & Management Review, 3(1), 155.
Drummond, G., Ensor, J., & Ashford, R. (2010). Strategic marketing. Routledge.
Sylvetsky, A. C., & Rother, K. I. (2016). Trends in the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners. Physiology & behavior, 164, 446-450.
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