The paper describes a marketing communication initiative on a new product aimed at strengthening its competitive position. The product is for Marcomms Suppliers/Service Providers, which has a goal to compete effectively with market leaders in the industry of soaps and detergents.
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The brief will not only highlight the benefits therein, but also focus on the establishment of most pertinent communications that can assist in attaining the business goals and objectives.
Most importantly is to direct all the objectives towards the better marketing of the products as well as driving sales. Therefore, the communication goals are strategically implemented and planned as well as strengthened and driven forward through the most effective communication strategies.
Brown and Hayes (2008) observe the crucial role played by marketing communication in brand development. Therefore, communication brief that reaches all stakeholders in the business can be very effective in delivering the desired message about the product in the market. In response to this, the communication briefing involves the application of all the fundamentals of an effective communication strategy.
The effort is to ensure the achievement of the right strategic message of the new product to the target consumers. Given that the communication brief is a ground-up brand development project, the major objective is to establish a strong starting point that entails the marketing strategies discussed in the Morgan’s book (Eating the Big Fish).
The initiative is focused on allowing the pertinent stakeholders in the business channel to communicate the brand. The eight credos explained in the book are among the fundamentals applied in this communication brief in an effort to associate the product with the values of a challenger brand. Therefore, the effort assists in establishing an emotional linkage among the manufacturer of the product and the end users.
The paper entails a communication brief that aims to market a new brand from Sizzling International Limited. The cosmetic giant has a great reputation for its elite body and healthcare products. The target product, Monalisa soap, is the latest release of the company. The product has only been in the market for some months, hence known to few end users.
Therefore, consumer awareness is paramount in this brief and the major goal revolves around establishing the precise communication initiative that can enhance the promotion of Monalisa soap. The core linkages that exist between manufacturers and consumers form the key target audiences for this communication brief.
It is also the aim of this brief to motivate the target consumers to complete purchases of the new products as well as convincing them to accept the soap as their preferred choice. The competitive advantage of the Monalisa soap revolves around the fair cost in spite of it being characterized by the many qualities associated with other soaps that have succeeded in the market. The soap is double-edged in terms of consumer attraction, that is, low price plus good quality.
Product’s market position
The Monalisa soap is built on a strong marketing platform especially because Sizzling International Limited is widely reputed as compared to other competitors. The company’s cosmetic products appear in all corners of the world. Therefore, the major target market for the soap is the stakeholders including the shareholders, marketers of cosmetic products and the consumers.
The changing consumer behavior and preference towards cosmetic products is a great advantage to the success of the soap. Therefore, the soap is expected to hit in all corners of the world as long as good health is a priority. The marketing is reinforced by the fact that the soap carries exclusive qualities and features from manufacture to packaging.
Hence, consumers from all corners of the world will be motivated by such values to try the product. Many cosmetic products have shown tremendous success in the market leaving no doubt that monalisa soap will succeed because of its exclusive qualities and health benefits. Apart from these qualities, the reasonable cost of the product place it ahead of other products competing in the market.
The initial success signals can be observed from the pilot project that was undertaken by the mother company after the product was launched. Despite other similar products enjoying a bigger share of the market, the new product is expected to hit the market like a storm in the near future. Things would even speed up after the communication strategy has been implemented successfully on the target consumers.
Nature of competition in the market
In addition to the health qualities associated with Monalisa soap, the multi-purpose nature of the soap is a characteristic that positions it stronger over other competing brands in the market. Studies conducted on the competitors posing high threat to the company suggest that the application of strong and exclusive communication initiatives are strong determinant of the competitive edge for Sizzling as far as the new soap is concerned.
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Besides exclusive qualities and values, the success of any cosmetic product depends on the manner in which they are presented to the consumers. Many competitors seem to target the local consumers through different communication media. Although they sometimes appear to use modern techniques such as the internet to build consumer awareness of their products, the messages upheld in their advertisements are certainly less effective, reaching only a small portion of the targeted audience.
The fact that the target market for other competitors is similar to that of Sizzling International Limited does not limit the new brand from success. Notable aspects that can influence the enlarging of the target market for the brand are identified. The success can be achieved by having a global focus where the company can market the product in different regions of the world instead of concentrating its marketing activities on the local scene where competition is stiff. Similarly, the company can use advertisement as the instrument of high-leverage to create brand awareness.
The goal for the marketing communication strategy
The main goal for this communication initiative revolves around motivating the target people to complete purchases of the new soap as well as making the product as the most preference. In order to meet this objective, the Morgan’s eight credos discussed in the book are employed to make the new soap the ‘big fish’ within the cosmetic products offered in the market.
The reason is that the eight credos provide a comprehensive imminent of the manner in which challenger brands can be positioned stronger in the market than the leading brands. The activities taken to ensure that the business goals were achieved are defined though the use of measurable and quantifiable pertinent approaches.
The communication initiative is grounded on ensuring that pertinent approaches are employed in order to link producers and consumers. This has been achieved through the engagement of techniques that enhance brand awareness. Effective advertising that leads to the attainment of the major goal will be enabled by marketing initiatives and media instruments such as the internet.
Foss and Stone (2009) insist that the application of the right strategy to the right market segment is founded on the benefit of using various advertising mediums. Nonetheless, the selection of the relevant medium relies on many factors and characteristics such as the availability of media platforms and consumer requirements.
Moreover, other marketing characteristics such as brand positioning and influence call for stern attentions and continuous monitoring in order to differentiate the new brand. Above all, the stages that lead to successful brand development are employed in this communication brief.
Campaign and the financial plan for advertising
The current business environment suggests that the world is characterized by rapid changes hence companies are struggling to strengthen their competitive position, perhaps through the application of new technologies. Evidently, this application is focused on driving sales by widening the customer bases.
Research shows that effective tools that can motivate and inspire consumers as well as strategies play a crucial role in marketing, and key market players have given this a higher priority while advertising their brands (Timmons & Spinelli 2004). Likewise, this marketing communication has prioritized these winning tricks in order to achieve the overall objective. Rajagopal (1999) highlights that the constant application of communication initiatives and decisions is paramount especially when enhancing the image of a particular brand to the relevant market segment.
Nevertheless, the development stages of these communication activities can be quite expensive. The approximate spending in our communication strategy is $10 billion. The amount will certainly keep the project running and if the implementation of the strategies is successful, consumer awareness of the new product will increase in the international scene. The impact will certainly suggest that the communication plan is successful.
Brief of the product
The new product from Sizzling International Limited is Monalisa soap that exhibits spectacular attributes. Based in the United Kingdom, the company’s name has penetrated both local and international scenes, whereby many homes have used one or many of the products from the company.
The products offered by the company range from healthcare products to cosmetic products. They come in varieties described by the application including body lotions, hair lotions, lip balms, and other relevant areas.
Newly produced, Monalisa soap is an addition to the list of many varieties manufactured by Sizzling, which has promised great impacts on consumer needs and preferences. Evidently, the communication plan is an added strength to the positioning strategy of the new product. It is expected to push consumers toward accepting the product as one, but unique product that satisfy their needs.
Nature of the product
As far as marketing is considered, Monalisa soap can be viewed as one product that has differentiated itself among other competing brands. The soap satisfies various purposes for washing and bathing. Moreover, its availability in liquid and solid forms offers the users a unique feeling of satisfaction when bathing. As Ferrara and Dalby (1996) observe, the users of Monalisa have a variety of choices pertaining to the different perfumes including milk, flower, fruit, and natural.
The unique soap is made from a variety of ingredients including olives, avocado fruit, and aloe vera leaves. The soap does not only have the beautifying aspects for the body, hair, and scalp, but is also effective in softening and nourishing the skin throughout the day. Monalisa soap is a great protector of the skin due to its protective ingredient such as natural oils and antiseptic constituents (Bobo 1996).
The medicinal properties of the soap ensure that that the body is free of germs in addition to curing many diseases associated with the skin and hair. In connection to this, monalisa soap has a pain relieving effect on the body and muscles.
For the solid form, Sizzling supplies the soap in attractive packages surrounded by films of protective medium. They come in quantities ranging from 15 grams to 200 grams. Packed in quantities ranging from 125 milliliters to 1000 milliliters, the liquid form is offered in plastic packs.
Product marketing: Strengths and weaknesses
Due to the presence of many competing brands in both local and international scenes, the marketing of monalisa soap is complex. Indeed, the complexity does not revolve around competition only, but also lingers under other market characteristics such as the buying power of the consumers.
Important business attributes including competition, buying power, economy, price, and brand image are relevant when it comes to the marketing of the soap (Percy 2007). In this line of thought, it is important to sort out the strong and weak aspects in order to understand the impacts they can have during the marketing of the soap. Shown below are some of the strong and weak aspects that will certainly influence the marketing intent.
- Reasonable price
- Good quality
- Strong brand components
- Availability in different forms
- Poor product establishment
- Stiff competition
- Weak brand image
Competition in the market
Among the key producers of cosmetic and health products in the globe is the United Kingdom (Butler & Poucher 2000). Indeed, the cosmetic industry is among the leaders in terms of revenue and sales in the country. Therefore, the country produces as many varieties as the manufactures are. The major competing brands and manufacturers in this industry are shown below.
|Jellies Soaps||Barony Brands|
|Guest Soaps||Ancient Wisdom Marketing Ltd|
|Pohli Skin Care Soap||Natural Bubbles Handmade Soaps|
|Rose Geranium Soap||NaturaLeigh|
|Vatika Dermoviva Naturals||Trading Company|
|Zarina Medicated Antiseptic Soap||Fairtrade Inc Co Ltd|
|Spice Island Escape Handmade Soap||Pohli Arzneim Dersden Europe Ltd|
|Moon Handmade Soap||NaturaLeigh|
|Aromatherapy Soap||Ancient Wisdom Marketing Ltd|
|Patchouli & Orange Soap||Natural Bubbles Hand Made Soaps|
Benefits of the soap to users
The benefits of the new products to all users are centered on the many unique attributes such as health care, skin softening, and nourishment as well as a variety of perfumes. Indeed, the product does not only meet the health problems of its users, but also respond to their economic demands. The many purposes the soap meets also add value to consumer spending, hence becomes a financial ‘refugee camp’ for many in need of cosmetic and laundry products.
Monalisa soap is also known to be user-friendly, that is, it can be applied smoothly without hurdles like irritations and itches. In fact, this benefit is one of the key differentiating factors of the product. Other economic benefits originate from the rich form of Monalisa that makes the soap a long lasting product.
Cost-sensitive consumers are especially moved by this aspect, as they are able to spend little for a longer duration of time. The protective nature of the soap especially from ailments also adds to the economic benefit of the users, as they are able to evade extra spending on such heath problems.
Development of the campaign
Perhaps the part that is most vital and most complex in the communication initiative is the development of the campaign. The reason is that the part requires a systematic approach involving decisive stages of planning, staging, and implementation. Here, the communication goal is achieved through the application of vital phases of the plan such as strategies, advertising platforms, benchmarking, budgeting, and monitoring of the intervention.
In order to apply these tactics effectively in the intervention, a critical understanding of the market and product parameters is necessary for all stakeholders. There is need to know how competitors are approaching the marketing options as well as the position of the new product in both local and international markets. Anderson and Narus (2004) have the opinion that the sales history is crucial to enhancing consumer understanding.
Product acceptance and use depends largely on what consumers know about the product and particularly in regard to the benefits discussed above. Consumer insight of the Monalisa soap is important in that it enhances the inner feeling that the product is the source of daily satisfaction. The development of an integrated campaign can easily be made based on this knowledge about the consumer.
The most effective campaign can be developed on the platform of SMART objectives. The platform defines that the objectives must be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely (SMART) (Hutt & Speh 2004). The realization of the communication goal can only occur through the use of this approach.
The fact that the SMART approach ensures a streamlined focus on goal attainment, everyone in this plan is motivated to work objectively. For this communication strategy, it would be realistic to target consumers and increase awareness to 70 percent. In addition, trial sales should reach 20 percent as soon as possible. Through the directive rod of the eight credos explained in the Morgan’s book, the monalisa soap (small fish) should attain a significant share of the market (Jones 2010; Duncan 2010).
In an environment characterized by strong brands, the eight credos are the most appropriate signals of the success of a new product. They do not only propagate by themselves, but also exhibit provocative and engaging ideas in a way that maintains a focus on immense business attainment via the conception of strong competitive opportunities.
In actual sense, the credos are a roadmap that assists in establishing competitive edge for weaker products in the market to level that of the strong brands. In essence, the weaker competitors and marketers are brought to the realization that the market is all about innovation during strategy development and implementation (Morgan 2009).
Differentiation is the answer to the quest for a strong market position. Starting with strategies up to business behavior, a competitor aiming for success should differentiate the market tactics employed (Knorzer & Szodruch 2012). The position in the communication strategy can be attained by the use of the Challenger Program described by Morgan.
Revolving around four main phases, the initial stage of attitude and preparation should attempt to make use of the opportunities emerging in the market based on the attainment of the marketing goals. The phase should reflect the desire to reach the overall goal regardless of the many hurdles that surround the intent.
Lighthouse identity, thought leadership, and re-evaluation being the second phase in the Challenger Program works towards winning consumer attitudes. Success can be achieved by utilizing the fundamental dimensions of identity, emotion, strength, and salience that lead to the establishment of a lighthouse entity. Again, this can be reinforced by ensuring that the product itself has the proper attributes to attract consumers such as attractive packages and logo of the brand.
The effort to apply the vital component of thought leadership was the factor behind the enhanced consumer awareness as well as the increased motivation to attain the overall objective of the communication initiative. The effort brought Monalisa soap close to consumers. The evaluation and assessment of consumer response towards the product through re-evaluation symbols was vital.
The experience the customers will have on the product will be enhanced perhaps through the use of labels and fryers for every purchase made. Lee and Colarelli (2003) argue that the re-evaluation symbols will not only attract consumers, but also act as signals of change to them. Comprising of the principle of forfeit and over dedication, the third phase in the Challenger Program ensures that the project has positive outcomes.
Indeed, the project could be well managed but lack the positive results expected due to lack of forfeit and dedication of the pertinent segments in the project. The fourth phase is maintaining the challenger impetus with a focus on ensuring the stability of the challenger product.
Emphasizing on diversification during strategy conception is vital particularly when it is centered on ideas instead of consumers. The direction assists in the formation of pertinent attributes and constituents required to make the consumers accept the brand. Advertising is also core to this project, hence the use of relevant tools throughout the project tells about the importance of medial publicity.
The previous discussion has supported the main goal to be the definition of the manner in which Monalisa soap would be perceived by the end-users. Another objective that emerges from the discussion is that of creating language for all stakeholders in the marketing and use of the soap. In this regard, it would be true to say that the project serves as a pertinent strategy that describes how the new soap can enhance its competitive strength.
Like many business projects, effective communication is strategic, that is, all components must be developed on strategies that revolve around the business mission, vision, and goals. Likewise, effective strategies characterize the development of the communication initiative such that both the objectives and shareholders are connected to overall plan. The effort was broken into several steps. First is the assessment and determination of the consumer attitudes and awareness about the soap.
The significance of this strategic approach was revealed when the project players were able to construct the most effective channels that reached the consumers easily. Several questions enabled the identification of core management decisions, which eventually led to the attainment of the overall objective: Who are the target audiences for the communication message?
How will the audience behavior change due to the presence of the new soap? Which communication platforms and tools are certain to reach and move the audiences? What benchmarks are in place to measure the results of the project?
Communication channels or mediums
A number of factors were considered when selecting the communication medium to channel the messages to the target market segment. They included but not limited to the buying power of the users, their location, and their buying behaviors. There was also a critical consideration of success determinants in the global business environment, as the strategy moves beyond UK market.
Moreover, the capability of Sizzling International Limited to penetrate challenging markets such as those in the glowing economies was a critical factor that determined the channels to use. The major advertising and promotion approaches that were employed in this project are described below.
To enhance the interaction between the sales people and the target customers, several effective sales presentation materials including company listings were employed. The approach was particularly effective at the local scene where the sales representatives had good orientation.
In order to reach out the retailers and consumers, promotion activities including road shows, after sale service, discounts, live shows, contests, and live shows were employed extensively at both the local and international markets. The promotion activities were conducted mostly in areas with large populations of the users such as towns and cities in an effort to achieve the goal of increasing consumer awareness fast.
Most importantly is to test new product on consumers, which was achieved through direct marketing. The products were demonstrated to the consumers at ground level and free trials made to promote good attitudes. Consumers with doubts about the product had the chance to clear them as the evidence allowed them.
The opportunities to discuss the issues surrounding the product gave in to the acceptance the company wished to cultivate. Given the chance to have direct experience with the product and company representatives, the consumers would undoubtedly interpret things better and independently. Direct marketing also enabled the company to use the outcomes as a kind of benchmark for measuring success and effectiveness of the initiative.
Technology advancement was the major drive towards the conception of this strategy. The current business trends place technology among the pillars of success hence the company that adapts to technology changes will certainly hold a strong position in the market. The various media channels that increase user interaction such as the internet, print, electronic media, and word of mouth were explicitly employed to communicate the pertinent messages. However, the internet precedes other media channels where interaction is concerned, as it offer thrilling platforms for interaction such as Facebook and Twitter.
As noted before, the communication strategy is quite expensive. Approximately, $10 billion was budgeted for the entire project. In spite of the huge spending, the communication initiative can drive sales of the new products at a pace that ensures profitability in a very short period. The spending can be split according to the various units of the project as follows.
Promotions and sales presentation
To enhance the interaction between the sales people and the target customers, several effective sales presentation materials including company listings were employed. Likewise, in order to reach out the retailers and consumers, promotion activities including road shows, after sale service, discounts, live shows, contests, and live shows were employed extensively at both the local and international markets.
Evidently, these activities surrounding promotions and sales presentations would require the application of materials that fit the target market segment. For effective communication of the messages, various processes and components were applied in each program. The programs spent about $1.8 billion right from the launching of the activities to the end of the programs.
As noted before, the most important thing is to test new product on consumers, which was achieved through direct marketing. The products were demonstrated to the consumers at ground level and free trials made to promote good attitudes. According to Pedol (2006), direct marketing entails the selling of the product as well as advertising the product.
For the exercise to succeed, gifts and other free offers such as caps, key holders, shirts, and walking sticks must accompany the purchases completed successfully. Demonstrations and free trials also take a significant part of the cost during this exercise. The spending would be approximately $2.5 billion.
As noted before, advertising exercise involved the application of several interactive communication media including the internet among others. Various media channels that increase user interaction such as the internet, print, electronic media, and word of mouth were explicitly employed to communicate the pertinent messages.
The exercise is aimed at enhancing product publicity at both the local and international scenes, hence a higher spending when compared to other activities. The expense is about $4.8 billion. Posters and direct mails employed in the project would cost the remaining $0.9 billion.
Sizzling International Limited has a new product that has not acquired a significant market share. The aim of the project was to develop a communication brief for the contractor, Marcomms Suppliers/Service Providers. The project has been successful as it describes the most appropriate communication activities for the product.
Evidently, the successful implementation of the strategy does not only increase competitive strength of the product, but increase consumer awareness and acceptance of the soap. The goal can be achieved better when there is an integration of a marketing campaign that originates from effective planning. Therefore, communication brief that reaches all stakeholders in the business can be very effective in delivering the desired message about the product in the market.
In response to this, the communication briefing involves the application of all the fundamentals of an effective communication strategy. The effort is to ensure the achievement of the right strategic message of the new product to the target consumers.
Given that the communication brief is a ground-up brand development project, the major objective is to establish a strong starting point that entails the marketing strategies discussed in the Morgan’s book In addition, the Morgan’s roadmap of eight credos is vital when positioning a weak brand in a market characterized by stiff competition.
The roadmap and principles therein focus on creating competitive advantages proactively for brands that lie low in the ladder of competition. New communication technologies have proved to be more effective than conventional technologies if applied properly and to the appropriate audience.
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