The marketing mix is a fundamental concept in any organization that wants to gain competitive advantage over other organizations in the industry. The marketing mix can be used to create value and stimulate demand for a product (Dlabay, Scott & Scott, 2010, p.414). The marketing mix plan is determined by the marketing plan objectives. The marketing mix composes of eight components, which include the product or service, promotion, pricing, place, physical evidence, people, process, and packaging.
The coffee market is dominated by a few major brands, which include Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Coffee Republic. Over the years, the coffee house market in the United Kingdom has been grown rapidly which presents a lucrative opportunity for new entrants. The three major coffee houses in the United Kingdom are in shopping malls and traditional high streets; each of the three competitors has a strong brand reputation representative of an organizations culture.
JTA Foods Incorporated has built a strong brand reputation as an ‘in-home cuisine’ over the past two decades. JTA Foods wants to expand its business into the coffee house markets. JTA Foods want to open chains of coffee shops, which will serve branded coffee and coffee products. In addition, the coffee shops will also serve JTA Foods branded meals. This paper presents a twelve-month marketing mix plan for the launch of JTA Food chain of coffee shops in the United Kingdom.
Product refers to the value that accrues to a consumer. Value can be created through production of highly innovative products, which meet and surpass the expectations of the consumer. JTA Foods should develop a product line of coffee beverages and coffee products, which cannot be replicated at home, or by competitors to gain competitive advantage in the coffee house market in the United Kingdom. Coffee shops providing branded coffee in the United Kingdom market are under immense pressure to provide authentic high quality coffee and coffee products from consumers. The pressure is attributable to the high competition from retail outlets, which are serving designer coffee at relatively low prices to cash in on the lucrative coffee market in the United Kingdom.
JTA Foods should develop a product line with a range of coffee beverages and coffee products to cater for different market segments. Different market segments have different tastes and preferences; thus acquiring variety of coffee beverages will help JTA foods to capture a large market share from the United Kingdom demographics. JTA should create a distinctive brand for its coffee and coffee products so that it gain market share from the coffee house market, which is already, dominated by a few major competitors.
JTA Foods also needs to take into consideration future trends in the coffee house market when developing its product. To produce coffee and coffee JTA Foods should do research on technology available in the coffee market through assessment of the competitors’ products. JTA should develop products, which are new to the market to develop a distinctive coffee brand, which will enable its coffee shops to obtain a sizable portion of the coffee market share. The coffee market in the United Kingdom is very dynamic with consumer tastes and preferences changing with trends in the market. Through production of authentic coffee beverages, JTA Foods will gain competitive advantage for its coffee shops.
The pricing strategy adopted by an organization can break or make the success of new products in the market (Dlabay et al., 2010, p.414). A company can use penetration pricing to launch a product and readjust the price after successful acquisition of a sizable portion of the market share. The pricing strategy adopted by a company should be competitive but also profitable. The United Kingdom market demands over four million cup of coffee each day. Consumers are willing to pay up to three pounds for a cup of coffee with some consumers taking up to eight cups of coffee each day.
JTA Foods should use a pricing strategy, which will help it get loyal consumers for its coffee beverage. For different market segments, coffee beverages and coffee products should be priced differently in catering for high-end consumers as well as average income earners. Coffee is not a basic product and not all consumers can afford to purchase the product daily. However, if JTA Foods price their coffee products and beverages they can gain a loyal consumer following who purchase products daily.
JTA Foods will have a chain of coffee shops in the United Kingdom. After the successful launch of the chain of shops, the organization should adopt differential pricing depending on demand of the coffee beverage in a shop. Busy shops should have price their products slightly lower than other shops to stimulate demand further. In busy shops, the organization will be able to cut cost through mass production and take advantage of economies of scale.
People refer to the target consumers for an organizations product or service (Hackley, 2009, p.16). An organization can target a portion of the market and satisfy all its needs using the focus strategy. Alternatively, a company can serve the needs of different market segments by providing variety in its product line. JTA Foods should provide different coffee beverages to appeal to different market segments in the coffee market. JTA Foods should segment its market with age and income. High-end consumers in the coffee market prefer designer coffee such as espressos and cappuccino while other market segments prefer sugar free black coffee. JTA Foods should access the needs of all market segments and provide products, which will satisfy the needs of each market segment.
Promotion refers to the means that an organization uses to communicate to the consumer about its product and service (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2008, p.44). The promotion strategy used by an organization can be exclusive or intensive, depending on the organizations marketing objective. To launch its coffee chain of shops in the United Kingdom successfully, JTA Foods should adopt an intensive promotion strategy. The organization should use advertising, personal selling, online marketing, ands ales promotion.
Given the diverse age groups in the United Kingdom coffee, a market JTA should use different media for advertising. Targeting the young market JTA should advertise on the Internet. It should advertise on its website, which will serve as a virtual shop as well as a tool for creating awareness for its products. For older market segments, it should advertise on the television, radio, and print media.
Advertising should begin one month before the launch of the chain of coffee shops. This will create awareness about coffee shops and the locations. JTA Foods should use billboards in streets, which commuters use when going to work. Most consumers of coffee purchase a cup in the morning on their way to work, thus placing billboards in strategic locations will prompt consumers to drop by one of the shops and purchase a cup or two of coffee and coffee products. The billboards should use catchy slogans which will increase the consumers curiosity about JTA coffee beverages. The billboards should be put up two weeks prior to the launch. Personal selling should be done during the first month of operation after the launch. Sales personnel should stand on busy streets that consumers and give consumers flyers and free samples of JTA coffee beverages. The sales personnel should also be also market the coffee the products outside the shop to persuade passersby to get into the shop.
Sales promotion should be carried using game shows on the radio where consumers who describe their experience in JTA Foods coffee shops win vouchers for coffee and JTA cuisines. The sales campaign will encourage consumers using competitors’ products to try JTA foods coffee beverages.
The promotion campaign should be done in two phases. The first phase should begin one month before the six month after the launch. After the first phase, the marketing phase the marketing should review the success of the campaign. Depending on the success, they should either use alternative marketing strategy or continue using the same strategy for the next six months.
Online marketing should be done throughout the 12 months on the JTA Foods website. For the first six months, the company should have seven billboards all in strategic locations. Advertising should be done on television, radio, and on print for all 12 months. Finally, personal selling should be done for the first three months.
Place refers to the channels of distribution that an organization uses to distribute its products (McDonald & Wilson, 2011, p.265). A company employs direct customer distribution in which it has direct contact with its customers and collaborating distribution, which a strategic partner resells its products and services to a third party on its behalf. The distribution strategy used by an organization depends on the marketing objectives and brand reputation it wants to build. Companies can use exclusive and intensive distribution strategies. A company that wants to maintain strong brand reputation through high quality standardized products uses exclusive distribution through the company’s own outlets. Companies whose marketing objective is to attract a large market share by making their product or service accessible to the consumer use intensive distribution.
Consumers in the coffee market in United Kingdom value the ambiance and comfort in a shop while enjoying a cup of coffee. JTA should use exclusive distribution strategy. The coffee shops should represent the culture of JTA Foods with comfortable seats, music in the background and a setting, which will allows consumers to relax or conduct their business without any hustle. The coffee shops should also have a different section, which consumers buying take away coffee can seat as they wait for their coffee beverages to be prepared. The shops should observe very hygienic environment, which consumers can watch as their coffee, and cuisines are prepared.
The shops should create an environment in which consumers can relax casually as well as have business meeting as they enjoy their coffee beverages and other products offered by JTA Foods. If JTA Foods create, a good ambiance for both relaxing and business meeting it will help to attract consumers who purchase their coffee just to relax or hold meeting in the shop. The two sections will ensure the shop is busy throughout the day because in the morning hours, most consumers can be served through the take away section and during the day, consumers can choose to have their coffee at the shop or still takeaway. The relaxing section will also attract consumers who like to unwind with a cup of coffee before they get home.
Physical evidence refers to the process of allowing consumers to sample the value and functionality of a product before purchasing (Sandhusen, 2000, p.319). Physical evidence can be given through brochures or pamphlets showing the features of a product or through free samples. Physical evidence is a critical component for new companies because consumers are usually reluctant to purchase products and services when they are not guaranteed they would derive value from them.
JTA Foods should use physical evidence through their promotion campaign. Sales personnel promoting JTA Foods coffee beverages should have free samples to give to consumers. The advertisement on radio should include testimonials from consumers experience at the coffee shops. The consumers from other consumers will act as physical evidence for consumers who usually are reluctant to try new products. Consumers who visit the shop should be allowed to sample any products before they purchase them if they request. Additionally the shop attendants should recommend other products for consumers who come to the shop to purchase a particular product by allowing sampling of other alternatives available.
Through use of physical evidence, JTA Foods will be able to build a strong brand reputation for its coffee beverages and other coffee products. Additionally JTA Foods should use brunches to show their product offering to consumers. The brochures should incorporate the outlets ambient environment and show the setting of the shop. The brochures should highlight the shop outlets culture as well as products. The brochures will act as physical evidence and thus prompt consumers to visit the shop. The advertisement on television should show consumers the shops ambience as well as a display of the various coffee beverages.
Packaging refers to the material that an organizations uses to wrap its products. Packaging is a critical component of the marketing mix because it helps an organization to create a distinctive brand, which consumers associate with the organizations product. Over the year’s consumer’s environmental awareness have increased and most customers want to be associated with companies that take the initiative to conserve the environment.
JTA Foods should use packaging material, which shows the organizations brand. Additionally the organization should use recyclable material to package its takeaway coffee. The organizations should place waste bins with the organizations logo where consumers can dispose the coffee cups after consuming the coffee. The waste bins can be emptied and recycled by the company. The packaging material will help to attract environmentally friendly consumers.
Process refers to the procedures and technology an organization uses in manufacturing and distribution of its good or service (Stevens & Loudon, 2005, P.152). The process used by an organization should enable it to increase efficiency, as well, as reduce overall cost of production. JTA Foods should use the latest technology in preparation of its coffee beverages. The technology used to prepare the coffee should not only produce high quality coffee the technology it should also produce a coffee with a distinctive taste, which will help JTA foods to build its coffee brand. JTA Foods should establish procedure for preparation of its coffee beverages, which ensure all shops produce standard products. All coffee baristas for JTA Foods should be trained on how to make coffee, which will ensure the JTA Foods coffee beverages are high quality and have a distinctive taste.
The shops should emphasize provision of prompt service to all customers who visit the shops. In addition, all shop attendants should exercise exceptional customer care to ensure that no consumers who visit the shops are just satisfied; they are enthusiastically satisfied. According to Cook (2008, P. 23) customers services is critical factor in the service industry as it determines a company’s ability to retain customers as well as get others through referrals.
The marketing plan for JTA Foods launch of a chain of coffee shops in the United Kingdom should take into consideration the product, price, place, people, physical evidence, packaging process and promotion. The marketing team should incorporate factors in the coffee market business in the marketing mix to gain a competitive edge in the industry.
Cook, S. 2008.Customer Care Excellence: How to Create an Effective Customer Focus. London: Kogan Page Publishers.
Dlabay, L., Scott, J. & Scott, J. C. 2010. International Business. USA: Cengage Learning.
Hackley, C. 2009. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Approach. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F. & McDaniel, C. 2008. Marketing. Ohio: Cengage Learning.
McDonald, M. & Wilson, H. 2011. Marketing Plans: How to Prepare Them, How to Use Them. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons
Sandhusen, R. L. 2000. Marketing. USA: Barron's Educational Series
Stevens, R.E. & Loudon, D. 2005.Marketing planning guide. California: Routledge