Business plans are meant to drive the objectives of companies as they provide a guideline for the way forward in a company’s operational initiatives. They give a clear way out and how various operations are to be carried out. Verge Beverages is one such company that will develop a business plan to guide its operations. The business plan will consist of a marketing plan, a sales strategy and a marketing budget, which will be used to derive a strategy that will be used to launch the company’s products within the nearby community.
The company expects to launch its main product, coconut water along a radius of 25 miles, where it intends to sell its products along other non-alcoholic drinks as well as energy drinks such as Coca cola, water and juices. The marketing plan will be used to drive sales of the company’s products around the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide, in areas such as Eastwood, Glenside, Hazelwood and Kensington among others, where the target age groups will be from 39 – 75 years.
The company targets consumers with an advanced level of education since they are able to understand the chemical components of the ingredients, which have been used as the main ingredients in the company’s product – coconut water, and they are professionals living in the areas.
The product will be suitable for both genders, but at the same time, the company will target at least 40% of the 54% females and 28% of the 44.6% males living in the area (“Glenside Demographics (SA) Local Stats”, n.d.), while at the same time, it will suit its beverage to all the ethnic groups residing in Glenside.
The demographic information of Adelaide indicates that there is a potential number of consumers and distribution channels, which the company can use. The estimated number of groceries and markets are overwhelming, such as the Adelaide produce market in which the company plans to sell its beverage product by subcontracting other small scale vegetable vendors in the markets and open areas.
The market situation is oligopolistic in nature, a situation characterized by a few number of sellers of a particular product in a market (Mukherji, 1990), thereby giving room for growth. The number of current sellers offer distinct products since they are few and as such their products can vividly be noticed in the market. They offer unique high quality beverages, and because they are few, their prices are seemingly high.
Verge Beverages will therefore experience a direct form of competition from the already established beverage selling companies in the area. This will therefore call for appropriate strategies that will be used to counteract the influence of the few companies on the consumers. The company will hence design a competitive strategy, a strategy that it will use to challenge the present market leaders and to leverage the market in order for the consumers to pick from alternative products.
Verge Beverages will use an attack strategy. This will be based on the flank approach, which will be used to identify the market gaps available, which have not been fully utilized by the market leaders. This is because the company is a young company with small financial muscle which may not permit it to produce other product lines, therefore an attack strategy would work since a market with less competitors will always have gaps which need to be filled, and which verge beverages intends to prioritize in to grow its presence.
Verge Beverages’ marketing plan will involve defining the target market based on market demographics in Adelaide. This will help the company to tailor its marketing plan based on the attributes such as psychographic attributes. The company will also use a value proposition and mass marketing to drive the products in various places such as open markets and vegetable groceries where people of the target age groups frequently visit. The company intends to use the value element as the main theme in its marketing message, in which it will blend the product with vegetables and other green products mostly being sold in markets.
Verge Beverages plans to carry out mass marketing where the company agents and marketing representatives will be stationed in respective markets, groceries and retail shops. These positions will be unique since they will help the company to uniquely target a specific market rather than compete directly with other strong non-alcoholic beverage brands.
It will also help the company to grow its customer base since the customers will only have a single competing product to choose from, compared to other products that are mostly found in the supermarkets and shops, which on the other hand will also help the company position its products.
The company will also use the psychographic elements to capture the attention of consumers whose lifestyles can led to the development of illnesses that coconut water can treat. The psychographic element will be used in the marketing plan to capture a specific segment of the market that the other non-alcoholic beverages such as Coke, Fanta and fresh juices have not addressed. This attribute will bring about product uniqueness in the market.
Online partnership ventures
The company plans to form joint ventures with already established online stores that do not offer any non-alcoholic drinks. It intends to use this approach due to lack of a dedicated online platform, with companies such as grocery run and Aussie farmers being considered. This will help it market its products online, as well as reach the online consumers.
A product launch is an event that is used by companies to announce to the public concerning a new product arrival (Lindsey & Business Services Training Australia Ltd, 2003).The company will use the product launch to introduce its product. This will be done in open market places and other areas with high traffic. The product launch exercise will be carried out to introduce the coconut water to the community.
Promotion is a technique that involves the reduction of price of a product for a limited time (Wiehenbrauk, 2010). In order to attract and retain a given number of clients, the company will use promotional techniques to market its product. This will involve giving a discount on the last bottle of the product upon buying two cans of the non-alcoholic beverage. Promotion will form part of the marketing plan due to the ability of the method to attract a large number of people in the community.
Apart from a marketing plan, the company will also develop a sales strategy. A sales strategy is a blueprint that highlights how the selling process will be done (Zoltners et al, 2004). The following will constitute the strategy that the company will use in its sales effort.
Verge Beverages plans to sell its products through intermediaries who will be in charge of selling the products at the community level. Intermediaries are agents that act on behalf of a parent company (Robb, 2008), in tasks which the company does have the ability to conduct. The company also plans to use intermediaries in areas out of its reach, especially in the community where only certain establishments like groceries can be found.
The company plans to use a direct selling channel where company representatives will be stationed in various areas such as open markets, retail stores while giving grocery owners complete authority to sell the products in their shops.
In addition to that, the company will recruit sales personnel who will sell the products through a personal selling process, where they will handle sales through one on one interaction with potential consumers. This however, will be facilitated by funds, which will be set aside to support the efforts of the business.
Consultancy costs: $300
Administrative costs: $500
Marketing materials: $1000
Others (Printing and design): $500
The marketing budget will facilitate the marketing activities. The consultancy fees will be paid to external entities involved in guiding the marketing initiative, while miscellaneous will cover other unseen costs that may affect the marketing processes.
Companies will only succeed upon the implementation of a marketing plan, sales strategy and a marketing budget to facilitate the marketing initiatives. Verge Beverages will therefore consider the above elements in its business plan so as to successfully launch its product in the community.
Glenside Demographics (SA) Local Stats. (n.d.).Retrieved August 11, 2015.
Lindsay, M., & Business Services Training Australia Ltd. (2003). Promote products and services: BSBCMN409A. Chatswood, NSW: Software Publication.
Mukherji, S. (1990). Modern economic theory. New Delhi: Wiley Eastern.
Robb, R. (2008). Buying your own business: Identify opportunities, analyze today’s markets, negotiate the best terms, close the deal. Avon, Mass: Adams Business.
Wiehenbrauk, D. (2010). Collaborative promotions: Optimizing retail supply chains with upstream informaton sharing. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Zoltners, A. A., Sinha, P., & Lorimer, S. E. (2004). Sales force design for strategic advantage. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.